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Can You Clean a Wool Rug?

clean a wool rug

A wool rug is an investment piece, but its soft, long-lasting qualities and beauty make the price worth it. Wool rugs are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-allergenic, which will help you breath easy.

Just like your clothes, your wool rug also needs to be cleaned from time to time. This is because wool is a natural material, and as such, tends to accumulate dirt, dust, and grime over time.

If you are looking to learn how to keep your wool rug looking spotless, you’ve come to the right place. Our helpful guide covers the steps to clean a wool rug and how to keep it safe for years to come.

How Often You Should Clean Your Wool Area Rug

Wool rugs are soft and cozy, but this thickness can be a magnet for dust and dirt. You’ll want to keep your wool rug vacuumed, but sometimes it needs a little more TLC.

You want to clean your wool rug often enough to keep dirt away but not so much that you could cause damage. You can determine how often to clean your wool rug by considering the following.


A footfall is how much foot traffic your rug sees each day. Dirt and other crud are more likely to accumulate on carpets that are walked on frequently.


Some areas of a house will see more foot traffic than others. Putting your wool rug in an entryway or living room means more frequent deep cleaning.


Furry family members may be cute but can dirty your rug faster. If you own a cat or dog, you’ll need to clean your wool rug twice as much as if you don’t.

How to Clean a Wool Rug Yourself

There’s no doubt that the best way to clean a wool rug is by having a professional wool rug cleaning company do it. Although frequent professional cleanings are ideal, it’s not usually part of everyone’s budget. There are some steps you can take if you want to tackle cleaning a wool rug yourself.

Supplies You’ll Need

The first step to cleaning your wool rug is gathering your cleaning tools. You can find most of these around your house, including:

  • Vacuum
  • Broom
  • Two large buckets
  • Sponge
  • Old towels
  • Cool water
  • Two tablespoons of wool wash detergent

Cleaning Instructions

You’ll want to pick a nice, sunny day to do your rug cleaning on. Start by bringing your rug outside and hanging it up. A clothesline, fence post, or two sturdy chairs should work well.

Take a broom and start hitting the rug to loosen the embedded dirt from the rug fibers. If you don’t have a broom, a tennis racket or rug beater works well too.

Spread the rug out with the back of the rug facing up on a patio, swept deck, or clean tarp. Use your vacuum and vacuum every inch of it. Once you’ve finished, flip the rug over and vacuum the other side.

Head back inside and fill one of your buckets with cool water. Add two tablespoons of wool detergent to the bucket and mix the solution well. Add cool water to the other bucket but don’t add anything to it.

Grab your sponge and dip it into the bucket with the cleaning solution. Wring it out so that it isn’t soaking, and start to sponge clean sections of your rug gently. Work in small two-foot areas to keep the task manageable.

Rinse the sponge in the clean water after spot cleaning each section. Go over the place that you cleaned again with the damp water sponge. You want to wash the wool detergent away so it doesn’t attract more dirt.

Ensure your rug doesn’t get too soggy, as wool will quickly absorb the moisture. Grab your old towels and blot the rug to absorb any moisture. Make sure you blot the entire rug so no spot is too damp.

Before you bring your rug back inside, make sure to hang it to dry. This trick helps increase the air circulation around the rug.

Wool Rug Cleaning Tips

Before diving into your rug cleaning adventure, there are a few tips and tricks to use. Although a rug is durable, the wool fibers can get damaged if you don’t care for them correctly.

Baking Soda Refresh

If your wool rug needs a pick-me-up, you can use baking soda to help refresh it. Sprinkle baking soda on the entire rug and vacuum for a water-free clean.

Can You Steam Clean a Wool Rug

If you have a handy carpet cleaner in your house, you may be wondering if you can use it on your wool rug. While convenient, you don’t want to add too much water to your wool rug. Wool is a very absorbent material that can retain moisture if overexposed.

If you do want to have your wool rug steamed, make sure to bring in a professional. They will know how much water your wool can take without damaging it.

No Shoes Allowed

Help keep your wool rug in great shape by keeping shoes out of your house. Shoes are dirt magnets, so keeping them by the door can help extend the time between cleanings.

Rotate Your Rug

Every season, rotate your wool rug. This extra step helps keep the wear pattern and sun fading from doing damage to one part of a rug.

When You Clean a Wool Rug the Right Way, It Will Last for Years

Adding a wool rug to your floors will bring a softness and elegance to any room. Protect your purchase by learning to clean a wool rug without harming the fibers.

To ensure proper cleaning and avoid a stale odor, professional rug cleaning is the way to go as it provides more thorough cleaning. When you are ready to bring in a professional to clean your wool rug, Love Your Rug can help. Get a rug cleaning price quote today to get the process started!

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