How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug

Sheepskin rugs are a lovely addition to a small den, living room or bedroom. It’s a fashionable rug that’s soft and cozy in any space, and it’s a high-quality rug that adds warmth to any room in your home.

Sheepskin is available in various blends of colors, different sizes and shapes to complement your home’s décor. While sheepskin rugs are generally durable and last many years, it’s essential to clean them frequently to maintain their appearance.

What to Consider Before You Clean Your Sheepskin Rug

Before you prepare to clean your rug, it’s vital to learn more about the type of product and how to best clean and maintain its appearance. There are many sheepskin rugs, including faux sheepskin, sheepskin wool rugs, dyed or tinted rugs, and natural sheepskin rugs. While some rugs are machine washable, others need special care that includes washing and disinfecting by hand.

Spot Cleaning Your Sheepskin Rug

Spot cleaning your rug is ideal for minor stains or specific rug areas that need your attention. You’ll need a mild, sheepskin-specific wash or cleaner such as Eucalan Lavender fabric wash, which you can use to clean manually or in a washing machine.

Mild wool wash and sheepskin shampoos are ideal for hand-washing because they do not contain enzymes or harsh chemicals that break or dry the rug.

To spot wash your sheepskin rug, you’ll need the following items:

  • A sheepskin brush or similar wool brush for cleaning
  • Clean cloths
  • Spray bottle for the cleaning solution
  • Wool wash or similar product

Combine the wool wash with warm water in a spray bottle. Just one or two teaspoons of sheepskin shampoo should be added. Mix the two ingredients in the spray bottle and apply to the affected or stained area on the rug. Use the brush and cleaning solution to gently remove the stain or dirt, rinse with warm water and blot dry with a towel.

Place the sheepskin rug on a flat surface to dry and continue to pat dry to absorb excess water or moisture. You can hang the rug dry in a cool area, where there’s little or no humidity for best results. Brush the rug as it dries, then shake it to air it out, and soften the hide once it has dried completely.

How to Safely Clean a Sheepskin Rug with Machine Washing

Most faux sheepskin rugs and natural sheepskin are best treated with hand-washing, though specific natural and faux sheepskin rugs may be ideal for the washing machine. Always check the label and the product’s details to confirm whether machine washing is an option before proceeding.

You’ll need sheepskin detergent or a similar wool-friendly product, a wool brush with wire bristles, a basin, or a bin for warm water.

If your rug is compatible with machine washing, there are a few essential tips to consider for best results:

  • Use only one or two teaspoons of sheepskin detergent or shampoo per load
  • Do not use the drying machine and hang the rug to dry once washed
  • Aim for a temperature no higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent damage to the rug.

How to Wash Sheepskin Rugs by Hand

Cleaning your sheepskin rug by hand requires a large basin and all the same materials required to spot clean or for the washing machine:

  1. Add one teaspoon of wool wash or sheepskin detergent to each gallon of water
  2. Heat the water and ensure that it is no more than 100 degrees. Hot water or lukewarm water is ideal for most rugs. Ensure that the water and mild soap are thoroughly mixed, then add the rug, allowing the entire sheepskin rug to soak and sit immersed in the water for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse the rug by gently squeezing the excess moisture and water, including all fibers, evenly, then continue rinsing and gently squeezing the rug until the soap is completely removed and the extra water is drained.
  4. Lie the rug on a flat surface to dry or hang inside. It’s essential to avoid the outdoors, as direct sunlight or excessive heat may damage your sheepskin rug.
  5. Brush the rug when it’s dry, then brush the fibers to enhance the appearance.

A Few Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining Sheepskin Rugs

If you have a larger rug or multiple sheepskin rugs in your home, you may want to consider professional sheepskin rug cleaning services, especially if you want to reduce the time it takes to clean them at home.

A dry cleaner is an excellent option to consider, though it’s essential to confirm that the service is familiar with sheepskin rugs so that they can use the proper techniques for best results.

There are a few essential tips to consider for keeping your rug looking its best:

  • Use a wool wire brush to regularly brush the rug’s fibers to keep them looking uniform and fluffy. This will keep the appearance of your sheepskin excellent
  • If you choose to vacuum your rug, use a nozzle attachment without any rotation and clean in the direction of the fibers’ growth
  • Never store your sheepskin rug in a closed box or similar container, as the fiber needs to breathe and lasts longer in a dry area
  • Keep your rug in well-ventilated areas and avoid direct sunlight and extreme heat as much as possible
  • Always wash your hands before you treat your sheepskin rug
  • Never use steam cleaning to clean or remove dust from your rug

Bottom Line

Natural sheepskin rug cleaning and maintenance is easy once you become familiar with the products and steps involved. Rug care is essential for all your sheepskin and similar rug home furnishings to keep them looking beautiful for many years. Ideally, sheepskin is highly durable with the proper care and can last many years or decades.

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