How To Clean Wool Rugs? A Step-By-Step Guide

Wool rugs are a classic, durable and versatile addition to your home. It’s no wonder they’re so popular — they provide warmth and comfort at the same time as being environmentally friendly. What’s not to love?

Cleaning wool rugs is important because they are dirty. Wool rugs add a lot of style to your home and make it look wonderful, but they should also be cleaned regularly.

However, cleaning wool rugs is not easy, but you can do it using the right products. Taking good care of your rugs will help them retain their beautiful look and save you from repairing them every few years.

In this article, I will show you how to clean wool rugs easily and effectively.

How To Clean Wool Rugs In 4 Steps

If you’re done searching and finding the perfect wool rug for yourself, you have to focus on ways to get them clean. A professional carpet cleaning company may help you clean your rug, but you must know how to do it yourself if you can’t reach a carpet cleaner.

StepsEstimated Required Time
Remove Excess Dirt10-15 minutes
Vacuum the Rug10-15 minutes
Begin Damp Cleaning60-120 minutes
Dry the Rug120-180 minutes

Trust me- you’ll be more than happy to know how carpet cleaning can boost the age of your carpet by twice its longevity. Here’s how you can do it:

Step 1: Remove Excess Dirt

The first step to cleaning your wool rug is removing all the excess dirt. It will help if you beat it free of all the superficial dirt caught by the woolen fibers.

Required Tools

  • Rug beater or broom.


  • Firstly, you’ll need to take your rug and beat it freehand. This method must be performed outdoors while using the mask. This technique ensures there is no superficial dust laying over your woolen rug.
  • You can use a rug beater to give it a good shake if you have large rugs. Another substitute for a rug beater is a broom.

Step 2: Vacuum the Rug

Once the dirt-beating process is done, we suggest you vacuum your rug. Here’s how you can do it:

Required Tools

  • Vacuum.


  • Take your rug outdoors and lay it flat on a clean surface.
  • Check the vacuum speed and turn it into a medium. Anything more than medium-level suction can damage your wool rug.
  • Vacuum the rug on both sides. You can either try handheld tools or vacuums with suctions.

Step 3: Begin Damp Cleaning

Now that the external dust is off your carpet, you can start cleaning it damply. You’ll require two main elements for this procedure; soap and water. Let’s see the steps of how to wash wool rugs:

Required Tools

  • Buckets.
  • Non-bleach cleaner.
  • Cleanser.
  • Rope.
  • Sponge.
  • Garden hose.


  • Before using any soap on your rug, do a 48-hour test by applying some non-bleach cleaners at the corner of the rug. It will make sure the soap doesn’t damage your rug.
  • Prepare a solution of gentle cleanser and water in a bucket.
  • Take another bucket full of cold water.
  • Hang your rug in a rope outside.
  • Take up a sponge and start cleaning and scrubbing gently. Make sure to scrub in the direction of the woolen fibers.
  • You can use a hose to water the rug down or pour buckets of cold water after scrubbing the rug. You can also try scrubbing the carpet with a clean sponge to remove the soap.

Step 4: Dry the Rug

There are plenty of ways to dry your rug. Let’s check out some of them.

Required Tools

  • Paper towel.
  • Rope.
  • Dehumidifier.


  • One of the simplest ways is to ensure it’s not dripping with water by patting it dry with a paper towel. You can also use regular towels to dry it up.
  • If you live in an area with dry and humid air outside, you can air dry it. Cleaning your wool rugs is easy when you can access an outdoor patio drying arrangement.
  • If you want, you can also place your wool rugs against a dehumidifier to suck out their moisture. Increasing the surface area by hanging it or laying it down over props is important so more air reaches the rugs.

How To Do Spot Cleaning Wool Rugs

If you’re still stuck cleaning wool rugs when they have a spot, this is where you can find step-by-step instructions. Let’s see what you’ll require and how you can clean wool rug spots.

Required Tools

  • Paper towels
  • Vinegar
  • Bucket of water
  • Towels


  • Mix a 50-50 solution of water with vinegar to create a cleaning solution.
  • Don’t rub on the spot where debris has fallen in the rug. Make sure to clean up external dirt by hand without rubbing it.
  • Grab some paper towels and dab them in the stain to soak up extra moisture from the rug.
  • Use the vinegar cleaning solution on the towel and dab it on the spot. Rub them back and forth but don’t use too much surface area.
  • The longer the spot, the more time it’ll require to be removed. Therefore, remember to rub on the stain gently until the spot is gone.

