Real sheepskin rugs are very easy to care for. If washed properly, this item will look like new again. If your rug is small and relatively new, you can use a special sheepskin detergent and wash it in the washing machine on a delicate setting. However, it is best to wash the rug by hand by stirring it in a tub filled with cold water and a special detergent. After drying and combing to remove any creases, the sheepskin rug will be clean and soft again in no time.
Method 1 of 4: Preparing the rug before washing
Step 1. Shake the rug outside to get rid of any adhering dust
Take the rug outdoors, then spread it out on the floor while shaking it to let dust and dirt fall. This method won't remove all the dirt, but it can remove large pieces of dust that may be on the surface of the rug.
Gently pat the rug with your hands to help remove any adhering dust.
Step 2. Brush the rug before washing to remove any creases
This will prevent the sheepskin rug from creasing after washing. Use a regular washing brush or a special brush to clean sheepskin. Clean the entire rug and comb out any tangles.
- A wide-toothed comb can also be used.
- Work carefully and slowly so that the rug is not damaged.
Step 3. Read the label on the rug for recommendations on how to wash it
Your rug will usually have a label on it that tells you how to care for it so that it lasts and stays in good shape. Read the label while looking for recommendations on how to wash the rug, for example, it can be washed by hand, or it can be machine washed on a delicate setting.
- If you can't find the label, don't worry. Wash the rug by hand just in case.
- If the rug is small, or only as big as a doormat, you can machine wash it.
- If the rug is large, it's best to wash it by hand. They can damage your washing machine, and won't be clean enough to machine wash.
Method 2 of 4: Hand Washing Sheepskin Tapestry
Step 1. Fill the tub with water and a special sheepskin detergent
Fill a bathtub or large plastic bucket with tap water. Pour in the special sheepskin detergent. Read the directions on the package to find out the recommended dosage. Do not use regular detergent as it can damage the rug.
If you're not sure how much detergent to use, fill the cup that doubles as the lid for the detergent pack and use it to wash the rug
Keep in mind that soaking the sheepskin rug in water will make it shrink a bit.
Step 2. Soak the rug in water while gently rubbing it
Remove as much dirt as possible on the surface of the rug while moving through the water. You can also scrub the soiled areas with a clean, soft-bristled rug brush. Continue to rub the rug in the water for about five minutes.
Do this process being careful not to wrinkle the surface of the rug
Step 3. Discard the dirty water in the tub, then refill it with clean water
Drain the dirty water in the tub while holding the rug so it doesn't come out. After the dirty water is removed, refill the tub with clean tap water.
Increase the amount of special sheepskin detergent if the rug still looks dirty. However, it's a good idea to increase the amount of detergent little by little to make the rug easier to rinse
Step 4. Stir the rug in clean water to rinse off the soap
Toss the rug in the water until the remaining dirt and detergent are removed. Use your hands to gently rub the rug to make it easier to remove soap and dirt.
If the water looks dirty again, throw it away and refill the used tub. Do this as many times as needed until the water is clear
Method 3 of 4: Using Alternative Cleaning Methods
Step 1. Wash a small rug on a delicate setting in the washing machine using a special sheepskin detergent
This method is effective for rugs that are the size of a doormat. Place the rug in the washing machine and read the detergent package for recommended dosages. Wash the rug on a delicate setting, but don't use hot water.
- Use a detergent specifically designed for sheepskin to prevent damage to your rug.
- Hot water is not good for sheepskin on rugs because it can shrink or harden.
Sheepskin detergent can be purchased online or at a cleaning supply store. This product is usually very thick so you don't need to use it as much as regular detergents.
Step 2. Only clean the dirty area if you don't want the rug to shrink
The rug may shrink if it is soaked. To prevent this, use a clean washcloth and a special sheepskin detergent to wash the soiled area without submerging the entire rug in water. Moisten a washcloth with tap water and detergent, then rub gently in the direction of the bristles. After that, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off the detergent residue.
Continue to rinse your rug and scrub the soiled area until it's completely clean
Step 3. Take the stained rug to a dry cleaner
Washing stained rugs by hand or in the washing machine can damage the color. To avoid this problem, it's best to take your rug to a professional dry cleaner to keep it looking beautiful.
Method 4 of 4: Drying Sheepskin Tapestry
Step 1. Remove the rug from the tub or washing machine and wring it out gently
Place the rug over the tub or sink and wring it out a little at a time to get rid of the water. Be careful not to twist the rug while wringing it out as this can affect its natural shape once it dries.
Keep squeezing the rug until it feels damp and the water is no longer dripping
Step 2. Use a towel to remove any excess water as an alternative to wringing out the rug
If you don't want to wring the rug, take it out of the tub or washing machine and spread it out on the floor. Wipe the rug with a clean towel until the water is absorbed. Keep doing this until the water is no longer dripping.
- Cover the floor with a large towel so it doesn't get muddy.
- You can also try this method after squeezing the water out of the rug to speed up the drying process.
Step 3. Spread the rug out to dry in a warm place
Do not place the rug in an area that is exposed to direct heat, such as in the sun or next to a fireplace or heater. Lay a towel on the floor to absorb excess water, then stretch the rug out until it shows its natural shape. Let the rug dry in this position for a few hours.
- When the rug is dry, the texture will feel stiff.
- Placing the rug in direct sunlight or near a strong heat source can damage its original shape.
Hanging the rug to dry is not recommended as it can stretch the leather.
Step 4. Brush the rug during the drying process to soften it
Some people comb the rug while it's still wet, while others prefer to wait for it to dry. Comb your rug while it's still wet with a large-toothed comb, then comb it again with a special sheepskin brush to make it softer.
A pet comb can also be used to brush dry rugs to make the fur more fluffy
- If the rug is yellowish, washing it will not restore its original color. This is usually caused by sun exposure and the old age of the rug.
- If something spills onto the rug, clean the stain immediately before it dries.
- It's a good idea to wash sheepskin rugs on a sunny day so that they can be dried outside directly (but not in the bright sun).
- Soaking the rug in water will make it shrink.
- Do not dry the rug in the dryer on the tumble dry setting.
- It is very risky to wash sheepskin rugs that are more than 15 years old because the skin breaks easily.
- Never use ordinary detergents to wash sheepskin rugs.