How To Clean A Wool Rug – The Complete Guide


Wool rugs are more than just a comfortable floor covering. They are a beautiful investment that will last for years to come. When they are properly taken care of, wool rugs can last for over fifty years. This article will tell you everything that you need to know about how to clean a wool rug, from performing regular maintenance to deep cleaning to stain removal.

Regular Maintenance For Your Wool Rug

Wool fibers tend to cling onto dirt and dust more than other natural fibers do. That’s why it’s important to vacuum your rug on a regular basis. This will help keep your rug clean, and guarantee that it doesn’t look dusty.

However, it’s also important not to vacuum wool area rugs too often. Wool fibers are known for shedding as they are vacuumed. Vacuuming in a V shape can reduce the damage to wool fibers. The alternating motion doesn’t pull as much on the wool, so there is less shedding.

You should vacuum your wool area rugs twice per month to prevent excessive shedding and remove dirt and debris.

Sweeping your rugs with a broom is another great idea. This does not damage the fibers. However, you should also keep in mind that it does not remove dirt as well as a vacuum.

The best solution is to sweep rugs in between bi-weekly vacuuming to make your rug last as long as possible.

Don’t Forget The Bottom Of The Rug

It’s important not to ignore the bottom of your rug. Once per month, turn your rug over. Thoroughly vacuum the underside of your rug to keep it clean. Make sure that you use the same V shape on the underside of the rug that you use on the top of the rug.

Shake Them Out

If you prefer not to sweep your rug, another great option is to shake out your rug. You can do this as needed. It will not damage the fibers in any way and can work wonderfully to remove large pieces of dirt.

Beat Your Rug

This is an old-fashioned method of cleaning rugs that is still around today. Before vacuum cleaners were invented, people used to beat their rugs to clean them. When homemakers realized that vacuums were pulling at the wool fibers, they began to go back to traditional methods of rug cleaning.

Long ago, people often used a clothesline and a tool called a rug beater. Today, you can still use a rug beater, but other ideas are also effective. You can hang your rug anywhere and beat it with almost anything to remove the dust.

If the weather is going to be clear, hang your rug outside on your porch or over a clothesline. Then, hit the rug with a broom. This will effectively remove dirt and dust from the rug. After that, give your rug a few sprays of Febreze or your favorite air freshener to make it smell as beautiful as it looks.

Rotate Your Rug

Rotating your rug is an important part of maintenance. This guarantees that your rug will experience wear and tear evenly from foot traffic. Rotating large rugs will also make sure that dirt is distributed evenly on your rug. Take the time to rotate your rugs every six months in low traffic areas and every three months in high traffic areas.

Wool Rug Stain Removal

When you get a stain on your rug, it’s important to address the spill immediately. The longer you wait to start using your favorite cleaning solution, the deeper the stain will set into your rug. Rug owners that wait too long will have to hire a professional cleaner to get the stain out.

Avoid Rubbing

Don’t rub a stain to remove it from these rugs. This will push the stain deeper into the rug, making it harder to remove. Instead, always blot away stains to remove them.

Never Use Bleach

Cleaning solutions with bleach can damage the fibers on your rug, make colors bleed, or bleach away color. Even color safe bleach can damage your rug so it does not last as long as it normally would.

Give Mud Time To Dry

Instead of removing mud when it is wet, let it dry first. Dry dirt is much easier to remove from a rug than mud. Most of the time, you can simply beat your rug to remove the dirt.

Soak Up As Much Of The Spill As Possible

Before you start cleaning your rug, it’s important to absorb as much of the spill as you can. Use a paper towel to gently press on the rug. This can remove the excess liquid from the rug. Gently blot the stain with a dry paper towel until it does not remove any more liquid.

How To Clean A Wool Rug With White Vinegar

This method of stain removal is an exceptional idea for removing makeup, dirt, and most food stains.

First, combine one cup of vinegar and eight cups of cold water. Gently stir the vinegar and cold water together until it is mixed thoroughly. Then, add a squirt of gentle detergent. Mix the solution together again.

Use a paper towel to dab the vinegar, soap, and cold water solution onto the rug. Let it soak into the stain for one minute. Dab the solution with a dry paper towel to remove the stain.

After you have removed the stain, make sure that you blot the area with a paper towel until it is dry. Natural wool fibers have little pockets in them. If these are full of water, your wool rug will start to grow mildew.

Use Salt To Absorb Wine And Juice Stains

If you spill dark colored wine or juice on your rug, a little bit of salt can help your heirloom wool rug look new again.

Pour salt onto the rug over top of the stain. After the salt has absorbed most of the spill, scoop the salt off of the rug with a spoon. Then, put a splash of cold water on the area and blot the area dry with a paper towel. If the stain persists, repeat these steps until it is gone.

How To Deep-Clean A Wool Rug At Home

Deep cleaning your wool rug can save you hundreds of dollars. Once you learn how to do this, you’ll never have to call a professional carpet cleaner again.

Avoid Steam Cleaning Your Rug

A lot of people are steam cleaning their rugs now, but that is a bad idea. It puts an excessive amount of moisture into your rug. The heat can damage every individual wool fiber, and make your colors fade faster. If rugs are not thoroughly dried, they will mildew. It can take several days for wool rugs to dry when steamed cleaned. This is one of the biggest don’ts of wool rug care.

Scrub Your Rug With A Gentle Cleaning Solution

Mix equal parts of water and a clear, gentle detergent or your own homemade wool wash. Then, dip a sponge into the cleaning solution. Wring it out so that the sponge is damp.

Then, gently blot the rug, working in sections that are one foot by one foot. As your sponge removes dirt from the rug, it will get dirty. Take the time to submerge the sponge in a bowl of clean water to rinse it out. Wring it out before dipping it in your cleaning solution again. Change the water in the bowl as it gets dirty.

After you are done cleaning one section, use old towels or paper towels to absorb excess moisture. This will remove most of the water that is in your rug. If you have a wet/dry vacuum or carpet cleaner that will vacuum up water, now is a great time to use it. Simply suck up the excess water to help keep your rug dry.

Let Your Rug Dry

Do not leave your rug on the floor to dry. This can prevent airflow to the bottom of your rug, encouraging the growth of mildew. Instead, hang your rug to help it dry faster. You can hang your rug on a clothesline, shower curtain rod, or even the banister of your stairs.

Putting a fan on the rug will help it dry faster. Standard fans will not cause any damage to the wool fibers. Simply sit a fan on the ground and point it at the rug. This can help the pockets full of water dry thoroughly.

It’s important to note that wool has tiny pockets on every fiber. Your rug may feel dry on the outside, but those tiny pockets may still have a small amount of water in them. This wet wool can grow mold. Leave your rug to dry for an extra day after you think it is dry to guarantee that it stays in optimal condition.

Gorgeous wool floor coverings can last until they are passed down to the next generation when they are properly cared for. Read the rest of our blogs to learn more about taking care of rugs before buying your next heirloom rug.