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How to Clean a Sisal Rug: Here’s the Best Way to Clean and Maintain It

Wondering how to clean a sisal rug? We’ll show you how in this article.

It’s important because you won’t enjoy your sisal rug if you don’t know how to clean and maintain it.

Sisal is a beautiful 100% natural fiber but it tends to collect dust and stain easily.

It can be a major stress point but don’t fret because in this article we tell you everything you need to know about how to clean a sisal rug.  


  • What is sisal rug?
  • Why are sisal rugs so popular?
  • How to clean a sisal rug
  • Ways to deal with stubborn stains on your sisal rug
  • Simple tips to removing the stinky
  • Where can I buy a sisal rug online?

What is sisal rug?

A sisal rug is a woven floor covering made from sisal yarn. Sisal yarn is a product of stiff, hard fibers from agave sisalana; a cactus plant indigenous to Africa and Central America but also available in other tropical parts of the world.   

Sisal rugs have a natural glowy sheen, chunky weave, and tend to look incredible when laid out on the floor. They can last you well over eight to ten years if well maintained.

  1. Sisal yarn is hard and pretty stiff, making it durable, easy to stretch, and pliant.  
  2. The yarn is easy to dye, sustainable, and renewable.
  3. It absorbs and gives off moisture to keep your space cool, even on hot days. 
  4. Sisal yarn is resistant to moths, mites, rot, static, and dust. 
  5. It’s ideal for anyone with allergies and a sensitive respiratory system. Reason being sisal grows organically with no added chemicals, and maybe a few herbicides as weeding is by hand.

How to clean a sisal rug

The BEST way to clean your sisal rug is by vacuuming (with a brush attached or strong suction) once or twice a week.

While dust doesn’t collect on the surface, it tends to get lodged in the fibers.

Daily cleaning would involve wiping the sisal rug with some mild detergent or soap, and a damp clean white cloth or mop.

On occasion you can sprinkle it with water from a spray bottle to strengthen and firm up the sisal fibers.

Immediately there’s a stain, act fast to spot clean the affected area. Work outwards, progressing inwards towards the stain.

Then, blot the stain with a clean, dye-free paper towel or cloth till it clears off.

With time some fibers will sprout on the surface which is part of the natural fiber’s characteristics. To be rid of them, cut off with scissors gently without pulling at them.


  • Steam clean, wet shampoo or soak your sisal rug. 
  • Rub when cleaning. Instead, wipe gently with a damp brush, cloth, or dry paper.
  • Place it in places prone to water saturation.

How to clean a sisal rug: Remove stubborn stains

1. Water and water based spills

  • Blot the stain immediately.
  • Then cover it with a thick layer of dry cleaning powder, cornflour, potato flour, or white vinegar overnight. 
  • Vacuum thoroughly the next day.

2. Grease and oil spills

  • Spread an aerosol spot remover or turpentine on the stain. 
  • Leave it overnight, then vacuum thoroughly.

3. Beer and wine spills

  • Apply some detergent, wood alcohol, or club soda to the stain.
  • After settling for an hour or so, wipe off gently with a clean, dye-free cloth.

4. How to clean sisal rug pet stains

  • Spread half a tea cup of baking soda or white vinegar on the stain.
  • Give it a few minutes to settle, then sprinkle some warm water and scrub gently with a soft brush.
  • Then wipe off gently with a clean dye-free cloth and vacuum thoroughly.

Remember to always keep in stock helpful cleaning agents and solutions at hand such as : white vinegar, cornflour, turpentine and clean white cloths.

Sisal stains pretty quickly so preparedness and fast action are the best ways to maintain your sisal rug.

How to clean a sisal rug: Simple tips to removing the stinky

If there’s an unpleasant odor from your sisal rug, there’s a way to remedy that and have it smelling fresh again.

The first immediate action is to let it out for fresh air and sunlight.

If that’s not an option, sprinkle some baking soda on sisal rug surface or white vinegar and some water.

Leave it for an hour then vacuum thoroughly. 

Where can I buy a sisal carpet in Kenya? 

You can buy a sisal rope rug in Kenya from us.

Remember, there are two types of sisal rugs, handmade and machine-made. 

Our specialty is handmade sisal rope rugs with our two popular designs being Liyambo Round and Liyambo Oval. 

Liyambo round sisal rug

How to clean a sisal rug
Liyambo Round Sisal Rug

This round sisal rope rug is the perfect fit for living rooms, patios and dining areas. If you’ve got a massive wall, you can use it as a wall hanging. 

Liyambo oval sisal rug

How to clean a sisal rug
Liyambo Oval Sisal Rug

This oval sisal rope rug works best at a bedside, entry or walkway. However, you can use it anywhere as long as it fits. But depending on the size of your space, we can customize it to fit. 

Frequently asked questions

1. Why choose sisal?

Sisal is hard and tough, hence pretty durable and the perfect carpeting solution for high traffic areas like the living room, entryways and walkways.  

It’s grown organically hence is hypoallergenic, sustainable, and biodegradable. 

It’s also dust, mite, static, and moth resistant.

Finally, sisal’s unique texture and coloring make it an appealing aesthetic for any interior. 

2. What does a sisal rug feel like?

Sisal fibers have a unique texture as they’re pretty hard, rough, and stiff. 

So expect to experience a coarse, scratchy, or itchy feel against your bare skin. 

Even though this feeling is bearable and not that uncomfortable, it’s not in any way comparable to the soft fluffiness of nylon or wool.

However, if you got small kids and pets (especially cats)  it’s best to give it a miss. 

3. Can you wash a sisal mat?

Only if it’s recommended by the manufacturer. 

The ideal treatment is never to soak a 100% natural sisal rug. However, you can wash it with a damp cloth or mop.

It’s even OK to spray some water on it to harden the fibers. Soaking it in water will weaken the core of the fibers thus destroying it. 

4. How do you clean a sisal rug?

The best way to clean a sisal rug is by vacuuming (with a brush-suction). Put it at the highest setting to ensure you do a thorough job. 

Vacuum it regularly, at least twice a week to increase its lifespan. 

Dust tends to get lodged inside the fibers hence the more you dislodge it the better for your rug’s longevity. 

Contact us

That pretty much sums up everything you need to know on how to clean a sisal rug.  We hope it was helpful.

If you’re keen and diligent on the cleaning and maintenance requirements, nothing should stop you from enjoying your sisal rug.

It’s durable, biodegradable, highly appealing, and timeless.

If you’d like to know more on this topic or to order a sisal rope rug, call/whatsapp us on: +254721668660 or email: 

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Daviddip

    Hi, I wanted to know your price.

    1. Njeri Murage

      Hello David, thanks for your inquiry.

      They go for about $70 each. We have round and oval.

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