Sheepskin Rug Care 101: From Matted to Magnificent

Sheepskin Rug Care 101: From Matted to Magnificent

Sheepskin rugs, with their luxurious texture and warmth, add a touch of comfort to any space. However, over time, these rugs can become matted and lose their plush appeal. Fear not, for restoring a matted sheepskin rug is a straightforward process that can breathe new life into your beloved decor. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential steps and techniques to revive the softness and beauty of your sheepskin rug. Whether you’re dealing with tangles, stains, or simply want to maintain that fluffy feel, this article covers it all. Prepare to discover the secrets to bringing back the luster of your sheepskin rug and elevating the ambiance of your living spaces. Let’s embark on the journey to restore and rejuvenate your matted sheepskin rug, ensuring it remains a cozy centerpiece in your home.

Preparation and Required Materials

Before embarking on the journey to restore your matted sheepskin rug, it’s crucial to gather the necessary materials and prepare adequately for the task at hand. A well-prepared approach ensures a smoother restoration process and enhances the effectiveness of each step. Here’s a detailed look at what you’ll need:


  • Soft Bristle Brush: Choose a soft-bristle brush to gently work through the matted sections of the rug without causing damage to the delicate fibers.
  • Sheepskin Rug Conditioner (Optional): If you opt for additional conditioning, ensure you have a suitable sheepskin rug conditioner. This step is optional but can significantly contribute to softening and revitalizing the rug.
  • Mild Detergent: For stain removal and deep cleaning, a mild detergent that is suitable for sheepskin is essential. Avoid harsh chemicals that may harm the natural fibers.
  • Basin or Tub: Identify a suitable basin or tub large enough to accommodate the entire rug. This will be used for deep cleaning and rinsing.
  • Clean Towels or Cloths: Have clean, absorbent towels or cloths on hand for blotting spills and drying the rug after cleaning.
  • Water: Ensure a water source is readily available for rinsing and soaking the rug during the restoration process.

Preparation Steps:

  1. Clear the Area: Begin by removing any furniture or obstacles around the sheepskin rug, providing ample space to work on its restoration.
  2. Ventilation: If deep cleaning is part of the restoration process, choose a well-ventilated area to ensure proper drying and prevent unpleasant odors.
  3. Read Product Labels: If you’re using a specific sheepskin rug conditioner or detergent, carefully read the product labels for any special instructions or precautions.
  4. Test a Small Area: Before applying any conditioner or detergent to the entire rug, test a small, inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility and avoid unexpected reactions.

By preparing in advance and gathering the necessary materials, you set the stage for a successful matted sheepskin rug restoration. This thoughtful approach not only ensures the effectiveness of the restoration process but also helps maintain the longevity and beauty of your cherished decor piece.

Initial Steps for Matted Sheepskin Rug Restoration

Once you have gathered the required materials, the initial steps for restoring a matted sheepskin rug are crucial in addressing surface issues and preparing the rug for deeper cleaning or conditioning. Follow these detailed steps to kickstart the restoration process:

Step 1: Shake the Rug

Give the sheepskin rug a good shake outdoors to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. This simple yet effective step helps eliminate surface particles that could hinder the subsequent cleaning and brushing processes. Ensure you shake the rug gently to avoid causing damage to the delicate fibers.

Step 2: Brush Matted Sections

Using a soft-bristle brush, focus on the matted sections of the rug. Gently brush in the direction of the natural fibers, working through tangles and restoring the rug’s soft texture. Take your time with this step, and be patient to avoid pulling or tearing the wool. Begin brushing from the outer edges of the matted area and gradually work your way towards the center.

Step 3: Optional – Apply Conditioner to Loosen Tangles

For an extra layer of care, consider applying a sheepskin rug conditioner at this stage. While optional, a conditioner can help soften the fibers and make it easier to untangle matted sections. Follow the product instructions carefully, applying the conditioner evenly across the rug. Allow it to sit for the recommended time before proceeding to the next step.

Important Note: If you choose not to use a conditioner, ensure that the rug is thoroughly brushed to remove tangles and restore its natural fluffiness.

By diligently following these initial steps, you lay the foundation for a successful restoration of your matted sheepskin rug. The combination of shaking off surface debris, gentle brushing, and optional conditioning sets the stage for deeper cleaning and stain removal, ensuring your rug regains its softness and luster.

