How To Clean A Wool Rug

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A wool rug is a beautiful, high-quality addition to any home. But with all the spills and dirt that come with daily life, it’s not always easy to keep your wool rug looking its best.

That’s why we put together this list of tips on how you can clean your wool rug in no time at all so it looks like new again. Keep reading to find out more. 

How to clean a sheepskin, shaggy or wool rug
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Steps to cleaning a wool rug

Follow these steps to clean your wool rug in an hour or less.

Make sure the rug is dry

Whether you are cleaning a carpet or a rug, the first step is to ensure that the rug is dry. Wool is very absorbent and will easily hold onto liquids, making it harder to clean once wet. If there are any traces of moisture in the rug, the water-based shampoo you are using could discolor your rug or even cause mildew to form if allowed to stand for too long.

Before you begin cleaning, check that your rug is completely dry by pressing a sheet of white paper against the surface. If any color transfers from the rug onto the paper, wait until your rug has fully dried before continuing with these steps.

Mix dish soap and warm water together

The next step to clean a wool rug is quite simple – mix 1/4 cup dish soap with 2 cups warm water in a bucket or bowl. If you want, you can also add a little dish soap directly to the rug itself (be sure not to use too much as this will not help your rug and could even cause permanent damage).

Scrub the dirt away

Use a brush or cloth to scrub any stubborn stains or debris from your wool rug. You may need to dip your brush, rag, or sponge into the soapy water several times during cleaning as wool is very absorbent and will soak up all of the liquid. Be careful not to rub too roughly as this can cause sagging in the fabric and even lead to tears. Avoid using harsh chemicals whenever possible as these can damage both wool and dyes – if you must use bleach, be sure that it’s diluted and never use it on wool rugs that do not have colorfast dyes.

Use a small amount of the soap mixture and scrub the carpet gently in a circular motion. If your rug is still dirty after one cleaning, allow it to soak for 10-20 minutes before repeating this step.

Rinse the excess soap with clear water

Once you’ve finished scrubbing away any dirt or debris from your wool rug, use a cup to pour clean water over the surface of the rug until all traces of shampoo are gone. The wool fibers will absorb some of the liquid so be sure to continuously add fresh water as you rinse out the soap residue, being careful not to let any remain on your floor. Use a towel to remove the excess water and allow your wool rug to dry completely.

Allow your rug to air-dry before using it again

Once you’ve cleaned all of the shampoos from your wool rug, be sure that it has had plenty of time to completely dry before placing any weight on it. This may take several hours or even a day depending on how wet your rug was when you started cleaning. If in doubt, leave the rug out for a few days until there is no sign of moisture left – this is better than accidentally damaging your rug by allowing mildew or mold to form in damp fibers.

Once dried, use a brush or vacuum cleaner with a lint-free cloth to remove any remaining debris from the surface of your rug.

Avoid these mistakes

Cleaning a wool rug is probably easier than you think but it can be very easy to make mistakes that will leave your beautiful carpet looking dull and even damaged if care isn’t taken. Follow these tips on how to clean a wool rug really well.

Never use bleach on your wool rug 

Never use harsh chemicals, such as ammonia or acetone, on your wool rugs – they can discolor or damage both the fibers and dyes used in their construction. Only use non-toxic soaps designed for cleaning carpets and rugs on them instead.

Don’t rub too hard while scrubbing

Light pressure is all that’s required to remove dirt from your wool rug. Moreover, too much pressure can damage the fibers in your rug.

Always clean a wool rug from the opposite side of its nap 

If you begin cleaning by pulling your brush or rag across the surface of your rug, you may end up causing it to form uneven loops that look unsightly. Always work against the direction of the pile, when possible, and finish with at least one pass in the same direction as the nap (this will help return any loops to their original state).

Give each section enough time to dry before continuing

Never do more than one section of your rug at once – allow every part to dry completely before adding another load of water or soap to it. If moisture remains on your wool rug after rinsing, mildew or mold may form.

Never let a wet rug dry on its own

Always make sure you have access to a fan or dehumidifier if necessary before leaving your carpet to dry after cleaning. Moisture leads to mildew and other problems that will leave your rug looking frayed and faded even after extensive scrubbing.

How To Clean A Wool Rug – FAQ

What are the two types of wool rugs?

There are two general types of wool rugs. The first type is woven, using flat strips of cloth that are combined into a cohesive whole by weaving them together. This produces a ‘flatweave’ rug, which does not have any pile on it. These rugs are generally very delicate and should be cleaned only by a reputable cleaning expert or conservator unless you know what you’re doing.

The second type of wool rug almost always has a pile – it consists of yarns that have been knotted together to form 8-bit or 16-bit loops which stand up from the backing material on the backside of the rug.

What is a loop pile?

A loop pile rug consists of yarns that have been knotted together to form one or more loops on the backside of the rug, facing away from your feet when you stand on it. The classic oriental carpet has three or four rows of double-face knots in each square inch (ca. 15/inch). Each knot contains two lengths of yarn. One length defines all of the warp elements – these are pulled under and through the fabric backing and wrapped around a weft thread in an over-and-under fashion to form a single stitch.

How to Clean a Wool Rug
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How can I sanitize carpets?

If you want to sanitize a carpet, you need to clean it first, then treat it with an appropriate antimicrobial agent.

Cleaning is the very first step of carpet sanitation. Carpets are dirty and not all of this dirt is visible to the human eye. Soap and detergent residues, soil particles (both organic and inorganic), bacteria, fungi spores, animal dander, and other potentially harmful contaminants can all build up inside your carpet over time. You should think of cleaning as removing both visible stains and invisible dirt.

There are two basic methods for cleaning carpets – dry extraction (shampooing) or steam cleaning (hot-water extraction). Dry extraction methods include truck-mounted operations using vacuum equipment; portable machines are available for spot cleaning. Do-it-yourself home units are also available. Steam cleaning equipment is usually associated with professional carpet cleaners but may be found in some dry cleaners’ shops as well.

A good irrigation/shampooing will remove much of the dirt and soil that builds up inside a carpet over time, help to restore its luster, prevent it from deteriorating further, eliminate odors arising from accumulated dust, debris, and bacteria – all without damaging or weakening your carpet’s fibers or structure.

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Final thoughts on how to clean a wool rug

In conclusion, wool rugs are beautiful, durable works of art that can last several generations when carefully cared for. Always keep in mind how delicate these carpets are while cleaning them and be sure to read the label on any products before applying them to your rug.

This will help you learn how to clean a wool rug without causing harm to it or ruining its appearance. Once you’ve finished, enjoy your beautifully cleaned carpet.

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