How to Clean a Wool & Silk Rug

Updated February 21, 2017

Area rugs quickly add colour, texture and definition to a room. Rugs made of wool blended with silk will maintain their beauty and softness, and the material combination is more likely to repel stains. Still, wool-and-silk blended rugs are usually an expensive addition to a room and can be damaged by improper cleaning. Approach cleaning carefully and heed the rug-manufacturer's instructions. Vacuum it at least once a week to reduce the number of necessary cleanings. This way, you'll keep dirt from being ground into the rug's fibres.

Begin the cleaning process by vacuuming your wool-silk rug.

Rent or purchase a steam cleaner (also called an extractor), or hire a professional to steam-clean your rug for you. These devices spray a wet cleaning solution into your rug and simultaneously suck the liquids (because water can damage a rug) and the dirt up. Your rug is not wet but damp after a steam cleaning procedure.

You can shampoo your rug, as an alternative. Once again, you'll need to either rent or buy a carpet shampooer or hire someone to do it for you. The brush of the shampooer releases a cleaning solution into your carpet, quickly working it into the fibres until it foams. You may add chemicals (or request that chemicals are added) to the detergent solution to reduce odours, slow the soiling process, brighten the rug's colours and/or speed up drying. Once it dries, suck up the dried foam residue with a vacuum.

Shampoo then steam-clean your wool and silk rug (in that order) if it is highly soiled.

Use foam cleaner on all or just the dirtiest parts of your wool and silk rug. Spray the foam directly on to the carpet, rub it in to the carpet fibres with a sponge or soft brush, allow the foam to dry and then vacuum the residue.

Use a soft, absorbent towel to immediately blot up as much of a liquid stain as possible.

Scrape away any solid or semi-solid stains with a spatula or spoon. Do not use a knife, which could harm the pile fibres.

Vacuum up as much of the solid stain as possible.

Buy a spot-removal solution recommended by your wool and silk rug's manufacturer, or mix a few drops of dish washing liquid (like Dawn or Ivory) in a cup of water and use that to blot the stained area.

When using liquids for spot removal, always pretest the solution on an inconspicuous area of the carpet, applying a few drops to each colour in the carpet. Lightly press a towel or napkin on the treated area for 30 seconds before looking to see if the colour from the rug transferred to the towel/napkin, if the colour on the rug changed or if there was any other damaged caused. Try another solution if you notice any change.

Remove the stain by applying a small amount of spot-removal solution to a clean towel and gently pressing it directly on to the stain. Work from the edges of the stain toward its centre to prevent it from spreading. As long as the stain is getting transferred onto the towel, apply more solution to a fresh area on the towel and repeat the process until the stain has been removed.

Rinse the area with water and blot dry using clean towels weighted down by heavy objects, like books. Remove saturated towels and replace them with dry towels until the rug is completely dry. This way, you avoid leaving stain-remover residue, which may attract dirt and cause future damage to your wool and silk carpet.


Never scrub or brush a stain; scrubbing can harm the fibres and have the adverse reaction of making the stain set in to the carpet or rug. Do not to overwet your wool and silk rug. This may damage it.

Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum
  • Steam cleaner
  • Carpet shampooer
  • Carpet foam
  • Sponge or soft brush
  • Clean towels
  • Carpet stain removal solution
  • Dish washing liquid (like Dawn or Ivory)
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About the Author

Gail began writing professionally in 2004. Now a full-time proofreader, she has written marketing material for an IT consulting company, edited auditing standards for CPAs and ghostwritten the first draft of a nonfiction Amazon bestseller. Gail holds a Master of Arts in English literature and has taught college-level business communication, composition and American literature.