A Step-by-step Guide on Cleaning a Delicate Wool Rug

Nothing exudes class and sophistication much like a wool rug. It’s such a fine piece, it adds an upscale feel to any modern home. From its beautiful, hand-woven pile to its warm, cozy characteristics, a wool rug is one of the best investments you can buy. Whether you have a contemporary Oriental rug or a high-end Persian rug, you should know how to properly care for it to preserve its natural beauty.

Cleaning a delicate wool rug requires a different approach compared to your standard, synthetic rug. The last thing you want is to damage the rug during the cleaning process and ruin its look altogether. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly clean a wool rug and maintain its luxurious qualities.

Deep-clean your wool rug with these 7 steps

Just like any other rug, a wool rug will accumulate dust, dirt, and debris over time. If left uncleaned, the rug may suffer from excessive wear patterns and stains that can be quite difficult to remove. Follow these 7 steps to give your wool rug a much-needed deep clean.

Step 1: Shake the rug to remove loose debris

The first step in cleaning a delicate wool rug is to give it a good shake. This helps remove loosely embedded dirt and prepare it for vacuuming. Choose a bright, sunny day to hang your wool rug outside and give it a few, light taps with a rug beater (you can use a tennis racket or broom as alternatives). This also gives you the opportunity to clean the flooring underneath the rug by simply going over the area with a vacuum cleaner.

Step 2: Vacuum the rug

The next step is to vacuum your rug. Lay the wool rug flat on your patio or deck and use a gentle vacuum to pick up any remaining dirt or debris. Turn the rug over and give the other side a good vacuum as well. Ideally, you should vacuum your wool rug twice a week to prevent the accumulation of outdoor and indoor particles.

Step 3: Use a gentle detergent solution

Since a wool rug is very delicate, you want to avoid using any harmful chemicals that may damage the rug fibers. For this reason, you should only use a gentle detergent solution (preferably a wool wash) that’s mixed with a bucket of water.

Step 4: Scrub the rug lightly with a sponge

Dip the sponge into the solution and scrub the rug lightly, keeping in mind to follow the nap of the rug (the direction which the rug feels smooth after gliding your hand). Work in sections, starting from one end of the rug all the way to the other end. Rinse the sponge frequently to avoid re-transferring debris onto the wool fibers.

Step 5: Use a stain remover specifically made for wool rugs

To address stubborn stains, always use a stain remover specifically made for wool rugs. Do not use vinegar, bleach, or ammonia as these products can damage the rug fibers and strip it of lanolin (a natural oil found in wool rugs that repels dirt and debris). Dab the stain remover on top of the stain and let it soak for around 5-10 minutes. Again, scrub the stain with the sponge and repeat until the stain is completely removed.

Step 6: Blot the rug with an old towel to remove excess moisture

Keep in mind that wool rug is very absorbent, so you don’t want to over soak it during the entire scrubbing process. To help it dry faster, use an old towel and dab it gently against the rug to absorb excess moisture. 

Step 7: Drying the wool rug

The last step is to dry the wool rug. Hang the rug outdoors on a small clothesline. The weather should be nice and warm, but don’t leave the rug under direct sunlight as it can cause fading. It may take a few days for a wool rug to completely dry, so make sure to bring the rug indoors at night to prevent mould and mildew from growing.

Maintaining your wool rug

There’s no denying that a wool rug requires a bit more TLC than say, a synthetic polypropylene rug. Since wool rugs are quite expensive, it should be in your best interest to maintain them on a regular basis. By following these 7 steps, you’ll be able to preserve the beauty of your wool rug and maintain its condition for years to come.

Although you can perform a deep clean on a wool rug yourself, we recommend contacting a professional rug cleaner to give the rug a full refresh. Professional rug and carpet cleaners in Perth have access to the right tools and equipment to recondition your wool rug and give it a more thorough clean.