How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug Using 2 Easy Methods

One of the most important things that decorate a house is the rugs that we use on our floors. These rugs add to the looks and also keep our feet warm and cozy. These rugs come in a variety of materials but this article addresses the sheepskin rugs and how to maintain them effortlessly.

Sheepskin rugs are feather soft and velvety and are undoubted of great value to a house. However, since we use them regularly and keep stepping on them, they lose their great looks over a period of time.

Cleaning them and restoring their looks have to be done carefully so that the rug is not damaged in the process. If you are hesitant to clean them for fear of ruining them inadvertently, then read on. This article lists out the finest and most convenient methods to clean sheepskin rugs efficiently.

Shake The Rug First

Since these rugs are woolly, they collect a lot of dirt and during the cleaning process, we need to ensure that we get rid of the collected dirt. The dirt particularly accumulates in the fibers of the rug and so the best way to get it out is to shake the rug properly.

Vacuum and brush

Shaking the rug will get rid of the dirt to a certain extent but we need deeper cleaning to get rid of it completely. The best way to do this is to vacuum clean the rug.

One big advantage of sheepskin rug is that it is highly resistant to dirt and dust. So, it is sufficient to clean it with carding or a dog brush. Due to the dirt-resistant nature of the rug, a meticulous brushing of the rug will help us achieve what we want – a rug that is clean, soft, and woolly again.

It is quite possible that the rug may also acquire an undesirable smell. It is pretty easy to get rid of this smell too. All you need to do is sprinkle some baking powder on it and ensure that the powder reaches the fibers.

Allow the powder to stay in for some time and then remove it using a vacuum cleaner. To have a rug that smells great, try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the rug. This will ensure that the rug smells great throughout the day.

These two processes ensure a preliminary cleaning of the rug. After this, we move to the next method of cleaning.

Best sheepskin rug cleaning methods

With every sheepskin rug comes clear instructions about how to clean and maintain it. The first step in cleaning the rug should be to read these instructions carefully. The instructions mention the right temperature to wash the rug in and also whether it is a good idea to machine wash the rug.

If it is not suitable for the machine and you put it into the machine for a wash, all you will have is matted fibers which you definitely do not want.  It is best to wash the rug by hand. This will ensure that the rug gets cleaned without even a little bit of damage.

Handwashing your sheepskin

Though washing machines rank among the top useful inventions, they do not work well with some items which need a lot of care. One such item is the sheepskin rug. This needs a lot of care and must be handled delicately to safeguard the soft fibers that it is made of.

After a good brushing of the rug to remove any dirt, and to detangle the fibers which may be matted, the next step is to fill the bath. If this is not possible, then it is good to fill a huge, deep container with cold water.

Then, mix the sheep wool shampoo into the water. Then, put the rug into this water and move it around delicately in the water. This process will dislodge any dust or dirt that is trapped in the fibers.

It is not a good idea to scrub the rug roughly as it will result in damaging the felt-like texture. As the dirt gets dislodged and mixes into the water, you will notice the color of the water changing and getting darker.

This is an indication to show that the water is really dirty and must be emptied out. After emptying the water, fill in the bath or the container with fresh clean water and repeat the process. This process must be continued until the water in which the rug is moved about does not change color. This is an indication to show that the rug is clean.

After the rug is immersed in water and cleaned, it is time to get all the water out of the rug. The best way to do this is by squeezing it. The rug must be squeezed properly and you must ensure that you get most of the water out.

When the rug gets wet, it is natural for the weight of the rug to double and this means that carrying it out of the bathroom is not so easy. So, it is advisable to have a container ready in order to carry the wet rug out. This rug cannot be dried out in the sun as direct sunlight is likely to ruin the rug.

The next best option is to dry it with a hairdryer. This is a process that is bound to take up a lot of time. However, you could opt to leave the rug on a towel warmer throughout the day.

Spot cleaning

sheepskin rug

Even though we are always very careful with our precious rugs, there are instances when we inadvertently spill something on them. It is imperative to know how to clean these stains. If only a little is spilled, then, paper towels and a blunt knife or spatula are enough to take away the spilled liquid.

If oil spills, then the method of cleaning is different. If cornstarch is applied to the place where the oil is spilled, it will absorb the oil. The cornstarch should be allowed to remain in the place of the oil spill for some time, maybe even for a few hours. After this, use a vacuum cleaner or a brush to clean the area. The whole process may have to be repeated for best results.

There are instances when mud or food spills on the rug. In such cases, use a mixture of warm water and a wool solution. Use a cloth dipped in this solution and then clean the area with the stain. After the stain is cleaned, use a clean cloth and wet the affected area with plain water. As a final step, the fibers should be air-dried and then brushed again.

Even after the stain is gone, there may be an unpleasant smell that lingers on in the rug. If this happens, then just sprinkle baking soda on it. Just ensure that the baking soda gets into the fibers.

Allow the baking soda to remain in the rug for a couple of hours. It can be allowed to be there throughout the night also. After this, the baking soda can be taken away using a vacuum cleaner. Another way to do this is to just shake the rug.

