Wool carpets are the most popular choice for natural fibre carpets, and for a good reason. They are inherently stain resistant and easy to clean. Wool is, after all, meant to protect sheep from a variety of weather conditions. Keeping this in mind, you can expect a wool carpet to last for a while, but only with proper maintenance.
It's important to know that wool cannot withstand hot water, as that can result in shrinkage. This is, of course, common knowledge, but it's good to get it out of the way. It's also not a good idea to clean with a lot of cold water because extended moisture contact might cause mould.
Furthermore, all wool carpets and rugs come with special cleaning instructions that you should be aware of before cleaning them yourself.
How to clean wool carpets yourself?
For everyday cleaning of carpets made of wool, you should use a normal vacuum cleaner. The suggested frequency is once a week, and even more often if you have pets. Neglecting said task, allows for dust and dirt to go deeper into the pile, which could ruin the base structure.
You most likely already know and do the above, but are you aware of how to remove stains off of wool carpets?
There are two options: employ tested home recipes or WoolSafe approved cleaning products. In any event, make sure to test your cleaning solution on a hidden region of the carpet.
How to clean wool carpets with baking soda and vinegar?
- Assuming we are dealing with a spillage, the first thing you'll need to do is to grab some dry paper towel and soak up the issue. Using an absorbent clean cloth can also do the trick.
- Generously sprinkle baking soda onto the stain and wait for about 30 minutes. After said time passes, simply hoover the area.
- Mix white vinegar, some dishwashing detergent and cold water into a bowl.
- Blot the mixture onto the stained area and lightly rub it with circular movements. Use clean sides of the cloth until no more colour is transferred to it. Make sure to not scrub as that can drive the stain deeper into the piles.
- Rinse with cold water and a clean cloth by blotting.
- Place a clean towel and start to apply pressure to it in order to soak up as much of the remaining moisture. You can either do this manually or by placing a heavy book on top.
- Lastly, let the carpet air out until it's fully dry.
How to clean wool carpets with wool detergent?
- Let the carpet dry out by leaving windows open.
- Place a clean towel onto the stain and apply pressure.
- Rinse with cold water and sponge or a cloth with the same blotting method.
- Use clean sides of the cloth each time until the stain disappears.
- Spray the solution onto another clean rag and start blotting the stain. By spraying the product directly onto the affected area, the stain will get wider and deeper.
- Soak up as much of the stain as possible with a clean cloth.
- Ensure that your stain remover product is WoolSafe approved.
Read also: Clean The Different Types of Carpets
Should you hire a professional carpet cleaner?
Anyone can deal with dried mud and debris over wool carpets, and even the occasion stain removal. However, all carpet manufacturers recommend deep cleaning your carpets at least once or twice a year. By having your carpet cleaned by a professional, you benefit from:
- allergen removal
- restoration of the carpet colours
- odour and stain removal
- quick drying process
This can all be achieved via steam cleaning, also known as hot water extraction. Professional equipment regulates the temperature of water with just a simple push of a button. This makes the method suitable even for carpets which are made of 100% wool.
How does the method actually work?
- Inspection of the carpet to determine the wool fibres consistency.
- Hoovering to remove dirt and dust that has accumulated, paying specific attention to high-traffic areas.
- Application of a pre-treatment product in the form of a spray to allow for easier stain removal.
- Injection of hot water under high pressure deep into the carpet, which is then immediately extracted.
- Further treatment of any stubborn stains and marks.
- Drying process - this happens naturally with windows open and/ or heating on.
How to clean wool rugs?
Apart from regular vacuuming, there's also other ways in which you can help maintain the good condition of your woollen rugs.
1. Washing it with a scrub brush
Washing your rug with a scrub brush in your back garden or driveway in the summer is a great way to keep your rug clean! You require nothing more than a scrub brush, water and some fairy liquid. Start by wetting the rug with a hose or with a bucket of water. Then, pour some fairy liquid over it and start scrubbing in the direction of the pile.
Once that is done, rinse it with cold water and more scrubbing. Then, lift the rug (someone might have to give you a hand) and clean the floor underneath. The only thing left to do after is to clean the bottom side as well and let it dry. It's not advisable to let it hang as that could ruin the rug's structure.
2. Cleaning it with snow
An old-fashioned way of cleaning rugs, especially in winter, is cleaning it with snow. To be able to do this, you need:
- For the temperature outside to be below 0 °C
- For there to be a frozen ground
- Clean dry snow
- A shovel
- A broom
The first step is to put the carpet on the snow and let it cool down. After a while, using the shovel, start pouring clean dry snow on top. Wait a bit, and start brushing the snow with the broom. This will remove dry dust, crumbs, hair, dirt and even bacteria, leaving the rug clean and sanitized.
The rug then needs to be shaken, so the bottom side can also be cleaned. Once that is done, you should leave it dry before placing it in your home again. This activity can easily be turned into family fun, by having your children help out!
3. Cleaning it with dry powder
If you're unwilling to get yourself or the rug wet, try cleaning it with dry powder. You simply have to sprinkle a generous amount of powder onto the rug and start scrubbing. Use a stiff or a soft brush based on the rug type. After the dirt is absorbed by the powder, hoover the mess and you're done!
Tip: Use a suitable for your wool rug cleaning product to pre-treat stubborn stains.