How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug

Do you have one or several sheepskin rugs around at home? Kudos to you; sheepskin rugs are super trendy and are a great home accessory that is simply fantastic for a home’s aesthetic. Rugs are a great way to decorate a room, and sheepskins do an amazing job adding a touch of luxury to any space. This is why it becomes essential to know their proper care. But fret not; we will be sharing everything we know about how to clean a sheepskin rug.

Sheepskin rugs seem to be everywhere these days; they are incredibly sought after due to their wool fibers which are super soft, cozy, and nice to the touch. These popular rugs that come from the skins of sheep preserve a natural oil that resists dirt and odors. In addition, sheepskin rugs do wonders to elevate the overall feel of a room inside your home.

However, as much as we love to see them lying around, we do have to make sure we do everything in our power to keep them in optimum conditions. But do not worry; sheepskin rugs are fairly easy to clean. Check out below different ways on how to clean a sheepskin rug.

How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug?

To learn how to clean a sheepskin rug and keep it looking its best, follow the next steps.


Dull knife or spoon
Large sink or tub
Washing machine
White cleaning cloths
Soft-bristled brush
Heavy terry cloth towels
Drying rack or clothesline
Wool wash
Gentle detergent
Baking soda
Paper towels
Hair conditioner


Shake and brush

Take your rug outside and remove loose soil and dirt. Shaking it often will keep dirt and soil from accumulating. Using a soft-bristled brush will help in reducing matting and restore luster.

Vacuum your rug

When you vacuum your rug, you are removing soil and dust. Just make sure you use plain suction, and avoid being too harsh on the fibers.

Take care of stains right away

You should spot treat your rug as soon as spills take place.

Oily stains:

  1. Sprinkle the area with cornstarch; this will absorb the oil.
  2. Let the cornstarch sit on the rug for several hours.
  3. Brush or vacuum away.

Food and mud stains:

  1. Mix wool wash and warm water.
  2. Dip a white cloth in the solution and blot the stained area.
  3. When the stain is gone, blot the area again with plain water to remove any soapy residue.
  4. Allow the rug to air-dry
  5. Lastly, comb to lift fibers.

Use baking soda to reduce weird smells.

Baking soda will leave your rug with a fresh smell again:

  1. Sprinkle the sheepskin with dry baking soda.
  2. Using a comb, work it down into the fibers.
  3. Let the baking soda stay on the rug for a couple of hours.
  4. Shake or vacuum the rug to remove the baking soda.
  5. Comb to lift the fibers.

Read the label before washing.

Some rugs should only be dry cleaned to prevent fading. But if yours says it is machine washable, then you:

  1. Use a front-load washer without a center agitator, cold water, wool wash, and the gentle cycle for the best results.

The most recommended method for cleaning a white sheepskin rug is handwashing. Prepare your washing solution using the correct type of detergent. Wool washes must be free from enzymes that could cause damage.

  1. Go to your tub and mix the wool wash with lukewarm water.
  2. Submerge the rug for around 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the tub and refill with fresh cool water.
  4. Squeeze the freshwater through the fibers.
  5. Drain the tub again until no more suds appear.
  6. Gently squeeze the excess water from the rug, use several heavy towels to absorb as much water as possible from the rug.
  7. Hang the rug from a sturdy drying rack to air dry.
  8. Once the rug is completely dry, gently use a wire brush or comb to untangle any matted fibers.

Characteristics of good quality Sheepskin Rugs

When browsing for the sheepskin rug of your dreams, there are a few features you want to examine.

Wool density and loft

When talking about density, it refers to the number of wool fibers per square inch; this relies on the breed of sheep it comes from. Good quality sheepskin rugs will have a very high wool density. Equally important is the wool loft, which refers to the ability to stay upright and straight. As you may imagine, good rugs will retain their loft while bad quality ones may flatten quickly, or their fibers may become curly or tangled.

Wool length

Premium-grade rugs must possess the required length, which is a minimum of 65 mm.

Color of the wool

You’ll want to go for the rug that presents a nice, natural ivory tone, unmarred by stains or discolorations in the underlying wool.

Feel of the wool

This is perhaps the feature that everyone loves about sheepskins; your sheepskin rug should have a soft, silky feel. It should be enjoyable to the touch with a comforting appearance and that lusciously soft texture.

Leather quality

You want the underside of your sheepskin rug to be equally high quality. It would be best if you opted for strong leather yet supple and free from any odors, cracks, holes, or other flaws.

How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug & Sheepskin Rug FAQ’s

Difference between natural sheepskin rugs and faux sheepskin rugs?

Natural rugs retain a natural oil that resists dirt and odors; wool is flame retardant up to 1,112 degrees F, sustainable, and biodegradable.
While faux sheepskin rugs are manufactured from petroleum-based synthetic fibers to imitate the look of natural sheepskin.

What is the difference between a sheepskin rug and a woven wool rug?

Typically sheepskin rugs are made from skins with finer and softer wools compared to those in woven rugs. Sheepskin rugs basically come from the skins of sheep with the wool fibers that have prevailed in their natural state and are then indelibly rooted during the tanning process to the skin.

On the other hand, Wool rugs are fabricated from more resistant carpet wool fibers woven or injected into a backing material. They use wool types that are strong and suitable for walking on, and complex patterns can be designed in the weaving process.

What is tanning?

Tanning is a technique in which products, in this case, rugs, are preserved. It involves steps that maintain the natural fiber’s color, shape, and construction.

How are sheepskins tanned?

The sheep’s skin is immersed in a formula to bond the collagen proteins present in the skin. Tanning has been practiced for thousands of years to preserve the natural wool fleece and retain the adhesion and longevity of the leather.

Why are white sheepskin rugs slightly yellow?

Some manufacturers do not retain the natural color; instead, they enhance it, which results in a natural ivory shade with a creamy yellow hue.

Are sheepskins bleached?

Sheepskins are not bleached in the way that fabrics are bleached to achieve a white color. Minimal bleaching is used during the washing process to protect the softness of the fiber. Sometimes the tanning process can result in a ‘whitening effect’ on the wool fibers.

What is the difference between a sheepskin rug and a lambskin rug?

A lambskin rug is made from the wool of a sheep that is less than 12 months and has not yet grown incisor teeth; it is also known as baby wool. The wool has generally not been shorn by the farmer and still has the original soft wool tip.
Sheepskins rugs are the opposite; these are made from seeps older than 12 months and have developed incisor teeth.

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