Image text: "How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug".

How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug – All You’ll Ever Want or Need to Know

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How Do You Clean a Faux Sheepskin Rug?

How to clean a sheepskin rug is a question you ask around five minutes after bringing one into your home for the first time. That's because gorgeous as they are, they have a habit of collecting dirt and hairs, especially if they are slept on by a cat or dog. Sheepskin rugs haven’t gone out of fashion yet, and we’re willing to bet that they won’t for a long time. They add a touch of warmth to a bedroom or a touch of class to a living room but Oh! Boy! You do need to clean them!

If there’s one thing that has always stood out to me, it’s the popularity of sheepskin rugs. They’re rustic, retro, and oh, so soft! I have a sheepskin rug, but I’ve never really used it for much. Why? because for the longest time, I had no idea how to clean it.

Sheepskin rugs look great… at first. But then they get sat on, walked on and — after no time at all — just generally gunked and matted up.

Image text: "How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug".

Good news: keeping your fur clean, fluffy and camera-ready is a cinch. Whether your hide is real or faux, you’ll find the knowledge you need below.

Can You Machine Wash a Sheepskin Rug?

Sheepskin rugs may be dry-cleaned. We recommend this option for dyed rugs as hand or machine washing could cause them to lose their vibrant colour. If your rug really matters to you don't risk the washing machine, and choose a professional dry cleaning company and check that they have experience in dry cleaning sheepskin.

But, you can machine wash sheepskin rugs to maintain the fleece and hide. Although genuine sheepskin contains lanolin, a wax with antifungal and antibacterial properties, you should wash the rug monthly. Clean the rug with a wool wash specifically formulated for sheepskin products to control bacteria and reduce dust mites and allergens. Avoid strong detergent in order to avoid removing the lanolin which keeps the skin supple.

Of course, if the rug is badly stained you can sponge-wash just the dirty part. But, wash the entire rug if the stain still persists.

Fortunately, most people say that you don’t have to spend a small fortune on getting your sheepskin rug professionally dry cleaned. Many people just toss it in their laundry machine and wash on low temperature. For the best results, avoid fabric softener and any detergents that have bleach or enzymes.

How to Avoid Cleaning a Sheepskin Rug

If you choose to buy a product made of lambskin, you will still need to do some maintenance work to keep it fluffy and clean. The point is to take care of the sheepskin in a way that doesn’t force you to wash it. You do not want to get to the point where you have to use cleaning chemicals that eliminate the natural lanolin that keeps it clean.

It's true, that sheepskins are easy to wash if you have the washing machine, wool wash shampoo and knowledge but you won't want to do it very often. We recently washed our two natural ivory double long-wool sheepskin rugs that we have beside our bed They are about five years old but we've only given them a full wet wash 3 or 4 times.

To get the best results when you wash a sheepskin rug you need to allow the leather to dry slowly. This helps to avoid the leather going hard and stiff. Air dry for about 7-10 days and then if necessary finish the drying off in a dryer on a very low heat setting.

How to Clean a Natural Sheepskin Rug

Sheepskin rugs require a delicate touch. However, if you spill on your precious rug, you can easily clean it using your vacuum or even your washing machine.

The first stage is to get a good quality wool carding brush and smooth out any knots before getting your rug wet to avoid ending up with even more matted shearling after washing it.

We have machine washed or premium quality curly sheepskin rug in a dark grey asphalt colour. This rug is an extremely high-quality New Zealand sheepskin, and we have not been disappointed with the luxurious quality. They are fantastic! As this is a natural skin, each one is slightly unique in shape and size and although we were nervous to place them in our washing machine, so far we have not seen negative effects and they come up like new each time!

A used dirty and matted sheepskin can be transformed into a clean and fluffy one. A new sheepskin with an unpleasant chemical odour or a clean sheepskin with an unwanted pet odour can be made perfectly tolerable by washing.

The cost to have professionally cleaned sheepskin products sometimes does not make financial sense as the cleaning price may come close to the price of a new product.

