How to clean a sheepskin rug!

 

Things change.  Just the other day Oxford University Press announced Christopher Marlowe’s name will be cozying up next to Shakespeare’s as co-author of at least three plays in Henry VI. So after years of speculation and fine-tooth word-combing, we discover the Lone Bard wasn’t the sole scribe after all. Similarly, (if you are open to the word “similarly” being used very loosely), furniture made with galvanized metal and rivets and exposed bolts and parts that make it look like it hailed from an industrial center is not the hot commodity it once was. And, in the world of rugs, chevron rugs with all their zigs and zags, which used to seem so charmingly graphic, are now so “yesteryear”.

 

 

sheepsking-on-chair

Source: Unknown.

 

And now?

 

Sheepskin rugs are today’s underfoot darling with their no-color, all-texture simplicity–and what a texture! You will want to sink your face into the thick fluff and stroke it like you are petting the dear lamb it once was–yet they have been around so long (heck, my grandmother used to decorate with them!) they seem in without risk of ever being out.

 

 

And they are lovely.

 

 

 

Add one to a plain chair that is crying out for a little something more and not only have you increased the style quotient, but padding for the tushy (and/or utilized the auxiliary side benefit of camouflaging caning that was badly in need of repair 🙂 ).

 

 

 

two-chairs-sheepskin-rugs

Source: Pop Sugar.

 

 

Have a crying baby? That wail could mean, “My nursery is missing a sheepskin rug!” Incorporate one and suddenly there is the softest, cloud-like landing for your little one who is just learning to crawl or walk. (Note: Most baby books warn that while the fleecy fluffiness of a sheepskin rug may make a beautiful backdrop for an Anne Geddes-esque photo, DO NOT let your infant sleep on one as there is a risk of resulting suffocation.)

 

 

 

sheepsking-rug-nursery-2

Source: Elle Decor.

 

 

Ooh. Ahh.

 

 

 

sheepskin-rug-nursery

Source: Elle Decor.

 

 

 

They seriously up the style ante.

 

 

 

livingroomcombo

Source: Elle Decor.

 

 

Design plan: remove two cushions from sofa. Place on floor. Drape a sheepskin rug on each. Done.

 

 

 

sheepskin-rug-decor

Source: Elle Decor.

 

 

 

They just look so amazing.

 

 

 

mongolian-lamb-stool

Source: Elle Decor.

 

 

 

Until they don’t.

 

 

 

Behold our sheepskin rug, purchased only two years ago, and in a very sullied state. (We have dogs. And apparently very dirty feet.)

 

 

 

dirty-sheepskin-rug

 

 

 

 

Lackluster at best. Disgusting grimy-grossness at worst.

 

 

 

 

sheepskin-rug-nursery-giraffe

Source: Elle Decor.

 

 

 

While sheepskin rugs are fairly reasonably priced (you can find them at various sources such as Pottery Barn, Serena and Lily and Crate and Barrel; I found mine at Costco for $149), they are not so reasonably priced that you’ll want to replace one very often. So instead of casting mine off to Craigslist and buying a new one, I put two and two together: my hair always looks better when brushed. Let’s see if brushing will revive a sheepskin rug.

 

 

First, I shook it to remove loose dirt and debris. Because this was impulsive experiment, I used my actual hairbrush (which you can see–unless you avert your eyes, which I’d totally understand–has my actual hairs still in it!). I have since read that a wire-bristled pet brush is recommended and that certainly eliminates the questionable unhygienic practice of sharing a hairbrush with a surface that rests on the floor and is regularly walked upon. You may want to purchase said brush for this specific purpose because if you use the same brush you use for your dog or cat, you risk transferring dog or cat fur to your rug. (Interestingly, human hair which is much longer, does not present this problem.)

 

 

brushing-sheepskin-rug

 

 

 

Settle in in front of the TV, turn on some music, or call your chattiest friend. When twenty minutes have passed, you will look down and ask yourself “Am I a magician because I just made magic happen?” The clumps and matted parts will be a thing of the past.

 

 

 

 

sheepsking-rug-and-feet

After.

 

 

 

 

And…..

 

 

 

 

brushed-sheepsking-rugUp close.

 

 

 

 

the-sheepskin-rug-2

Source: Elle Decor.

 

 

My sheepskin could be salvaged with a simple brushing, but in cases where the sheepskin has been soiled by urine or vomit, or worse (I’m thinking about those nursery applications, here)  I searched the internet and there were quite a few sites–and videos–that recommend hand-washing in the bathtub. The process is as follows:

 

 

  1. Shake out the dirt.
  2.  Soak sheepskin in tub filled with COLD water (in case the all-caps were not screaming loudly enough, I’ll reiterate: if your sheepskin is Hillary Clinton, hot water is Donald Trump. As in “sworn enemies”.)
  3. Agitate the rug by hand. Some sites recommend using sheepskin cleaner, others Ivory hand soap or Johnson and Johnson Baby Shampoo. But, contrary to what intuition–and the use of the word “wool” on the label–might lead you to believe, almost every tutorial I read warned against using Woolite. Hmm.
  4. Rinse. Squeeze out the excess water without ringing or you may damage the hide and further matte the wool. Comb with a pet brush (although one site said to not brush while wet). Lay flat to dry or line-dry in enough sun without being in the direct sun. You want just the right amount of sun. (I think Goldilocks was weighing in on this one.)
  5. It can take up to 7 days to dry which might make you want to use the dryer. If you do, some sites recommended using dryer balls or tennis balls to fluff the rug. All sites said use the air setting only–NO HEAT!
  6. Once dry, it will still appear matted so you will need to call that friend, turn on the TV, or listen to NPR so you can hear more about Shakespeare being usurped as sole author, and brush until you can’t brush any more and then your rug will look new again. Ancillary upshot: your rug will not only be clean and smooth; your biceps will be bulging like you just lifted weights.

 

 

 

And, once, again, you’ll have a stylish rug that resembles this:

 

 

 

 

butterfly-chair-sheepskin-rug

Source: Elle Decor.

 

 

And in the spirit of change, some wise words from Andy Warhol:

 

 

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” –Andy Warhol

 

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1 Comment on How to clean a sheepskin rug!

  1. Eluxury Home
    August 30, 2018 at 3:50 AM (9 months ago)

    Superb! I really like it

    Reply

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