How to Care for Sheepskin Rugs and Pillows


Sheepskin is a durable, natural material that creates luxurious rugs, throws, pillows, clothing and more. When you care for it properly, sheepskin rugs and pillows will give you a lifetime of warmth and comfort. Remember that because the sheepskin is an all-natural product, it may not respond well to dry cleaning; if you must have it dry cleaned, take it to a merchant who is experienced in working with sheepskin. Otherwise, you can usually clean and care for sheepskin items at home without a problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheepskin shampoo
  • Wire grooming brush
  • Give your sheepskin rug or pillow a good, vigorous shake as soon as you remove it from its packaging. Then lay out the rug, or place the pillows out on display. Any creases, folds and flatness present because of the packaging will soon "fluff" out as the resilient sheepskin returns to its normal state.

  • Hand wash your sheepskin rugs or pillows in lukewarm water with a mild detergent, ideally something intended specifically for sheepskin like the Woolskin Wool Wash (you'll find a link to in Resources). Make sure to remove the pillow form from your sheepskin pillow cover first, if at all possible. If the pillow form cannot be removed for cleaning, just spot clean any soiled places on the pillow with a white rag dipped in lukewarm water. You can spot clean light soil from sheepskin rugs with a damp rag, too.

  • After cleaning, lay your sheepskin rug or pillow out to air dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and artificial heat. You can also dry sheepskin items on the clothesline. If they appear to be out of their usual shape while wet, gently stretch them back into shape while the skin is still damp by flexing and massaging the leather side of the skin.

  • Use a wire brush (see Resources) while the sheepskin is still damp to gently groom the curly wool on your sheepskin items, helping re-fluff them. Groom the sheepskin rug or pillow once more with the brush once it's dry; this helps prevent the wool from curling in tightly, as it tends to do.

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