Keep Your Wool Rug Clean and Cozy (2024)

Wool rugs are one of the most durable types of rugs you can buy, but learning how to clean a wool rug and when can make it last even longer. And the best part? You can clean a wool rug with common household items you probably already have.

In addition to regularly shaking out the rug and vacuuming it, you can use baking soda for a quick, moisture-free refresh, white vinegar for removing odors like pet urine, or commercial wool wash detergents.

Whether you need a quick or deep clean, here’s our guide to properly cleaning a wool rug.

How Often to Clean a Wool Rug

Regular vacuuming is the key to maintaining the beauty of wool fibers. A new wool rug will shed fibers, but don't be alarmed: this is normal due to how wool fibers are woven—your rug won't become bare.

The majority of shedding will occur in the first few months. If you vacuum the rug at least twice weekly during this time, the shedding will quickly diminish.

Use a good vacuum with a beater bar to help lift embedded dust and dirt. If your rug is fringed, start vacuuming in the center of the rug and avoid the edges to prevent damage. Vacuums with beater bars can damage fringe, so use a handheld vacuum or an upholstery attachment to clean the fringed edges.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Vacuum
  • Broom
  • 2 buckets
  • Sponge
  • Old towels


  • Cool water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons gentle wool wash detergent


Keep Your Wool Rug Clean and Cozy (1)

How to Clean a Wool Rug

  1. Shake Out the Dirt

    Choose a sunny, moderate day to deep clean a smaller wool area rug. Take the rug outside and hang it over a sturdy clothesline, porch railing, or a couple of strong chairs. Use a broom, tennis racket, or rug beater to hit the rug all over and loosen deeply embedded dirt.

    This is also the time to remove the rug pad, give it a good shake outside, and clean the flooring under the rug.

    Keep Your Wool Rug Clean and Cozy (2)

  2. Vacuum the Rug

    Spread the rug flat on your deck, patio, or a clean tarp with the wrong side up. Vacuum it well. Turn the rug over and vacuum the other side. If you don't have an outside spot, use your kitchen floor, garage, or any dry area.

    Keep Your Wool Rug Clean and Cozy (3)

  3. Deep Clean (Optional)

    Create a gentle detergent solution with a product like Woolite by filling a large bucket with cool water, adding one or two tablespoons of detergent (or making a wool-safe DIY laundry product), and mixing well. Then, fill a second bucket with clean, cool water.

    Dip a sponge in the cleaning solution and lightly scrub at one end of the rug. Make sure to rinse the sponge frequently and not over-wet the fibers, and blot the cleaned area with old towels.

    Move to a new section and repeat the steps until the entire rug is clean. Allow the rug to dry completely before placing it back on the rug pad.

    To dry the wool rug more quickly, hang it up or elevate it. You can also use a carpet cleaner to remove moisture by using the vacuum-only setting without applying the cleaning solution, then hang the rug until it dries.

    Keep Your Wool Rug Clean and Cozy (4)

How to Remove Stains From a Wool Rug

Spills and muddy footprints happen, but prompt treatment is the best thing you can do to protect your wool rug. To remove many other problems, follow theguidelines for specific stains. However, there are some tips you should use each time you clean a stain from a wool rug:

  • Don't rub: Never rub a fresh stain. Immediately, lift away any solids with a dull edge like a spoon or spatula and blot up liquids with plenty of paper towels. Rubbing only pushes the stain deeper into the fibers.
  • Let mud dry: When it comes to mud, wait until it dries on the rug before cleaning it up. Dry mud stains are easier to remove using a dull edge tool along with vacuuming up the crumbly bits.
  • Dab stain remover: Never pour any type of stain remover directly on wool rugs. Place a dab of the cleaner on a white cloth and test it to make sure that it does not cause the colors to bleed or disappear. This also helps avoid excess soapy residue left in the wool fibers.
  • Go gentle: Always use a stain remover recommended for wool rugslike Emergency Stain Rescue, a gentle cleaner like Woolite, or simple dishwashing liquid and lukewarm water.
  • Avoid bleach: Never apply chlorine bleach, ammonia, or oxygen bleach to a wool rug. These chemicals can damage the wool and cause colors to bleed or disappear.
  • Try baking soda: Clean a wool rug with baking soda by lightly sprinkling it over the affected area. Let it rest for up to an hour, then vacuum. Repeat as needed until the stain is lifted.

Tips to Keep Your Wool Rug Clean Longer

  • Institute a "no shoes indoors" policy that can help stretch the time between necessary cleanings.
  • Hiring a professional carpet cleaner is the best choice to clean wall-to-wall wool carpeting.
  • When dealing with cat or dog urine, clean a wool rug by neutralizing the odor with vinegar. Mix a few tablespoons of distilled white vinegar into a cup of water, then use it to dampen the affected area. Gently blot it dry with a towel, then repeat as necessary until the odor is removed.
  • To freshen your wool carpet between cleanings, opt for a "dry bath" of dry carpet shampoo formulated for wool rugs.
  • Seasonally, rotate the rug to prevent excessive wear patterns and uneven fading from sunlight. This will help the rug last longer and develop an even patina overall.
  • Steam clean your wool rug annually to remove dirt and debris from deep within the carpet. Avoid steaming on a regular basis, as heat can damage wool fibers.

The 18 Best Area Rugs of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Keep Your Wool Rug Clean and Cozy (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Barbera Armstrong

Last Updated:

Views: 5838

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (79 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Barbera Armstrong

Birthday: 1992-09-12

Address: Suite 993 99852 Daugherty Causeway, Ritchiehaven, VT 49630

Phone: +5026838435397

Job: National Engineer

Hobby: Listening to music, Board games, Photography, Ice skating, LARPing, Kite flying, Rugby

Introduction: My name is Barbera Armstrong, I am a lovely, delightful, cooperative, funny, enchanting, vivacious, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.