Easy Sheepskin Care
Living with Sheepskin: Easy Care & Cleaning
Discover just how easy it is to look after sheepskin and enjoy the benefits of this wonderful natural fibre.
Sheepskin is very easy to look after. Wool fibre’s unique structure gives it a natural durability and robustness, and inbuilt dirt repelling properties. But it is important to take proper care of your wool skin products.
Remember a Few Simple Things & Looking after Sheepskin is Easy:
- Avoid direct sunlight to avoid UV damage and fading of darker shaded products
- Shake rugs, cushions, bean bags and other products that can be shaken regularly
- Dry vacuum rugs regularly
- Attend to spills and stains as promptly as possible
- Don’t rub, brush or massage wool skin products when they are damp or wet
Regular vacuuming with a plain suction vacuum cleaner* will help to maintain wool fibers and longer wool rugs benefit from occasional brushing with a wire pet brush (pet slicker pad). Small spills can be sponged off with a damp cloth. Exposure to strong direct sunlight is best avoided as Ultra Violet will damage the natural fibers and fade dyed sheepskins. Do not store in damp or wet conditions as it will cause deterioration to the natural leather pelt.
*Turbo and revolving brush vacuum cleaners can damage the wool fibre and cause “frizziness”.
After washing, the wool fibers will likely revert back to their natural curly state. Brushing with a wire wool comb when wet and after drying will help restore the fluffy appearance and natural “loft” of the fibers. Please ask your nearest sales office about an Auskin sheepskin care brush.
Air dry your natural sheepskin by hanging it on a line or by laying it out flat, away from direct sunlight. It is important to stretch sheepskin during the drying process to retain the shape and prevent excessive shrinkage. Do not tumble dry, iron or bleach your sheepskin.
Small stains and light soiling can be spot cleaned with a damp cloth and mild detergent. For more thorough cleaning, dry cleaning is recommended for the best results.
Auskin natural sheepskins can be hand or machine washed in warm water (40C / 104F) using a mild liquid detergent (USA soap) on a gentle washing cycle. Please note that machine or hand washing may affect the appearance of the natural wool fibers and the leather pelt.
Products with cotton or other backing material are generally not suitable for machine or hand washing. Dry cleaning is recommended for any products with backing materials and for dyed sheepskins, as colours may bleed.
Accidental spills and stains should be dealt with immediately to avoid permanent damage. See our extensive stain cleaning guide for advice on specific stains. Before using any stain treatment, make sure you have “contained the stain” to stop it spreading further.
More often than not, soiling occurs as dirt is walked into the rug from outside. Prevention is always better than cure. Door mats at entrance ways create a barrier to soiling, for instance.
Staining occurs when pigments chemically bond with wool fibre. Once this bonding has taken place, removing the stain without some damage to the wool pile can be extremely difficult. So it’s very important that you attend to spills and stains promptly.
Frequent and moderate cleaning is preferable to harsh treatment, likely to be required if cleaning is done infrequently.
DO ‘Contain the stain’
- Blot up liquids straight away using a paper towel or clean cloth. In the event of any large area spills, we would recommend putting a clean towel down and standing on it to absorb a much liquid as possible.
- Scoop up solids immediately using a knife or spoon – try not to push the substance further into the wool pile.
- Rub wet wool pile… ever! (This will damage the wool pile and can spread the stain further.)
- Drown the wool in water or any other liquid. (This may cause watermarks on the surface and/or damage the backing of rugs.)
We recommend the use of a Wet Stain Remover for liquid stains. But, again, you must firmly blot up the stain first before applying any stain treatment.
If you don’t have any of the Wet Stain Remover, dilute the area with lukewarm (not hot) water and re-blot thoroughly using a clean dry towel or paper towel, ensuring you do not rub the stain. You can continue to gently apply water and re-blot. The wool pile will not be damaged by water as long as you don’t over-wet the wool. Most oily or greasy stains can be removed, even after a period of time.
Want more information on dealing with wool skin stains? See our stain removal guide.