How to Wash / Clean a Sheepskin Rug: The Ultimate Guide

Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to wash and clean a sheepskin rug! Keeping your sheepskin rug clean and well-maintained is essential to preserving its beauty and extending its life. Whether you have a plush sheepskin rug in your living room or a cozy sheepskin throw on your bed, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to care for and clean your sheepskin rug properly.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything from choosing the right detergent and cleaning technique to drying your sheepskin rug and maintaining its fluffy texture. We will also discuss different types of sheepskin rugs, advanced care techniques, and common misconceptions about washing sheepskin. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tips needed to keep your sheepskin rug looking fresh and luxurious for years to come.

Key Takeaways:

  • -Proper care and maintenance are crucial for a sheepskin rug’s longevity.
  • Spot clean for minor stains and a complete wash for deep cleaning.
  • Remove stains without causing damage to the wool.
  • Hand wash your sheepskin rug for delicate care.

How to Properly Clean a Sheepskin Rug

Properly cleaning a sheepskin rug is essential for maintaining its beauty and longevity. In this section, we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to clean a sheepskin rug effectively, ensuring that you choose the right detergent and technique, understand the difference between spot cleaning and a complete wash, and learn how to remove stains without damaging the wool.

Choosing the Right Detergent and Technique

When it comes to cleaning a sheepskin rug, choosing the right detergent is crucial. Look for a gentle, pH-neutral detergent specifically formulated for sheepskin or delicate fabrics. Avoid using harsh chemicals or laundry products that contain bleach or enzymes, as they can damage the wool fibers.

Once you have the appropriate detergent, follow these steps to clean your sheepskin rug:

  1. Gently shake the rug to remove loose dirt and debris.
  2. Fill a basin or bathtub with lukewarm water.
  3. Add the recommended amount of detergent to the water and mix well.
  4. Submerge the rug in the water and gently agitate it with your hands.
  5. Allow the rug to soak for about 15 minutes, ensuring that the entire rug is submerged.
  6. Drain the soapy water and refill the basin with clean lukewarm water.
  7. Rinse the rug by gently agitating it in the clean water.
  8. Repeat the rinsing process until there are no more soap suds in the water.
  9. Gently squeeze out the excess water from the rug, but avoid twisting or wringing it.

Spot Cleaning Vs. Complete Wash

Spot cleaning is a quick and effective way to remove small stains or spills from your sheepskin rug without having to wash the entire rug. Here’s how to spot clean your rug:

  1. Blot the stain immediately with a clean, dry cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  2. Mix a small amount of gentle detergent with water to create a cleaning solution.
  3. Dampen a clean cloth with the cleaning solution and gently blot the stained area, working from the outside in.
  4. Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry with a clean cloth.
  5. Allow the rug to air dry completely.

If your sheepskin rug requires a more thorough cleaning, a complete wash is necessary. This method should be done periodically or when the rug is heavily soiled.

Removing Stains Without Damaging the Wool

Sheepskin rugs are prone to stains, but with the right approach, you can remove most stains without causing any harm to the wool. Here are some tips:

  • Bloodstains: Blot the stain with a cold, damp cloth, then apply a mixture of cold water and mild detergent. Blot the area gently until the stain is lifted.
  • Oil or Grease Stains: Sprinkle cornstarch or baking soda on the stain and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Brush off the powder and gently blot the remaining stain with a cloth dampened with warm water and mild detergent.
  • Food or Drink Stains: Gently blot the stain with a cloth dampened with warm water and mild detergent. Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry.
  • Ink Stains: Dab the stain with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol, working from the outside in. Blot the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove the ink.

By following these guidelines, you can maintain the cleanliness and beauty of your sheepskin rug for years to come.

Washing a Sheepskin Rug Without Ruining It

When it comes to caring for your valuable sheepskin rug, proper washing methods are crucial to maintain its quality and longevity. This section will explore the different approaches to washing a sheepskin rug and provide essential tips to prevent shrinkage and matting. Whether you’re wondering if you can put your sheepskin rug in the washing machine or prefer a delicate hand wash, we’ve got you covered.

Can You Put a Sheepskin Rug in the Washing Machine?

One common question that arises is whether a sheepskin rug can be safely washed in a washing machine. While it’s generally recommended to avoid machine washing to prevent damage, some sheepskin rugs can be machine washed on a gentle, wool-specific cycle. However, it’s vital to check the manufacturer’s instructions or care label before attempting machine washing. Additionally, it’s important to note that machine washing may still carry some risks, such as shrinkage and matting, so proceed with caution.

