How to Clean and Take Care of Sheepskin Natural-Fiber Area Rugs

So, your living room is looking great. You've found the perfect natural fiber area rug for your space. But ... now you're wondering how to care for it. As with jute, hemp and sisal rugs, you want reassurance that the natural material you've chosen will retain its high-end texture and style as you clean and care for it over time.

Washing new furniture objects may cause stress, especially if you have invested significant outlay in an especially gorgeous item like a natural fiber rug. The price of attractive living room pieces is sometimes connected to the fact that they are made of natural fibers, which are often considered as being more difficult to wash than synthetic equivalents.

Wool and sheepskin are both in this category, however they are both incredibly durable and easy to care for. Wool's unique structure gives it inherent resilience and strength, allowing it to resist and release dirt effortlessly. This means a natural fiber rug doesn't need to be washed as frequently as you may think. But if you're still worried about how to care for the special materials of your fiber rug, our friendly customer guide will help.

Is sheepskin machine washable?

Sheepskin natural fiber rugs can be machine-washed with great care, but when it comes to approaching dirt spots or spills, a water wash should be your final resort. When giving sheepskin products a basic clean, the best place to start is with a frequent, thorough vacuum and a shake outside. As Taylor Swift says, shake it off!

Are natural-fiber rugs easy to clean?

New arrivals to enjoying the wonders of natural fiber rugs often worry that a sheepskin wool area rug mightn't be easy to clean. However, with our simple guide you can be sure the texture and style of your rug will continue to look great year after year.

Can I use a carpet shampooer on a sheepskin area rug?

Not exactly! You'll need to select your shampoo carefully for the best results when washing sheepskin area rugs. Choose a specialist sheepskin/wool detergent to protect the color and fibers. This needs to be non-bio and also pH neutral to ensure the rug doesn’t get ruined. To avoid any mishaps, it's wise to test the product on a small, discreet area first.

Next, dry your natural fiber rug slowly in the shade. Lay flat on the floor away from direct sunlight.

Natural fiber rugs are durable and love a bit of rough and tumble! Beat the back of the sheepskin with a wooden stick once it is dry (a broom handle will do). Peg it onto the clothesline and whack the leather side. This is part of the original tanning process and helps achieve a soft leather feel.

How can I clean my natural-fibre rug at home without a machine?

Prevention is the best cure when it comes to caring for your natural fiber sheepskin area rug. A sheep's natural wool colour is more grey than white, and often has a faint yellowing from lengthy periods spent in the sun's UV rays. Sheepskin natural fiber rugs that have been treated or coloured during the tanning process have a tendency to revert back to their original colouration over time. This process can be slowed by limiting direct sunlight exposure.

The best way to do this is by keeping your new rug out of direct sunlight shining through windows and doors, and by keeping the room your rug is in, airy and well ventilated.

You should also keep your rug away from high humidity areas such as under air conditioning ducts. When not in use a sheepskin should be stored in cool, dark, well-ventilated cupboard or chest.

How do you get stains out of sheepskin rug?

Accidental spills and stains should be attended to immediately to avoid permanent damage. Before using any stain treatment, make sure you've 'contained the stain' by blotting up liquids with a paper towel or clean cloth. This will prevent it from spreading further.

Depending on the type of stain, a variety of cleaning procedures are available. If you have a small patch on your sheepskin rug that is suitable for spot cleaning, please consult our stain removal guide for how to remove specific stains. If you feel your sheepskin product still needs further cleaning, consider having it dry cleaned.

Washing a sheepskin at home using water will have positive results on the wool fibres, however, it will make the suede on the back harden and potentially cause stiffening and warping of its natural condition over time .

Can you steam clean sheepskin?

Yes, but we recommend you leave this to the experts. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and where steam cleaning is ok for your natural fiber rug, take it to a trusted professional.

Can you bleach a sheepskin rug?

It's a fine balance here. You can try to remove the stain yourself with a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. You may whiten a discoloured area by applying this solution sparingly over the stain and blotting gently. However, if your peroxide solution is too powerful, it might harm the colors, wool and leather beneath. White vinegar is a gentler choice, but its odour might linger on your rug's fibres. A good cure to remove the smell of vinegar is baking soda! So plonk a teaspoon of baking soda on a plate near the area you have given attention to if this is the case to get it smelling fresh as new.

Can you put Scotchguard on a wool fibre area rug?

There are protective sprays available on the market that are intended to provide a water-resistant coating on the suede underside of sheepskin. These products are generally intended for use on sheepskin footwear, where the wool is on the inside of the shoe or boot, although they may also be effective on the bottom side of a sheepskin rug.

A sheepkin's wool fibres are inherently water-resistant. This means liquids will rest on top of the natural fiber and may be shaken off without staining.

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