If you can’t remove the rug stain, the best option is to call a professional for help. In other cases, you may damage the rug too hard if you rub it on the spot.

How To Clean Wool Rugs with Baking Soda

One of the most convenient ways to clean a rug is baking soda. The fun part about cleaning your rugs with baking soda is that you don’t need many items!

Required Tools

  • Vacuum.
  • Baking soda.


  • You’ll need to clean your carpet as you normally would through vacuuming.
  • Then, sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda over your carpet.
  • Leave for 30 minutes and vacuum the area again.
  • This should do the trick, making your rug feel fresh and clean!

Choosing Cleaners For Wool Rugs

Choosing a cleaner for your wool rugs is one of the most important steps in cleaning them. If you want clean rugs, ensure having a rug cleaner with a pH lower than 7. It’s going to make sure your rug stays clean without damaging its fibers of it.

Using rug cleaners with a pH above seven may brown the surface area. Browning will make your rugs look old and unclean.

Therefore, ensure your rug cleaner is a wool-safe certified product that doesn’t have oxidizers and harsh surfactants.

It’s very important to wash your rug freestanding when using this type of cleaning solution since it will keep dirt and grime from sticking to your surface.

Since most types or designs of laundry detergent come in different grades, you may need other methods with less buildup.

Be careful about mixing up certain brands. Some rug cleaners are recommended by American Consumer Products Association (ACPA) guidelines, while others require additional testing before use.

We also strongly recommend not going through any complicated steps with washing dryer rugs as they can cause further problems if too much water gets into the rug fibers.

Size And Shape

Regarding the size and shape of your wool rug, you must aim for the ideal sizing considering your space.

Remember- a rug isn’t meant to serve the purpose of a mat. Hence, make sure to keep enough space between the rug and the floor. It’ll ensure a contrasting dynamic in your room.

According to a general rule that most people find beneficial, you should look for a rug that contains major elements of a room inside it while keeping enough space for the feet to touch the ground now and then.

Let’s see the appropriate type of wool rug you should choose for your space.

Living Area

If your couch is against a wall, ensure that the front legs of your sofa and any nearby armchairs are on the carpeting in your living room.

In a large living room with a floating sitting area, the rug should include all the furniture, including the front and back legs, while allowing enough space around it to move about.

Dining Area

Make a mental note of the table’s dimensions for future reference. Regardless of whether the rug is circular or square, it should be at least 24 inches on both sides to accommodate a pushed-back chair.

Bedroom Area

To make a room seem larger, select a large rug that fits under the whole bed and night tables, with extra width on either side of the bed and night tables.

The rug should cover approximately one-third of the bed’s base; in larger rooms, modest area rugs on either side of the bed may be utilized.

Entryway Area

Use a narrow runner or a smaller piece that is most appropriate for the kitchen and the entryway.


A rug that is 12-24 inches shorter than the diameter of the area will work best, as bigger is preferred.

Materials And Style

When you go out rug shopping, you’ll come across various rugs. There are other materials of rugs other than wool, so make sure to check them out. However, not all rug materials are suitable for you.

The most common rug materials are wool, cotton, jute, sisal, and silk. They’re widely available in every rug shop. They’re comparatively easy to maintain as well.

The other benefit of these materials is how long-lasting they can be.

However, they will require professional deep cleaning services now and then. If you have high foot traffic where you’re placing the rug, these carpets will be the best for you.

Please beware of the pricing, though, as it may be costly!

If you have eyes on synthetic material rugs, ensure the area you’re placing it onto doesn’t have much foot traffic.

Cleaning rugs becomes easy by using synthetic fibers such as acrylic, polyester, and polypropylene. It’s more affordable and easy to clean.

If you don’t want natural fibers or synthetic fibers, there’s one more option for you. It’s none other than artificial silk.

When you have the materials of viscose, bamboo silk, and banana silk involved in a rug, they can camouflage every type of dirt.

Hence, it’s good for busy environments. However, it’s not that pet-friendly or spills-friendly. Keep that in mind before you shop for a rug!

