How to clean jute rugs — get them fresh in five simple steps

Quick steps for how to clean jute rugs, straight from our cleaning and floor-care experts

Neutral living room with pink sofa and round glass coffee table on large clean jute rug, with beige cabinetry and gallery wall in the background
(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

Whether colorful or classic, knowing how to clean jute rugs is key to maintaining their look and charm.

Natural, stylish and super-durable — there’s a lot to love about these rugs. But keeping jute fresh requires care and attention. Our rug and cleaning pros will walk you through the five steps that'll get yours clean.

These expert-approved steps on how to clean your rug will keep yours pristine and breathe life into your living space.

How to clean jute rugs like a pro

Much like learning how to clean a carpet, learning how to clean jute rugs task will be all about knowing the key steps, what products to use, and what to avoid.

Where our experts have suggested products, our expert shoppers have curated highly-rated products and trusted retailers.

Prices were correct at the time this article was published.

Step 1: Clear the decks

A dining room with a green wall with a rattan mirror, a dining table bench with gray glassware and plants, a wooden bench with gray and orange throws and pillows, and a jute rug on a gray wooden floor

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Remove any tables, chairs, toys (or pets) that might have found a home on or around the rug. This avoids the risk of chemicals or dust ending up in unwanted places. Give your rug a shake in the yard, on the porch or over the balcony. 

Step 2: Vacuum

When it comes to jute rugs, a good vacuum is your friend and make sure to vacuum both the top and underside of the rug to remove debris and dust.

Using the soft brush attachment, vacuum your jute rug on a low setting in the direction of the rug's pile, not against it. 

Ali Mir, founder of luxury rug experts, Canvello, says, “It’s important to vacuum the rug gently, using a brush attachment — this helps to avoid loosening or pulling out the fibers, which are more delicate than in other rugs, and can more easily get damaged than synthetic fibers.”

To avoid excessive build, diary the vacuuming of your jute rug into your weekly routine with a high-quality appliance such as one of our best vacuum cleaners to reduce the risk of dirt and dust building up, and make addressing stains easier. 

Ali adds, “When it comes to jute rugs, you really can’t overestimate the importance of regular maintenance. Vacuuming once or twice a week will help preserve their beauty and longevity.” 

Profile photo of Ali Mir on sunny day
Ali Mir

Ali Mir is founder and principal of luxury furnishings company, Canvello. Established in 1940 and with a legacy deeply rooted in the rug industry, Canvello takes great pride in presenting a diverse collection of decorative handmade throws, pillows and rugs crafted from handspun wool, using only natural vegetable dyes.

Step 3: Tackle stains

Close up of round jute rug on wooden floor

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s important to address stains on your jute rug as early as possible, but beware of overusing water. 

Ali explains, “A common mistake in caring for jute rugs is underestimating how sensitive they are to moisture. Using water or liquid cleaners can cause the rug to swell, discolor, or even deteriorate. Instead, immediately blot spills with a clean, dry, white cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible."

Once dry, sprinkle baking soda (such as from this 3lb bag of Arm and Hammer baking soda from Target), cornstarch available on Amazon or a mix of both for a homemade solution to lift stains from jute rugs without damaging fibers. 

Dry stains can also be removed from jute with dry rug shampoos (such as this highly-rated by shoppers Mighty Mint spot cleaner from Amazon that is non-toxic to pets, and free from ammonia, bleach and artificial dyes and fragrances). 

For any new cleaning products, a good tip is to test a small amount on the underside of the jute rug first, or an area that can be easily hidden under furniture if something goes wrong. 

Another effective method can be to mix a little non-bio, mild detergent with water. However, be careful to only dab (not scrub) the affected area, and avoid oversaturating the material.

Carpet-cleaning machines such as the Shark Carpet Expert Stainstriker we've reviewed and awarded 4.5/5 stars to can be highly effective, but check out our best carpet cleaning machines and double-check your choice is jute safe. 

Step 4: Powder up

Once your jute rug is dry, vacuumed and stain-free, it’s time to powder up.

Dry cleaning powders such as Capture Carpet and Rug Dry Cleaner from Amazon and this Arm and Hammer Pet Fresh Dry Carpet Cleaner from Wayfair are much more effective for jute rugs than sprays or washing. 

Amy Poulton, home improvement expert at DIY website Hometalk, says, “Sprinkle baking soda all over the rug to deodorize and absorb any moisture. Leave it to settle for 30-40 minutes.”

Amy adds, “You can also use a dry rug shampoo instead of baking soda, but we find that baking soda works just as well and you likely already have it in your cupboard.”

Amy Poulton profile picture. She is a white woman with long brown hair and is pictured smiling at the camera and against a gray background
Amy Poulton

Amy Poulton is a home-improvement expert at Hometalk — the world’s largest home DIY community with more than 21 million members. Its 150,000 tutorial videos on everything from cleaning to decor provide inspiration and guidance for anyone who loves their home. 

Step 5: Vacuum again

Finish as you started, by vacuuming your jute rug thoroughly to release the dry compound out of the fibers. Allow the rug to air for a few hours before replacing any tables or furniture on top — this ensures any remaining dry compound residue can dissipate.

Amy adds, “There are several ways to dry the rug thoroughly, including using a hairdryer or placing it outside. If you use a hairdryer, I’d advise a low setting, and if placing it outside, avoid direct sunlight — this is because excessive heat can cause the rug to shrink or fade.” 

Though it will take longer, the safest approach is to open a few windows and allow the jute rug to dry naturally.

So there you have it — five simple steps to ensure your jute rug stays fresh and withstands the wear and tear of daily house life. 

Next, consider the best cleaning supply subscriptions to ramp up the freshness in your living room and ensure you never run out of the products you need to maintain your space.

Andy van Terheyden
Freelance Writer

I'm a senior writer with an English degree and NCJ qualification, plus years of experience writing news, lifestyle and consumer articles for the national and international press. I'm also a copywriter, working on a breadth of consumer and corporate projects, and a private education consultant. I live in the quiet of the countryside and spend my weekends mooching around homeware shops, completing DIY tasks to breathe life into my small, newly-built home.