How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug

How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug. Sheepskin wool is a soft, resilient natural fiber that keeps you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It is also extremely strong, resisting most snags, tears, wrinkles and pilling. A sheepskin rug requires little care--brushing, shaking out or vacuuming will usually do the trick.

But when your rug needs a deeper cleaning, follow the simple instructions below.

  1. Remove dust by brushing up the wool pile with a wire brush, shaking out the skin and vacuuming with an attachment.

  2. Put the rug in your washing machine and use a non-enzyme shampoo made specifically for washable sheepskin items. Pre-soak the rug in the shampoo for 20 minutes if you have stubborn stains or dirt.

  3. Wash on gentle cycle using lukewarm water that does not exceed 100 degrees F.

  4. Add a high-quality wool conditioner to the final rinse to soften the leather and condition the wool. Rinse once more and spin dry.

  5. Lay the rug flat and dry it away from heat. Gently flex and massage the skin side while the rug dries to soften it.

  6. Brush the dried rug again to restore the wool pile.


Skin shrinkage of between eight to ten percent is common after washing a sheepskin rug. Sheepskin is dry cleanable with either white spirits or perchlorethylene.


Do not use laundry detergents on your sheepskin rug. Do not vacuum a sheepskin rug unless you use an attachment.