How to wash a wool rug at home

Updated February 21, 2017

Most people are surprised to learn that an Oriental wool rug or wool area rug can be washed at home. These rugs usually are washable - in water - but follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results. These instructions are for small to medium-sized rugs, not large ones.

Vacuum the rug thoroughly. Do both sides of the rug.

Spot clean stains with a stain remover appropriate for wool carpets. Be sure to test on a less visible area for color-fastness.

Take the rug outside and put it on a clean, paved area.

Wet the rug down with a garden hose.

Add two capfuls of a mild cleaner such as Woolite to a bucket of cold water. Using a beater or whisk, whip up suds in the bucket.

Use a clean sponge or sponge mop to apply the suds to rug, gently wiping as you go.

Rinse rug thoroughly once you have finished applying the suds.

Roll up the rug in dry towels to remove remaining water. The wet rug will be heavy.

Lay the rug flat to dry. Avoid prolonged periods in direct sunlight which can cause fading or shrinkage.


Eucalan Woolwash is another popular product used for cleaning wool rugs. It is low-suds and does not require rinsing. Always use a mild detergent with a neutral pH (5.0-8.0). A wool rug needs a thorough cleaning approximately every 12 to 18 months. If you don't want to take on washing the rug yourself, a carpet cleaning company will do the job for you.


*Do not have a wool rug steam-cleaned, as the heat from the steam will likely cause shrinkage.

Things You'll Need

  • Stain Remover
  • Vacuum
  • several dry towels
  • sponge or sponge mop
  • mild detergent for wool
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