How to clean a coir doormat

A coir doormat lets guests know your house is sustainable from the first step. Cleaning it properly will be essential to ensuring the mat’s longevity, effectiveness, and continued contribution to a more mindful, eco-friendly home.

What is coir?

Coconut coir is the fibrous outer layer of freshwater coconut husks, which end up as waste during the industrial harvesting of coconuts. It is commonly used to produce organic, eco-friendly composts, as an alternative to unsustainable Sphagnum peat-moss composts.

Clean coir door mat in good condition by door

Benefits of coir doormats

Coir’s natural sustainability makes it an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic fibre doormats. These often contain harmful chemicals and shed microplastics.

Coarse, hardwearing fibres easily remove dirt from the underside of shoes, while absorbent layers hold on to debris, preventing it from being spread throughout a building.

Naturally resistant to fungal and bacterial growth, thanks to the presence of coconut oil, coco coir is effective at keeping mould and mildew at bay. This means coir is an excellent material for outdoor doormats that will be exposed to damp materials and the elements.

Cleaning a coir doormat

The best cleaning method will be dependent on whether the dirt within the mat is wet or dry. The good news is that coir doormats can be cleaned by vacuuming and hand washing. They only need occasional cleaning to be maintained.

How often cleaning is needed will depend on the type of dirt coming into contact with the mat and level of foot traffic. Dog walkers and hikers, or those who live or work on farms, will need to clean their mats more often.

Dry cleaning a coir door mat

Shaking off dirt and mud

Take the mat to a well-ventilated area outside and hold it away from your body. Vigorously shake to clear loose debris and dried mud that has been dislodged from shoes and caught in the fibres.

Shaking a coir doormat out weekly helps prevent it from becoming too full of debris, which could inhibit its effectiveness. Cleaning also reduces the amount of dust kicked up each time the mat is used.

Take the opportunity to clean the area under and around the mat while it’s removed.

Coir mat by door having dirt removed with stiff fibre broom

Gently beat dirt off the fibres

Use a broom handle while hanging the mat or gently bang the doormat against an outside wall to release more stubborn dust and debris from within. Coir doormats may be tough, but try not to hit them too hard – you’ll want to avoid damaging the weave.

Use a vacuum for a final, general clean

Once the loose dust and debris has been shaken off, remove any remaining embedded dirt with a vacuum cleaner. Use a lower setting and a brush or nozzle attachment to dislodge debris below the surface and avoid pulling too many fibres loose.

For heavy soiling, brush a natural powder cleaner such as bicarbonate of soda into the fibres. Leave for around 30 minutes or more, before vacuuming again to remove the dislodged dirt and leftover powder.

Cleaning a coir doormat with water

Should the mat need further cleaning, you can use warm water, a stiff-bristled brush, and a gentle natural cleaning agent. Follow the previous steps first to avoid turning dirt present in the mat into mud. This will be harder to remove.

Use a brush and warm water to scrub the surface gently and reach the layers below. Avoid harsh chemical detergents: coco coir is naturally sterile and antibacterial; there’s no need for pollutants. Chemicals can also be absorbed easily, which may cause discolouration or staining.

A natural soap will be enough to remove more stubborn dirt. Rinse any cleaning residue from the mat and leave it to dry in a sunlit, airy place.

Hang the mat or leave it to dry flat. It’s better to hang rubber-backed mats, as this helps avoid moisture collecting within.

Make sure the doormat is completely dry before putting it back in place.

Vacuum cleaner being used to remove mud and debris from coir mat

Removing deeper stains or spots from coir matting

More stubborn stains can be addressed with spot cleaning, using soap and water. Mess from pets or brought in from outside should be covered with bicarbonate of soda to absorb as much liquid and odour as possible.

Leave the mat for as long as necessary, then knock the powder from the mat into a bin and assess which of the previous cleaning processes are still needed.

Oil stains can be loosened with a mixture of coconut oil, water, and white vinegar. If the bristles of the doormat are damaged, apply a light coating of coconut oil to help protect them.

Looking to bring the utility of a hard-wearing eco-friendly coir doormat to your home? Browse our range of beautiful, varied designs and styles to find a sustainable coir doormat that will complement your living space.