Can You Machine Wash Sheepskin Baby Rugs?

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A sheepskin rug makes for a soft and comforting spot for your baby to play, nap and crawl. While pricey, they can last for many years. Of course, with much use, the rug is bound to get dingy sooner rather than later. The good news is that most sheepskin baby rugs are machine washable.

Machine Wash

  • Some manufacturers keep easy care in mind when it comes to producing sheepskin baby rugs. As each rug is different, however, it's important to take some time to read through your rug's care instructions. In particular, many South American sheepskin rugs cannot be machine washed, as well as those that have been dyed a dark color. These rugs must be either hand washed or professionally cleaned.

    Once you are certain your sheepskin is machine washable, select an appropriate detergent. Laundry detergents containing enzymes and soap are too harsh and can cause damage. While you may use a mild laundry detergent, a shampoo especially formulated for sheepskin rugs is the safest option. Note that you should never use bleach on sheepskin.

    Place the sheepskin baby rug and your detergent of choice into your washing machine. Wash sheepskin on a gentle cycle, or a wool cycle if your machine happens to have one, using the coolest water possible. Add a wool conditioner, not a fabric softener, to the rinse cycle. Run the rug through one more rinse cycle to remove the conditioner.

Dry

  • Whether you are able to machine dry your sheepskin baby rug depends on the manufacturer. In general it's best to allow the rug to air dry away from sunlight and direct sources of heat. If you must machine dry the sheepskin, tumble dry on a cool, gentle cycle. Too high a heat can dry out the leather backing and cause the wool to take on a rough texture.

Massage and Brush

  • When the sheepskin rug is dry, massage its leather backing. This will help to restore the leather's supple feel. Afterwards use a wire brush to fluff the rug's wool, working the brush in an upwards motion.

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