The Essential Guide on How to Dry Clean a Viscose Rug

5 May 2023
Est. Reading: 3 minutes
What's in This Guide?
Cleaning Items You'll Need.
Rubber gloves
A vacuum – we use the upright Sebo vacuum
Tamping brush
Soft brush roller
White cotton towels
Spray bottle
Dry cleaning compound – available through your local professional carpet cleaning supplier


In this cleaning tutorial, we'll teach you how to clean a viscose rug at home using the dry-cleaning method. In fact, this method will work for dry cleaning any carpet or rug.

Viscose rugs are popular because they are affordable. However, it is important to understand that your rug might not look as good as it did when you first bought it.

To help you, we have put together this guide that will give you the steps you need to take to ensure the best results. Read on to find out more.

Things About Viscose That You Wish You Knew Sooner

Also known as rayon, bamboo silk and art silk to name a few.

Viscose is a cellulose fibre, which essentially means it is made of paper. To make the rug, they take pure cellulose, boil it, dye it, and press it through a spinner to form a filament fibre. These synthetic filaments are then used to make viscose rugs.

This means we have a cellulose paper rug that cannot be wet cleaned. If you introduce water to the rug, it is going to activate the lignin, which is the natural dye in the cellulose fibre. Resulting in brown stains from spills (even plain water)!

Therefore, we cannot stress enough how important it is to avoid using water-based cleaners.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Learn how to dry clean a viscose rug the right way. The steps can be broken down into three parts:

  1. Spot cleaning to isolating stains.
  2. General overall rug clean.
  3. Treatment of residual stains.

Spot Clean to Isolate Stains

The first thing you want to do is tackle the stains on the rug.

Step One: The Compound Method

  1. Start by sprinkling dry compound on the stains.

    Did You Know the dry compound is typically composed of a polymer or corn husk that has been impregnated with a dry-cleaning solvent. Which draws soil out of the carpet fibre into the micro sponges and is removed with a vacuum.

  2. With your brush, lightly open up the pile and tamp the dry compound into the stain. The aim is to loosen the soil.
  3. Using this method, we are only removing 60 to 70% of the stain. The dry-cleaning compound is limited in its ability to completely remove stains.

Step Two: The Solvent Method
Put a tiny bit of solvent on your folded towel and gently blot the stain out of the rug. You could alternatively spray the dry-cleaning solvent on the towel and blot. You should see some transfer coming out onto the towel, which shows that it is working.

General Overall Rug Clean

Having already pre-treated the blemishes and stains, it is time to clean the entire rug.

Step One:
Sprinkle the dry compound over half of the viscose rug and spread it evenly with a brush roller to work the compound into the pile. The agitation facilitates breaking down the chemical bond between the dirt and fibre.

Step Two:
Repeat the process on the second half of the rug.

Step Three:
At this stage, the solvent will have crystallised, leaving a layer of micro sponges.

Step Four:
Extract the dried, encapsulated micro sponges with an upright vacuum. We use the Sebo vacuum to loosen the compound.

Treat Residual Stains

After vacuuming up the micro sponges, treat any residual stains by using a small amount of peroxide.

Use about 2 or 3 squirts of peroxide on a folded cotton towel. Gently dab the peroxide over the top of the soiled area to remove the stubborn stains.

Once again, it is like trying to clean paper. At this stage, about 80 to 90% of the stain has been removed. Basically, we are looking for a chemical reaction as opposed to a physical one. This ensures that we are not damaging the rug by scrubbing it.


As stated in the introduction, viscose rugs are very difficult to clean. From a professional cleaner’s point of view, there is no damage to the viscose rug. Rather, we brightened it up and made an effort to treat as many stains as possible. Pointing out that the beauty of viscose rugs will fade with time.

We hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and remember, it is important to have realistic expectations. Viscose is basically paper and isn’t going to be very responsive to cleaning.

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