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There’s nothing quite like the feel of a sheepskin underfoot. While synthetic mats can offer an aesthetic appeal, sheepskin rugs well and truly provide the full package. Here are five things you need to know before you wash a sheepskin rug. The easy-care approach of this natural product might surprise you.
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1. They Don’t Require Much Care
Looking at a sheepskin rug, it’s hard not to think they require a substantial amount of care. They are plush, comfortable, beautiful, and high-quality. Surely, you’ll have to spend hours maintaining it. Surprisingly, no.
The most common method of maintenance for a sheepskin rug is a regular shake and vacuum. You can also brush it to keep it looking fluffy and gorgeous.
If you do happen to spill something on your rug, which can occur from time to time, then there’s a cleaning process to follow. This procedure is relatively straightforward, and you can prevent matted rugs and hard backing materials with a bit of attention to detail.
Some rugs are also treated to allow more frequent washing than others, which ultimately means they are easier to care for than some synthetic rug varieties.
2. You Can Spot Clean Them
If you happen to mark your sheepskin rug, a natural thought process might be to pop it in your washing machine. While many high-quality sheepskin rugs for sale can be washed in your machine, it’s also possible just to spot clean them.
A small, soiled area may only require a soft cloth with lukewarm water, not an arsenal of harsh and harmful cleaning supplies. You can use gentle, circular motions with that cloth to remove minor imperfections, but refrain from rubbing.
If you do need to reach for something with a little more grunt, then stick with bleach-free, non-alkaline varieties. A mild wool detergent, such as those from Ecostore, can offer peace of mind that you’re not damaging your sheepskin rug. You can then use a dry cloth to remove excess moisture and allow it to dry while brushing with a carding brush.
3. Handwashing Is Easier Than You Think
Most people had turned to mechanised washing by the end of the 20th century, which means it’s starting to become a long-forgotten skill. However, it still has its place and effectiveness, especially in the realm of sheepskin rug care.
All you need to do is immerse your rug into cold or lukewarm water, no hotter than 38 degrees-Celsius. Add a mild wool detergent, such as from Ecostore, and rinse your rug thoroughly in water. You can then remove excess water by squeezing it out with your hands.
4. Your Washing Machine Can Take Care Of It For You
Any minor imperfections can be taken care of through spot cleaning, but what happens if you’ve spilled wine on your favourite cream rug? A machine wash can often be the most appropriate way to fix it.
Use your machine’s gentle cycle, with water no hotter than 38 degrees-Celsius. If your machine doesn’t tell you how hot the water gets, then wash the rug on a cold cycle. Add a small amount of mild wool detergent, but no fabric softener.
Once the cycle has finished, you can squeeze excess water out by hand, or allow your machine to remove it gently.
For those who don’t feel confident to wash a sheepskin rug, or who have car seat covers or coloured sheepskin products, then dry cleaning is a recommended option. Let the experts handle the safe care of your prized sheepskin rug.
5. Hard Leather Backing is Not Reversible
From time to time, people may find themselves with an older sheepskin rug with a hard lambskin backing. There is no magic method for softening hard leather that has not been attended to right away.
Old leather fibres can dry out, and the washing process can put it into a state of shock, which may even cause those fibres to shrink. Even using improper shampoo can result in hard leather.
Fortunately, new sheepskin rugs from high-quality manufacturers tend to have a more robust and reliable tanning process to prevent or reduce the instance of hard and stiff leather. Baby rugs, stroller fleece, and medical rugs are often far hardier than a traditional sheepskin rug, due to the unique tanning process.
Always dry your sheepskin rug on the line or flat, and away from heat and sunlight. Do not iron or tumble dry.
Nature Made Easy
A sheepskin rug is a beautiful accompaniment to any home. They are warm in winter, cool in summer, and gentle and soft on skin. Start afresh with a brand new sheepskin rug and take note of these helpful tips above.