Problems with Jute?? - Juniper Home

Problems with Jute??


We all know how much I love the diamond jute rugs that are everywhere these days. I like that they have the textural, organic element that all natural fiber rugs have. But I love that there is a subtle pattern happening too.

image via House Beautiful

image via Ashley Whittaker

image via Thibaut

A few weeks ago, I bought a beautiful 9×12 jute rug (originally purchased from off Craigslist for a really, really great price. It was nice and soft and the perfect size. The only hitch was that it had the tiniest little stain that looked like it would come out so easily.

Here’s what happened after (literally) no more than three squirts of my pride and joy of upholstery and carpet cleaner: Woolite Oxy Clean spray. I’ve used this product (successfully) countless times. (It seriously deserves it’s own post!) I have never had any problems with discoloration or bleaching out – AT ALL. Look what happened…

So sad, right? Totally ruined less than an hour after buying it. I feel like an idiot, because after digging a little online, it appears that it’s never a good idea to use cleaners or solvents on jute rugs. But I’m ticked that the rug is so sensitive! I barely used any Woolite and I went over the sprayed spot with a wet rag right after spraying, just in case.

Have any of you readers out there had similar problems with jute? I love the look of natural fiber rugs, but I need something more durable to stand up against my kids.

I saw this indoor/outdoor version at Pottery Barn last week. It was also soft, but the description says it can be sprayed down with a hose! Now that’s what I’m talking about!

What did you think?
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49 thoughts on “Problems with Jute??

  1. I’m bummed for you. Actually that sounds like something I would do.

    Can you use it in a playroom and use fabric paint to paint it and camouflage that spot?

    1. I used the very same cleaner on mine and it brightened up with no bleaching problems at all. So sorry that happened could it be it’s not 100 perccent jute? I’m wondering what to do with pieces that pull away from rug and stick up. Do I push them back into the rug or shave them off?

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  2. I’m so glad I read this post – I was going to buy one of these rugs for our family room. Now I know that my kids would ruin it in days if it can’t be cleaned. I use the Woolite spray all the time!
    Is the spot on your rug in an area where you can hide it by putting furniture on top of it?

  3. It might be the dyes they use are not stable for conventional cleaners. Maybe try hoseing the one you have down to see how it does since it is ‘ruined’? or use a little more cleaner to make an intentional pattern then hose it down.

  4. My understanding is that you can’t use liquid cleaners on natural fiber rugs. There’s a product called Host Dry Carpet Cleaner that I learned about via Martha Stewart.

  5. I curse the day we purchased our thick braided jute rug from pottery barn. It shed something AWFUL (seriously, we thought something was wrong with our dog, so we took him to the vet and it turned out to be the rug shedding so much). I will never go back to jute again. We opted the second time around for seagrass and it is much, much better. I had my eye on that diamond weave indoor-outdoor, too… yes and yes… beautiful and functional!

  6. Oh no! I’ve heard that spray can be bad for jute rugs…but I’m not sure what to use! I like the Pottery Barn rug, and if it can be hosed down…perfect!

    (P.S. I wrote a comment about team suburbs vs. city and suggested Bronxville…I hope I wasn’t too negative about the city being expensive…I do love it there. If so, I”m so sorry, and I really enjoy your blog!)

  7. I’m with you!! It’it’s such a disaster, I have one in my living room totally ruined by spots and of course discolorations… I’m thinking of painting it, I saw they did that at HGTV, but I’m still deciding what kind of paint to use.

  8. Trying adding another rug on top of the jute rug. It will give a nice layered look. The key is you want enough of the jute edge showing to border the other. Hopefully your stain is in a spot where this look would work and the second rug would cover it.

  9. I had a jute rug and the same thing happen, not quite as dramatically, but still… I think the natural fibers have problems with the cleaning products.
    We live in a house with dogs… we need cleaning products a lot.

  10. I also learned the hard way about these rugs. We had a spill on ours and I used just plain water to clean it up but it still had a water ring all around the spill spot. Then we had a pet stain and that was the end of that!

    This experience had made me question why these rugs continue to be so popular and why the design community isn’t talking more about this problem. Are we just so in love with the look that we are willing to ignore the functional pitfalls?

  11. oh! what a bummer. we don’t have a jute rug, but I did a little research when we got our braided seagrass rug and then got a puppy … bad combo. anyway, Martha Stewart suggested using (not to me personally!) Host Dry Carpet Cleaner so I ordered some online from Ace Hardware. it’s kind of like a fine sawdust-type stuff, that you put on wet stains (wet the stain with water from a spray bottle if you have to) and put the stuff on the stain and let it dry completely and then vaccum it up. it works like a dream! I don’t know if this will help for now but maybe for future reference!

  12. The same thing happened with my ottoman that I reupholstered in indoor/outdoor fabric. So, even the Pottery Barn one you can hose down might not be easy to get stains out of. Oxy Clean totally bleached out my fabric after just a little spot treatment. Indoor/outdoor fabric seems resistant to water and liquid stains, but not highlighter apparently:) Sorry about your rug!

  13. I bought jute once and never again because it can’t be cleaned. It stains like the dickens.

    Wool and other natural fibers are fine.

  14. Ooh. That hurts. I learned the same thing the same hard way. The resulting note to self – jute rugs and hairballs do not mix.

  15. Ugh. Yes, we had the same problem. An apartment above ours had a septic issue which leaked in and onto our jute rug. The management had a professional rug cleaning operation come to clean it and that left a water ring around the stain. The stain did disappear though, even if the water mark didn’t. I ended up taking it outside, hosing it down and letting it dry in the sun. It lives in our basement now where the light isn’t very good.

  16. Oh no so sorry to hear that you got a bad stain on it.

    I’m in the process of looking for a sisal rug so thanks for the heads-up. I would have used the same sort of cleaner as well.

    The one you picked from pottery barn looks really nice. Plus it’s nice that it’s indoor/outdoor I’m sure it will hold up better.

  17. Yep, that’s what happens with Jute. I’ve got alot of sisal rugs in my home and they are basically impossible to clean.
    I’m so sorry to hear this about your rug though.

  18. Oh my yes! I have one in my living room and came home after a weekend away to find a giant stain. I asked the guilty looking boyfriend what on earth had happenend and he sheepishly admitted that some sprite had been spilled. I went to town on it with a wet rag (no cleanser) and the situation improved marginally. Totally frustrating.

  19. I did the exact same thing to the first seagrass rug I owned. Not jute, but still a natural fiber. The oxy clean just killed it. So frustrating!

    After researching, I realized it is only appropriate to use good ole’ H20 (only when absolutely necessary) to clean these rugs.

  20. Natural rugs (jute, seagrass, sisal and others) are difficult to maintain as far as stains go. Water in and of itself stains them so if you have kids and/or dogs it would be best to forget about them. There are a couple of cleaners for natural fiber rugs that is supposed to work fairly well but I’ve never used them.

    I recently had to discard a jute rug in my family room due to several doggie accidents on it. There are 3 other natural rugs in my home but they are in areas when the dogs don’t typically travel and/or people either.

    Sorry to hear about your newly purchased rug. Have you thought of purchasing a wool rug that looks like jute and/or sisal. I have one in my dining room and love it.

  21. that last anon is wrong. sisal and jute are impossible. sisal particularly. but seagrass is easy to keep clean. I use a pet stain remover on my seagrass all the time. seagrass doesn’t stain. the oxy probably has a bleach in it? get seagrass people. i say it over and over again. seagrass + Nature’s Miracle and you’ll have it for years.

  22. I have seagrass and love it. However, since I moved to Thailand and have “someone who cleans”, she’s spilled silvo silver polish on it, and then last week a bucket of soapy water, which has left an unattractive water mark. It is under the dining room table so it has also recently been daubed in red wine and tomato sauce from pasta. Actually none of them are hugely noticeable, except to moi of course. The whole area is going to be steam-cleaned next week, so I hope there’s success. I liked Joni’s suggestion, but “seagrass people” don’t seem to exist here, sadly.

  23. Jute is automatically out for me as is sisal. I tried a while back. I had a great sisal rug with a canvas black border in my living room–forget it. I had to toss it, sometimes those materials can even be sensitive to water. You’re on to something with the indoor/outdoor pottery barn rug. It is absolutely true that you can hose those things off. My dog has thrown up on it and I hosed it and added a little mild cleaner for good measure and bingo-just like new.