How to Wash a Faux Sheepskin Rug

Most people had turned to mechanised washing by the end of the 20th century, which means that hand-washing is starting to become a long-forgotten skill. However, it still has its place and effectiveness, especially in the realm of sheepskin rug care.

All you need to do is immerse your rug into cold or lukewarm water, no hotter than 38 degrees-celsius, stir and turn it while rubbing together any especially soiled areas.

Follow the same steps as closely as possible if doing a machine wash. Use a gentle wash on your sheepskin rug or better still, clean it by hand. Afterwards, make sure that you dry it out properly for best results.

Spot Clean Stains Right Away

Dogs, pets and children all love sheepskin but rest assured small stains and light soiling can be spot cleaned easily with a damp cloth and mild detergent. For a more thorough clean, but to gain the best result, dry-cleaning is recommended.

Auskin natural sheepskins can be hand or machine-washed in warm water (40°c/104°f) using a mild liquid detergent that is suitable for hand washing dishes, on a ‘gentle’ wash cycle.

Spot-clean foul-smelling stains with a damp, clean cloth and a mild detergent, blotting the trouble spots with a mixture of detergent and water, then dabbing or rinsing with plain water to flush out detergent residue. Use only cold water and a mild household detergent, such as hand soap or shampoo.

Those closer cropped fleeces of a nurse aid (or baby fleece) or a medical sheepskin,  should never be brushed!

A lot of Skyeskyns fleeces are (machine) washable, although not all so please make sure you check the Skyeskyns stamp on the leather side of your sheepskin, as it will carry washing or dry clean instructions.

Rug Cleaning for Sheepskins – All you need to know

Never treat a sheepskin rug as you would a carpet. Carpet shampoo is one involving upholstery cleaners that are popular not only for cleaning the actual upholstery of the seats with regard to cars, but also the rug of the car. Prior to utilizing the shampoo carpet, use a wet-dried up vacuum cleaner to suck carpeting. This will allow the carpet of dust particles in nice hair, pieces of paper, and fine sand.

Sheepskin is not only used in rugs. It's also used to produce sheepskin leather products and soft wool-lined clothing or coverings, including gloves, hats, slippers, footstools, automotive seat covers, baby and invalid rugs and pelts. Sheepskin numnahs, saddle pads, saddle seat covers, sheepskin horse boots, tack linings and girth tubes are also made and used in equestrianism. Washing instructions vary. Always read the washing instructions provided by the manufacturer and keep them in a safe place for future reference.

The importance of brushing out your rug needs to be stated here. The best way to clean your rug is by brushing the rug every month using a wire sheepskin rug brush to remove any loose wool.

Shake your rug outside after brushing. Sheepskin rug brushes are available to buy in the rug cleaning section. Handwashing is essential for delicate rugs. If you have spilt or stained your rug you may wish to handwash it using a special sheepskin shampoo that helps remove and dirty marks and stains.

Things you need to know BEFORE you wash a sheepskin rug

For hand washing a sheepskin pelt or rug, you can use either a laundry sink or bathtub. Fill the sink full of lukewarm water (90’ to 110’f). Next mix in the prescribed amount of sheepskin cleaner into the water. Gently submerge the rug or pelt into the water. Don’t agitate too much but instead gently move water in and out of the sheepskin rug or pelt’s wool.

The feel of sheepskin underfoot is magical. While synthetic mats can provide an aesthetic appeal, sheepskin rugs provide the full package. Here are five tips you must know before you wash a sheepskin rug.

The easy-care approach to this amazing material might surprise you! Use them sensibly and they don’t demand much care. But, just looking at a sheepskin rug, it’s difficult not to think they need a substantial amount of care.

Take care of your sheepskin rug and don't leave it in a place where dirt will be trodden in. We do not recommend washing sheepskin rugs unless absolutely necessary. If you for any reason you decide to wash your sheepskin rug you may contravene the warranty. Some manufacturers state that they will not be held responsible for any damage caused by the washing process. As with all wool products, shrinkage can (and usually will) occur. After washing the wool fibres may change their appearance, the skin on the back of the hide can also go hard.

