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Top 10 maintenance tips for sheepskin rugs

Are you constantly having to replace your rug due to how dirty, dingy, and worn out it looks? Can’t seem to get rid of that pungent smell?

Rugs can be a handful when it comes to cleaning and maintenance, especially when we talk about sheepskin rugs. However, they don’t have to be once you know how to give them the proper washing care and maintenance.

With these sheepskin rug maintenance tips, we can guarantee yours will last many years, providing limitless comfort and aesthetic appeal before you ever feel the need to replace them.

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Proper care, cleaning, and maintenance for your sheepskin rug made easy

Sheepskin rugs are among the most popular type of rugs today and we offer a wide assortment here at Sheepers. They’re soft, stylish, and cosy, presenting one of the best ways to add that lovely finishing touch to your space.

While sheepskin rugs can definitely elevate your indoors décor scheme and even help you reduce your annual energy bill, they demand proper care, cleaning, and maintenance.

Let’s start with washing.

How to properly wash your sheepskin rug

Sheepskin contains lanolin, a wax secreted by sheep’s glands which has antibacterial self-cleaning properties. Whenever you wash sheepskin, the amount of lanolin from the fibres is gradually reduced, which may cause the surface to look dull over time. However, the way you wash your sheepskin rug and how frequently you wash it, can both affect how quickly it loses lanolin from its fibres.

For this very reason, we recommend that you not wash your sheepskin too frequently. In order to protect the integrity of the original texture and finish, simply follow the instructions that came with your sheepskin rug. Our sheepskin rugs, for example, require nothing more than gentle spot cleaning using only a mild detergent and some water – as such, we never recommend machine washing.

But what if you want to save some time and machine wash your sheepskin rug, anyway?

At Sheepers, we generally shun the practice of machine-washing rugs, even though some ‘experts’ will tell you that washing your rug on a gentle wool cycle doesn’t do any harm, while others claim that this can irreparably damage the sheep hide.

If you absolutely must machine wash your sheepskin rug, then make sure that you don’t use any products containing bleach, biological enzymes, or alkaline.

We never recommend machine washing as we’d rather have people enjoy their sheepskin rugs for years to come with the same cosy, luxurious, and velvety texture they are accustomed to. With that said, we also understand that, in some instances, you may not have any other alternative but to machine wash your rug.

If you do, set your machine to a cool wash gentle wool cycle. Hot water can alter the size and texture of the fibres which means your rug may not look or feel the same. Use a mild detergent which contains no alkaline, bleach, and fabric conditioners, and once the washing and spinning is done, lay out your rug the same way you do when you wash it by hand.

How to properly soften a sheepskin rug after washing

Now that you’ve washed your sheepskin rug, it probably looks and smells like new. However, some sheepskin rugs tend to not feel as soft after you wash them, such as the ones you get from bargain stores or the ones made from synthetic sheepskin.

Follow these steps to ensure that your sheepskin rug stays nice and fluffy, both while washing and afterwards:

  • Use a specialist sheepskin detergent only while washing your rug. This means a mild detergent with the appropriate pH levels so that it doesn’t damage the rug.
  • It’s important to use the right drying method to maintain your rug’s softness and fluffiness. Lay your rug flat on the floor. Make sure it is away from direct sunlight and if you can find some shade, that’s ideal. This will allow the rug’s fibres to gradually release moisture.
  • If you want to give your rug a good batting, then you can use a wooden stick or wooden spoon. Gently beating your rug can help to keep it smooth and supple.

How to properly brush a sheepskin rug

Brushing is very important to maintain the quality of your sheepskin rug. A good shake to remove dust and dirt particles from your rug should be followed by thorough brushing.

A sheepskin wool carding brush works best although you might even use a dog brush to do this. You may notice some of the fibres coming off lose during the brushing; this is normal and not a cause for concern.

Sheepskin rugs have incredible qualities, such as their high insulation to draw away moisture and keep you comfortable to their self-cleaning and medicinal properties. They’re also dirt-resistant, thanks to the lanolin, so brushing your rug properly will ensure that it’s left nice, soft, and fluffy.

Best way to keep your sheepskin fluffy

Naturally, over the years, you’ll feel inclined towards keeping your sheepskin rug as soft and fluffy as possible. While brushing regularly will help you accomplish this, there are other ways too.

One way, for example, to maintain your rug’s softness and fluffiness throughout the year, is to not fully wash it to get rid of spots and spillages. Try spot-cleaning instead and this can be done by soaking up the stained area and running a dry, clean cloth over it. Once the stain has been blotted over as much as possible, use some sheepskin detergent containing lanolin to gently wipe away the stain with a damp cloth.

How to properly get smells out of your sheepskin rug

Sheepskin rugs love to soak up the natural smells in the air. While the tiny molecules in the wool fibres are great at absorbing odours, this can leave some rugs a bit smelly due to dampness or spillages.

Rather than washing your entire rug, sprinkle some baking powder into the affected area and gently rub until it is absorbed. Use your vacuum cleaner hose to pick the powder back up after a few hours. Alternatively, you might rub some essential oil (such as eucalyptus or peppermint) into the fibres roots (where they connect with the leather pelt).

This guide should keep your sheepskin in fantastic condition all year round. In the meantime, browse through our lovely collection of genuine sheepskin rugs to uplift your home’s aesthetics and your personal wellbeing.

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