Knowing how to clean sheepskin rugs is considered an art! Why is that so? Well, cleaning these unique rugs can be compared to cleaning wool and leather at the same time; two very tricky materials.

How to Clean Sheepskin Rugs

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However, this does not mean that it is entirely impossible to clean sheepskin rugs. More so, you don’t have to hire cleaning professionals and experts to wash the rugs for you. You can still maintain the cleanliness of your sheepskin rugs yourself.

In this article, we discuss the best proven methods on how to clean sheepskin rugs of the most two common types out there; natural sheepskin rugs and faux sheepskin rugs.


A. How to Clean Natural Sheepskin Rugs

With natural sheepskin rugs, the wool fibers are attached permanently to the sheepskin during the tanning process. These wool fibers are not only soft and resilient, but also have the ability to retain natural oils which resist dirt and bad odors. These positive characteristics give natural sheepskin rugs an added advantage over faux sheepskin rugs.


  • Dog Comb (or a wire wool comb)
  • Vacuum Cleaner (with plain suction)
  • Paper Towels
  • A Dull Spoon (alternatively, you can use a dull knife or spatula)
  • Cornstarch
  • Clean Bucket
  • Warm Water
  • Wool Wash
  • Two Pieces of White Cloth

1. Shake the sheepskin rug thoroughly outdoors to remove all loose dirt, dust and soil. Shaking the rug also helps to restore the cool bounce of the rug’s wool fibers. Then, using a dog comb, brush the wool fibers to restore their luster.

However, for larger rugs, it is best that you vacuum these, rather than brush them. Avoid using revolving brush heads and turbo, as these tend to be very harsh on the fibers and can cause tangling. It is recommended that you only use plain suction.

2. To remove liquid spills, dab them with clean paper towels. Use a dull spoon to lift any solid stains on the rugs. If there are any oily stains, sprinkle the stained areas with cornstarch. Let the cornstarch sit for a few hours to absorb all the oil. Then, brush the rug or vacuum it to remove all cornstarch residue. Repeat this step until all stains are removed.

3. To remove any mud or food stains, mix warm water and wool wash in a clean bucket. Dip a clean, white cloth into this solution and wring off excess water. Then, blot the stained areas. As the stain transfers, keep switching to a clean part of the cloth.

4. After the stain is completely removed, dip a clean cloth into clean, plain water. Blot the area with the cloth to remove any left cleaning residues. Allow the natural sheepskin rug enough time to completely dry. After it has dried, comb it to lift the wool fibers and restore their luster.


B. How to Clean Faux Sheepskin Rugs

Faux sheepskin rugs mimic the look and appearance of natural sheepskin rugs. However, these are usually made from synthetic fibers that are petroleum-based. Their design makes faux sheepskin rugs much easier to clean and maintain than natural rugs.

The best way to clean faux rugs is to wash them. However, before you can start washing your rugs, you should read the care label for instructions. For instance, some dyed faux rugs require that they be dry-cleaned to prevent them from fading. Also, other rugs are considered machine-washable while others are better off hand washed.

To ensure that your faux sheepskin rugs do not get matted or fizzled, it is advisable that you hand wash them.


  • A gentle Laundry Detergent
  • Lukewarm Water
  • Large Clean Bucket
  • Fresh, Cool Water
  • Heavy Towels
  • Soft Brush

1. In a large bucket (or even a tub), mix lukewarm water with the gentle laundry detergent. The laundry detergent you use should be free of any enzymes which could cause abrasion or damaging of the faux sheepskin rugs.

2. Completely submerge your faux rug into the cleaning solution. Then, squeeze the soap solution through the synthetic fibers gently, for at least ten minutes.

3. Empty the bucket (or tub) and refill it with clean, cold water. Squeeze the submerged rug so that the clean water passes through the fibers. Drain the bucket once again and repeat this process until all soap solution is removed from the fibers.

4. Squeeze the faux sheepskin rug to remove all excess water. However, do not wring or twist it as this could cause great damages to the fibers. You can also use heavy towels to remove excess water from the rug.

5. Place the rug on a drying rack and allow it time to air dry. After it has completely dried, brush the fibers using a soft brush. Brushing helps to untangle and restore the matted fibers. However, it is important to note that you should never brush the fibers while the rug is still wet.


Then above hand washing method for faux sheepskin rugs can also be used to wash natural sheepskin rugs. However, when washing natural rugs, you should use a gentle wool wash in place of the gentle laundry detergent. Also, it is advisable that you go for wool washes that consist of lanolin; a natural wool fat that helps to restore the softness and smoothness of the fibers.


How to Smoothen Sheepskin Rug Fibers

While brushing the coat of the sheepskin rugs helps to untangle the fibers, it may not entirely smoothen them. Therefore, it is recommended that you carry out this extra step to smooth your sheepskin fibers for a better look and feel.


  • 2 Cups Warm Water
  • 1Tsp Hair Conditioner
  • Empty Spray Bottle
  • Soft-Bristled Brush
  • White Clean Cloth


1. In a clean spray bottle, mix warm water with hair conditioner. Spray the solution onto the wool fur or synthetic fibers.

2. Using a soft-bristled brush, comb the fibers to untangle. Brush gently and work in small patches. If you notice that the fibers are coming out, it means you are brushing very hard.

3. After you’re done brushing, damp a white cloth in clean water. Then, use it to wipe the area clean and allow it enough time to air dry.


Sheepskin rugs are such great additions to a home. You can use these as your bedroom mats or even place them on your indoor bench, just to mention a few uses. However, regardless of how you use the rugs, remember that these also deserve a little special treatment. Therefore, follow the above tips on how to clean sheepskin rugs and you will enjoy the coziness that these have to bring for a very long time!



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