How to clean a sheepskin rug

Plush sheepskin rugs look and feel wonderful, but the fluffy material can be a magnet for dirt and quickly become tangled and matted with daily use. Caring for a sheepskin rug isn’t too complicated or time consuming, but there are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to cleaning these furry accessories.

This guide will walk you through routine cleaning, how to remove stains and tangles, and how to deep clean both real and faux sheepskin rugs.

Kim Cornelison

The Basics of Sheepskin Rug Care

There are four main ways to clean sheepskin rugs, and you should be familiar with all of the methods to keep your rug looking attractive for years to come.

Vacuuming is the main way to clean a sheepskin rug; vacuum regularly to keep it looking its best. A sheepskin rug, if its size allows, can also be shaken to remove hair, crumbs, dirt, and other debris lodged in its fibers.

Over time, a sheepskin rug can develop matted sections, which will need to be addressed. Mat repair involves brushing the carpet fibers with a buffing brush or wool comb to lift the fibers and remove tangles.

As with all rugs, stains are likely. When they do, a stain removal technique known as stain treatment can be used to remove them.

Finally, from time to time, a sheepskin rug may require a complete deep cleaning which involves washing it with a mild detergent by hand or, if permitted by the manufacturer, in the washing machine and air dry.

How to vacuum a sheepskin rug

Vacuuming is the method used for regular cleaning of a sheepskin rug. Routine vacuuming will remove dirt, hair, and invisible debris such as pollen and dander, and keep your carpet looking new.

However, when vacuuming sheepskin, it is important to only use the suction function on the vacuum; Rug accessories that have a beater or roller bar should not be used on sheepskin rugs as they can cause the fibers to tangle. If your vacuum doesn’t have a brushless beater head, use the nozzle or upholstery attachment to safely vacuum your carpet. Work in the direction of hair growth to prevent strands from tangling.

Shaun Sullivan

How to restore a matte sheepskin rug

Mating occurs when long hair fibers become tangled and knotted; This is normal for a sheepskin rug and can be easily remedied.

what you will need

  • waterproof brush or wool comb
  • hair conditioner (optional)

Step 1 – Shake the Carpet

Start by shaking the rug well to dislodge any debris and lint in the unraveled sections.

Step 2: Brush Out Tangled Sections

Use a wool comb or dusting brush, a metal-bristle tool designed for use with pet hair, to gently brush out tangles, working in the direction of hair growth.

Step 3: Apply conditioner to loosen tangles (optional)

To detangle especially stubborn matting, dilute a small amount of conditioner with water and use your fingers to gently rub the conditioning solution through the length of the hair, working in the direction of hair growth. Then use the waterproof brush or wool comb to gently brush the knotted section.

How to remove stains from a sheepskin rug

When stains occur on a sheepskin rug, it’s best to treat them immediately. The best way to do this is with a stain removal technique called stain treatment; Unlike deep cleaning, spot treatment treats a specific stain in a specific place.

what you will need

  • Paper towels
  • A butter knife or spoon (optional)
  • wool safe detergent
  • light colored fabric

Step 1 – Wipe up liquid spills and/or remove solids

If it’s a liquid spill or accident, start by blotting up as much of the liquid as possible with paper towels or rags. If spill is solid or contains solids, collect solids and dispose of, using paper towels if necessary. If the solids have dried, use the edge of a butter knife or spoon to gently scrape them from the carpet fibers.

Step 2 – Apply Detergent to the Stain

Using a damp, light-colored cloth, apply a small amount of wool-safe detergent to the stain. Rub the stain until it disappears, working in the direction of hair growth and being careful not to rub, as friction can cause the hairs to tangle and mat.

Step 3 – Rinse the Area

Once the stain has been successfully removed, gently rub the area with a cloth dampened in clean water to remove any remaining detergent. Let the rug dry. If necessary, use a wool comb or waterproof brush to brush and fluff the carpet fibers.

Shaun Sullivan

How to deep clean a sheepskin rug

When a deeper clean is needed, many sheepskin rugs can be machine washed in cold water on the delicate cycle, using a wool-safe detergent. Always check the care label for cleaning instructions. If your sheepskin rug is not machine washable safely, or if you are unsure, you can hand wash it by following these instructions.

what you will need

  • wool safe detergent
  • Clothesline or grid
  • sink (optional)

Step 1: Identify a place to wash

Identify a place large enough to hold water, detergent, and the sheepskin rug, with enough clearance for your hands to move through the water, such as a kitchen sink, sink, bathtub, bucket, or A toilet.

Step 2 – Fill the container with water and detergent

Fill the container halfway with cold water, leaving enough room for the rug and your hands to move around. Add a small amount of wool-safe detergent, following the manufacturer’s dosage instructions.

Step 3 – Submerge and Soak the Carpet

Dip the rug into the detergent solution, completely submerging it with your hands. Next, use your hands to agitate the rug so the water and detergent can penetrate its fibers and dislodge any dirt and grime. Let the rug soak in the detergent solution for 30 minutes.

Step 4 – Rinse the Carpet

After soaking, remove the rug from the detergent solution and gently wring it out. Then drain the detergent solution and rinse the mat well with clean water.

Step 5: Let the rug air dry

Gently squeeze out excess water, being careful not to twist or wring out the rug, which can damage the fibers and backing. Allow the rug to air dry, either on a drying rack or line; if air dried, take care that the rug is not exposed to direct sunlight or excessive heat. Once the carpet is dry, use a wool comb or waterproof brush to brush and fluff the carpet fibers.

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