How To Clean A Wool Rug

Everyone knows that wool rugs require some extra TLC when it comes to cleaning. If you didn’t, you do now! They can’t just be thrown in the washing machine, and there are some rules you have to follow since it’s a natural fiber rather than a synthetic one.

How To Clean A Wool Rug

However, cleaning your wool rug is probably a lot easier than you think! Cleaning options might vary depending on the texture type or pile you have, so always determine that first. 

With that being said, your run-of-the-mill wool rug can be cleaned by following just a few simple steps, or using different techniques!

How To Clean A Wool Rug

How To Clean A Wool Rug

Method 1 – Manual Cleaning

There are a couple of steps involved in this, but the results are always worth it. Follow the steps outlined below to clean your wool rug the proper way by hand:

  1. Beat the dirt out of it – use a tennis racket, broom, rug beater, or anything similar to beat as much dirt from the rug as possible. Do this outside. 
  2. Give it a good vacuum – vacuum the rub thoroughly.
  3. Fill a bucket with cool water and another will cool water and a gentle detergent – these will be required for the next steps.
  4. Carefully sponge clean the rug with the detergent mixer – ensure that your sponge isn’t soaking wet. You want to get as little water on the wool rug as possible. 
  5. Rinse the detergent from the rug using a sponge and water from the clean bucket – again, try to use as little water as possible throughout this process.
  6. Use clean towels to soak up all excess water/as much water as you can – get rid of as much excess water as you can. Wool mats are renowned for drying slowly and allowing mold to grow between the fibers. 
  7. Hang the rug over something (preferably outside) to let it dry – once the water is out, hang it over a chair or strong clothesline to allow it to dry. Don’t leave it lying flat on the ground, or it will take too long. 

This process takes several hours, with the longest part being the trying time. Try to do this on a sunny day so that the rug can be left outside to dry thoroughly. 

Method 2 – Extraction Machine

Alternatively, you can use a machine to thoroughly clean your wool rug! Just be sure to do this very carefully, or else you could end up damaging your rug in moments. You can hire a rug cleaner from the store or buy one. Either way, exercise caution if you choose to go with this option. 

In both cases, it is crucial to limit the amount of water that gets onto your rug in the first place. Flooding it will make it impossible to dry in time to prevent mold from growing. Not only that, but wool can be damaged very quickly if temperatures are too high. The use of bleach-based soaps will also ruin your wonderful rug in no time. 

Many extraction machines offer these bleach-based soaps, so be careful! Do your due diligence before going ham with one, or you could be throwing several thousand dollars in the trash afterwards. 

If you want to do the extraction machine method to clean your wool rug, you need to do the following:

  1. Get the right carpet extractor – you need to get a carpet extractor with a true upholstery wand. The carpeted floor (Check out How To Carpet The Garage Floor?) attachment with the scrubbing bristles could damage your rug too much! They usually use a lot more water, so get the right machine for the job.
  2. Use a wool-safe detergent and cool water – make sure the detergent you use does not contain any bleach, or you will ruin your mug. Also, be sure that you’re using cool water, or you will damage the wool in seconds. 
  3. Work very quickly – work quickly and carefully to ensure that no spots on the rug get flooded. Do this as evenly and quickly as you can manage.
  4. Dry the rug as much as possible – hopefully you got a machine that allows you to run it “dry”. This means that no water and solution will be released as it works, allowing you to only suck up the water in the rug. Do this several times to get as much water out as possible. If you haven’t got a machine that does this, you will need to use clean towels to get as much water out as possible. 
  5. Dry the rug again using airflow –  now you have to leave your rug to dry naturally. Hang the rug over something so that it dries faster, and try to create as much airflow as possible (use fans if you need to). If it’s breezy or windy outside, put your rug outside where it won’t be blown away if possible. 

Removing Stains From A Wool Rug

There are some key things to remember when it comes to removing stains:

  • Be gentle
  • No bleach
  • Don’t rub stains into the wool
  • Allow mud to dry
  • Dab any stain remover on
  • Try using baking soda

How Often Should A Wool Rug be Cleaned?

It’s usually recommended that you clean your wool rug every month. However, you don’t need to do the full cleanup every month. A regular beating and vacuum should be more than enough cleaning until you start to notice visible dirty spots. 

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a wool rug is a lot easier than you may have initially thought! There are rules and regulations to follow, but the whole process is easy. As long as you use cool water and non-bleach based cleaners, you should have an easy time! 

It is essential that you limit the amount of water that you use to clean your rug, too. These rugs are usually slow driers, which allows mold to grow and become a big issue.

Limit water use, and always hang your rug over something to try properly instead of laying it out flat on the ground.

Johnathon Gooder
Latest posts by Johnathon Gooder (see all)