Rugs are something that has been here since the Mughal times. They’re a symbol of elegance and extravagance. Different materials help the rugs be more suitable for the conventional user.

Apart from the rug mentioned above materials, you can also choose to opt for other types of rugs. They come in different styles and materials, which help define your space in a more articulated manner.

Some other materials you can choose from are Persian, Oriental, Moroccan, Mid-Century, Geometric, Coastal, Sheepskin, Leather, Cowhide, and even more.


The pile is one of the most common things that everyone forgets to pinpoint before rug shopping. The pile of a rug indicates the density of the rug that you’ll be choosing.

A coarser pile is a must if you want a rough, tough rug that fits perfectly into your living space.

However, if you want intricately designed pieces that are vintage or antique, chances are they will be lesser in thickness in comparison.

Piles are of two types. Let’s discuss a bit more about them:

Low-Pile Rugs

When your rug has a low profile and isn’t as dense, it’s termed a low-pile rug. They’re best for areas with high foot traffic. They are equipped with shorter fabric.

High-Pile Rugs

The rugs with taller fibers made for a more lush feeling are called high-pile rugs. They’re suitable for living spaces such as the bedroom.

Types Of Rugs

When you score a good rug, you’ll need to do cleaning, and taking care of it is your foremost priority. No matter how careful you are on your rug with spills, foot traffic will eventually soil it.

In this case, it’s important to make sure you know your rug and how to clean them.

Further in our article, you’ll find more detailed key points about cleaning different sorts of rugs. For now, you can skim through a few short notes to cleaning your rugs:

Synthetic Rugs

When you have synthetic rugs, it’s best to wash them with a steam cleaning method. You can also use coarse salt to get rid of the soil in them.

Wool Rugs

Wool rugs are best cleaned through blotting with a little dish soap and water. You shouldn’t scrub them at any cost. If you scrub the woolen fibers, they’ll be damaged easily and quickly.

If you’re wondering how to clean wool rugs perfectly, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be discussing it in-depth further along with the article.

Cotton/Silk Rugs

Cotton and silk rugs must be handled with extreme care. If you want to avoid the chances of messing up the rug, employ a professional to take care of it for you.

Don’t forget to take up a rug pad when you get a rug. Rug pads are extremely beneficial as they help your rug stay non-creased and sturdy for years of usage.

The rug pads also ensure no dents are forming in your carpet from the heavy weight of the furniture. The rug pads can be a small investment that’ll go a long way for your home.

How to Take Care Of Your Wool Rugs?

When you begin to own woolen rugs, you’ll notice how often they get unclean. You can clean them all you want, but the aftermath requires a lot of care. You can make your wool rug last generations with the proper care and tips.

Hence, let’s see some tips to make your wool rug last:

  • Use a rug pad: When you own a wool rug, it’s important to let a rug pad sit underneath. This will help prevent the wool rug from moving around and making a mess.
  • Do not steam the rug: Using hot temperatures on wool rugs can shrink the fibers over time. Hence, using normal temperate water when cleaning the rug is important.
  • Rotate your rug: One of the most important things you can do is rotate your rug often. This will equally distribute the dirt and pressure from heavy foot traffic.
  • Vacuum the rug: When you own a wool rug, it’s important to know that you should not dampen it often. One of the best wool rug cleaning methods is to vacuum it normally every week.
  • Rug-beat it: Owning a rug beater will help you clean your rugs efficiently and quickly. Hence, consider investing in a rug beater to clean your rugs with.
  • Rub it out: Make sure to spot-clean your carpet stains as soon as you notice a spill. The quicker you clean your rug, the less damage the spot will inflict. Hence, keep an eye out for the gruesome spots!


Wool rugs are highly valued for their beauty. Wool is a durable fiber that may last for centuries. However, if your wool rug is not properly maintained and cleaned, its life expectancy will be decreased.

To keep your wool rug in good condition, use the proper cleaners, water temps, and methods, or contact a professional carpet cleaning service!


Can I steam clean a wool rug?

You can, indeed. One of the best methods specialists recommend is cleaning your wool rug with light steam washing.

Can I use a carpet cleaner on a wool rug?

Never use a carpet cleaner on wool rugs. Wool is not safe with this solution. Wool rugs must be hand-washed without detergent and laid flat to dry in the shade, just as silk delicates.