How to clean a Sheepskin Rug: Get the Expert Advice

Rug Cleaning
Many people are considerably aware that wool is made from the fleece of sheep and is then used to create premium clothing. And most people own wool apparel and appreciate its elegance.

Sheepskin pelts are also made into fine rugs, seat covers, bed underlays, shoes, pillows, bed coverings, among several other things. The versatile qualities of sheepskin make it perfect for these purposes. No human-made or plant-based fibre can match the warmth and appeal of 100% sheepskin.

Sheepskin fibers breathe like no synthetic can, creating a natural thermostatic effect that keeps you warm in winter and cool in summer.

And each fibre is hollow; they can absorb up to 30% of their own weight in moisture without appearing wet (cotton absorbs only 8%).

This helps to keep you dry and warm, regardless of the weather. Sheepskin is impossible to produce synthetically and offers an amazing range of natural qualities:

  • Being attached to the leather, Sheepskin wool does not shed.
  • The Sheepskin material is usually stronger than steel!
  • Sheepskin rugs will last for years with minimal care (brushing, shaking, or vacuuming)
  • Effectively resists pilling, snags, soiling, tears, and wrinkles
  • Drapes elegantly
  • Never sags and can retain its shape.
  • It is wind-proof, water-resistant, static-free, and flame resistant.
  • Sheepskin is basically wool, which is generally known as the least flammable fabric in common use.

Cleaning sheepskin rug isn’t complicated. After reading this article, you will understand why.

Expert Tips for Cleaning a Sheepskin Rug

Dropping your toes into a fleecy, warm sheepskin rug on a cold winter evening is one of life’s great delights. Valued for its coziness, sheepskin has been used for many years to brave the chilly weather – and sheepskin rugs of all shapes, sizes, and colours can be found bringing luxury into homes and premium hospitality settings.

Sheepskin rugs are one of the most elegant choices when it comes to floor décor. So, it’s obvious that people are curious to know how to keep their sheepskin rug in tip-top condition. How can you maintain your sheepskin rug? What to do before washing a sheepskin rug, or should you even wash sheepskin at all?

These are common questions from homeowners who want their beloved fluffy rug to last as long as possible.

Well, we have combined expert tips to help you clean and maintain your Sheepskin the right way. So without further ado, let’s get to the tips!

Before You Wash a Sheepskin Rug

The feel of sheepskin underfoot is magical. While synthetic mats can provide an aesthetic appeal, sheepskin rugs provide the full package.

Here are five tips you must know before you wash a sheepskin rug.

Note: the easy-care approach of this amazing material might surprise you!

1. They Don’t Demand Much Care

Looking at a sheepskin rug, it’s difficult not to think they need a substantial amount of care. They are beautiful, high-quality, comfortable, and plush. You’ll think that your rug would need hours of care and maintenance. Well, no.

Regular vacuuming and shaking are the two most common ways of maintaining a sheepskin rug. You can also brush it so that it keeps looking gorgeous and fluffy.

2. You Can Spot Clean Them

There will be several times when accidents will happen on your valued Sheepskin in the form of spills.

The first thought that may strike your mind is to throw it inside the washing machine. This is where several homeowners make a mistake. Unless necessary, Sheepskin can be spot-cleaned most of the time. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Quickly blot the spill with a piece of cloth. Repeat the process with dry cloths until the stain is completely soaked up.
  2. Moisten a white towel and apply a little amount of sheepskin detergent.
  3. Mildly rub the area with the detergent. Repeat this process until the spill is gone.
  4. Rinse the area well with plain water. Don’t soak; simply rinse the soap out.
  5. Allow it to air dry.

3. Handwashing Is Easier Than You Think

Many people have turned to mechanized washing in recent times. This means Handwashing is starting to become a second option. This is unfortunate, given the effectiveness of this method in sheepskin rug care.

You have to immerse your rug into cold or lukewarm water, not hotter than 38 degrees Celsius. Put a mild wool detergent, and clean your rug wholly in water. You can then remove the additional water by pressing it out using your hands.

4. Use the Washing Machine, if required

Any minor flaws can be taken care of with spot cleaning, but what happens if you’ve spilled wine on your favourite Sheepskin rug? A machine wash can usually be the most suitable way to fix it.

Put your machine in gentle cleaning mode and keep the temperature of water to thirty-eight degrees Celsius. If your machine doesn’t indicate the water’s hotness, then rinse the rug on a cold cycle. Add a little amount of mild wool detergent but no cloth softener.

Once the cycle has completed, you can squeeze the excess water out by hand or let your machine do it gently.

If you don’t feel comfortable washing a sheepskin rug, you can contact a professional cleaning company for the same.

5. Hard Leather Backing is Not Reversible

People may find themselves with a more traditional sheepskin rug and a hard lambskin backing frequently. There is no straightforward method for softening hard leather that has not been taken care of right away.