Conditioner and Extra Care (Optional)

In the journey to restore a matted sheepskin rug, the optional application of a conditioner adds an extra layer of care, contributing to the softness and rejuvenation of the rug’s fibers. While this step is not mandatory, those seeking to maximize the restoration process may find it beneficial. Here’s a detailed guide on how to use a conditioner for optimal results:

Step 1: Choose a Suitable Conditioner

Select a sheepskin rug conditioner that is specifically designed for use on natural fibers. Read product labels carefully to ensure compatibility with sheepskin and to verify that the chosen conditioner meets your rug’s unique needs.

Step 2: Test a Small Area

Before applying the conditioner to the entire rug, perform a patch test on a small, inconspicuous area. This helps you determine how the conditioner interacts with your specific rug and ensures there are no adverse reactions or discoloration.

Step 3: Application of Conditioner

If the patch test is successful, proceed to apply the conditioner to the entire rug. Pour a small amount of the conditioner onto a clean, soft cloth or sponge. Gently rub the conditioner into the sheepskin fibers, working in the direction of the natural nap. Ensure even distribution, paying extra attention to any remaining matted or tangled sections.

Step 4: Allow for Absorption

Let the conditioner sit on the rug for the recommended duration specified by the product instructions. This allows the conditioner to be absorbed into the fibers, effectively softening and revitalizing the sheepskin.

Step 5: Brushing After Conditioning

After the specified time has passed, use a soft-bristle brush to gently brush the rug once again. This step helps distribute the conditioner evenly and ensures that any remaining tangles are worked out, leaving the rug with a restored, plush appearance.

Step 6: Wipe Excess Conditioner

If there is any excess conditioner on the rug’s surface, use a clean, dry cloth to gently wipe it away. This prevents any sticky residue and ensures the rug is left with a soft, natural feel.

By following these optional steps for conditioning, you provide your matted sheepskin rug with an added layer of care, resulting in enhanced softness and an overall revitalized appearance. Conditioning is particularly beneficial for rugs that have lost some of their natural luster and need an extra boost to regain their luxurious feel.

Dealing with Stains on a Matted Sheepskin Rug

Stains on a matted sheepskin rug can detract from its beauty and require targeted attention for effective removal. Whether you’re dealing with spills, spots, or stubborn marks, the following steps guide you through the process of stain removal while preserving the integrity of your sheepskin:

Step 1: Blot Liquid Spills and/or Remove Solids

If there’s a spill, quickly blot the area with a dry cloth or paper towel. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the liquid deeper into the fibers. If dealing with solids, gently lift and remove them with a spoon or spatula, taking care not to smear or spread the stain.

Step 2: Apply Detergent to the Stain

Prepare a solution of mild detergent and lukewarm With a wet cloth or sponge, gently pat the stained spot using the soapy mixture. Work from the outer edges of the stain towards the center to prevent spreading. Allow the detergent to penetrate the stain without oversaturating the rug.

Step 3: Rinse the Area

After applying the detergent, use a clean, damp cloth to rinse the treated area. Ensure thorough rinsing to remove any detergent residue. Blot the area with a dry cloth to absorb excess moisture. This step helps prevent watermarks and ensures the rug dries evenly.

Important Tips:

  • Always check the detergent’s compatibility with sheepskin to avoid damaging the fibers.
  • Before using detergent on a stain, test it in a hidden spot to make sure it won’t cause any issues.

Stains on your matted sheepskin rug need not be a permanent blemish. By promptly addressing spills and following these careful steps, you can effectively remove stains while maintaining the softness and texture of the rug. Remember to exercise patience and gentleness throughout the process to ensure the best results.

Deep Cleaning Techniques

While routine brushing and spot cleaning contribute to maintaining a matted sheepskin rug, periodically deep cleaning is essential to remove accumulated dirt and odors. Follow these steps for a thorough deep cleaning that revitalizes your rug:

Step 1: Identify a Place to Wash

Choose an appropriate location for washing your sheepskin rug. Ideally, opt for an outdoor space with good ventilation. If outdoor washing is not feasible, a large basin or tub can be used indoors.

Step 2: Fill Basin with Water and Detergent

Fill the sink or tub with warm water, making sure it’s deep enough for the whole rug. Put a bit of mild detergent that works well with sheepskin into the water. Stir the detergent in the water to make a mild cleaning mix.

