How to Clean a Matted Sheepskin Rug: Expert Tips for Restoration

How to Clean a Matted Sheepskin Rug: Expert Tips for Restoration

If you’re embracing the pure, How to Clean a Matted Sheepskin Rug, it’s only natural to wonder about maintaining its pristine beauty for the long haul. How do you ensure it stays clean and retains its charm throughout its lifetime.

How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug

Maintaining the allure of your natural sheepskin rug is a straightforward process, albeit one that involves some special techniques to preserve the luster of the wool fibers. Beyond the standard washing or dry cleaning routine, it’s crucial to employ a gentle brushing method to eliminate dirt, ensuring the fibers remain buoyant and free from matting.

What You’ll Need


Equip yourself with the following items to ensure a thorough and effective cleaning process for your natural sheepskin rug:


Dull knife or spoon

Large sink or tub

Washing machine

White cleaning cloths

Wire wool comb or dog comb, soft-bristled brush

Heavy terry cloth towels

Drying rack or clothesline

These tools will play a vital role in maintaining the cleanliness and longevity of your sheepskin rug, allowing you to address various aspects of care with precision and care.


Enhance your sheepskin rug care arsenal with the following items for specialized attention:

Wool wash

Gentle detergent

Baking soda


Paper towels

Hair conditioner

These additional components offer specific benefits, from preserving the natural qualities of the wool to tackling stains and odors. Incorporating them into your cleaning routine ensures a comprehensive and effective approach to keeping your sheepskin rug in top-notch condition.

The Basics of Caring for Sheepskin Rugs

To maintain the timeless allure of your sheepskin rug, it’s essential to be well-versed in four key cleaning methods. Regular vacuuming stands out as the primary and most effective way to keep your rug looking its finest. Ensure you make this a routine to preserve the rug’s plush appeal. If the size allows, give your rug a good shake to dislodge any lingering hair, crumbs, dirt, or other unwanted debris nestled within its fibers.

As time goes by, you might notice certain sections of your sheepskin rug matted. Address this issue promptly by employing a slicker brush or wool comb to gently brush out the fibers, lifting them and untangling any knots that may have formed.

Stains are an inevitable reality for all rugs, and sheepskin is no exception. When those accidental spills occur, turn to spot treating as your stain removal technique of choice. Tackle the blemish directly and effectively to ensure it doesn’t leave a lasting mark on your beautiful rug.

For a more comprehensive cleaning session, occasionally your sheepskin rug may benefit from an all-over deep clean. This involves a gentle hand wash with a mild detergent or, if the manufacturer permits, a careful cycle in the washing machine. Afterward, allow your rug to air dry, ensuring it regains its natural softness and luster.

By incorporating these cleaning methods into your rug care routine, you’ll be able to enjoy the luxurious beauty of your sheepskin rug for years to come.

How to Vacuum a Sheepskin Rug

For regular upkeep of your sheepskin rug, the go-to method is vacuuming. This routine maintenance is crucial in eliminating dirt, hair, and those unseen particles such as pollen and dander, ensuring your rug maintains its pristine appearance.

When employing the vacuum for sheepskin, it’s imperative to use only the suction function. Avoid attachments designed for carpeting that come equipped with a beater or revolving bar, as they can lead to tangling of the delicate fibers. If your vacuum lacks a dedicated head without a beater brush, opt for the nozzle or upholstery attachment to safely and effectively vacuum your rug. To prevent any entanglement of the strands, always work in the direction of the hair growth. This simple yet careful approach will help keep your sheepskin rug looking new and luxurious.

How to Restore a Matted Sheepskin Rug

Matting, the entanglement and knotting of long hair fibers, is a common and expected issue with sheepskin rugs. Fortunately, remedying this situation is a straightforward process.

What You’ll Need:

Slicker brush or wool comb: These tools are essential for gently brushing out the fibers of the rug. The fine bristles of a slicker brush or the teeth of a wool comb can effectively lift and separate tangled strands, restoring the natural texture of the sheepskin.

Hair conditioner (optional): In some cases, using a small amount of hair conditioner can make the brushing process smoother. Apply the conditioner to the matted area, and it can help loosen the knots, making it easier to untangle the fibers.

Shake Rug

Commence the matting remediation process by giving the sheepskin rug a thorough shake. This initial step serves to dislodge any accumulated debris and fluff up sections that have not succumbed to matting. By gently shaking the rug, you encourage loose particles to break free, promoting a cleaner and revitalized appearance in the unmatted areas. This straightforward action sets the stage for the subsequent steps in the matting remediation process, ensuring a more effective and efficient restoration of the rug’s natural beauty.

