You’re right to be cautious. Sheepskin rugs need special care.
You can do it, but you need to know how to clean a sheepskin rug like a pro. We help Chicago homeowners with all types of area rug cleaning, and we enjoy sharing our expertise.
Let’s make cleaning sheepskin rugs easy with this step-by-step guide and plenty of insider tips.
Let’s dive in.
What Makes Sheepskin Rugs Special?
You love your sheepskin rug for its natural beauty and the way it feels under bare feet, but the rug is special in a surprising number of ways. For example, it’s an excellent choice for individuals with health issues. The resilient wool fibers are both hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial, which is why wool rugs are so ideal for the home.
Sheepskin rugs are also valued for their durability. With proper care, sheepskins can keep floors warm for 15 years or more. They’re also earth-friendly. Sheepskin is considered a sustainable choice, and it’s biodegradable.
How to Clean a Real Sheepskin Rug
The natural lanolin in wool helps your rug resist dirt and odors. However, sheepskin does need to be cleaned at least once or twice a year.
These six steps outline how to clean a sheepskin rug like a pro.
1. Prep the Sheepskin
Loosen up dirt in fibers by taking the sheepskin rug outside and giving it a good shake. Thoroughly comb through the wool with a carding brush. Otherwise, knots and matting can become badly tangled during the cleaning process.
Power Tip: If you don’t have a wool carding brush, you can use a wire bristle pet brush.
2. Prep the Bath
Run cold water in the bathtub, and mix in a cleaning product formulated for sheepskin rugs. Use a shampoo that’s pH neutral, non-ionic and designated safe for natural wool. Follow product instructions for precise measurements.
Power Tip: Products for washing wool clothing are not recommended for cleaning sheepskin rugs.
3. Soak and Clean
Immerse your sheepskin in the tub, and let it soak. After 10 or 15 minutes, gently squeeze the soapy water through the wool fibers. Work the entire rug for five minutes. Too much bath time can cause the fibers to mat.
4. Drain and Rinse
Drain the tub, refill it with cold water, and gently squeeze the rug fibers. Drain and fill the tub again, and repeat the process until the water stays clear. Finally, let the rug drain in the empty tub for 20 minutes.
Power Tip: Small rugs can be rolled and squeezed in heavy towels to remove excess water.
5. Slowly Air-Dry
Air-drying helps prevent a sheepskin rug from becoming hard after washing. Lay your rug on a dry towel, pull it into shape, and thoroughly brush the wet fibers. Hang the rug over a sturdy rack, and let it air-dry for several days. Keep the rug away from heat and direct sunlight.
Power Tip: Speed up drying time by running a dehumidifier in the same room as the rug.
6. Brush, Fluff and Massage
Once the rug is completely dry, give it one last brushing. This final grooming separates fibers and restores the fluffy feel that makes your rug so special. Give the rug’s leather a good massage to keep it pliable, and you’re all done.
How to Clean a Faux Sheepskin Rug
To clean a faux sheepskin rug, follow the same steps outlined for natural sheepskin. For best results, use a gentle laundry detergent. Always check the rug’s label for care details.
After cleaning, treat the fibers with a mix of 1 teaspoon of hair conditioner and 2 cups of water. Spray the solution on small areas of the rug, and carefully work it through fibers with a soft-bristled brush. Wipe down the rug with a clean, damp cloth, and air dry for several days.
4 FAQs About Cleaning Sheepskin Rugs
1. Can I wash a sheepskin rug in the washing machine?
Small sheepskin rugs can be machine-washed, but always use cold water and an appropriate cleaning product. Make sure the washer is set on the gentle cycle. Remove the rug immediately after the final spin.
2. How do I soften sheepskin leather after washing?
If your sheepskin rug dried out during the cleaning process, try massaging the leather. You can also hang the rug and soften the leather with a carpet beater.
3. How should I condition a sheepskin rug?
Regular brushing is the most effective way to condition sheepskin. Applying flaxseed oil or coconut oil on sheepskin leather helps keep the rug backing pliable.
4. How do I make a homemade sheepskin shampoo?
Mix 1 teaspoon of lemongrass essential oil and 1 tablespoon of baking powder with half a quart of water. This shampoo also reduces odors in sheepskin rugs.
5 Tips That Keep Your Sheepskin Rug in Top Condition
1. Shake and brush your sheepskin rug on a regular basis. This keeps fibers fresh and fluffy, and it prevents dirt from settling deep into the rug.
2. Gently hand vacuum a sheepskin rug with a nozzle attachment. Use the lowest power setting, and work in the same direction as the fur naturally falls.
3. Treat stains by covering them with cornstarch and lightly spraying with cold water. Let the area dry. Brushing or gently vacuuming should remove the stain.
4. Always store sheepskin rugs in cool, well-ventilated areas away from direct heat and sunlight. Never put sheepskin in any type of non-breathable container or wrap.
5. Let a professional rug cleaning and restoration company like ServiceMaster by Zaba in Chicago, IL take care of large sheepskin rugs. They can also repair and restore damaged and stained rugs.
Looking for Professional Sheepskin Rug Cleaning in Chicago? We Can Help!
We understand how much you value your special sheepskin rug. If you’re not sure about DIY cleaning, we’re happy to take care of it. You can trust us to gently clean, dry and refresh all the area rugs in your home.
We specialize in area rug repairs and restoration too, so give us a call. Your rugs deserve the very best care from Chicago’s premier rug cleaners.
Give us a call for professional sheepskin rug cleaning services in Chicago, IL and suburbs: 773-647-1985
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