The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning Your Sheepskin Rug

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Do you love fluffy sheepskin rugs as much as I do? Whether you’ve recently acquired one or have been enjoying its cozy embrace for a while, it’s crucial to keep it clean and fresh. After all, who wouldn’t want to maintain that luxurious softness and natural beauty? Today I’m here to walk you through the process of cleaning your sheep rug step by step, ensuring it stays as fluffy and inviting as the day you brought it home.

How to Clean a Sheep Rug
A white sheepskin rug is a gorgeous addition to a cozy Holiday bedroom

I’ve had sheep rugs since my second daughter was born 12 years ago. My babies LOVED lounging on the soft, fluffy rugs, and I love how they look in our decor. I have a few off white sheepskin rugs, and a couple of grey toned ones as well. They’re all from Costco over the years, but you can also find them here on Amazon.

Understanding Your Sheepskin Rug

Before I jump into the cleaning process, let’s take a moment to appreciate the beauty of these natural rugs. Made from genuine sheepskin, these rugs boast unparalleled softness and warmth, making them a staple in many homes. The fibers of a sheepskin rug are incredibly durable and naturally resistant to dirt and bacteria, making them relatively low-maintenance. However, periodic cleaning is essential to ensure they remain in top condition. My sheep rugs still look amazing after over a decade of use!

How to Clean a Sheep Rug

Gathering Your Supplies

Here are the supplies you’ll need to clean your sheep rug:

  1. Water: The universal solvent that will help us lift dirt and grime.
  2. A Good Brush: A soft-bristled brush to gently remove any debris and fluff up the fibers.
  3. Mild Detergent: Opt for a gentle, wool-safe detergent to cleanse your sheepskin without damaging it. This Eucalan wool wash is a good detergent option. Don’t use bleach or any harsh cleaning products on natural sheepskin rugs.
  4. Clean Cloth: Perfect for blotting and absorbing excess moisture during the cleaning process.

Step-by-Step Cleaning Process of a Sheep Rug

Now that we’re armed with our trusty supplies, here’s the cleaning process:

1. Shake It Out

Start by taking your sheepskin rug outdoors and giving it a good shake to remove any loose dirt and debris. This simple step helps prepare the rug for deeper cleaning.

2. Spot Cleaning

If your rug has any localized stains or spills, tackle them first. Mix a small amount of mild detergent with water to create a gentle cleaning solution. Dab the solution onto the affected area using a clean, damp cloth, then gently blot and pat the area to lift the stain. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as this can damage the fibers.

3. Overall Cleaning

For a more thorough clean, fill a bathtub or large basin with warm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Submerge the sheepskin rug in the water, gently agitating it to ensure all areas are thoroughly soaked. I use my big primary bathroom tub for this! I always recommend hand washing over using a washing machine when cleaning sheepskin rugs (even the delicate cycle can be too much for these)!

4. Gentle Washing

Using your hands, gently massage the detergent solution into the fibers of the rug, focusing on any areas that may be particularly soiled. Allow the rug to soak for 10-15 minutes to allow the detergent to penetrate and lift away dirt and grime.

5. Rinsing

After the soaking period, drain the soapy water and refill the tub or basin with clean, cold water. Rinse the rug thoroughly, gently squeezing out any excess water as you go. Repeat this process until the water runs clear, indicating that all detergent has been removed.

6. Drying Time

Once your rug is clean, it’s time to dry it properly. Lay the rug flat on a clean, dry surface, preferably outdoors in a shaded area. Avoid direct sunlight and heat sources, as these can cause the fibers to become stiff and brittle. Gently reshape the rug as it dries to maintain its original shape.

7. Brushing

Once the rug is completely dry, use a soft-bristled pet brush or a wool comb to fluff up the wool fibers and restore its natural softness and texture. Brush in the direction of the nap to avoid damaging the fibers, and enjoy the satisfying feeling of watching your rug come back to life.

How to Clean a Sheep Rug

Maintaining Your Sheepskin Rug

Now that your sheepskin wool rug is clean and refreshed, it’s essential to establish a regular maintenance routine to keep it looking its best. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your rug’s beauty:

  1. Regular Vacuuming: Use a handheld vacuum or brush attachment to gently remove surface debris and keep the fibers clean and fluffy. I usually vacuum my rugs when I vacuum our home weekly.
  2. Spot Treat Stains Promptly: Address spills and stains as soon as they occur to prevent them from setting into the fibers. Blot the area gently with a clean cloth, lukewarm water, and mild detergent, then allow it to air dry.
  3. Air It Out: Periodically take your sheepskin rug outside and give it a good shake to remove any dust and refresh the fibers. Hanging it in a well-ventilated area for a few hours can also help eliminate odors and maintain freshness.
  4. Brush It: Use a good brush (a dog brush actually works wonders!) to brush your rug periodically to get rid of debris and tangles in the fur.
  5. Avoid Moisture: Sheepskin rugs are not fans of excessive moisture, so be sure to keep them away from damp or humid environments. Additionally, avoid placing heavy objects on the rug for extended periods, as this can flatten the fibers and affect its appearance.
White sheepskin rug draped on brown chair in cozy living room.

With a little time and effort, you can keep your sheepskin rug looking and feeling as good as new for years to come. We still love ours that are a decade old! Remember to approach the cleaning process with care and gentleness, respecting the natural beauty of natural sheepskins. So go ahead, learn how to clean your sheep rug with care, and enjoy its cozy embrace for many more seasons to come! Happy cleaning!

How to Clean a Sheep Skin Rug to Keep it Looking New

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