Can You Steam Clean a Wool Rug?

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can you steam clean a wool rug

Wool rugs tend to see a lot of wear and tear. Food spills, dirt and pet stains can leave bizarre stains on these delicate rugs. It is very important to address a stain as soon as you spot it to prevent it from settling in the fibers. Great care must be taken in cleaning wool rugs because they are made from delicate fibers. Some people say that wool rugs should not be steam cleaned. If you have heard people say this, you might wonder, “Can you steam clean a wool rug?”

Well, you’ll be glad to know that you can certainly employ steam cleaning to remove stains, dirt, and spills from your wool rug. It is a safe and effective method that allows you to keep your wool rug in good condition. Below we’ve outlined the steps you can follow to steam clean your wool rug.

Steam Cleaning a Wool Rug – Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Sprinkle Baking Soda

Sprinkle baking soda on your wool rug, thoroughly covering it from all sides. Baking soda is high in sodium carbonate, which effectively neutralizes odors. Vacuum your rug to prevent matting.

2. Get a Steam Cleaner

Get a steam cleaner from the local hardware store on rent and choose a detergent product. Mix it according to the instructions.

3. Test the Steam Cleaner

Test the steam cleaner on a small area of your rug. If you feel a sticky residue on the rug after steam cleaning, don’t use the product. If there is no sticky residue, you can continue using the steam cleaner on the rest of the rug.

4. Steam Clean Your Rug

Steam clean your wool rug in both directions and then hang it up on a cloth line to dry. A sunny area is best for drying but you need to watch out for rain.

Using this steam cleaning method won’t hurt your wool rug. This is the most effective and thorough method for removing dirt, debris, and stains from the base of the rug. Wool will smell like a wet dog when you clean it. But this isn’t something to worry about because the odor will dissipate as the rug dries. Drying should take about 4 to 6 hours on average. Make sure that your steam cleaner doesn’t use high alkaline cleaning products – their pH rating should be less than 8.5. Alkalinity degrades organic fibers, causing discoloration and degradation over time.   

Steam Cleaning a Wool Rug – FAQs

Q.1) Can I use chemical products to clean a wool rug?

Chemical products can damage delicate wool rugs, which is why you should avoid using them. If you have to use them, be very careful or seek a professional’s help. Fortunately, there are steam cleaners that can clean and disinfect wool rugs without any chemical cleaning products. Some examples include:

Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 with Convenient Detachable Handheld Unit, Laminate/Hardwood/Tiles/Carpet Kitchen - Garment - Clothes - Pet Friendly Steamer Whole House Multipurpose Use by PurSteam World's Best Steamers
  • Cleans Literally Everything! Nobody likes cleaning! But with the help of our 10-in-1 Steam Mop you can clean the whole house more quickly and easily, making it cleaner and fresher than ever! Clean a lot more than floors with the built-in handheld steam cleaner, or use the flexible hose to put the cleaning power of steam in the palm of your hand. Works great as floor Steam Mop, Carpet Cleaner, steam cleaner, handheld garment steamer window, mirror & glass cleaner & much more.
  • Child & Pet Safe - Best steam cleaner for tile & hardwood, cleaning with no chemicals, leaves the floors looking new and really clean. Comes with special surface scrubber, providing versatile cleaning from Top to Bottom. Ideal for Glass, Sealed Stone, Stainless Steel, and Sealed Tile/Grout.
  • Light And Maneuverable. 3 Adjustable modes help you cater the mop's steam level to your specific needs. That's especially important when you're trying to preserve your hardwood floors finish. The steam cleaner’s 380 ml (12.8 oz) reservoir provides around 25 minutes of steam at the lowest setting and about 12 minutes of steam at the maximum steam setting. One real bonus is that it uses tap water alone to steam off dirt, eliminating the need to buy pricey detergent.
  • Multifunctional Household Tool - Safe to use on any surface you want to clean: hardwood floors, vinyl, tiles, marble, ceramic & porcelain tiles. Not only that, but you can also clean anything around the house with our built-in handheld steam cleaner. Just install the attachment you need and let the steam do all the work for you!

Last update on 2023-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Q.2) How to remove stains from wool rug without steam cleaning?

  • Act Quick

Pet or food stains should be blotted up immediately. As soon as you spot the stain, try to remove as much moisture as possible with a dry towel. Once the bulk of the stain has been removed, sprinkle the rug with baking soda and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. Then vacuum.

  • Mix Vinegar and Dishwashing Detergent in Water
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Add dishwashing detergent, vinegar, and water in a bowl and mix them. You can go with Finish – All in 1-85ct, Cascade Platinum Plus Dishwasher Detergent Actionpacs or Finish – Quantum – 82ct for this step. Blot this mixture on the stained area with a sponge and scrub in a circle. Go easy on the rubbing as wool rugs are very delicate.

  • Apply Cold Water

Apply cold water to the affected area and blot. Lay a dry towel over it and press hard to absorb as much of the moisture as you can.

  • Allow it to Dry

Put your rug on a piece of furniture to allow it to dry. If you have a fan, place the rug in front of it to speed up drying. The quicker your wool rug dries the better.

Q.3) How Often Should You Clean a Wool Rug?

Regular vacuuming is essential to maintaining a wool rug. New wool rugs tend to shed fibers – it is normal because of how fibers are woven. So don’t be alarmed if you notice your new rug shedding fibers. You’ll notice a lot of shedding in the first few months and it’ll eventually become less. Vacuum at least twice every week during the first two months and you would see the shedding diminishing quickly.

Use a vacuum with a beater bar so that the embedded dust and dirt can be lifted and removed properly. If your rug has some fringe, avoid the edges and only vacuum in the center of it. Avoid using a vacuum cleaner with beater bars for a fringe. Instead, use a hand-held vacuum for cleaning the fringed edges.

Final Thoughts

We have made things clear for everyone who asks, “Can you steam clean a wool rug?” Now that you know steam cleaning is safe for your wool rug, use this method to keep your rug in top-notch condition. However, avoid using a steam cleaner on your wool rug frequently because it can have some effect on the quality of the wool fibers if you use it excessively.

We have answered some common questions relating to the cleaning of wool rugs. If you still have some questions regarding this topic, feel free to let us know about them. We would be happy to help you by responding to them.

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