How to Clean a Viscose Rug (And Why You Shouldn't Buy One)

7 April 2023
Est. Reading: 3 minutes
What's in This Guide?
Cleaning Items You'll Need.
Protective rubber gloves
Dry cleaning compound
Hydrogen peroxide
Soft roller brush
Cotton towels
Vacuum cleaner


Viscose rugs are difficult and impossible to clean, so you should NEVER buy one made of this material! Ever!

This article explains why viscose rugs cannot be washed with water. What happens if you have a stain or spill on a viscose rug. Additionally, we show you how to dry-clean a viscose rug, which is the only safe approach without damaging your viscose rug.

If you're looking for a viscose rug review or are concerned about viscose rug issues. You are in the right place. Read on to find out more.

What is Viscose and Why you Should Be Cautious

Viscose is a semi-synthetic material and is also known as rayon, bamboo silk and art silk to name a few.

Basically, it is created from wood pulp, which is made by boiling wood pulp with a slew of toxic chemicals.

The resulting pure cellulose is pressed through a spinneret, and the viscose fibre is extruded into an acid vat and spun into yarn. The yarn is then woven into the viscose fabric.

This yarn is then used to make clothing, upholstery, and carpeting. It looks and feels like silk and mimics the properties of natural fibres.

Why We Would Never Buy a Viscose Rug

  • When viscose is wet, the natural colours in cellulose begin to oxidise and leave brown stains. Think of an apple when you cut it in half and leave it. It turns brown and begins to oxidise.
  • Viscose absorbs up to 100% of its own weight in water. That is, it expands when wet, and this cannot be reversed. Essentially, this is the same as soaking paper in water, leaving it to dry, and expecting it to return to its original shape. Unfortunately, it does not. The structure has expanded and cannot be reversed.
  • Furthermore, when wet, they become weaker, like paper. As a result, when attempting to clean stains or spills, the weakened fibres may break and disintegrate.
  • They are not suitable for high-traffic areas and are not designed to last.
  • They are not practical for a home with kids or pets.
  • Cleaning them is challenging, and we suggest a professional cleaning service.
  • We have even seen them referred to as “disposable rugs!” It is important to understand that your rug might not look as good as it did when you first bought it.

How to Safely Dry-Clean a Viscose Rug at Home

We own RugSpa in Ireland and have numerous calls each week from people who are in a panic because they have spilt something on their viscose rug. They tried to clean it, but it turned out to be a disaster. They then call us to try to fix it for them. In most cases, unfortunately, we cannot. It is ruined!

By following the steps below, you can avoid this disaster. If in doubt, rather take it to a professional cleaning service to avoid any mishaps.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step One:
Vacuum the rug to remove any loose soil.

Step Two:
Sprinkle the dry compound onto the rug gently.

Step Three:
Use a soft roller brush to evenly spread the dry compound.

Step Four:
Lift the dry compound with a vacuum.

Step Five:
Spray a small amount of peroxide on a cotton towel and gently dab on the brown stains. You should notice the transfer coming out onto the towel.

Step Six:
Allow the rug to dry after grooming it by hand.

Final Thoughts on Owning a Viscose Rug

When we see these rugs, we understand why people buy them. They are beautiful to look at; they are smooth, soft, and silky, and they are less expensive. Yet they cannot be wet cleaned, nor can stains be removed. Minor browning may occur, even from the moisture in the air!

If it were our rug, we would burn it! In our opinion, viscose rugs are terrible. If you take one thing away from this article, it is to avoid purchasing one.

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