Step 3: Submerge and Soak the Rug

Carefully submerge the entire rug into the soapy water. Gently agitate the water to allow the detergent to penetrate the fibers. Allow the rug to soak for 15-20 minutes, ensuring that the water reaches all parts of the rug.

Step 4: Rinse the Rug

After the soaking period, lift the rug from the water and drain the basin. Refill the basin with clean, lukewarm water. Submerge the rug again, gently agitating the water to rinse away the detergent thoroughly. Repeat this rinsing process until no soap residue remains.

Step 5: Allow the Rug to Air Dry

Lay the rinsed rug flat on a clean, dry surface, preferably outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight, as it may cause the rug to fade. Allow the rug to air dry completely. This may take some time, so be patient and ensure the rug is entirely dry before placing it back in its designated space.

Important Tips:

  • Never wring or twist the rug to remove excess water, as this can damage the fibers.
  • Avoid using hot water, as it may shrink or distort the sheepskin.
  • If necessary, gently reshape the rug while it’s still damp to maintain its original form.

Deep cleaning is a vital step in maintaining the longevity and cleanliness of your matted sheepskin rug. By following these careful procedures, you ensure that your rug not only looks refreshed but also retains its softness and overall appeal. Regular deep cleaning contributes to a healthier and more vibrant rug, making it a cozy and inviting centerpiece in your home.

FAQs on Restoring Matted Sheepskin Rugs

Addressing common questions about restoring matted sheepskin rugs helps provide clarity and guidance for individuals seeking effective rug care. Here, we address frequently asked questions to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the restoration process:

Can you wash a sheepskin rug?

Yes, sheepskin rugs can be washed, but it’s essential to follow proper guidelines to avoid damaging the delicate fibers. The deep cleaning process outlined in Section 6 provides a step-by-step approach to safely wash and rejuvenate your matted sheepskin rug.

How to spot clean a sheepskin rug?

Spot cleaning involves addressing specific stains or soiled areas without washing the entire rug. Refer to Section 5 for detailed instructions on blotting spills, applying mild detergent, and rinsing the stained area to effectively spot clean your rug.

How to wash a sheepskin rug by hand?

Section 6 provides a detailed guide on handwashing your sheepskin rug. This method ensures a gentle yet thorough cleaning process, preserving the softness and texture of the fibers.

Can I wash my sheepskin rug in the washing machine?

While handwashing is preferable, some sheepskin rugs may be machine washable. Check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer, and if machine washing is allowed, use a gentle cycle with mild detergent. Be cautious, as machine washing can potentially damage the rug.

How to dry a sheepskin rug?

After washing, allow the rug to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area. Avoid direct sunlight and refrain from using artificial heat sources, as excessive heat can damage the fibers. Gently reshape the rug if necessary while it’s still damp.

How to make a sheepskin rug fluffy again?

Section 4 discusses optional conditioning, which can contribute to restoring the fluffiness of your sheepskin rug. Additionally, regular brushing, as outlined in Section 3, helps maintain the rug’s natural texture and ensures it remains plush and soft.

Can you wash a fake sheepskin rug?

Fake or synthetic sheepskin rugs may have different care requirements. Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for washing instructions. In general, synthetic rugs can often be machine washed on a gentle cycle.

By addressing these frequently asked questions, you gain valuable insights into the proper care and restoration of your matted sheepskin rug. Whether it’s washing, spot cleaning, or maintaining fluffiness, this section aims to provide clear answers and guidance for effective rug care.

Maintaining Fluffiness After Restoration

Restoring a matted sheepskin rug is not just about cleaning and removing stains; it’s also about preserving that coveted fluffiness that makes these rugs so inviting. Follow these tips to ensure your rug remains luxuriously soft and maintains its plush appearance:

Tip 1: Regular Brushing

Even after the restoration process, continue to brush your sheepskin rug regularly. Use a soft-bristle brush to gently work through the fibers, especially in high-traffic areas. This helps prevent new matting and keeps the rug looking fresh.

Tip 2: Softening Techniques

If you opted for a conditioner during the restoration process (as discussed in Section 4), consider reapplying it periodically to maintain the softness of the rug. Follow the same application process outlined earlier, allowing the conditioner to penetrate the fibers and enhance their suppleness.

