how to Safely Clean Wool Carpets and Rugs

How To Safely Clean Wool Carpets And Rugs – (Guides & Helpful Tips)

With many households now having a mixture of hardwood, carpet, and rugs, making sure that you take the best care of them, especially how to Safely Clean Wool Carpets and Rugs, is essential. Wool carpeting are the go-to choices in many homes, but unlike common carpet types, the way we treat and clean our wool rugs needs to be completely different.

Chemical Stain Removal

If you have suffered stains from a spill, or scuff marks on your carpets you would typically tackle this problem with some sort of chemical, combined with a hand scrubbing process until the stain was removed. Whereas this may be fine on nylon, or some synthetic types of carpets, doing this on the wool carpets is a definite no.

A 100% wool carpet is not factory pre-treated with chemicals to protect against stains, mold, or water and maybe lacking a flame retardant coating, which are usually applied to preserve other types of carpet. However, due to the nature of wool carpets, they are naturally retardant to spills, or stains, making them easy to remove.

So what's makes wool more beneficial and different to use than other carpet materials?

The benefits of Wool for Carpets

So before we look at the best ways to care for your wool carpets, let's see some of the benefits of using wool against other types. Wool, unlike other carpet materials, as we have mentioned is a natural fiber.

The wool yarn is spun and comes from a sheep, and even though there is a washing and preparation processes after the wool fleece is removed from the animal, it still retains a lot of its protective characteristics.

The wool contains something called lanolin, which is a waxy oil produced naturally by the sheep. This oily substance is excreted through the skin and acts at waterproof shield for the wool, and also helps to repel dirt on the wool.

So with the wools own inherent defensive properties, treating with any harsh chemicals can actually damage the fibers of the wool, as will rubbing it too hard.

Yet with the right planned approach, you can keep wool rugs and carpets looking good as new.

So the question is, how do you keep it clean?

how to Safely Clean Wool Carpets and Rugs

We talked about the repelling qualities of wool, so what happens if you do happen to have a spill or dirt marks on your carpet by accident?

Fear not, we have these top six steps to take to remove any stains:

1. When a spill occurs, it needs dealing with as quickly as possible, and this action will generally ensure that the spill or stain is completely removed.

2. Do not use any cleaning chemicals, and do not rub the stain, because this will destroy the wool own repellent capabilities, which the wool fibers won't recover from.

3. The method to use is to dab and blot, rather than scrub. You are looking to draw the spill or stain from the wool carpet without any damage to the fibers.

4. If the spill is from coffee or wine, then absorb with a clean towel or absorbent cloth, using a spray bottle with water in it to dampen the area first. Then gently dab the area to soak up the liquid, and keep repeating this process. It essential that you don't panic at this stage and take your time.

5. If the stain is stubborn and dried in, use some white vinegar in a mixture with water and spray on the affected areas then leave for 4-5 minutes. Then use the blotting technique, starting at the outside edge of the stain first, and then work towards the center area of the stain which prevents unnecessary spreading.

6. The mistake most people make at this point if the stain hasn't gone completely is to have the urge to start scrubbing like mad. Please resist this temptation as it will only cause damage. It may take a few goes to entirely remove the spill mark on the wool rug, so patience is the way to achieve this fully.

Maintenance for wool carpet and Rugs

Having to regularly vacuum your wool carpets goes without saying, however, the type of vacuum you use needs specific elements to be used on wool carpets. Otherwise, you can destroy the fiber pile of the carpet. So, let's check the best way to care for your carpet, and which vacuum is the best to use on wool carpet.

Selecting a vacuum without a beater bar

Many of today's vacuum cleaners are designed to be adaptable to different floor heights like hardwood, tile, and carpets. The beater bar, or rotating brush, is underneath the cleaning head of the vacuum. If it's too low down and not adjustable it can damage the carpet if it's too dense, by plucking and fuzzing the fibers, so you'll need to remove or to disable it.

This is an option on a vacuum especially for this kind of carpet. Some offer a different cleaning head specifically designed for use on high pile carpet types.