Hand Wash Method: Step-by-Step for Delicate Care

For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, hand washing is a gentle and effective method for cleaning your sheepskin rug. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure delicate care:

  1. Fill a basin or bathtub with lukewarm water.
  2. Add a small amount of mild, wool-friendly detergent to the water and mix well.
  3. Gently submerge the sheepskin rug in the water and agitate it slightly to remove dirt and stains.
  4. Allow the rug to soak for approximately 10-15 minutes.
  5. Drain the soapy water and refill the basin or bathtub with clean water.
  6. Rinse the rug thoroughly by gently agitating it in the clean water.
  7. Drain the water and carefully squeeze out any excess moisture from the rug. Avoid wringing or twisting.
  8. Place the rug on a flat surface or hang it to air dry, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Preventing Shrinkage and Matting During the Wash

To minimize the risk of shrinkage and matting during the washing process, consider the following tips:

  • Always use lukewarm water instead of hot water to prevent excessive heat from damaging the wool fibers.
  • Choose a gentle wool-specific detergent that is specifically designed for sheepskin rugs and follow the recommended usage instructions.
  • Never use harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can cause irreparable damage to the wool.
  • Avoid vigorous rubbing or scrubbing while washing to prevent the fibers from tangling and matting.
  • After squeezing out excess moisture, reshape the rug gently to its original size and dimensions.
  • Allow the rug to dry naturally in a well-ventilated area to maintain its shape and softness.

By following these washing tips and taking the necessary precautions, you can effectively clean your sheepskin rug and preserve its beauty and softness for years to come.

Drying Your Sheepskin Rug: Do’s and Don’ts

Proper drying techniques are essential to maintain the quality and longevity of your sheepskin rug. Whether you’ve hand-washed or machine-washed your rug, it’s important to follow the correct drying process to avoid any damage. In this section, we will discuss the do’s and don’ts of drying a sheepskin rug.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight and Heat Sources

One of the most important things to remember when drying a sheepskin rug is to avoid direct sunlight and heat sources. Exposing the rug to direct sunlight can cause the wool fibers to shrink, fade, and lose their natural softness. Heat sources like radiators and heaters can have a similar effect, drying out the fibers and causing them to become stiff.

Tip: Place your sheepskin rug in a shaded area away from direct sunlight and heat sources to ensure safe and effective drying.

Effective Air Drying Techniques

Air drying methods are the safest and most effective way to dry a sheepskin rug. Here are a few techniques to consider:

  1. Hang it: Gently hang the rug over a clothesline or a sturdy rack, ensuring that it’s evenly supported to prevent any stretching or distortion. Allow it to dry naturally in a well-ventilated area.
  2. Lay it flat: Lay the rug on a clean, flat surface, such as a drying rack or a clean towel. Flip it periodically to ensure even airflow and prevent any moisture buildup.
  3. Use a fan: Place a fan near the rug to enhance air circulation and speed up the drying process. Make sure that the fan is set to a low or medium setting to avoid excessive airflow that could damage the rug.

Should You Ever Tumble Dry a Sheepskin Rug?

Tumble drying a sheepskin rug is generally not recommended, as it can cause shrinkage and damage to the delicate wool fibers. However, some sheepskin rugs may come with specific care instructions that allow for tumble drying at a low or delicate setting. If the care label or manufacturer’s instructions indicate it’s safe to tumble dry, follow the recommended guidelines closely. Otherwise, it’s best to stick to air drying methods to ensure the rug’s longevity and softness.

By following these do’s and don’ts, you can safely and effectively dry your sheepskin rug, preserving its quality and keeping it in the best condition possible.

Maintaining the Fluffy Texture of Your Sheepskin Rug

Proper maintenance is key to ensuring that your sheepskin rug maintains its luxurious and fluffy texture. Follow these tips to keep your rug looking and feeling its best:

Regular Brushing and Vacuuming Tips

Regular brushing and vacuuming are essential for keeping your sheepskin rug clean and maintaining its fluffy appearance. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Use a soft-bristle brush or a pet brush specifically designed for sheepskin to gently brush the rug in the direction of the fibers. This helps to remove any trapped dirt or debris.
  2. Vacuum the rug regularly using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment. Set the vacuum to a low suction setting to avoid damaging the delicate wool fibers.
  3. Pay extra attention to high-traffic areas, as these are more prone to dirt and debris accumulation. Brush and vacuum these areas more frequently.

Restoring Softness After Washing: The Secret Trick

After washing your sheepskin rug, it may lose some of its softness. But don’t worry, there’s a secret trick to restore its luxurious feel:

After washing, place the damp rug in a tumble dryer on a low heat setting, along with a couple of tennis balls or dryer balls. The balls will help to fluff up the wool fibers and restore the soft texture of the rug. Let the rug dry thoroughly before removing it from the dryer.

