How to Clean Hooked Wool Rugs

Kaye Morris

Hooked wool rugs bring warmth and color to a room and can tie together a decorating theme. Hooked wool rugs are highly susceptible to damage when exposed to moisture, so they are best suited for non-wet areas of the household. Never store them in areas where they can grow mold or mildew.

Low traffic areas with no direct sunlight are the best places for a hooked wool rug to prevent staining or fading. Cleaning hooked wool rugs is a simple process unless the rug is stained. You must handle stains on hooked wool rugs with care.

  1. Turn the rug upside down to allow dirt and dust to fall onto the floor. Do not hang or beat the rug as it may cause damage.

  2. Vacuum with a gentle hand-held vacuum, or use an upholstery attachment on your regular vacuum cleaner. Do not vacuum the rug with your upright vacuum as the suction pressure may damage the rug.

  3. Place a clean, white cloth over stains, and immediately blot them up from the rug.

  4. Pour 1/4 cup of Woolite into a plastic container, and spray water into the container to create suds.

  5. Collect some of the suds on a soft-bristled toothbrush or a baby’s hair brush, and gently brush the soiled area of the rug to remove the stain. Only use the suds from the Woolite. Do not immerse the brush in the liquid. Test a small area on the back side of the rug with the cleaner before attempting to remove a stain.


On a sunny day with a breeze, take your rug outside and place it upside down on top of a clean sheet to air it out. Never hang the rug.


Never saturate a wool rug with water. If the backing becomes wet, it can prevent the wool from drying completely and will cause the wool to rot. Do not dry clean a wool rug. Most dry cleaners do not have the knowledge or equipment to clean wool. If your rug requires professional cleaning, contact a museum or antiques expert for a recommended cleaning service.