Sheepskin slippers are an excellent investment, promising unrivaled warmth and comfort with their soft, woolly lining plus timeless style with their suede exterior. A pair of sheepskin slippers should last many years even with regular wear, but they do require the occasional cleaning to look their best. Treat your sheepskin slippers with a special protectant spray to extend the time between cleanings.
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Whether they have a stain to tackle or just need to be freshened up, washing sheepskin slippers is a task that requires the correct products and techniques. With a little care – most importantly, avoiding too much water, heat and agitation while cleaning – you'll avoid potential damage and get the best possible results.
Spot-Cleaning Sheepskin Slippers
If you want to spot-clean small marks or stains from your slippers rather than wash them all over, start with a suede brush and gentle scrubbing. Follow up by pressing low-tack painters' tape onto the stained area and tugging it away and repeat that several times. Another option is to rub the stain with a white pencil eraser. For greasy stains, rub white chalk or cornstarch over the stain and let it sit for several hours overnight. The chalk or cornstarch should absorb the grease. Scrub the powder away with a suede brush.
If none of these methods fully removes the marks or stains, proceed with deep-cleaning your sheepskin slippers.
Deep-Cleaning Sheepskin Slippers
All sheepskin slippers get grimy with built-up dirt over time and need to be deep-cleaned. It's best to purchase a special suede or sheepskin cleaning and conditioning product, but a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water is a cheaper alternative. With this method, start by dampening the slippers with water rather than soaking them, using water that is cold or lukewarm. Next, scrub the outer surface of the slippers all over with a suede brush to open up the pile of the suede.
Apply the suede or sheepskin cleaner following the manufacturer's instructions, which will generally tell you to spray or wipe a small amount over the surface of the slippers. If you're using diluted vinegar, apply a small amount with the cloth. Rub the cleaning solution into the suede with the cloth and then rinse the cloth and wipe the slippers with plain water to remove the solution. Stuff the slippers with rags or newspaper to reshape them and then leave them to air dry overnight away from the sun or any heat sources. Brush them all over once more with a suede brush when the slippers are dry.
Cleaning the Lining of Sheepskin Slippers
Cleaning and deodorizing the soft, fluffy lining of sheepskin slippers is the best way to get rid of any musty smells. Deodorize the slippers by sprinkling a few tablespoons of baking soda, cornstarch or a 50-50 mixture of both inside each slipper. Shake the powder around inside the slippers to evenly coat the lining. Let it sit overnight and then shake out all the powder.
To more thoroughly clean the lining of sheepskin slippers, wipe them down with a damp cloth. If necessary, add a tiny drop of mild liquid soap to the damp cloth before scrubbing inside the slippers. Repeat with a rinsed cloth to remove any traces of soap. Let the slippers air dry away from any heat source.
Machine-Washing Sheepskin Slippers
Some but not all sheepskin slippers are machine washable. Check the tag on your slippers or visit the manufacturer's website to find out if machine-washing is advisable for your particular slippers. UGG, a popular maker of sheepskin slippers and boots, states that its products are machine washable, but you should only use a delicate, cold-water setting. If you're at all unsure about machine-washing your sheepskin slippers, err on the side of caution and deep-clean them by hand instead. If you're unable to get your sheepskin slippers clean yourself, take them to a dry cleaner.