Cleaning a Wool Area Rug

Category Carpet
Periodic cleaning will ensure that your wool area rug remains beautiful for many years. Not all of the methods that are used on synthetic fiber rugs can be used on wool rugs. This is a page about cleaning a wool area rug.


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October 26, 2009

I have a handmade wool throw rug. It hasn't been cleaned in years. It has been down in a basement. Would it be OK if I took to laundromat and washed it in one of the big machines on cold and delicate and used Woolite and Downey? I have heard white vinegar will take musty smell out? Has anyone ever heard of this?

By ann from Tipp City, OH


October 26, 20090 found this helpful

I would not wash the rug. It's to delicate to wash. Instead take it to your local dry cleaners to have it cleaned professionally. You will be very glad that you did.

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October 26, 20090 found this helpful

You can't wash wool in a washing machine or it will felt! You can have it dry cleaned. I have had 2 wool rugs dry cleaned. They were both white with a very thick 4 inch pile & handmade in Greece. One came out looking wonderful & the other not so good (it looked gray). The difference being, the dry cleaners quoted me a low price to get my business then used old & dirty dry cleaning solution to do the job which turned the rug gray. The next time I knew better & asked for new solution with wonderful results.


Ask for new dry cleaning solution!

Here's some other options listed:
Read my posts here:

If you follow the tips listed in my first post & the rugs smell musty, then hang them on the line or against a fence & spray both the front & back with a Febreze you like (I like Vanilla). If it's not sunny, bring them back in & let them dry. If you can do this in the sunshine on a hot summer day, the UV rays from the sun will help kill germs.

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October 26, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you so much guys for all your help! You are awesome!

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January 22, 2007

How do you clean pet stains from a wool rug?


January 22, 20070 found this helpful

I always put cold water on pet stains and absorb with a towel then spray with hydrogen peroxide. I have never tried this on wool but it worked on my car seats and upholstered chair.

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March 4, 2014

My daughter had an accident on a handmade wool rug. I am wondering what the best solution for this is?

By Dom

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April 11, 2010

I have a thick cream wool rug with a long pile. It has gotten very grubby. How do I clean it?

By lynne sowerby from UK

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 11, 2010

I have two large lovely wool area rugs from JC Penny, but can not afford to have them dry cleaned. Does anyone have a solution to this expensive problem? Is there a way to clean them at home myself?


Pattie from Bridgton, ME


Cleaning Wool Area Rugs

Just shampoo them the next time you do your carpets. I have a Hoover, but you could use one of the rental units at the grocery. If they are colored, make sure you don't put them over other carpets when

Cleaning Wool Area Rugs

This only works if you have snow on the ground. Put rug with right side up on top of show and shovel clean snow on top until it is covered with a few inches of snow. Next step all over it (clean shoes) to press the snow down into the carpet really well. Next, sweep off snow and turn upside down in another clean area of snow and stomp on the bottom of it. If it is really dirty you'll see dirty snow when you lift the rug up. Just shake off and then sweep. Because it isn't water it won't take long to dry. It works. (03/04/2008)


By Pris

Cleaning Wool Area Rugs

There's a great way to "dry-clean" your carpets. When I use the term "Dry-Cleaning" I'm not talking about actual dry-cleaning, but an environmentally safe dry-sponge-particle type of cleaner, that cleans without water, it cleans with dry, not wet cleaners. This stuff is usually used by professionals. But, can also be used by home owners.

We had a professional carpet cleaner that used this stuff come to our home before we sold it to clean our wall to wall carpets. They didn't use foam, steam, or soap. In fact the guy told me that because of the great possibility of mold growing under the rug after you've use a wet cleaner, that it's actually not safe to use a wet cleaner on carpeting, especially if you have kids or animals that play on your carpets because mold can grow on the padding or under the carpet.


The way this type of "dry-cleaning" works is: They have these large machines that remind me of a floor polisher and they sprinkle the "Dry-cleaning" stuff on the carpets and the machine spins around and pushes the dry-cleaning particles deeply into the carpet. This "dry-cleaning" stuff is made up of little tiny "sponge-like" particles that are impregnated with a cleaner of sorts. They used a different dry cleaner for the areas where there were stains.

This stuff is then left on the carpet for about a half hour, then it's vacuumed up with a high suction vacuum. Let me tell you after he cleaned our rugs with this technique, they looked like new. I'll never use a steam cleaner or foam carpet cleaner again.

Plus, this stuff is safe for kids and causes no allergies (unlike mold under the carpets can) and it kills dust mites, too. Our rugs were really a total disgusting mess, but they looked like new when they were finished using this dry cleaning technique. Really. Plus, you don't have to wait for your carpets to dry.


Here's a web site that sells basically the same thing, only for smaller areas. All you need is the dry-cleaner and maybe the roller-type thing that pushes the granules down into your carpet, then finish off with a really good vacuuming.


You can't beat that price.

Here's the site:

Read more about this stuff from the manufacturers: (03/04/2008)

By Cyinda

Cleaning Wool Area Rugs

I use a Hoover steam cleaner and it works beautifully on my hand-knotted, wool Orientals. I have two dogs and must steam clean several times a year. When I empty the unit, the water is like mud. This cleaner really does a great job. (05/25/2008)

By Sara

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