How to Stop Coir Mat Shedding
Coir mats are an extremely popular choice for a door mat, and for a good reason. The tough bristly fibres of natural coir have a natural scraping action which is hard on dirt, and the brush effect of the bristles removes dust and mess from shoes, keeping your house clean and fresh.
Coir is a natural product, and choosing it for your home is great for the planet, but one of its drawbacks is that it does sometimes shed. How to stop coir mat shedding is one of our most popular customer questions.
Advice from our experts to prevent your door mat shedding
This article will provide all the advice you need to learn how best to select coir doormats and how to care for the natural fibres so that they remain intact and minimise shedding.
Does Coir Mat Shed?
All coir matting is prone to shedding to some extent, but it hugely depends on the quality of coir matting you buy, where it is used and how it is cared for. But don't worry; we'll explain all.
When you look at a picture of a coir mat on a website, the appearance of them may appear to be the same, but there are huge variations in quality and production methods.
Better quality coir mats have a much firmer, tighter pile and can withstand heavy footfall.
How Coir Mats are Made
Even before the coir is made into yarn that eventually becomes a doormat, there are significant differences in how it is handled and the quality of the resultant fibre. Coir (made from the coconut's outer husk) is soaked before being spun into yarn. This makes a much finer, more pliable yarn free from excess pieces of husk and pith.
Essentially, when you choose better quality coir, there aren't as many natural variations in the pile that can contribute to shedding. Better quality coir sheds less.
Shedding Settles Down with Coir Matting
In the first couple of weeks after you receive a new coir doormat, they all shed a little regardless of quality, but this soon settles down.
In our workshop, we do as much as possible to minimise this by ensuring that the mats we make to order have been brushed before leaving us. This removes as many loose fibres as possible.
How Do You Take Care Of A Coir Mat?
It's best to use mats in their intended location and follow care and fitting advice to ensure they last as long as possible.
Rubber Backed Door Mat
Coir mats with PVC backing are intended for use in a recess or mat well. The edges of the recess protect the mat so that shedding is minimized. Sometimes, people choose to use a mat with PVC backing straight on the floor surface, not in a recess.
Over time, particularly with heavy footfall, shoes will tread on the fibres at the edge of the mat, flattening and causing them to come loose from the rubber or PVC backing, resulting in shedding.
Door clearance may dictate that you have no choice but to use a loose-laid rubber-backed mat, as they are available as thin as 14mm and 17mm. But ideally, if clearance allows, and you are not putting your mat into a mat well, we advise you to choose a woven-backed mat. These start from 20mm thick to as thick as 44mm.
Whatever The Weather
Make sure to shelter your mat from the weather if you wish to use it outdoors. Read more below on whether coir mats can get wet.
How Long Do Coir Mats Last?
The longevity of your coir doormat will depend on several factors, including how well it was chosen for its location and how well you care for it once you get it home.
When properly cared for, a quality mat will last for many years. In fact, we have been contacted by customers who estimate they have had the same traditional woven backed coir mat for 20+ years until they found our website to get a replacement!
Printed Coir Doormats
Printed coir doormats, although extremely popular to spruce up your front doorstep, are best used indoors, or if you intend to put a printed mat outside, it should be sheltered from wet weather to ensure it lasts.
Natural coir is a great environmental choice; when properly cared for, it will last a long time. The fact that it is so absorbent is a major strength, but also the reason why outdoor use in wet conditions will severely shorten your coir doormats' life. Once a natural look doormat is printed, fading of the design becomes an issue, rather than just the quality and longevity of the underlying mat.
As you wipe your feet on a mat, it's normal that the friction will start to make the design wear away. If you have taken the time to create a design that you love, it's important to take care of it as well as you can.
Obviously, the price you have paid for the mat is a factor here. If you buy very cheap printed coir doormats, you're less likely to be bothered when the design starts to fade. The low cost means that you can afford to spend your money to purchase another.
If caring for the planet is more important to you, then either choose a plain mat or if you would like a custom printed motif, then use the mat indoors only. Ensure that you shake the mat to remove dirt regularly, as this will maintain its appearance.
How To Refresh A Coir Doormat:
Regular cleaning of coir doormats is best to prevent excessive amounts of trapped dirt from building up in the coir fibres. If your mat is loose, simply pick it up and take it outside to give it a good shake.
Can I vacuum a coir mat?
Although it's tempting, we recommend you don't hoover your mat too vigorously. If you are concerned about your coir mat shedding, then it's important to treat the coir fibres with care and not hoover them harshly, as this result in pile loss or shedding of loose fibres.
If you do wish to hoover your mat, we advise using the upholstery attachment rather than the beater bar. Of course, it's entirely up to you whether you follow our advice, but as there is such wide variation in the power of vacuum cleaners, we tend to err on the side of caution.
If your coir mat gets very dirty, the best thing to do is to have a little patience. Muddy marks are best left until they have dried completely. Then simply brush them away with a brush that has stiff bristles.
Read our blog on cleaning coir mats for more information.
Can Coir Mats Get Wet?
Coir Doormats are extremely absorbent. When used indoors, this is great as it means that dirt and water from shoes will stay on the doormat, rather than making your floors dirty. With indoor use, the warmth of the building gives the small amount of the water time to dry out, ready to work perfectly the next time someone comes in and wipes their feet.
Outdoors, the situation is very different. In places with a very warm and dry climate, coir mats will be fine outdoors exposed to the elements. But in Northern Europe, and the UK specifically, we have too much rain to give the mat a chance to dry out properly.
Millions of people use coir doormats outside, and sometimes they last a reasonable amount of time, but they always last much longer indoors.
If you would like to use a coir doormat outside, try to place it under a sheltered porch to protect it from the worst weather. If no shelter is available, another material may be preferable if you wish your mat to last a long time. See our range of Outdoor mats for alternative options.
If you buy a coir mat from a big retailer, it's not unusual to see coir and PVC-backed coir mats described as suitable for outdoor use. We disagree with this as it will severely shorten the life of the mat.
But as with the printed mats described above, it's a matter of personal preference and understanding the qualities of the material you are buying. You may prefer to buy an inexpensive mat and replace it frequently when the weather causes it to wear out.
How Do You Clean a Coir Doormat That Has Been Wet?
We'd recommend that if your mat becomes wet, move it to a warm location to allow it to dry. This will ensure that you do not worsen the stain in an attempt to brush it when wet.
Once it is dry, clean your coir mat as you normally would. Grab a stiff brush, or shake vigorously to remove dirt.
We believe in making the best quality products possible and teaching our customers to care for them, so they last as long as possible. We hope this article has explained this complex area for you. If you do have any further questions, please get in touch. We're here to help. You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram for more hints and tips.
Coir Mat Shedding FAQs:
We've done our best to try and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about coir mat shedding below:
How do you Maintain a Coir Doormat?
Coir mats can be maintained by being brushed regularly, kept out of damp areas, and not using harsh chemicals. Combined, these will increase the longevity of your mat.
How Long Does a Coir Doormat Last?
When cared for and maintained, a coir doormat can last for years! As coir is a durable material, it is known for being long-lasting.
Do All Coir Mats Shed?
Yes, all coir mats shed to some degree due to the nature of the material. However, higher-quality mats are less likely to shed than lower-quality ones.
Can I Install Coir into A Matwell/ Recess?
Yes, if a coir mat is placed into a matwell/ recess it is also significantly less likely to shed. This is due to the bristles now being enclosed in the well, as it minimises foot contact with the sides of the mat. The coir mat should be flush, creating a nice even surface.