How to Clean Burlap

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Burlap bags have their unique texture along with an elegant appeal. However, they accumulate dirt, dust, and debris. Thus, without proper cleaning, it isn’t easy to maintain these exquisite fabrics.

How To Clean Burlap

Cleaning interwoven delicate fabric like burlap bags can be tricky. Dust and debris get caught in unreachable corners. Therefore, learning how to clean Burlap will be helpful to maintain products like home decors, sandbags, and burlap bags. Here’s a guide to assist you with the cleaning process. 

Method 1: Cleaning Burlap With Washing Machine

However, you have to be careful when using machines to wash delicate fabrics. There are specific steps that you should follow to do it safely without damaging the Burlap.

Step 1: Loading The Burlap In

  • Load the Burlap in.
  • Do not add any other laundry with Burlap.
  • Use just half the amount of detergent than what you use generally. 
  • Pour it into the machine. 
  • Fill the machine with warm water. 
  • Set it on a gentle wash cycle. 
  • Let the burlap wash within the machine in a full cycle.
  • Warning! Do not use a strong wash setting within the machine. It will hamper the delicate Burlap and cause it to unravel.
Woman adding detergent into washing machine

Step 2: Let It Dry After Washing.

The next step is to air-dry the Burlap. You need to ditch the machine dryer.

  • Take the Burlap out from the machine after the cycle is complete.
  • Air-dry the Burlap preferably.
  • Hang it out on the clothesline with proper ventilation.
  • Wait for a few hours to let the Burlap dry out completely.
  • After a few hours, the burlap will be dry, you might see a lot of lint over it. If that’s the case, take it outside of your house and shake it well. Repetitive shaking will eliminate all of the loose lint. If still, you see any robust and tiny lint on the Burlap, use a lint roller to pick it right out.

Method 2: Washing Burlap By Hand

If you are not well-versed with maintaining burlap bags by machine wash, you can prefer hand washing. But before that, it is essential to carry out the spot cleaning:

Step 1: Removing Stains Off Burlap Bags

Stain removal is often essential right before you proceed with the handwashing process. Here’s what you should do: 

  1. Prepare a solution of water and baking soda.
  2. Use a wet sponge to apply the solution. Blot any stains over the burlap bags with a wet sponge.
  3. Remove excess moisture or wetness with the use of a dry towel. 
  4. For difficult stains, use an oxygen-based stain remover and let it settle over the burlap bags for some time.
  5. Use a towel to rinse the excess solution or residue. 
  6. Wash your hands clean. 

Step 2: Fill The Sink With Warm Water

Make sure you have a sink that has a plug to block the water drainage. 

  • Fill the sink with warm or hot water. 
  • Pour a cap full of a gentle detergent into the warm or hot water. (You can do it when the sink is still filling)
  • Let the running tap stir the gentle detergent on its own.
  • Let the sink fill itself up to 3-quarters before you can turn off the tap. 

In case you are washing a lot of burlap bags, it is better to use a bathtub. For just one or two burlap bags, a big sink would work fine.

Step 3: Submerge Burlap Into The Sink

Here is the procedure for the same:

  • Push the burlap bags into the sink.
  • Ensure that it submerges completely. 
  • Pull it out, squeeze it and turn it over. 
  • Repeat the process for quite some time to loosen the debris or dirt over the burlap bags. 
  • Let the burlap fabric soak in the detergent.
  • Now, leave the burlap bags in that sink water.
  • Let it soak properly for around 15 to 20 minutes. It will eliminate the dirt or debris stuck to the fabric.
  • When you leave burlap bags soaking in water, you will see how the color of water changes. And, this is the sign that the soaking process is working as planned. 

Step 4: Rinse It With Cold Water 

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Take the burlap bags out of the sink, and drain the water.
  • Now, start rinsing the Burlap under tap water.
  • Keep turning over the Burlap with your hands while you rinse.
  • Wash away the detergent residues over the Burlap.
  • After rinsing, squeeze out the excess water. 
A dry burlap cloth

Step 5: Dry The Burlap

In the final step, you need to air-dry the Burlap. Therefore, you should put it out under indirect sunlight to ensure that it dries faster. Avoid direct sunlight. Suppose you don’t have the arrangements to hang it outside, then hang them inside with good ventilation to avoid direct sunlight.

If you are hanging it outside, do it under the shade and avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will fade away the Burlap.

Method 3: Removing Bad Smell From The Burlap Goods

This method is pretty easy and requires minimal effort and a bit of water and baking soda. Here’s what you need to do:  

  • Take a spray bottle with cold water and dissolve baking soda in it. 
  • Take the burlap product outside and spray the baking soda solution over it. 
  • Leave the product to dry naturally by air. 

Most of the odor will vanish by implementing these steps. But if you have a stubborn smell to deal with, then you must:

  • Fill the spray bottle with lemon juice.
  • Treat the burlap product with lemon juice sprays.
  • Leave it under the air to dry. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Wash Is Preferable For 100% Jute Burlap Fabric?

100% jute burlap fabric must be washed by hand. If the jute burlap is blended with other materials, then can you machine wash it. However, there is a need for some gentle machine washing settings to make that work. Furthermore, you also need to check the label of the burlap product for machine washing instructions.


Burlap goods have their aesthetic appeal, and you need to maintain them over time for that appeal to last. Using the proper methods of cleaning them is one prominent way to make them last. So, make sure you adapt the above techniques to clean burlap.