How To Care For And Clean A Sheepskin Rug

Sheepskin rugs are natural furnishings that make any room look luxurious. This expensive decor piece can often reach well over $1,000, depending on the size you need, notes Arhaus. They come in a variety of colors and fiber textures. While sheepskin rugs are known for being white, they are also available in brown, black, and gray — there are even curly ones.

As the name implies, these rugs are made of genuine sheep skin with the wool still connected. To keep the fibers from falling off, they are tanned with a preservative, according to Fibre By Auskin, which also protects the color and shape of the rug. These skins are usually leftovers from the food industry, so using them for rugs doesn't cause any additional environmental damage, explains Jacobs & Dalton. If they weren't used this way, they would end probably up in the trash. Thankfully, your sheepskin rug can last for a lifetime if you maintain it regularly and clean it properly.

Sheepskin rug care

Everyone knows rugs need to be cleaned, but since sheepskin rugs are made of natural materials, you also need to care for them in other ways. The first way is by choosing where to place it in your home. The worst room you could put it in is the bathroom. Leaving it in a damp area will cause the fibers to curl and mold to grow, according to Hide Rugs. Sunlight is another thing to keep your rug away from, as it can damage the suede and fade the color of the wool.

Occasional brushing of the rug fibers is also necessary. It fluffs the wool, restores the pile, and removes any dust. Do this by first shaking the sheepskin outside. Then use a metal, wide-tooth brush to rake through the rug — you can find these at the pet store since they're also used on dogs. Vacuuming your rug should be done at least once a week. Rugs Direct explains that you need to set your vacuum to suction only, and if this isn't possible, you should use the upholstery attachment.

How to clean your rug

The best way to wash your sheepskin rug is by spot-cleaning it as needed. You won't have to wash it frequently if you're caring for it properly. Wilson & Dorset explain that these rugs contain lanolin in their fibers, a waxy coating that stops dirt and liquids from staining by causing them to slide off the wool. Since it occurs naturally it also prevents allergens from growing in the fibers.

To spot-clean your sheepskin rug, blot the dirty area with a damp cloth. If that doesn't remove the stain, you can run cold water over that part of the rug. Soak up any excess liquid with a towel and leave it to dry out of the sun. When neither of those methods work, you can dry clean it or use your washing machine. However, you should only put it in a washing machine if the back is leather, not suede. Set your appliance on a gentle cycle with warm water, and use a mild liquid detergent. Once it's clean, don't put it in the dryer. Instead, hang it outside for a couple of days to completely dry. Just make sure it is out of direct sunlight.