Things You Need To Know BEFORE You Wash A Sheepskin Rug

A rug like this will give you a long and valuable life if you:

  • avoid direct sunlight to avoid UV damage
  • shake often
  • promptly attend to any spills and stains
  • never rub, brush or massage the carpet when it is damp or wet.

Sheepskin is not suitable for bathrooms or outdoors, as the constant moisture could damage the leather backing. It’s recommended to dry vacuum regularly.

When cleaning a sheepskin rug it’s important to follow some important guidelines to keep the sheepskin and leather soft and in good condition.

First of all, consider if you need to wash the rug – a good brushing with a sheepskin wire brush, spot cleaning and airing can work wonders.

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. Use only wool grade “gentle” or “mild” detergent.

Hand wash your sheepskin rugs or pillows in lukewarm water. The mild detergent should be something intended specifically for sheepskin. A wool skin wool wash is a good product for this. Make sure to remove the pillow foam from your sheepskin pillow cover first, if at all possible.

How to Wash a Soft “Sheep Wool” Rug

Sheepskin rugs are often made from incredibly-soft sheep wool. While they look a bit intimidating to clean, they’re actually pretty easy to freshen up. So how do you clean a sheepskin rug? There are said to be five main ways to clean a sheepskin rug depending upon how dirty it is and if it is stained.

How often have you or your friends been beguiled by the appearance of a sheepskin rug in a store or online? But, sadly, only to buy it and find that after a few weeks it takes on an inevitable greyish and polluted look? Nobody wants a hide rug that looks like something you dragged out of the melting permafrost and left in the sun near a coal-powered chimney.

With the proper care, a sheepskin rug or bed cover can last a lifetime. But, never subject sheepskin to direct sunlight. Never place sheepskin near a direct flame or intense heat. Sheepskin has a natural ability to resist mildew and ground-in dirt. However, there will come a time that it needs to be cleaned.

How to Dry a Sheepskin Rug

To dry your rug, roll up the sheepskin rug up and squeeze out as much water as you can. Let it drain and then transfer it to a washing machine to gently spin-out most of the excess water.

To dry the sheepskin rug I use a clean towel to lay it on and pull the leather into shape making sure it is flat.

I adore the way that sheepskin can have many different uses. I’ve always been just a little bit in love with sheepskin rugs.

How to Clean a Cowhide Rug – Can You Wash a Cowhide Rug?

Before I go into how I clean my rug, it's important to keep your hide as nice as possible the rest of the year.

Always shake and air your rugs regularly, and wash them sparingly depending how much you like cleaning! At the very least I would suggest that you always include cleaning your sheepskin as part of your spring cleaning regime.

Wash it, and after a good shake suspend it on the washing line or over the fence and ideally beat it as well. Leave it out to air, mother nature is a brilliant deodoriser.

A lot of people are put-off sheepskin rugs because of a perceived difficulty in cleaning them.

However, I've had mine for more than 15 years, and it gets washed at least once every year too.

Summary – Clean Up After Pets

Always clean up immediately after your pets have an accident or cause a mess on your rug.

Shag rug owners need to give a lot of thought to what type of flooring to use in their home. Even if you leave your shoes at the door, floors are havens for dirt and pet hair.

Long, long ago, many moons before sheepskins ever became popular again as rugs I had to learn how to clean them! Owning a horse comes with the benefits (or not) of keeping your kit clean. One of these items that many horse owners use for their horses is a sheepskin. They not only cost a small fortune but are much needed.

So now that you know how to clean your rug, just purchase the right products and equipment and start cleaning away. You’ll love how fresh and bright your rugs will look afterwards! Look out for
discounts and specials on professional services.

Finally, there's perhaps, no better place in the world, to be in than Australia if you want to pick up a premium quality sheepskin rug. These traditional rugs can add a luxurious, rustic air to any room.

However, all our readers should by now appreciate how quickly the distinctively soft and fluffy shag of a sheepskin rug can quickly become stained and matted.

But, this can be largely be avoided with regular maintenance. Timely maintenance and careful use, combined with gentle washing when essential, can avoid turning a golden fleece into a greying eyesore.

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