Why You Should Never Buy a Viscose Rug

Viscose rugs have gained popularity in recent years. However, there are several reasons why you should never buy a viscose rug.

Viscose Rugs Are Not Wet Cleanable

One of the most significant drawbacks is that viscose is generally not wet cleanable, making it a poor choice for high-traffic areas or homes with pets and children. Viscose is a regenerated cellulose fibre. Wood pulp is treated with chemicals and then spoon into a fine thread. This process is what gives viscose rugs their soft and silky texture promoted by designers and marketing copy writers. While this might make them seem luxurious and appealing, it also makes them incredibly difficult to clean. The fibers of a viscose rug are highly absorbent, meaning they soak up spills and stains. Unlike other materials like wool or synthetic fibers, once a viscose rug becomes stained, it’s almost impossible to remove the stain.

Moreover, when wet, the fibers of a viscose rug become weak and can easily break or become distorted when scrubbed or cleaned with water-based cleaning products. Even if you are able to remove the stain partially, your rug might end up looking worse due to the damaged fibres.

Viscose Rugs Are High Maintenance

Another reason you should never buy a viscose rug is its high maintenance requirements. As mentioned earlier, viscose is not wet cleanable, making spot cleaning challenging. To keep your viscose rug looking its best, we recommend regular vacuuming. However, do not use a beater bar. Traditional vacuuming with a powerhead will damage the texture of the rug. Foot traffic will do the same damage. Always make sure to rotate your rug at least once a year to make sure that it is wearing down evenly over time. Spot clean with a dry cloth only. Avoid using moisture, as it may cause water stains and yellowing.

How To Care for a Viscose Rug

We recommend regular vacuuming with a duster brush attachment. Do not use a beater bar. Always make sure to rotate your rug at least once a year to make sure that it is wearing down evenly over time. Keep kids and pets off the rug. Spot clean with a dry cloth. Avoid moisture of any kind as it may cause staining. 

Sending the rug out for dry cleaning is an option, but the results and cost will not usually be worth the cost. Many area rug cleaning companies will require you to sign a disclaimer and even pay upfront before they touch your prized viscose rug. If that doesn’t stop you from buying a viscose rug, I do not know what will! If you are looking for Area Rug Cleaning Victoria, BC, here at Tapestry, we can clean your viscose rug in your home with our exclusive hybrid dry cleaning method.

The High Final Cost of Viscose Rugs

Viscose rugs may initially seem like an affordable alternative to wool rugs due to their similar appearance. However, when you factor in the cost of maintaining these rugs over time and potentially replacing them due to irreparable damage or staining, they cost more in the long run.

Moreover, because they’re so prone to damage from everyday wear and tear as well as from cleaning attempts gone wrong (remember: viscose is not wet cleanable), you might find yourself needing to replace your viscose rug much sooner than you would have had to replace a more durable rug made from wool or synthetic fibres.

The Environmental Impact 

Lastly, there is the environmental impact associated with producing viscose rugs. Viscose production involves treating wood pulp with toxic chemicals harmful for the production workers and the environment. As technology improves, new plant-based fibres are coming on to the market. Tencel™ Lyocell and Modal are more ethical and sustainable alternatives to viscose, but they are usually not found in rugs.  


Viscose rugs are not a good choice for most households due their inability to be wet cleaned (did I mention viscose is not wet cleanable?), high maintenance requirements and potential environmental impact.

When shopping for a new rug, consider wool. They will stand up better against everyday wear-and-tear and are an environmentally friendly choice. If you own Oriental rugs, see our article: Preventing Damage to Your Oriental Rug.