How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug

Published July 27, 2018
white decorative sheepskin rug

Whether you use a sheepskin rug as home décor or for a prop, eventually it will need to be cleaned. Cleaning this type of material requires special care, and these methods work for both real and faux sheep skin rugs.

General Cleaning

Even with the gentlest touch, sheepskin rugs get dirty. General cleaning helps you remove dirt from normal wear and tear.



  1. Outdoors, shake the rug to remove debris and loosen embedded dirt.
  2. Vacuum the rug with an attachment or a handheld vacuum.
  3. Using the spoon, mix a squirt of sheepskin detergent in a cup of water.
  4. Dip the sponge in the mixture and wring it out.
  5. Using the sponge, dab heavily soiled or dirty areas.
  6. Use the brush to brush the entire rug.
  7. Hang the rug on a clothesline out of direct sunlight or in a warm dry area. It is important to keep the rug out of direct sunlight or away from direct heat, which will cause it to shrink.
  8. Allow the sheepskin to air dry.

Washing Your Rug

If your sheepskin rug is heavily soiled or needs more than a general cleaning, you can wash it by hand or in the washing machine.

Machine Washing

  1. Brush the rug with a sheepskin brush.
  2. Roll the rug around the washer so the weight is evenly distributed.
  3. Set the machine to the lowest setting. If available, use the delicate, wool cycle.
  4. Use cold or warm water. Never use hot water.
  5. Add sheepskin detergent. Do not use regular laundry detergent because it will ruin your rug.
  6. Stretch out the rug to dry or hang it on a line out of direct sunlight. Don't tumble it dry since this can harden the skin.

Hand Washing

Some rugs are too big to fit in the washer. In that case, hand wash your rug.

  1. Fill the tub with lukewarm water.
  2. Add sheepskin detergent.
  3. Submerge the rug.
  4. Gently agitate. Use a gentle touch to swish the rug around for three to five minutes.
  5. Drain the dirty water out of the tub.
  6. Refill the tub with lukewarm water to rinse the rug. Swish the rub in the clean water to remove any remaining soap and dirt.
  7. Roll the rug up to drain out the excess water. Try to squeeze out as much water as you can, but remain gentle.
  8. Stretch out the rug and hang it or lay it flat to dry.

Spot Cleaning

Spills happen, so always have white towels and sheepskin detergent on hand.

  1. Immediately blot the liquid spill with a white towel. Repeat with dry towels until the stain is completely absorbed.
  2. Wet a white towel and apply a small amount of sheepskin detergent.
  3. Gently rub the area with the detergent. Repeat this step until the spill is removed.
  4. Rinse the area with plain water. Do not soak, just rinse the soap out.
  5. Allow to air dry.

Cleaning Your Rug

Sheepskin rugs require a delicate touch. However, if you spill on your precious rug, you can easily clean it using your vacuum or even your washing machine. Now, get some tips on how to clean a shag rug.

How to Clean a Sheepskin Rug