Wool rugs are a comfortable, warm, and natural addition to homes and rooms across the world. The thick and plush fibers of all-natural wool pad and protect your feet and floors, adding a layer of rustic sophistication to any room, but these natural and original wool masterpieces are difficult to clean and scrub thoroughly without causing damage.
Like any textile or wool rug or carpet, the constant exposure to moisture, mildew, and the daily mud and muck people track in can leave stains, tears, and others caked-in areas of grime and gunk that are impossible to remove or treat without causing more problems. Removing scum, stains, dirt, and other damage and issues may feel next to impossible.
We Are Here To Help You!
Our expertly designed walk through will take you through the best way to wash a wool rug. We’ve researched, tested, and tried out a number of different popular and technical cleaning solutions to create this top-notch guide to the best way to clean a wool rug.
Before You Begin – The Materials You Need:
- Spray Bottle
- Distilled Water
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Gentle Wool Wash Sponge
- Wool Cleaner
Vacuuming a Wool Rug
The first step to keeping your wool rug clean and fresh is going to be regularly cleaning off any dust, dirt, or debris that gets tracked in and comes to rest on the exterior of your rug. Enforcing shoes-off in your home is probably the easiest way to prevent long-term damage to your rug, but dirt will find a way to build up no matter what you manage to do, so you’ll want to invest in a good vacuum cleaner right away. Pick a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or a textured, built in bar that is designed to suck up and filter out embedded dirt or dust. Start in the center and work your way outward, vacuuming slowly and in a cross-hatch pattern to pick up the most gunk.
As you vacuum, you might notice a lot of fibers beginning to come off the top of your rug. Don’t worry- this is completely normal. Many wool rugs shed fibers heavily in their first few months of use, and they’re designed with extra fibers to keep that in mind. The way your wool rug is woven causes it to shed a few different top layers of fibers but it won’t become bare or worn out no matter how often you vacuum it. Plan to vacuum at least twice weekly and every time you prepare to begin a deep clean for best results and long-term maintenance of your wool rug health.
Scrubbing A Wool Rug
The next phase of cleaning your wool rug involves scrubbing away those caked-in stains or crumbs that just don’t seem to fall out, as well as any dirt or moisture that’s been collected from the surrounding atmosphere. This dirt can seem invisible, but when you run some cool water over your rug you’d be surprised at just how much gunk seems to fall out. A regular scrubbing should be done once in two months or so to prevent long term damage to your rug.
Begin by taking your rug outside and hitting it with your broom to knock loose any determined dirt that’s anchored itself into the fabric. You can also remove and air out your rug pad during this time and give the floor underneath it a quick wash while your rug is being swatted clean. Once dirt stops falling from the fibers, you can bring it to your driveway or concrete patio to begin cleaning it. Start by filling a bucket with a small amount of cool water and a wool wash such as Woolite, or if you prefer, a homemade wool detergent. Concentrate your wool wash to create a more powerfully acting scrub.
Next, dip a sponge into your detergent mixture and get to work scrubbing the most visibly dirty and stained parts of your rug. Use gentle pressure and work in small grids, taking care not to oversoak your wool rug while also gently working in the soap and scrubbing debris out. Rinse your sponge out frequently and then go over cleaned areas with a damp sponge to take away excess soap. Blot dry your scrubbed areas with towels and hang to dry.
Washing a Wool Rug
Washing your wool rug is a delicate task, as wool fibers are very absorbent. You can’t just pour water on top of your rug or the netting that holds the wool together will start to dissolve.
For washing a wool rug, mix up a diluted wool detergent such as Woolite with cool water, putting in more water than if you were simply scrubbing out parts of your rug. Take a sponge and slowly press soap and water into the entire surface of the rug, being careful not to oversoak your rug but covering every part of your rug.
Next, fill a spray bottle with water and mist the entire rug with a thin layer of water.
Then, take a dry sponge and press it over the entire rug, soaking up any water, soap, or moisture and leaving behind as dry a surface as possible. You can also use rugs or towels to blot up the water, as long as you get as much of it out of the rug as possible.
For larger rugs, you can invest in a steam cleaner to help you clean more surface area faster.
Once you’re finished, hang your rug carefully up to dry and let it rest for a day or two until the entire rug fabric feels completely dry.
Removing Stains from Wool Rugs
Stains are inevitable, but if you approach them carefully you can clean them out of your rug without a lot of hassle or problems. First off, you should never directly apply a commercial stain remover to your wool rug unless it’s one especially designed for wool fabrics, such as the ESR Emergency Stain Rescue. Stain removers can be excessively soapy and harsh, causing color leaching and other serious problems or even more long-term stains on your rug.
Blot out stains with a concentrated and diluted wool-specific stain removing solution or gentle wool wash to ensure safe removal of all stains. Never, ever rub them- all you’re doing is pressing your stain deeper into the rug fibers, making it harder to remove it in the long term. With careful blotting and treatment, you can make sure your rug stays in pristine condition for a long time!
Wool rugs are beautiful and stately additions to your home, but they require some extra TLC in order to stay in top condition. Through careful and gentle treatment, you can ensure your rug is healthy, clean, and plush for many years to come and that it can continue to serve as a comfortable centerpiece in your home.