Close-up of Leather Gloves and Sheepskin Jacket

How to Clean Sheepskin: Effective Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Maintaining a sheepskin rug requires careful handling to preserve its natural beauty and prolong its life. Sheepskin, whether real or faux, adds a touch of luxury to any space but comes with specific cleaning needs. Regular maintenance keeps these rugs looking their best, fresh, and free of unpleasant odors. When it’s time to clean your sheepskin rug, using the right techniques will ensure it remains soft and undamaged.

It is essential to avoid exposing sheepskin to harsh chemicals or high heat, both of which can damage its delicate fibers. Instead, gentle cleaning agents and cool water are the most suitable choices for treating this natural material. With both real and faux sheepskin rugs, keeping a consistent cleaning routine can prevent dirt build-up and minimize the need for deep cleaning, thus extending the rug’s usability and aesthetic appeal.

Guide to Cleaning Sheepskin Rugs and Products

Sheepskin is a luxurious and versatile material used in various products, from rugs and car seat covers to slippers and jackets. Its soft texture and natural warmth make it a popular choice for home decor and personal accessories. However, like any other material, sheepskin requires proper care and cleaning to maintain its beauty and longevity.

General Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance can prevent dirt and debris from accumulating in the fibers and keep your sheepskin looking its best. Here are some essential tips:

  • Shake it out: Regularly shake your sheepskin rug or product outdoors to remove loose dirt and dust.
  • Brush it gently: Use a soft-bristled brush or a pet brush to remove tangles and prevent matting.
  • Vacuum regularly: Vacuum your sheepskin rug with a low-suction setting to remove dirt and debris from the fibers.

Cleaning Methods for Different Sheepskin Products

Product TypeCleaning MethodNotes
Sheepskin rugsSpot cleaning with a damp cloth or mild soap solution, hand washing, or professional dry cleaningAvoid soaking the rug in water, as it can damage the leather backing.
Sheepskin car seat coversSpot cleaning with a damp cloth or mild soap solution, hand washing, or professional cleaningUse a gentle detergent and avoid harsh chemicals that can damage the sheepskin.
Sheepskin slippersSpot cleaning with a damp cloth or mild soap solution, hand washing, or professional cleaningEnsure the slippers are completely dry before wearing them again to prevent mold and mildew growth.
Sheepskin jackets and coatsProfessional dry cleaningAvoid washing sheepskin jackets at home, as it can damage the leather and affect the fur’s texture.
Sheepskin bootsSpot cleaning with a damp cloth or mild soap solution, use a sheepskin cleaner and conditionerAvoid using harsh chemicals or excessive water, as it can damage the leather and affect the fur’s appearance.

How to Hand Wash a Sheepskin Rug

  1. Fill a bathtub or large sink with cool water and add a mild wool detergent.
  2. Submerge the rug in the water and gently agitate it to remove dirt and debris.
  3. Rinse the rug thoroughly with cool water until the water runs clear.
  4. Gently squeeze out excess water and lay the rug flat to dry in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat.
  5. Once the rug is dry, brush it gently to restore its fluffiness.

Cleaning Sheepskin with a Washing Machine

  1. Place the sheepskin item in a mesh laundry bag and wash it on a gentle cycle with cool water and mild wool detergent.
  2. Do not use bleach or fabric softener.
  3. Air dry the item flat, away from direct sunlight or heat.

Removing Stains from Sheepskin

  • Blot the stain: As soon as a spill occurs, blot the stain with a clean cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  • Use a mild soap solution: Mix a small amount of mild soap with cool water and gently dab the stain with a cloth dipped in the solution. Rinse with a clean cloth dipped in water and blot dry.
  • For tougher stains: Use a specialized sheepskin cleaner following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tips for Drying Sheepskin

  • Air dry flat: Lay the sheepskin item flat on a clean towel to dry. Do not hang it, as it can cause the leather to stretch.
  • Avoid direct sunlight and heat: Dry the sheepskin in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources like radiators or hair dryers.
  • Brush regularly: As the sheepskin dries, brush it gently to prevent matting and maintain its softness.

Key Takeaways

  • Gentle care is crucial for sheepskin rug maintenance.
  • Use appropriate cleaning agents to protect fibers.
  • Regular cleaning prevents dirt accumulation and preserves the rug’s condition.

Cleaning and Maintenance of Sheepskin

Proper care maintains sheepskin’s natural softness and extends its life. This section guides you through cleaning and preserving your sheepskin items.

Initial Considerations

Before cleaning sheepskin, shake it to remove loose dirt. Wool is delicate; harsh chemicals can damage it. Always prefer sheepskin-safe products. For white sheepskin, avoid bleaching agents as they can alter the natural color. Dyed or colored sheepskin requires checking for colorfastness to prevent fading.

Washing Your Sheepskin

  • Hand Wash: Fill a tub with lukewarm water and add mild sheepskin detergent. Submerge the rug, gently agitate it, and let it soak for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cold water until the water runs clear.
  • Machine Washable: If the label says it’s safe, use a gentle cycle with a wool-safe detergent. Cold or lukewarm water is best.

Drying and Restoration

Never tumble dry sheepskin; it can damage both the wool and the leather backing. To dry:

  • Gently squeeze out excess water (do not wring).
  • Lay it flat on towels away from direct heat and sunlight.
  • While damp, brush the wool to untangle the fibers. Once dry, brush again to restore softness.

Treating Specific Issues

For odors, sprinkle baking soda on the sheepskin. Work it in and leave overnight, then shake or vacuum it off. For spot cleaning, apply a small amount of sheepskin detergent to the stain and gently dab with a damp cloth. Brush the area when dry.