Tip 3: Gentle Shaking

Give your rug a gentle shake outdoors on a regular basis. This helps dislodge loose dirt and keeps the fibers from becoming compacted. Avoid vigorous shaking to prevent damage to the delicate wool.

Tip 4: Avoid Heavy Traffic

Minimize heavy foot traffic on your sheepskin rug to prevent excessive matting. Consider placing the rug in areas where it’s less likely to endure constant pressure, and use furniture pads to distribute weight evenly if placed under furniture.

Tip 5: Rotate the Rug

Periodically rotate your sheepskin rug to ensure even wear. This prevents specific areas from flattening more than others. If the rug is frequently exposed to sunlight, rotating it helps prevent uneven fading.

Tip 6: Tackle Stains Promptly

Address spills and stains as soon as they occur to prevent them from setting into the fibers. Refer to the stain removal techniques outlined in Section 5 for effective ways to keep your rug looking pristine.

Tip 7: Store Properly

If you need to store your sheepskin rug, do so in a cool, dry place. Avoid plastic bags or airtight containers, as these can trap moisture and lead to mold or unpleasant odors. Instead, use a breathable fabric cover.

By incorporating these tips into your rug care routine, you ensure that the fluffiness restored during the matted sheepskin rug restoration process remains a lasting feature. Consistent maintenance not only preserves the aesthetic appeal of the rug but also extends its lifespan, allowing you to enjoy its cozy charm for years to come.

Alternative Methods for Rug Care

While the outlined restoration process provides effective guidelines for maintaining your matted sheepskin rug, there are alternative methods that some individuals may prefer. Explore these alternative cleaning approaches to find the method that best suits your preferences and the needs of your rug:

Method 1: Machine Washing (if applicable)

If your sheepskin rug is labeled as machine washable by the manufacturer, follow their specific guidelines. Use a front-loading washing machine with a gentle cycle and mild detergent. Ensure the rug is properly secured to prevent damage during the wash. After washing, air dry as outlined in Section 6.

Method 2: Dry Cleaning

Some individuals opt for dry cleaning their sheepskin rugs, especially if the rug’s care instructions recommend it. Take your rug to a professional dry cleaner experienced in handling delicate materials. Ensure they are familiar with sheepskin to avoid any potential damage.

Method 3: Steam Cleaning (with caution)

Steam cleaning is a method that some find effective for refreshing sheepskin rugs. However, it should be approached with caution. Use a handheld steam cleaner on a low setting, maintaining a safe distance from the rug. Avoid excessive moisture, as dampness can damage the wool fibers.

Method 4: Enzyme Cleaners for Stains

For stubborn stains, consider using enzyme cleaners designed for natural fibers. These cleaners break down organic stains effectively. Apply the cleaner according to the product instructions, and ensure thorough rinsing to prevent any residue.

Method 5: Odor Absorption Techniques

To combat unwanted odors, sprinkle baking soda lightly over the rug’s surface and let it sit for several hours before vacuuming. Alternatively, place the rug outdoors in the fresh air for a natural airing-out process.

Important Considerations:

  • Always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions to avoid voiding any warranties.
  • Test alternative methods on a small, inconspicuous area before applying them to the entire rug.
  • Exercise caution with steam cleaning, as excessive moisture can damage the wool fibers.

While the restoration process discussed in previous sections is a reliable and gentle approach, these alternative methods provide additional options for those who may prefer different cleaning techniques. Whether machine washing, dry cleaning, or using enzyme cleaners, the key is to choose a method that aligns with your rug’s care guidelines and your personal preferences.


In the journey to restore and care for your matted sheepskin rug, you’ve explored a comprehensive guide encompassing essential steps and alternative methods. From initial preparations and optional conditioning to addressing stains, deep cleaning, and maintaining fluffiness, each stage contributes to the longevity and allure of your cherished decor piece. Whether opting for traditional brushing and handwashing or considering alternative methods like machine washing or dry cleaning, the key lies in understanding your rug’s specific needs. Regular care, prompt stain removal, and thoughtful storage all play integral roles in ensuring your sheepskin rug remains a luxurious and inviting centerpiece in your home. By embracing these practices, you not only preserve the beauty of your rug but also enhance its longevity, allowing you to revel in the comfort and elegance it brings to your living spaces for years to come.