Cleaning different types of rug requires different strategies and products. This article will describe how to clean a sheepskin rug, a shaggy rug, and a wool rug, so your floors at home can continue to look spotless and fresh, no matter what kind of rugs you have!
For all the options below, remember to defer to any product label when it comes to instructions for use, and to spot test a small, unnoticeable area of your rug before application.
How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug
If your rug has a care tag, always consult this first. Sheepskin rugs can be taken to the dry cleaners, but this can be expensive. In any case, nearly all natural (un-dyed) sheepskin rugs can be hand washed gently at home. Here’s a quick guide:
- Fill a bathtub or tub with cool or lukewarm water. Never use hot water, as it will cause your sheepskin rug to shrink.
- Add a specialist sheepskin and wool detergent. A standard wool detergent may cause damage, so make sure it is designed for sheepskin. The detergent must be non-alkaline, with no biological enzymes. Fabric softeners are a no-no, too. Read the directions on the label, and test any product in a small area before using.
How to Clean a Shaggy Rug
Shag rugs have a long, floppy pile, which is great fun to lie on, but a little daunting to wash. If you’re wondering how to clean shag rug fibres cheaply, don’t worry: they’re also possible to wash at home, as long as you take great care. Just be sure to check your rug care tags first.
- Take your shag rug outside and shake off any loose dirt.
- Vacuum your rug carefully. Test your vacuum’s “High Pile” carpet setting, to see if that does not suck up the rug threads. Otherwise, use an upholstery attachment to gently vacuum between the rows of thread on your rug.
How to Clean a Wool Rug
Wool rugs are best cleaned professionally, but some homeowners wash them at home to save money. These steps explain how to clean wool rug fibres as safely as is possible at home.
For regular cleaning:
- The best thing you can do is vacuum your wool rugs at least once a week, more often if the rug is in an area you stand or walk a lot. Use an appropriate carpet setting, and vacuum the rug from side to side (widthwise), not from end to end (lengthwise). At least once a year, vacuum the reverse side of the rug, too.
- Treat any spills immediately, using a commercial stain remover for wool.
Wool rugs should be thoroughly cleaned every 12 to 18 months. Steam cleaning is an effective way to clean your rug, if you are so advised by the care tags. If not, follow the steps below.
- Before you clean your rug, take it outdoors, shake or beat out any loose dirt, and vacuum it on both sides.
- Mix a sudsy solution of cold water and Persil, or another wool laundry liquid. The solution should be more diluted than usual.
- Using a clean sponge or sponge mop, apply the suds to your rug bit by bit.
- Rinse the rug thoroughly.
- Squeeze the rug and roll it up with dry towels to soak up as much moisture as possible.
- Let the rug air dry in a shaded place, away from direct heat or sunlight.
When you suddenly realise how long your rugs have gone without a cleaning, don’t despair. With one simple hour-long wash and one day to dry, you can save on those expensive professional cleaning bills. Sheepskin, shag, or wool – you now know how to keep all sorts of rugs clean and fresh!