How To Clean A Wool Rug: Care, Stain Removal & What Not To Do

Wool rugs, made from fibers that are stain resistant and naturally antibacterial, make a great accent for any room. They’re also low maintenance. Our guide to cleaning a wool carpet will help you maintain its beauty and freshness for many years.

How Often Should Wool Rugs Be Cleaned?

Wool rugs should be cleaned about once a year, depending on how much they are used. Wool is known for its ability to resist stains and bacteria, but as with any rug it can get dirty over time.

Some wool rugs will last longer between cleanings if they are used in low-traffic areas of your home such as the office, laundry room, or any other area with little traffic. Wool rugs with a lot of foot traffic should be cleaned more frequently, particularly if they are near the entrances, where people tend to track dirt in their shoes.

What You Will Need

Are you ready to start? You’ll need the following tools and supplies to make your wool rug look as good as new.

  • Vacuum
  • Brushes, brooms or rug beaters in hand-size
  • Fill two buckets with cool water
  • Wool-friendly detergent
  • Two sponges
  • Small absorbent towel
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Fans or clotheslines

Wool Rug Cleaning Instructions

After you have gathered all your supplies, it’s time to start! This section outlines a general cleaning and maintenance process for wool rugs. As with all rugs and unique pieces, these steps may vary. Be sure to read the tag for the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Step 1: Prepare the cleaning area

Pick a sunny, warm afternoon to clean your rug. No sun? No sun? Choose a room that has easy-to-clean floors resistant to moisture.

Step 2: Vacuum, shake or beat out any remaining dirt

Shake it out. If the rug is too heavy or large to be shook out, you can hang or drape it and beat out dirt in sections. Then, use an open extension to vacuum the remaining dirt, rather than using a rollerbrush, which can damage or catch the fibers.

Step 3: Mix and apply detergent

Mix the detergent in one of the buckets. Use a product that is approved for wool and mix it according to the instructions. When using a homemade product, make sure to research the ingredients to ensure that they are safe for use on wool.

Step 4: Scrub in sections, rinse and blot.

Apply small amounts of cleaning solution to the sponge in sections. Wring the sponge regularly. After cleaning the rug with the first sponge, use the bucket of fresh water to rinse out the cleaner. Remove as much liquid as you can by blotting the rug with a small cloth after rinsing.

Be careful not to over-use liquid. It’s not about soaking the rug, but dampening it.

Step 5: Deodorize & air dry

Hang or drape your rug outside in the sunlight (if you are doing this). You can also place the rug next to a blower or in direct sunlight. You can also use a deodorizer that is made for wool or mix equal parts of vinegar and water. Let it air dry completely.

How To Spot Clean A Wool Carpet & Remove Stains

To remove a stain, you should act as quickly as possible and allow it to dry as little as possible. To begin, absorb as much spillage as possible with a rag or towel. Be careful not to push the stain into the fabric. Gently scrub with a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and distilled water. Finally, wipe away any residue with a wet cloth to remove.

If the stain persists, coat the area with baking soda before spraying the vinegar solution. This will cause a foaming action that may help remove the stain. After you scrub it off, rinse it with clean water. Let it dry.

Wool is a durable fiber, but it can be damaged by many synthetic chemicals or cleaners. Check the cleaning label and rug tag for any precautions or recommendations.

How To Clean Wool Carpet

The five-step wool rug cleaning process is the same for wool carpets. Air drying is less efficient for a wool rug because you cannot hang it.

Here is a short list of the steps to cleaning wool carpets. See the rug cleaning steps for a more detailed explanation.

  1. Vacuum thoroughly.
  2. Scrub in small sections with your favorite wool-safe soap.
  3. Use a second sponge to rinse out the detergent. Fill a bucket with clean water.
  4. To absorb excess moisture, use a towel.
  5. Spray a deodorizer that is safe for wool or a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water.
  6. Use a fan to dry the room. If you have a large space, use multiple fans. Open windows to encourage air circulation.

As carpets tend to retain moisture it is important not to use too much water or cleaner as this can lead to mildew.

Wool Rug Care Tips

You can prevent professional rug restoration by treating your rug well every day. Here are some simple tips that you can use to protect your rug.

  • Implement a policy of “no shoes under the rug”.
  • Remove shoes from the entryway, particularly if you are using the rug to decorate the space.
  • As soon as you notice stains, clean them immediately.
  • Keep all food and beverages away from your rug.
  • Vacuum at least every two weeks.
  • Avoid exposing your rugs to harsh chemicals or moisture.
  • Give your pets beds, blankets, or soft places to lay down.
  • Avoid placing furniture with sharp, small feet or heavy furniture on top of rugs.
  • Place rugs in places with little foot traffic.
  • Store unused rugs, if you are changing rugs every season, in a climate-controlled, dry place, such as a linen cupboard.
  • Rotate the rotors at least twice a year to encourage even wear.

Wool rugs can last for decades with proper care and cleaning.

Wool Rug Cleaning Mistakes

Wool rugs are durable but can still be damaged if not cared for properly. You can make these care mistakes even if you’re familiar with how to wash wool rugs.

  • Using harsh cleaners. Use gentle detergents, or natural alternatives like vinegar diluted.
  • Cleaning too little. Maintaining your wool rug over the long term requires biweekly vacuuming, and an annual deep clean.
  • Cleaning too much. You can damage your rug by overcleaning.
  • Too much water or cleaner. Wool is a material that retains a lot of moisture. If it takes too long for the wool to dry out, mildew may start to form.
  • Abrasive vacuuming. Avoid using the roller wheel on a household vacuum cleaner and instead opt for an attachment with a low suction setting.
  • Use a powder or dry cleaner. These cleaners can cause flakes to get stuck into the fibers. Instead, use a light liquid cleaner.
  • Steam cleaning. Steam cleaning is not only bad for wool, it can also cause mildew to grow.
  • Hiring a professional is not necessary. If in doubt, bring your rug to an expert!

All fabric types require different cleaning methods. While DIY cleaning won’t replace professional deep-cleaning, it will allow you to perform essential maintenance to keep your floor decor in good condition for years to come.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *