How To Clean & Wash A Sheepskin Rug
May 23, 2016
The process of cleaning a sheepskin rug can be somewhat discouraging to undertake. They are easily ruined by stains, spills or even just wear and tear over time. Wool will also collect dust and other air particles, which can dull the color of your sheepskin and make it filthy. Very noticeable when you have a White or Off-white sheepskin. And using the wrong settings on a washing machine can be a disaster, one that’ll now require stitching as well.
That’s why we have put together this guide. In this we hope to cover every aspect of cleaning for any type of sheepskin rug. Easing your concern over cleaning and elongating the life of your sheepskin.
Upon receiving your new sheepskin from Luxzura we recommend to open your package gently and give your item a vigorous shake or use a sheepskin carding brush. Due to being tightly packaged on it’s journey the wool fibres can seem a little flattened at first but with a shake the sheepskins natural fluffy appearance will be restored. Wool will generally spring back very quickly and retains shape well.
Keep out of direct sunlight.
Sunlight will slowly discolor the sheepskin if exposed for long periods of time and can damage the wool fibers.
Don’t store inside closed bags, make sure it’s breathable.
In closed bags condensation can build up and when wet the leather backing can wrinkle and harden up. Although don’t be too concerned about getting your sheepskin wet, as you can gently stretch it while wet to maintain it’s size.
Keep away from heat sources ie fires, blow dryers, ovens, radiators etc.
Although wool fibres are very resistant to fires, some of our sheepskins may be bleached/dyed to achieve a certain color and so lose some of that protection against heat. (Check individual desriptions of our sheepskins to see whether your item is bleached or not.)
Don’t brush or rub the wool when wet.
Wool fibers are weaker when wet, so brushing in this condition can stretch them or cause breakage. Wait until it is dry to begin brushing.
Shake and brush regularly.
Depending on your use ie. as a rug or chair cover you may flatten the item over time so to keep the sheepskin refreshed and plush. In addition to this, dirt and dust may get lodged in between the fibers over time so a quick shake can remove this.
Attend to stains and dirt on your sheepskin as soon as possible.
Adhering to these principles will ensure your sheepskin retains it’s quality for a longer period of time.
The following cleaning methods are suitable for all types of sheepskins.
Lightly vacuum over with a plain suction cup on a slower setting, this will help to remove any lodged dirt or dust built up over time.
Dry cleaning is the recommended method of cleaning for all types of sheepskin, dyed or colored, no matter the size.
A sheepskin carding brush would be ideal or a wire pet brush, to smoothly go over the fur once dry to restore the wools natural loft.
Small spills or stains
Firstly stop the stain or spill from spreading, for liquids attempt to soak it up with a dry paper towel and solids just remove it and use the paper towel again to clean off any excess.
Once contained, spot clean with a damp cloth. It’s best to address the stain or spill as soon as possible.
Check the description page of your sheepskin to see the correct method of washing for your item.
Generally we recommend to not use water or detergents when washing bleached sheepskins, as the color could bleed over time from doing this. Although some customers take the risk anyway and have reported that it had no effect initially. So use water and other biological cleaning chemicals at your own risk for your dyed/bleached sheepskin. If you wish to do so, please follow the guide below on washing with water.
For both methods, hand or machine; wash in cool or warm water 40 C / 104 F without the use of harsh detergents, bleaches or other biological enzymes.
Before washing take the item outside and shake it to remove any dirt lodged in between the fibers.
Wash on a gentle cycle with mild soap or special wool cleaning product, once fully soaked only allow the machine to churn a little and let the fur soak for 5 minutes. Spin cycle can be used to rinse off the fur or to gently squeeze it yourself, not to wring the sheepskin. Then follow Drying section below.
To hand wash, assuming your item is small enough to fit, use a bath tub with mild soap or special wool cleaning product. Filled with cool or warm water, no more than 40 C / 104 F. Let the sheepskin saturate fully with water by holding it underneath. Gently move it around in water to let the soap get into the fibers. Let it soak for a few minutes and then rinse it off by squeezing rather than wringing it out. After that follow Drying section.
If your rug is too large for a bath tub you may wish to consider a professional cleaner. Another method would be to use a garden line, other form of hanging or a large clean flat surface if available. The wool will be very heavy when wet, so consider this before you attempt to hang. Use a garden hose to fully soak the fur and then apply your mild soap or sheepskin cleaning product. Try to work this into the wool fibers and then rinse off again with the hose. Continue with the drying process.
You can air-dry your sheepskin by hanging it on a line or laying it flat, woolside down. Be sure to gently stretch your sheepskin to help retain it’s shape and size and limit any wrinkling or shrinking of the leather backing. Don’t attempt to tumble dry or iron your sheepskin, ironing could damage the wool fibers and tumble drying can cause hardening of the skins, due to the heat, it can damage the wool.
After washing with water and drying you may find the wool fibers curly as their natural state so to restore that loft of the wool and lush appearance a quick going over with a brush, as mentioned earlier, will do the trick.
Please leave a message below or send us an email if you have any questions or feel that we have missed something out.
This guide is informational in nature and intended for Luxzura’s sheepskins products if you have purchased from elsewhere, make sure you check your own item’s label before using our instruction. We cannot guarantee results from using it and we are not responsible for any damaged incurred from using this information.