Top tip

Using a vacuum with a HEPA filtration system will reduce most allergens and dust particles, up to 99.97%, so check the vacuum has one fitted. This will help anyone who suffers from allergies, itching and sneezing when cleaning.

Other vacuum factors to consider


There a few other things that will help vacuum handling when cleaning your wool rugs.

Large wheels will also allow the vacuum to glide across the thicker carpets without leaving tracking marks, which leaves a perfect finish look. The tool accessories can be handy on wool rugs for getting deep into the carpet loops and removing ground in the dirt, with the use of the crevice and brush tools. 

Although this is more of a manual job, it's not something you have to do each time you clean. Doing this a little more often will make your wool rugs look amazing. 

how to clean a wool Area rug

A way of cleaning your wool rug is to vacuum it upside down. First, roll up the carpet. Then quickly sweep the floor area where the carpet has been laying. After this unroll the area rug the opposite way round, so the backing is facing upwards.

This method is not something you have to do each time you vacuum however having it as part of your cleaning routine will improve how you clean a wool area rug.

step for cleaning wool rugs.

Then using a vacuum with the rotating brushes ON and start to vacuum the rug. This method beats the back of the area rug and releases dirt and dust particles onto the floor. Once done, roll the rug back up, and vacuum the floor again. Repeat this until there is no dirt on the floor to vacuum. Finally, roll the rug back out the right way round, and you're done.

Tassles on wool rugs

Take extra care with decorative trimming.

If your rug has tassels running down the sides. This decorative trimming can be sucked up into the vacuum when cleaning. The way to clean them safely is to move the vacuum from side to side on the rug and not end to end. This with stop any of the tassels getting caught up in the vacuum.

Should you have your wool carpets professionally cleaned?

Depending on the vacuum cleaner you use, you might want to consider having your wool carpets cleaned by a professional company. It's something that could be done once or twice a year. 


If you do decide to hire a carpet cleaning expert, there are few questions you can ask first before letting them loose on your prized wool carpet or rugs.

* How long have the company been doing this?
* What experience have they had with wool carpets?
* Are they members of the
NCCA? (National Carpet Cleaners Associations)
* What chemicals do they use?
* What type of cleaning equipment do they have?
* Do they have evidence of work they have done?
* Check website for testimonials from satisfied customers.

Did you Know?

Wool carpets reduce pet odors. The smell of our dogs is due to the small organisms that live on the animal that gives off a compound (VOCs) that produces that "doggy smell." The wool carpet makeup can absorb this compound, which means of all carpets tested, wool came out top for reducing pet smells in a rug.

Common Questions

Q: Is it true a wool carpet absorbs moisture, so help with condensation? 
A: Wool is a natural fiber, and it will act as a dehumidifier and can absorb 30% of its weight, which helps with reducing the dampness.

Q: Is wool fire retardant? 
A: Because wool produces lanolin, which is a waxy oil, it dramatically slows down any burning process, plus wool is difficult to ignite with a naked flame. Additionally, it does not melt like nylon and some synthetic fiber carpets.

Q: How safe is a wool carpet to have in the home?
Wool flooring is routinely installed on aircraft. So with their high standards and regulations, especially against fire risk, there's no better evidence from a safety point of view on the qualities of wool.

Q: Is wool carpeting suitable for allergies sufferers?
A: Surprisingly yes, contrary to popular belief, and this is down to the wools natural ability to absorb moisture. This is where bacteria and mold would start to grow, and this attracts mites and lava eggs. Therefore by dispersing moisture in the carpet, the wool fibers are more resistant to bacteria making the wool yarn hypoallergenic.

Final Thoughts


So there you have it, having wool carpets or area rugs in your home can have great benefits, being extremely durable and lasting for years.

It has many versatile uses and benefits, from the luxury feel as you trend barefoot in the bedroom, to using in high traffic areas where a more robust carpet is wanted.

Looking and caring for the wool carpet will ensure it excellence will brighten any home.

About the Author David Perez

I have a passion for clean floors and living areas, so it is no surprise that I know a lot about vacuum cleaners and how to clean different surfaces. Sharing this knowledge gives me a lot of pleasure which is why I started this blog and I hope everyone who needs help will find the help they are looking for here.