Managing Shedding and Keeping the Rug Looking New

Sheepskin rugs can naturally shed some fibers, especially in the first few months of use. To manage shedding and keep your rug looking new:

  • Avoid excessive rubbing or scratching the rug, as this can cause additional shedding.
  • Gently shake the rug outdoors to remove any loose fibers.
  • Regularly vacuum your rug using a brush attachment to capture and remove any loose fibers.
  • Avoid placing your sheepskin rug in direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure can cause fading and damage to the wool.
  • Rotate the rug periodically to ensure even wear and prevent areas of high traffic from becoming worn out.

By following these maintenance tips, you can keep your sheepskin rug looking plush, fluffy, and like new for years to come.

Is Your Sheepskin Washable? Identifying Different Types

When it comes to caring for your sheepskin rug, one of the first things to determine is whether it is washable or not. Understanding the different types of sheepskin rugs and their washability will help you make informed decisions about cleaning and maintenance. This section will guide you through the process of identifying washable sheepskin rugs, understanding the machine wash vs dry clean only labels, and dealing with non-washable sheepskin rugs.

Understanding Labels: Machine Wash Vs. Dry Clean Only

Many sheepskin rugs come with care labels that provide instructions on how to clean them. These labels are important to read and understand to avoid damaging the rug. Look for labels that indicate whether the rug is machine washable or dry clean only.

If the label states that the rug is machine washable, you can safely clean it using a washing machine. However, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding water temperature, detergent, and cycle settings. Proper care will help preserve the quality and softness of the rug.

On the other hand, if the label advises dry clean only, it means that the rug should not be washed in a machine. Dry cleaning is a professional cleaning method that uses solvents instead of water. Take your rug to a trusted dry cleaner who specializes in cleaning sheepskin products. They will have the expertise and equipment to safely and effectively clean your non-washable rug.

Dealing with Non-washable Sheepskin Rugs

If you have a sheepskin rug that is not washable, there are still ways to keep it clean and well-maintained. Regularly vacuuming the rug will help remove dust and dirt, keeping it fresh and reducing the need for deep cleaning. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment and gently run it over the rug in the direction of the wool fibers.

In addition to vacuuming, spot cleaning can be effective for treating stains on non-washable sheepskin rugs. Clean spills or stains as soon as they occur using a mild detergent mixed with water. Apply the solution to a clean cloth and gently dab the stained area, avoiding rubbing or scrubbing. Afterward, blot the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue, and allow the rug to air dry.

The Role of Lanolin in Sheepskin Care

Lanolin is a natural oil found in sheep’s wool, and it plays a significant role in the care and maintenance of sheepskin rugs. Lanolin helps to keep the wool fibers soft, supple, and resistant to moisture. It also acts as a natural barrier against dirt and stains.

To keep your sheepskin rug in optimal condition, it’s crucial to preserve the lanolin. Avoid using harsh chemicals or cleaning products that can strip away the natural oils. Instead, opt for mild detergents specifically formulated for sheepskin or wool products.

Regular brushing of your sheepskin rug can also help distribute the lanolin evenly throughout the fibers, ensuring the rug stays soft and fluffy. Use a sheepskin brush or a soft-bristle brush and gently brush in the direction of the wool to avoid damaging the fibers.

By understanding the washability of your sheepskin rug, reading and following care labels, and considering the role of lanolin, you can ensure the longevity and beauty of your rug for years to come.

Advanced Sheepskin Rug Care: Ensuring Longevity and Softness

In order to maintain the beauty and durability of your sheepskin rug, it’s important to follow advanced care techniques. This section will provide you with valuable tips to protect your rug from UV damage and yellowing, as well as guidance on dealing with excess water during washing. Additionally, we will discuss when it is necessary to consider professional rug cleaning for optimal maintenance.

Protecting Your Sheepskin from UV Damage and Yellowing

Sheepskin rugs can be prone to UV damage and yellowing when exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods. To protect your rug, avoid placing it in areas with excessive sunlight or use curtains or blinds to block the UV rays. If your rug is already showing signs of yellowing, you can gently brush the affected areas with a sheepskin brush to help restore its original color.

Dealing with Excess Water: How Much is Too Much?

When washing your sheepskin rug, it’s crucial to avoid using excessive water. While it’s essential to thoroughly clean the rug, too much water can saturate the wool and affect its natural softness. Use a gentle hand to squeeze out excess water after washing, and carefully reshape the rug to maintain its fluffy texture. Avoid wringing or twisting the rug, as this can cause damage to the fibers.

