Top Tips on How To Care for and Clean Your Wool Rugs | the ReFab Diaries

Whether your wool rug was sustainably handmade by artisans or thrifted from secondhand stores, time can make the vibrant patterns fade. Their beauty is what makes wool rugs so desirable, so keeping them looking brand new is worth the effort! If you’re caring for a family heirloom or trying to restore a vintage purchase, you can use these top tips on how to care for and clean your wool rugs.

Top Tips on How To Care for and Clean Your Wool Rugs

Remove the dust

Whether your wool rug is thrifted or handmade, and no matter the type of wool rug you own, it could use a good beating! I suggest taking your carpet outside and beating it with a broom or rug beater. This process will knock out the loose dust, dirt, and pollen. I would also wear a mask to avoid breathing anything in.


After you’ve gotten out all the loose matter, you’ll want to give the rug a good vacuuming and pass over it a few times. This will get out any dirt you may have missed and remove the deeper-set debris.

Depending on the type of wool rug you have, you may want to avoid using a brush and use a suction-only vacuum instead. Short pile rugs can use a vacuum with a brush attachment, but I’ve seen brush vacuums damage shaggy wool rugs.


After vacuuming, you’ll want to condition your rug with powder. Avoid adding moisture to your wool carpet as this can cause mold and make it smell musky. If you want to avoid the harsh chemicals of powder conditioners, you can make rug conditioners yourself. I use a half cup of borax mixed with a half cup of baking powder to make my own conditioner.

After mixing the conditioner and adding a thin layer to your carpet, rub it into the rug with a soft-bristle brush, leaving it there for about five minutes. Then, you can beat out and vacuum up any excess powder.

Spot treat

Wool rugs are susceptible to stubborn stains and water damage, so you’ll want to make your own gentle stain remover as well. Another quick and easy recipe I’ve used is a little bit of dishwasher soap and eight parts of water to one part of white vinegar. Apply to any problem areas and rub the stain until it’s gone, making sure to remove any excess moisture with a paper towel.

Steam clean

While steam cleaning is essential, this can quickly damage a wool rug, so you need to be careful. You’ll need to hold the steamer about 6 to 7 inches away from the carpet while cleaning its entirety in quick motions. You don’t want to keep the steamer for more than five seconds over a spot. I’ve found that it works best to let the rug dry in the sun, but you can also let it dry overnight.

Now that you know how to care for and clean your wool rugs, you can own one without fear and decorate your home to your heart’s content!




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