There are tons of things to love about wool rugs. In addition to being attractive and comfortable underfoot, wool rugs have practical benefits, too.
Wool has some surprisingly cool properties. The outer layers of wool are water-resistant while the inner layers are great absorbers of liquid. Wool is also fire-resistant and in the event that it does catch fire, it won’t melt like other textiles!
The only problem is wool rug shedding. When your wool rug sheds, it doesn’t just make a mess on your floor and upholstery. For some people, the chemical compounds released from loose rug fibers can cause allergies and asthma-like symptoms.
Keep reading to find out more about how to reduce wool rug shedding and how to address a wool rug’s cleaning needs!
Reducing Wool Rug Shedding
A rug that is 100% pure wool won’t shed terribly, nor will it release the chemical compounds that can cause health issues. However, most wool rugs nowadays are not 100% wool, but rather a blend of wool and one or two synthetic fibers.
When you first purchase your rug, 100% wool or not, it’s a good idea to apply a fiber protector to them. Fiber protectors are sprays that coat and strengthen the wool’s surface without affecting the texture or color. In addition to cutting down on the shedding, fiber protector can help your rug to resist stains.
The best fiber protector in the world won’t stop your rug from shedding at least a little bit, especially in the first few weeks of using it. Until the shedding slows, get into a routine of vacuuming your rug once or twice a week. This will lift the loose fibers away from the pile before they have a chance to spread all over your house.
Wool rugs are also more likely to shed if they undergo a lot of stress. When there’s too much pressure or friction on the bottom, the fibers weaken and come loose. You can reduce some of this stress by placing your rug on a rug pad, which will absorb a lot of the shock when the rug is walked on.
Wool Rug Cleaning and Maintenance Tips
There are a few easy ways that you can maintain your wool rug’s texture, appearance, and structural integrity.
To begin with, vacuuming is a great way to keep excess dirt and dust from building up in the pile, which can lead to discoloration and weakening fibers. Plus, dust and dirt can carry allergens that may be irritating to you and any other members of your household.
Use a vacuum with a beater bar to kick up the dirt and dust. If your rug has a fringed edging, keep the vacuum away from the edges. The fringe can actually get tangled around the beater bar and tear.
Start from the center and work your way out. To clean the edge and fringe, use a handheld vacuum or an upholstery attachment on your standing vacuum. This will create a much more gentle pull that won’t tear your fringe.
You should also rotate your rug once or twice a year. That way, no one section will receive greater wear from foot traffic or more noticeable fading from sun damage. Even if your pile flattens over time, it will be a lot better looking if it flattens evenly.
If you’re cleaning a stain, don’t scrub at it when it’s still wet. Blot away as much of the liquid as you can and let the rest dry.
Once it’s time to go after the stain more directly, don’t pour or spray your detergent on the rug. Instead, dip a sponge or rag into the detergent and lightly scrub the stain until it lightens and disappears. After this is done, use a clean rag or sponge dipped in water to remove the detergent from the fibers.
Deep Cleaning a Wool Rug
If you stay on top of your regular wool rug maintenance, you may never need to do a deep clean. However, there will probably come a time in a wool rug’s life that deep cleaning is necessary, and it needs to be done properly or you could damage the rug.
Begin with a good shake-out. Hang the rug over a railing or clothesline outside and hit it with a broom or rug beater to loosen dirt caught below the rug’s surface. You may also want to do this with the rug pad.
Turn the rug so it’s bottom-up and vacuum the underside. Look for signs of dry rot that may require professional mending. Flip it over and vacuum the topside to remove any of the dirt that didn’t fly away during your shake-out session.
Next, follow the same light scrubbing technique as mentioned above, working in small sections with a gentle detergent diluted with water. Because you’re going to make your way across the entire face of the rug, you’ll need to rinse out your sponge several times. Otherwise, you may be dragging dirt from one side of your rug to the other!
Once your rug has been scrubbed with detergent and the detergent has been removed with water, use a clean towel to blot or soak up some of the moisture. Be careful not to use too much liquid during this process, as saturated wool can take a long time to dry.
When to Call in the Professionals
Wool rug shedding is a normal part of owning a wool rug. The best thing to do is clean it up as it occurs and to use a rug pad to absorb some of the wear and tear a rug goes through!
When it comes to rug cleaning and maintenance, when should you call in the professionals?
We’d recommend using a professional carpet cleaning service for wool rugs that are too big or heavy to move on your own. This may also be a good idea if you’re dealing with an older, more delicate rug. And, of course, call in the professionals when you’re dealing with a mess too big to tackle by yourself!
If any of these reasons ring a bell, schedule an appointment with us today! We can get rid of everything from stains to pet odors, and if a spot comes back, then so do we!