Professional Rug Cleaning: When to Consider It

While regular care at home is usually sufficient, there may be times when professional rug cleaning is necessary. If your sheepskin rug has stubborn stains, strong odors, or has undergone significant soiling, it’s advisable to seek the expertise of a professional cleaner. They have the knowledge and experience to handle delicate sheepskin rugs and can effectively remove tough stains without causing damage.

By implementing these advanced care techniques, you can ensure that your sheepskin rug remains soft, fluffy, and beautiful for years to come. Protecting it from UV damage, dealing with excess water properly, and considering professional cleaning when needed will help preserve its longevity and maintain its luxurious feel.


In conclusion, properly washing and cleaning a sheepskin rug is essential for its longevity and maintaining its soft and fluffy texture. Throughout this guide, we have covered various aspects of sheepskin rug care, from choosing the right detergent and cleaning technique to preventing shrinkage and matting during the wash. We have also explored effective drying methods, regular maintenance tips, and the importance of identifying the washability of your sheepskin rug.

By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you can ensure that your sheepskin rug remains clean, soft, and beautiful for years to come. Regular brushing and vacuuming, along with the secret trick to restore softness after washing, will help maintain its fluffy texture and prevent shedding. Additionally, protecting your rug from UV damage and yellowing and knowing when to consider professional rug cleaning are crucial steps in advanced sheepskin rug care.

Remember, a well-maintained sheepskin rug not only enhances the aesthetics of your space but also provides comfort and warmth. So, take the time to properly care for your sheepskin rug, and it will reward you with years of luxurious softness and beauty.


Q: How do I properly wash my sheepskin rug to keep it looking great?

A: To clean sheepskin rug at home and keep it looking great, use a mild wool wash shampoo specifically designed for sheepskin. Gently hand-wash the rug in lukewarm water, being careful not to soak the back of the sheepskin. Apply the shampoo sparingly and rub it into the rug with soft motions to prevent damaging the sheepskin fibres. Rinse the rug with as much water as possible until it’s clean.

Q: What’s the best way to dry a sheepskin rug to ensure it stays soft and fluffy?

A: After washing, gently squeeze out as much water as possible without wringing the rug. Lay the sheepskin flat or hang it over a line in a shaded area. Avoid direct sunlight or heat sources, as these can damage the sheepskin. Let the sheepskin dry naturally, and once it’s barely damp, use a sheepskin wool carding brush to fluff up the fibres.

Q: How can I keep a sheepskin rug soft after washing?

A: To keep your sheepskin rug soft and fluffy after washing, gently brush the sheepskin wool with a sheepskin wool carding brush as it dries. This helps to untangle the fibres and restore its natural fluffiness. Additionally, avoid using too much heat or direct sunlight during the drying process as this can make the wool stiff and brittle.

Q: Can I machine wash my sheepskin rug?

A: It’s generally recommended to avoid machine washing your sheepskin rug as it can damage the sheepskin wool and backing. However, if you must machine wash, select a gentle wool wash cycle, use a wool wash shampoo, and place the rug in a mesh laundry bag to protect it. Always check the care label first to avoid any mishaps.

Q: How do I remove stains from my sheepskin rug at home?

A: To remove stains from a sheepskin rug, start by blotting up as much of the spill as you can with a clean, dry cloth. Mix a solution of wool wash shampoo and lukewarm water, and apply it to the stained area with a soft sponge. Don’t rub the stain too hard. Rinse with clean water and let the sheepskin dry as per the instructions above.

Q: What should I do to prevent my sheepskin rug from getting too dirty?

A: To prevent your sheepskin rug from getting too dirty, place it in a low-traffic area if possible. Regularly shake the sheepskin to get rid of dust and debris. You can also vacuum the rug gently using a brush attachment to pick up loose dirt without damaging the fibres. Avoid eating or drinking near your sheepskin rug to prevent spills.

Q: How often should I wash my sheepskin rug?

A: It’s best to wash your sheepskin rug only when necessary, as over-washing can damage the fibres and backing. Typically, a thorough cleaning once or twice a year should be sufficient to keep your sheepskin rug in tip-top condition. Between washings, regular vacuuming, shaking, and spot cleaning can help maintain its appearance.

Q: Can I use regular laundry detergent to wash my sheepskin rug?

A: It’s important to avoid using regular laundry detergents to wash your sheepskin rug, as they can contain ingredients that may damage the sheepskin wool and backing. Always opt for a gentle wool wash shampoo specifically designed for sheepskin and other delicate fibres. This will ensure your rug stays soft, fluffy, and looking great.

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