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How to Clean a Wool Rug

How to Clean a Wool Rug

Regular Wool Rug Cleaning

Regular wool rug cleaning extends the life and looks of your area rug. As rugs are exposed to daily mistreatment in the form of spills, pet accidents, foot traffic, dust, and other abuse, they lose their suppleness and become dull. Wool rugs require basic rug cleaning and maintenance to look optimal.


Vacuuming is the simplest weekly wool rug cleaning method to remove surface dust. Moreover, area rugs are best vacuumed on both sides. When your wool rug is new, it will “shed” quite a bit, but that is really a normal process and nothing to worry about. This shedding will be reduced gradually as you vacuum regularly and remove loose fibers formed during the manufacturing process. Many new rug owners think of this shedding as a wool rug defect, when it actually is not the case at all.

Wool Rug Cleaning Techniques

1. Oxygen Bleach Cleaners

Although oxygen bleach solutions are advertised as a green cleaning alternative to chlorine bleach and are safer for people, pets and the environment, they are certainly not designed for cleaning wool area rugs. Oxygen solutions can spot bleach and discolor your rug, if not handled carefully and expertly by professional wool rug cleaners, who may offer this service in special circumstances, such as fringe bleaching. However, for wool rugs, this technique is not recommended.

2. Dry Powder Cleaners

Dry powder formulations are meant to clean without soaking your carpet, but are not designed for wool area rugs, especially so for shag or Flokati rugs with high piles. These dry powder products leave a residue that is very difficult to remove. They can also clog your bagless vacuum cleaner.

3. Wet Clean

Washing or steam cleaning an area rug should be reserved for professional rug cleaners and should not be done at home. Other than damaging the wood floor or wall-to-wall carpet underneath due to color runs and moisture damage, store bought detergents can be too harsh for wool fibers. Furthermore, Excess detergent residue will accumulate in the rug’s pile overtime and the fibers will clump and stick together. In addition, too much water and a long drying time will breed bacteria, mold and mildew.

4. Professional Area Rug Cleaning

Vacuuming wool rugs works as a long-term maintenance approach to area rug care between professional cleaning appointments that should occur every one or two years, depending on the condition of your area rug. However, for deep clean and removal of dirt, stains and odors, professional wool rug cleaning can not be beat by any other method on the market today, not only for the actual clean results, but also for the safety of the process.

Best Approach

Even if your wool rug has no stains and is vacuumed regularly, over time, colors dull and stale odors are magnified due to dust that accumulates deep within the pile. A good, thorough, professional cleaning deodorizes and brings out the natural rich colors of wool rugs, with no unpleasant surprises. This is definitely not an experimental hit-or-miss approach. Expert rug cleaners analyze your rug prior to cleaning and customize a method that works for your specific wool fibers and color dyes.

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