There is nothing quite like the amazingly soft feeling of a merino sheepskin rug to add a wonderful design dynamic to any room in the house. But after a while experiencing everyday traffic the rugs start to get kinda dirty. So, what’s the best way to clean these wooly rugs?
If your sheepskin rug came with specific care instructions, make sure you follow those as it may void any warranties or mess that wool up. If you have no idea what to do then these following steps will get your through it! Most importantly, that rug will look as new as the day you bought it.
Regular Wool Care:
Before washing, many sheepskin rugs can be maintained by simply brushing the fibers with a wire brush and then shaking out the skin or even vacuuming with an attachment arm – not one that uses a spinning bar as it can damage the fibers.
Sheepskin Rug Washing Methods:
. Spot cleaning: With one of the soaps mentioned in Soap section below.
. Machine wash on gentle cycle or hand wash in cold or warm water. We don’t recommend washing dark colored pelts in the washing machine as the color can fade or bleed. For stubborn dirt, you may soak in a sheepskin cleaner/shampoo for up to 20 minutes.
. You can also dry clean sheepskin using either white spirits, hydrocarbon or perchlorethylene.
What’s The Best Water Temperature:
Water should not exceed more than 100 degrees.
Use only a mild detergent and detergents that are non-alkaline, non-iconic and do not contain biological enzymes. Bleach /enzymes counter-act the tanning process which can damage the sheepskin. We recommend Pure Castile or biodegradable camp soaps such as Kookaburra wool wash. Do NOT use Woolite or laundry detergents such as Tide.
Line dry or dry flat and stretch to shape while it is still damp. For even better results, you can brush the sheepskin with a wire brush to help fluff up the fibers. Whatever you do, DO NOT tumble dry your sheepskin rugs in the dryer. Even the gentlest setting could cause your sheepskin rug to shrink or cause hardening of the pelt.
Once dry, giving your sheepskin rug a vigorous shake will help restore the soft fluffy appearance of the wool.
If you are planning on storing your rug after cleaning, make sure that it is fully dry. Then, choose a cool, airy location that is not in direct sunlight, such as a big closet. We do not recommend storing sheepskin products in plastic bags for any extended period of time. The plastic will not allow the fibers to properly breathe; therefore condensation may occur in warm conditions, which will damage the sheepskin pelt over time.
Sheepskin rugs are an amazing product and taking care of them will make sure they last for many years to come. If you can spend that much on a rug, make sure you spend the extra time it takes to manage the thing.
Mary Clark owns and operates an online sheepskin shop specializing in the highest quality merino wool products.