How To Clean A Sheepskin Rug

Sheepskin rugs are beautiful when new, but after a while, they’ll get dirty from everyday use. They can be a challenge to clean, because it’s like having to clean a wool rug and a leather rug, all at once. But with our guide on how to clean a sheepskin rug, you’ll handle it like a pro. 

But once you know what to do, all it takes is a few steps and the right products. So let’s look at the top ways you can clean a sheepskin rug. We’ve included methods that use professional products, as well as products you probably already have in the home.

What this article covers:

How To Clean A Sheepskin Rug At Home

how to clean a sheepskin rug

There’s no doubt that professional products are always the best choice for cleaning specialty rugs like sheepskin. But sometimes you need to clean a sheepskin rug, or clean a shag area rug, and don’t have carpet care products to hand. 

There are products you may already have in the home that you can use, too. Most household detergents can be too harsh and may even damage your rug, so it’s important that you only use the method we’ve listed below. 

You will need the following items:

  • Cornstarch (optional)
  • Baking soda
  • Carpet brush (a pet grooming brush can work if necessary)
  • Vacuum

Step 1: Treat Any Oil-Based Stains

If you have any oily stains on your sheepskin rug, sprinkle them with some cornstarch. This will soak up any residual oil in the stains.

Step 2: Apply Baking Soda To the Rest Of The Rug

Apply a generous amount of baking soda to the surface of the sheepskin rug. Use the carpet brush to spread it through the fibers. Ensure that the entire wool surface is covered.

how do you clean sheepskin rugs

Step 3: Let It Sit

Let your sheepskin rug sit for at least two hours. or even better, overnight. This will give the baking soda time to lift odors out of the sheepskin rug fibers. 

Step 4: Vacuum

Vacuum up the baking soda and cornstarch (if used) with a handheld vac or regular vacuum. Don’t use a turbo vac as it will be too strong for the delicate fibers.  ensure that you remove all of the baking soda/cornstarch. 

Step 5: Brush The Fibers 

Use the carpet brush to fluff up the fibers after you have vacuumed. Your sheepskin rug will look fluffy and smell fresh, again. It’s possible to freshen and clean a faux fur rug in this way, too.

What Is The Best Way To Clean A Sheepskin Rug?

Whenever possible, opt for the professional method of cleaning your sheepskin rugs. Professional carpet chemicals are formulated for delicate carpets like sheepskin rugs. There are tailor-made products designed for specific fibers. So, you can clean your rug without fear of damage.

how do you clean a sheepskin rug

They will always be more effective than household detergents or cleaning hacks, especially for cleaning silk rugs, or even for cleaning a cowhide rug. Using the right carpet care products will also increase the longevity of your sheepskin rug.

You will need the following items:

  • Stain remover that’s suitable for wool and a soft cloth (optional)
  • Carpet detergent that’s safe for wool
  • Water
  • Carpet cleaning machine that sucks up water as it cleans
  • Carpet brush or rug rake

how to clean sheepskin rugs at home

Step 1: Apply Stain Remover If Necessary

If there are any stains on your sheepskin rug, use a wool-safe stain remover. You may use this to either spot clean with a soft cloth before machine cleaning, or add it to the carpet machine cleaning solution. 

All of our stain and spot removers are compatible with our other carpet detergents. The best one for stubborn stains on natural carpets, though, is Super Gel

how to clean sheepskin rug at home

This product removes even oily and greasy stains from both natural and synthetic carpet fibers. That makes it safe when cleaning sisal rugs and for cleaning a jute rug, too. Use as directed on the bottle. 

Step 2: Add Detergent And Water To The Carpet Machine Tank

Add the carpet detergent along with the water to your carpet cleaning machine. Only use a product that is indicated safe for use on wool carpets, rugs, or upholstery. Follow the dosage instructions for wool fibers, on the packaging. 

Our Formula 99 Empowered Rinse is safe on all fibers, including wool at the correct dosage. This product can also be used with cold, lukewarm, or hot water. It is a liquid rinse that will not damage your carpet cleaning machine tank in any way.

 how to clean a sheepskin rug at home

Step 3: Use Carpet Machine On Sheepskin Rug

Only use a carpet machine that sucks up the water as you clean. If you do not have one, you may buy one from us. However, it is also possible to hire one from many places online. 

This type of carpet machine will ensure that your sheepskin rug is not left too wet after cleaning. You can use this method when cleaning a wool rug but always check the care instructions first.

Step 4: Allow To Dry 

Open all the windows for ventilation, and allow the sheepskin rug to dry completely. Although the carpet machine will have removed most of the water, there will still be a fair amount of moisture in the fibers. If necessary, hang your rug up somewhere it can air dry. Avoid hanging it in direct sunlight, though.

Step 5: Use Rug Rake/Carpet Brush

Once your sheepskin rug is fully dry (check with your fingers, right down in between the fibers), use the carpet brush/rug rake to fluff up the fibers. 

Sheepskin Rug Maintenance Tips

dry clean sheepskin rug

In many ways, it’s easier to clean an area rug, because you can move it to another location and clean and dry it. But because sheepskin rugs require more care than, for example, cleaning a polyester rug, you need to do some regular rug maintenance.

This will limit the need for intensive cleaning, and ensure that your rug looks good at all times. There are carpet care items designed just for this purpose. But you can also extend the life of your sheepskin rug by following the maintenance tips below.

Tip #1: Keep It Out Of The Sun

To keep a natural sheepskin rug looking vibrant, avoid placing it in direct sunlight. UV rays can damage the hide and fade the fibers.

Tip #2: Give It A Shake

Regularly take your sheepskin rug outside and give it a good shake. Loose dust and dirt will fall off, and the wool fibers will fluff up a bit.

Tip #3: Rake Your Rug

Sheepskin fibers, like any animal fur, get matted with continual walking over them. Using a wool carpet comb, rug rake, or even a dog comb if that’s all you have, will reduce the matting of the sheepskin fibers. 

Tip #4: Vacuum

how to clean lambskin rug

Regular vacuuming is still the simplest way to keep rugs and carpets clean. But when you vacuum a sheepskin rug, use the gentlest vacuum mode possible to avoid damaging the fibers.

Tip #5: Treat Stains As They Occur

If you have accidentally spilled something on your sheepskin rug, try to clean it up right away. Leaving spills too long may leave bad d stains on your rug. 


Sheepskin rugs demand more specialized care than your everyday carpets, but with the right know-how and products, you can keep them fresh and beautiful. 

The key is to maintain them, and clean them before they get too dirty. Contact us if you need advice about the right carpet-cleaning chemicals and tools for your specialty rugs.

How To Clean A Sheepskin Rug (FAQs)

Can you dry clean a sheepskin rug?

Dry-cleaning a sheepskin rug is not only possible, but it’s also usually recommended. Dry cleaning is often the cleaning method of choice for delicate area rugs. When in doubt as to how you should clean a specialty area rug or wool rug, you can safely go for dry cleaning. 

Can you use bleach on a sheepskin rug?

Never use household bleach on a sheepskin rug, as it can damage wool fibers. It can also damage the leather backing of a sheepskin rug. Household bleach is not suitable for any carpet or rug cleaning. 

Can you use hydrogen peroxide on a sheepskin rug?

You can use a mild hydrogen peroxide solution (4%) to spot and treat stains on sheepskin rugs. Spray onto the rug stain, but do not soak the rug. Vacuum after ten minutes with a wet/dry vac to remove any residual moisture.

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