    The Estate of Things

  24. The same thing happened to me. I’m going to try painting a solid color over the whole rug and see what happens. I mixed a paint color that was exactly the color of the rug and tried to paint just over the stain. It looked really good from one direction, but from the other direction it looked really dark. I think painting the entire rug is the way to go, and will be easy to touch up future stains. I was thinking of going light, like an off white.

  25. I work at Boston Ballet, and the lobby of our newest studio, in Marblehead, has these crazy awesome floor tiles that are made out of recycled rubber. They look just like jute, but if you spill anything on them you can mop it up. They’re really indestructable too…but if something happened, so you felt like taking a knife to the floor, you can buy the individual tiles and replace it. It’s awesome.

  26. I have a similar indoor/outdoor rug from Pottery Barn and I LOVE it! I have had it in my foyer for two years now and it still looks great. I have hauled it outside to spray down with the hose and it easily came clean. Previously I had jute rugs in that room, but they kept getting destroyed.

  27. Hi, just stumbled across your blog – love it! I feel your pain with the natural rugs!

    We have a diamond-weave sisal that I got from the Stark outlet in CT. (It's the Natura- same one that has been shown in House Beautiful a few times). It must have been in a warehouse during the summer and have dried out because it shed like crazy. Then, my puppy threw up his (kibble) breakfast on it. There was no way to get the stain out and it left a terrible mark. SO frustrating!

    We also had a seagrass rug and that did not shed (ever!) & held up fine, so I agree with Joni's comment.

    If you like the diamond look, Wisteria has a neutral diamond pattern wool/cotton carpet. HTH!

  28. hello,
    I got the pottery barn diamond loop jute rug. Beautiful, perfect size, good price. the problem is that after 1 month, my house ifs full of jute hairs /fibers everywhere. it sticks to the clothes, couch,socks..Its horrible, no way to keep the rug. Do you know is there is any treatment o can do to hold the fibers together?

  29. I’ve heard that hemp is more washable/stain resistant for natural fiber rugs, but so far it’s been difficult to find them. A friend with a clothing store suggested Dreft stain spray to me (the pink kind for babies), and we’ve used it successfully to get blood out of silk and new dress shirts, chocolate (that sat for 6 mos) on white upholstery, and all sorts of other nasty stains. It is really gentle and enzyme based, so it might not damage the jute…

  30. I purchased a couple of the indoor/outdoor rugs from Ballards about 3 years ago and they look like they did when I purchased them. Recently my 5 year old dropped a pitcher of red kool-aid on the rug, I thought it was ruined! With nothing to lose I took it out on the patio and sprayed it with the water hose and the stain came out instantly! The rug looks better than it did before the spill!

  31. Jenny, it's very unfortunate that you were not able to enjoy the jute rug. My brother also had the same rug. It definitely looks great! But due to its sensitivity, he had to hire professional carpet cleaners (on Long Island) to fix the problem.

    I really hope that you'll be able to find a good carpet, though. Good luck!

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  34. I have a great solution! I had purchased a beautiful “bleached Jute” rug that had a lighter look to it (which I actually prefer to the golden, it’s a little more boho or shabby chic looking). My daughter spilled a bunch of water on it and it looked like it was never going to dry, it made a really dark stain, only it was bone dry :(. I put it out in the hot sun to see if that would bleach it out but it didn’t do a thing. So I put about equal parts water to bleach in a spray bottle and tried a sample patch and the stain disappeared as it dried in the sun! Now I am back to my original carpet! If you have a wheat color one with a stain, you could try this trick on your stain and then spray your whole carpet and put in sun to dry. Worth a try! I was about to throw mine out. It is probably what they did in the first place to give it that bleached look.

  35. I have read your blog about Rug cleaning and trust me it was all worth written. You have mentioned everything really well. Thanks for sharing

  36. I ended up staining mine with wood stain (ebony because it was stained beyond any other repair). It works and has the added benefit of sealing it. However, make sure you have a ventilated space it was smelly and messy. I tried the bleach and water spray bottle for one that was not as bad and that worked as well.

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