Brush Matted Sections

Employ either a wool comb or a slicker brush, a specialized tool with metal bristles designed for handling pet hair, to delicately brush out the tangles from the matted sections of the sheepskin rug. Ensure that your strokes follow the natural direction of the hair growth. The fine bristles of these tools are adept at lifting and separating the fibers, helping to untangle knots without causing damage. By working in harmony with the hair growth pattern, you contribute to a smoother and more effective process, ultimately restoring the rug’s texture and appearance. Approach this task with a gentle touch to preserve the integrity of the delicate sheepskin fibers.

Apply Conditioner to Loosen Tangles

For particularly stubborn matting, consider a gentle conditioning approach to facilitate the untangling process. Dilute a small amount of conditioner with water and use your fingers to apply the conditioner solution along the length of the tangled hair. Work the conditioner in the direction of the hair growth, allowing it to permeate the knots and make the fibers more pliable.

Subsequently, use the slicker brush or wool comb to gently brush out the previously knotted section. The conditioning solution helps to loosen the tangles, making it easier to navigate through the fibers without causing damage. This step-by-step process ensures a careful and effective resolution for stubborn matting, preserving the integrity of your sheepskin rug.

How to Remove Stains from a Sheepskin Rug

If you happen to notice stains on your sheepskin rug, it’s essential to tackle them promptly. The most effective method for this is employing a stain removal approach known as spot treating. Unlike a comprehensive deep cleaning, spot treating is focused on addressing a particular stain in a targeted area.

What You’ll Need

Paper Towels

Butter Knife or Spoon (optional)

Wool-Safe Detergent

Light-Colored Cloth

By having these items on hand, you can quickly and efficiently address any stains that may mar the beauty of your sheepskin rug.

Blot Liquid Spills and/or Remove Solids

In case of a liquid spill or accident, start by blotting up the excess liquid using paper towels or rags. If the spill involves solids, promptly pick up the solid components and dispose of them, employing paper towels if needed. Should the solids have dried, delicately use the edge of a butter knife or spoon to scrape them away from the fibers of the rug. This initial cleanup is crucial for preventing further damage and preparing the area for subsequent stain removal steps.

Apply Detergent to the Stain

Take a damp, light-colored cloth and apply a small amount of wool-safe detergent directly onto the stain. Gently dab at the stain until it disappears, working in the direction of the hair growth. It’s important to avoid vigorous scrubbing, as friction can lead to the entanglement and matted rug‘s hairs. By proceeding with care and following the natural flow of the fibers, you ensure effective stain removal without compromising the integrity of the sheepskin rug.

Rinse the Area

After successfully eliminating the stain, delicately dab the treated area with a cloth soaked in clean water to eliminate any residual detergent. Allow the rug to air dry naturally. If necessary, employ a wool comb or a slicker brush to gently brush out and fluff up the fibers of the rug. This final step ensures that the sheepskin retains its natural texture and appearance, leaving your rug looking clean and refreshed.

How to Wash a Sheepskin Rug by Hand

To revive the vibrancy of your sheepskin rug, opt for a gentle hand-washing process in cool water. Avoid the pitfalls of rough machine washing, abrasive cleaning chemicals, or hot water, as these may potentially harm the wool, lanolin, and hide backing, resulting in stiffness and a dulled luster. Hand-washing in cool water is a milder alternative.

Follow the hand-washing instructions provided on your chosen detergent, ensuring a thorough rinse until the water runs clear. Keep in mind that the rug might appear unusual and clumpy when wet. However, once allowed to dry and brushed appropriately, it should regain its soft and fluffy state, restoring its original appeal.

Can i Wash My Sheepskin Rug in The Washing Machine?

At Rugs Direct, our top recommendation for cleaning your sheepskin rug is always hand washing due to its gentler approach on the natural oils, fibers, and hide that constitute your rug. However, if you prefer using a washing machine, it’s certainly an option. Ensure the machine is set to a cool wash, typically less than 30°C, and opt for a gentler cycle such as wools or delicates. Some machines even have a “hand wash” setting, which can be a more suitable choice.

Regardless of the method chosen, avoid using detergents in your machine that aren’t specifically formulated for sheepskin, as they may adversely affect the condition of your rug or potentially cause damage. Prioritize the care of your sheepskin rug to maintain its quality and longevity.

Can you Wash a Fake Sheepskin Rug?

Faux sheepskin rugs, crafted from synthetic materials, offer a great alternative for those seeking to avoid animal products, dealing with allergies, or looking for a more budget-friendly option. While they mimic the look and feel of natural animal hide, their composition differs, raising questions about whether they can be cleaned in the same way as genuine sheepskin.

Despite lacking natural components, faux sheepskin rugs are still delicate and susceptible to damage through improper washing methods. Exercise caution when cleaning them, treating them with the same care as you would real wool and leather. Use specially formulated detergents in cool water, and regularly brush the rugs to maintain their soft and fluffy texture. This ensures the longevity and quality of your faux sheepskin rug.