How to Clean a Viscose Rug
Viscose rugs tend to be more fragile than other fibers, so to get the most use out of them, it’s important to know how to preserve their shimmer and shine. Discover how to properly clean a viscose rug to protect its gorgeous, soft appeal.
What to Know Before Cleaning Your Viscose Rug
Water is no friend to a viscose fiber, so rug cleaning techniques have to be super specific. Wetness in general tends to shrink or yellow viscose. This type of rug fiber is also highly absorbent, so spills are quickly followed by mildew growth if they’re not tended to right away.
Your main concern? Too much water can cause your rug’s dyes to run together and the fabric to stiffen. Avoid placing your viscose rug in places where spills are likely to occur. Be mindful of your cleaning solution measurements to help maintain your viscose rug’s sleek effect.
What You Need
Cleaning Items: White vinegar or mild dish soap, cotton cloth, heavy object, hair dryer
Disclaimer: Be sure to avoid using detergents, which tend to be too aggressive for viscose dyes. It’s also important to use cold water, if any, since heat will shrink a viscose rug. Discoloration and deeper staining can occur whenever water is used, so use caution if attempting to cleanse with water.
How to Remove Stains from a Viscose Rug
1. Pay Attention to the Direction of the Weave
It’s all too easy to work strands loose from a viscose rug if you work against them. Brush your hand across the top of the rug’s delicate fibers in an unaffected area to see which way the weave runs. You’ll want to blot along these lines to keep things smooth.
2. Weigh Down a Cotton Wash Cloth Over the Spill
You’ll need a light-colored cloth that won’t transfer its dye to your rug. Lay the dry cloth over the spill, then use a heavy object to put pressure on the area. Allow 24 hours for the stain to work its way out of the rug fibers. Even if you can’t get out all of the stain, this will help to make discoloration less intense.
Don’t remove the heavy object during those 24 hours, even to make sure the stain’s actually lifting. It’s important the stain removal process is not interrupted so that the stain is pulled out. You might have to repeat the process a few times depending on the strength of the stain. Because viscose is sensitive, light fading may occur in your rug.
3. Use Diluted White Vinegar for Additional Spot Cleaning
White vinegar or mild dish soap can also be called in as reinforcements when the viscose stain is particularly stubborn. For the cleaning solution, combine one-part vinegar or dish soap with one-part cold water. Do not pour the solution directly onto the rug stain. Oversaturation can weaken viscose fibers. Instead, use a spray bottle to lightly mist the spot then blot dry with a clean white cloth.
4. Use a Sponge to Gently Dab the Spill
Just like with the wash cloth, you’ll want a sponge that doesn’t have a color that can bleed onto the rug. Dip your sponge into your vinegar or dish soap mixture and wring it out. This will help to prevent sopping the rug with excess moisture that can permanently warp and yellow the viscose. Using your damp sponge, carefully dab at the stain. Again, be sure to clean in the direction of the rug’s weave, not against it.
For stubborn stains, consider having your viscose rug professionally cleaned to avoid irreparable damage.
5. Spray the Area With Fabric Softener to Keep Fibers Soft
Using a spray bottle, lightly mist the rug stain with fabric softener as the area dries. This will help to keep the viscose fibers from hardening, preserving the its luxurious texture. Elegance is everything with a viscose rug, so for the best results, it’s important not to overlook this step.
6. Dry the Area With a Hair Dryer on a Cool Setting
Drying your rug as quickly as possible will help to protect the fibers from moisture damage. Using a hair dryer on a cool, gentle setting can get the job done while keeping your rug from shrinking or yellowing. When drying, avoid direct sunlight that could steal the rug’s subtle sheen. Humidity control is also important, so make sure the area where your rug is drying is well-ventilated.
Don’t use a vacuum to dry a viscose rug stain. You’ll rarely ever want to vacuum a viscose rug, even on a regular basis, because the fibers are so fine. If you opt for using your vacuum, use the hose extension on a gentle setting with no beater brush. Go easy on the fibers and avoid going over any fringe altogether. As a safer alternative for removing debris, shake out the rug or use a broom for the least fiber resistance.
7. Fluff the Fibers Back into Place
To maintain your viscose rug’s polish and shine, use a napping brush to lift the fibers back into place once they’re dry. This will also help to ensure your rug’s consistent pile, so the silky appearance is even. Placing your rug in a low traffic area can also lengthen its life and prevent stains or broken fibers.
Disclaimer: While viscose rugs capture the glossy look and feel of silk for less, stain removal can sometimes become costly. Use care when placing your viscose rug, and consult a professional rug cleaner for stains that may be more stubborn.
Viscose rugs are a great way to add the beauty and luster of silk to your space without breaking the bank. While they require more effort to maintain and clean than most other fibers, with a little more effort, a viscose rug is your ticket to beauty and style at a fraction of the cost. For more information on rug materials, check out our Guide to the Best Rug Materials.