How to Wash Sheep Skin

Updated November 21, 2016

There are many types and grades of sheepskin products, including boots, gloves, clothing, bed and wheelchair pads, automobile seat covers and rugs. Because sheepskin is prepared and pretreated in various ways, it is best to follow the care instruction on the manufacturer's label. If the information is missing, dry cleaning is the next safest option. If you decide to clean the sheepskin yourself, you can follow general sheepskin care instructions. Always test a small hidden spot first to avoid damage.

Purchase a sheepskin wool brush and cleaners specifically made for sheepskin. Some recommended cleaners are Woolskin Sheepskin Wash/Shampoo, Cloud Nine Sheepskin Shampoo or Eucalan Wool Wash. Biodegradable, non-alkaline soaps such as Pure Castile may also be used. Do not use bleach or enzyme cleaners. Sheepskin conditioners are optional but will help maintain the lustre of your sheepskin.

Use a sheepskin wire brush on the sheepskin and vacuum with nozzle attachment for basic cleaning. Water can damage the sheepskin, but daily airing and brushing may prevent the need to wash it.

Use a damp cloth or sponge to remove any soiled spots on the sheepskin. If necessary use some diluted (1 part shampoo to 4 parts water) sheepskin shampoo on the spots and then rinse off with cloth or sponge. Blot dry with a paper towel. Always allow it to dry naturally without heat or direct sunlight to avoid damage and minimise shrinkage. Some shrinkage is normal. If the item is a glove or slipper, stuff with cloth or paper towels to reshape it while drying. Brush to restore fluff. Use spot cleaning only on coloured pelts to avoid colours bleeding.

Use cold water under 37.8 degrees Celsius/40 degrees Celsius for items needing complete washing. Handwashing is preferred but machine washing on gentle cycle with cold water may be used for larger items. Use cleaners specifically made for sheepskin. Do not use regular washing powder or bleach. Wash each item separately.

Use sheepskin conditioner in the rinse cycle to help maintain condition and soften. Rinse a second time. Spin to remove excess water from machine washed items.

Brush the item with sheepskin wool brush prior to drying. Large items may be tumbled in the dryer on "Cool" setting to remove most of moisture. Hang or dry flat whenever possible.

Brush with sheepskin wool brush to restore fluff after the item is dry. Shake vigorously to help restore shape and appearance.

Use sheepskin protection and water repellent spray on your item to help prevent soiling and reduce need for future washings in order to prolong the life of your sheepskin.


Spray new items with sheepskin protection and water repellent product to help keep your item from needing washing.

Things You'll Need

  • Sheepskin wool brush
  • Damp cloth or sponge
  • Sheepskin or woolskin shampoo
  • Sheepskin conditioner (optional)
  • Sheepskin protection and water repellent spray (optional)
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About the Author

Daniel Cobalt lives in Georgia and has been writing online for over five years. He has a technical certificate in printing from the Philadelphia Printing School. His areas of expertise include fitness, home schooling, parenting, personal relationships, small business ownership and pet topics including breeding, training and responsible ownership.