Caring for Your Wool Rug

Wool is one of the best natural fiber floor coverings around, and well worth the investment. With proper care, a wool carpet will be long lasting and will keep its beautiful appearance as it ages. Keeping it clean is easy and safe; there’s no need for damaging chemicals.

Regular Care

Regular vacuum cleaning is the best way to maintain a wool carpet’s health and appearance. You can vacuum two or three times a week early on to help prevent the natural shedding that occurs in new wool rugs. Vacuuming once a week will suffice once the carpet settles, depending where it’s located. It may need more weekly attention if it’s in a heavy traffic area.

Run your vacuum cleaner across the carpet in different directions to keep it from matting. Set the beater bar of your vacuum on its highest setting so the brushes don’t dig into the fabric. Avoid using a self-adjusting model; it could adjust itself too deeply into the material.

There are a few things you can do to help your vacuum cleaner do its job. Sweeping the rug beforehand will loosen dirt and make it easier to remove. If you have a wool area rug that’s not too big to handle, take it outside and shake the dirt and dust free before you vacuum, or you can drape it over a line or rail and beat the dirt free.

Lastly, rotate your rug regularly if it’s in a high traffic area to avoid uneven wear. The same goes for rugs that are exposed to a lot of sunlight; too much can cause fading.

Special Care

It’s a good idea to steam clean your wool carpet at least once a year, however it can be a tricky business. Steam cleaning with water that is too hot — over 150 degrees — can cause wool to shrink. It’s best to consult a professional cleaning service, or have them come in and do the job for you. Look for cleaning services that use natural products or claim to be environmentally friendly.

It’s not good to expose a wool rug to too much moisture. In other words, wet-shampoo cleaning isn’t a good idea. Wool retains moisture, making it hard to dry if it gets too wet, as well as creating an unpleasant smell. Don’t use dry powders that can penetrate the fibers. Avoid oxi cleaners as well; they are not designed for natural fiber floor coverings.

Spills and Mishaps

Wool has natural properties that help it resist many spills from penetrating too deep into the fabric. Still, accidents happen, and it’s important to deal with any stains and spills as quickly as possible.

The first step is to soak up as much of the liquid as possible with a clean cloth. Blot the liquid, don’t rub at it; all that will do is grind the stain further into the fabric.

Here are two options that can work against several different kinds of spills:

  • Beer, wine, condiments, coffee, tea, juice or urine: 1 tsp. of a neutral detergent with a tsp. of white vinegar diluted in a quart of warm water
  • Milk, pen ink, crayon, shoe polish: Use an oil-free paint remover.

Dampen a clean cloth with the cleaning mixture relevant for the specific spill and dab at the stain. Blot the area with another clean cloth to soak up any moisture and dry the area; repeat the process if needed.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can spoil any natural fiber floor covering, including wool. Avoid placing carpets in areas that are too humid or two hot, which will encourage mold and mildew growth. And of course, keep your carpet clean. Natural, chemical-free maintenance will add years to a wool carpet’s life.

Wool is a very durable material. It’s naturally designed to absorb the wear and tear of everyday life with long-term, eco-friendly benefits.





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