How To Clean a Sheepskin Rug
Sheepskin rugs look and feel amazing when you have just bought it and laid it on the floor, but after a while you notice that the fur has started to matt together and is looking rather flat and dull, however you just aren’t sure how to clean your sheepskin rug.
Sheepskin hides can be tricky to clean, friends may have told you horror stories of how they shrunk theirs in the washing machine or leather back went stiff like cardboard and it was completely ruined, unfortunately we hear this too, from customers who have tried to DIY clean their sheepskin rug in the past but now just bring them to us and “let the experts to do it” as we provide a really thorough rug cleaning service at competitive prices
Sheepskin Hide Cleaning.
Here’s the steps we take to clean a sheepskin rug, plus some hints and tips if you still want to clean one yourself as safely as possible following our instructions.
Please note we don’t advise cleaning your sheepskin yourself as it take time and all the right products and knowledge to get it right. You may also find that you can not replicate some of the steps we take in our purpose built rug cleaning facilities but we have included some information on the steps you can take.
Step 1 – Inspection of the sheepskin rug.
Before you even begin the cleaning process it is good to give your rug a check over, looking for and damage, rips or tears in the hide (leather backing) look for any areas of weakness so you know where to be extra careful during the cleaning process as the rug will be become very heavy whilst wet. If there are any water marks or staining on the hide you’ll find these will remain even after the clean.
Step 2 – Dry Soil Removal.
If you carry out the dry soil steps on a regular basis your sheepskin hide will look fresher for longer before needing a thorough wet clean.Removing the dry soils and grit from deep down within the wool fur is an important step so please do not skip these processes if you are cleaning your sheepskin at home.
Using the nozzle attachment on your vacuum cleaner run the nozzle over the wool from top to bottom or left to right over the rug, You should spend some time on this process to make sure you’ve removed as much as you can.
Brush – You can tease out some of the matted areas of wool fur using a pet brush, you can purchase these brushes from pet shops or online and they aren’t very expensive, you will need to be gentle as if you are brushing a small child’s hair, so not to pull too hard on the wool fur or hide.
Air Dusting –
This step isn’t something you can replicate at home. We use a powerful machine that jets air into the wool fibres and blasts out all the soils and grit at the base of the fibres. This process also helps to loosen tangled and matted fibres.
Beating and Flapping –
If your sheepskin hide is small enough for you to lift you can hang it and beat the back of it to knock out any remaining bits of debris being careful not to damage the back of the rug, do not use anything which sharp corners or edges. Another way to remove the soils is to also give your sheepskin a good old fashioned shake. We use a system where we attach the rug to a set up where several air movers which emulates the shaking process but we can leave the rug for a while to get as much as possible out of the fur.
Step 3 – Wet Cleaning a Sheepskin Hide
Here at Arcadia Rug Spa we have a large soak tank that we can place a sheepskin rug in to, There are pumps that gently push water around the tank which help to gently massage the hide to release more dirts and soils that won’t come out in the dry soil stages. We can leave sheepskin rugs in our tank to soak and the pumps do all the hard work for us circulating the water around and gently agitating the hides as they swish around in the water.
You will need to do this manually if you are washing your sheepskin rug in the bath or in a tub outside. If you are going to clean your sheepskin yourself keeping the water temperature below 30⁰c or a low as possible. High temperatures can cause a vast range of issues from the wool turning yellow and going frizzy to the hide drying out and going hard and even shrinking. We use cold water at all times and also use a very specific product that is suitable for both the wool and the hide, meaning that your sheepskin hide will look and feel great once again. We are ‘Woolsafe’ certified members meaning we are specifically trained in cleaning wool safely.
DO NOT USE…
- Biological Washing Powders
- Vanish or oxi action style products
- Products containing enzymes
You may use a very small amount of non-biological detergent or a wool shampoo specifically designed for wool, to clean your Sheepskin in your bath or a large tub outside. Make sure to massage the cleaning solution in the fur by hand making, covering the whole rug the best you can.
Step 4 – Rinising
You will notice the water in the tub or bath turn dirty, now it’s time to rinse. We have a large fresh water tank that we use to flush the soap and dirty water from the hide, rinsing the sheepskin hide several times to ensure that there is nothing left in the rug, especially any cleaning products we used to clean with as cleaning products, if left in the wool fur will leave a sticky residue that will attract dirts and soils rapidly.
Rinsing at home could be done a number of ways but be very careful with the hide as it will now be very heavy and difficult to handle, however If the hide is small enough you could hang over a washing line and use a hose pipe to rinse the hide please spend plenty of time to make sure it is thoroughly rinsed, or you could rinse in the bath using a shower head attachment to rinse the rug.
We use a powerful pump to push around 90 gallons of water through the wool which rinses the sheepskin very quickly.
Step 5 – Drying your sheepskin
Drying your sheepskin hide after soaking is going to take a long time to dry so make sure this is something you do early in the morning, meaning there is still plenty of warmth in the day to dry the hide.
The best way for you to dry your sheepskin rug is to firsty make sure you have removed as much excess water as possible, then straighten it out flat over something that will allow air to circulate from both the front and back of the rug, this way the rug can drip dry, be sure not to leave it in direct sunlight, if you are able to use a fan it help the air pass over the rug this will help to speed the drying process up, You may also want to use the pet brush to gently brush the wool fur as it dries. It is likely that you will need to leave it for 48hours to make sure it is completely dry and ready to use.
We have special equipment that we use to speed up the drying process firstly we use a centrifuge which spins all the excess water from the hide then it goes into out drying room that has industrial air movers and dehumidifiers that reduce our drying time to less than 12 hours.
Trust the Rug Cleaning Experts
If in doubt please seek a professional rug cleaning company like ourselves that way you will have peace of mind that your precious Sheepskin hide will be thoroughly cleaned safely.
Our instructions are a guide only and although we are giving helpful tips we would always recommend the use of an experienced company as they will have the knowledge, products and professional equipment to clean and dry your sheepskin hide using the correct procedures and it will help to prolong the life of your hide if cleaned correctly.
Damaged caused by incorrect DIY cleaning can be irreversible so please use caution if you are going to try it yourself