Dry cleaning

There is another method used to clean these rugs and that is dry cleaning. However, this procedure is rather expensive as it involves the services of experts who are aware of the best way to clean sheepskin.

Among these dry cleaners, always give your rug to those who include services to clean suede, leather, and sheepskin. This will ensure that no strong chemicals are used on your rug. Using such chemicals on your rug will ruin the rug.

Is it safe to machine wash the sheepskin rug?

If your beautiful sheepskin rug gets stained, then it is natural to want to remove the stain as quickly as possible. If you think putting your rug into the washing machine is the best way to do this, then think again.

The rug will look very different after the machine wash as it gets soaked in water entirely. Hence, it is best to avoid washing the rug in the machine. This will ensure that the rug looks its best for a long time to come.

Washing it in the machine will make the wool fibers very hard and the rug may be pulled out of shape. Machines have wash cycles that are mild for delicate fabric. Sheepskin rugs will last these cycles but there is no guarantee that your rug will keep its primary shape after such a wash.

How to soften sheepskin after washing

When sheepskin is washed with water, it is bound to undergo a few changes. Definitely, the softness will diminish. All this also rests on a few other things. These things include how old the sheepskin is, the tanning process, and how it dries after being washed.

If the sheepskin is leather-backed, then nothing happens to the appearance of the rug after a handwash also. However, there are ways to attain the same outcome with sheepskin that is not leather-backed also. The following easy things are to be done for this:

Step 1: Choosing the wool detergent for your rug is extremely important. Choose a wool detergent that is pH neutral. If you use this to wash your rug, then the rug will definitely retain its softness.

Tip: Never use the detergent on your rug entirely in the first attempt. It is always advisable to use the detergent on one small part of the rug to check for any problems before you use it on all areas of your rug.

Step 2: Rugs need to be dried after a hand wash but never in direct sunlight. They should be put to dry in an area that is shaded from the sunlight. They can be spread out on the floor or put up on the clothesline to dry.

Step 3: After the rug dries completely, it should be beaten with a wooden stick. This will ensure that the rug retains its pliable shape and remains as soft as it originally was.

How to keep your sheepskin fluffy after washing it

It is very exciting to get your own sheepskin rug and enjoy using it. These rugs are luxuriant and woolly. They are amazing to walk on as they are extra soft on the feet. This softness, though very enjoyable, will not last forever without the correct maintenance measures.

Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the rug periodically. If you do this without fail, you can maintain the silkiness of the rug. The rug will also remain fluffy and will not become flat. However, this does not mean that you have to go through the troublesome process of using the vacuum cleaner as often as once a week.

Regular cleaning that is required to achieve these results is just shaking up the rug outside the house. Vacuum cleaning is something that is necessary only every now and then. How often this needs to be done is actually directly proportional to how much you use the rug.

To decide whether your rug needs cleaning, just keep observing the fibers that make up the rug. If they have become flat, then it is time to clean them by shaking them and vacuuming it. Apart from becoming flat, the fibers may also get entangled.

A brush with metal bristles is ideal for setting this right. The only thing to be careful about with this brush is that you should see that it does not accidentally cause tears to the fibers as it is a metal brush. After being washed, the fibers may also get frizzy. To set this right, just fill the water in a spray bottle and spray it on the fibers just before putting it out to dry.

Is it safe to use bleach on sheepskin?

In spite of being extra careful with your sheepskin rug, it is not unusual for yellow stains to appear on the rug. You can get rid of these stains easily. All it needs is a combination of water and hydrogen peroxide.

This can be safely used on the rug. Don’t be very generous with the solution on the rug. You can use the solution on the rug until the stain disappears. Be cautious with the amount of hydrogen peroxide in the solution as too much of this can ruin the wool.

If you are worried about using this solution, then there is another way out. White vinegar is another magic liquid that can remove such stains. Make a mixture of one part vinegar and one part water and fill it in a spray bottle and spray the liquid on the rug.

Allow the liquid to remain on the rug for a couple of hours and then blot it with a damp cloth. The only drawback of this method is that vinegar has a very strong smell. This smell may remain in the rug and is definitely not so simple to get rid of easily.

Is it safe to tumble dry a sheepskin rug?

It is not at all advisable to put your rug into the tumble dryer. Doing this will cause a lot of fizz and will also make It dry. The effect of the tumble dryer on such rugs with leather or suede backing will be worse as the whole material could crack. So, the safest way to dry the rug is to put it out to dry in an area that does not have direct sunlight. The other safe way is to use a hairdryer to dry it.


Getting a sheepskin rug for your house is one of the best decisions you can make. The rug is cozy and comforting irrespective of the season. It is important to preserve such a valuable possession in the right way.

Fortunately, if you use the correct methods to clean and maintain your rug, it will retain its appearance and usefulness for a very long time. This article lists out the best ways to make this happen. So, follow these methods and enjoy your rug for a long time.

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