Aged leather fibers can dry out, and the washing process can place it into a state of shock, which may even lead to the shrinking of those fibers. Even using inappropriate shampoo can result in hard leather.

Fortunately, modern sheepskin rugs from high-quality producers tend to have a more reliable and robust tanning process to limit the possibility of stiff and hard leather. Medical rugs, stroller fleece, and Baby rugs are usually harder than a traditional sheepskin rug due to the unique tanning process.

Always blot your sheepskin rug on the line or flat and away from sunlight and heat. Do not tumble dry or iron.

Effective Ways To Take Care Of Your Sheepskin:

Follow the below rug care tips to keep your sheepskin looking just as lovely as the day you bought it:

Shake it up!

One of the best methods to keep your sheepskin rug looking as good as new is to give it a proper shake from time to time. Frequently ridding your rug of dirt and dust will limit the grime from settling deep down into the fibers.

Brush up

It’s important to make small investments to ensure the long life of your prized Sheepskin rug. Invest in a wide or medium tooth metal toothbrush.

Like keeping your dog looking groomed, brushing your sheepskin rug will help undo the strands and keep it looking downy and fresh. Ensure that you brush the rug’s wool frequently to forestall it from becoming matted.

It’s no fun in the sun.

Sheepskin doesn’t take sunlight very well. So, experts advise keeping it in a shade. UV rays can turn your sheepskin yellow over time, and direct sunshine on the leather could lead to hardening, thus opening up the cracks.

Keep it cool

If you ever need to store your rug, no matter the time, always choose a place that is cool and airy.

It’s pretty easy for Sheepskin rugs to develop moulds by catching moisture. Also, try to keep the folds to a minimum during storage. However, if the leather is still flexible, most creases should vanish with a good shake and a bit of time.

Protect from damp

Be mindful to keep your sheepskin away from wet floors. If the floor is mopped recently, place your sheepskin rug to one side until the floor is thoroughly dry. Wet floors tend to attract black mould or cause the wool to become curly. Remember, moisture and sheepskin never go down well.

Spot clean stains

For small flecks of muck, there’s no obligation to clean the entire rug. If you can, spot the offending speck straightaway and wipe it off with a wet fabric.

You could also use a little wool detergent if required. Alternatively, if you see a mud spot, you can let it dry and brush it off after some time.

Minimize wear & tear

From making your bed extra comfy, warming a cold stone floor, or brightening up a shabby settee, there are several uses for sheepskin fur in your home.

It’s a no brainer that rugs are frequently walked over or sat on and will wear out quicker than those used just for decorative purposes.

Wash only if necessary

With proper care, you may never want to wash your sheepskin rug. But sometimes accidents occur – so if the damage goes past spot cleaning and you do need to give it a full wash, so follow the below handwash guidelines:

  1. Load the tub with lukewarm water.
  2. Add sheepskin detergent.
  3. Sink the rug in water.
  4. Gently stir. Use a mild touch to swish the rug around for three to five minutes.
  5. Drain the dirty water out.
  6. Refill the tub with lukewarm water to clean it. Swish the rub in clean water to eliminate any residual dirt and soap.
  7. Roll up the rug to drain out excess water. Try to press out as much water as possible, but don’t be too hard with your hands.
  8. Put out the rug from the machine and hang it to dry.

How Do You Brush a Sheepskin Rug?

Your first step should always be to shake the sheepskin out thoroughly. This helps to eliminate dirt and dust particles, followed by a good brush.

Use a dog brush or sheepskin wool carding brush from your local pet shop to brush in the fibre’s direction. As sheep wool has dirt resistant qualities (thanks to the lanolin), brushing thoroughly should do most of the cleaning, leaving the rug soft and fluffy.

If the pelt is smelly, spray some baking powder and lightly rub it into the rug, allowing the baking powder to absorb the foul smell.

After a couple of hours, use the vacuum cleaner’s attachment hose to pick up the powder. You can also try grating a few drops of essential oils (eucalyptus or peppermint) into the fibres’ roots where they meet the leather.

Follow any of these methods and see which works, then proceed with it.

Things to Avoid When Cleaning Sheepskin Are:

  • Hot water: This can cause persistent damage by dismantling the natural oil (lanolin) from the pelt, making it extremely hard and rough.
  • Anything that contains an enzyme, say, washing powders or detergents.
  • Sheepskin must not be dried or spun in extreme heat. This will harden and damage the soft pelt.
  • Never under any condition, dry by any means other than those suggested by experts.
  • Exposure to extreme heat or tumble drying will destroy the rug.


The Lanolin in Sheepskin gives the material its self-cleaning and anti-bacterial properties. Although Sheepskin doesn’t require an extensive care routine, if you mess up it’s cleaning, the rug might get damaged permanently.

We understand what your Sheepskin rug means to you, that is why we recommended professional rug cleaning to prolong the life of your prized rug.

Contact Us
close slider