How to treat & care for your sheepskin

Updated February 21, 2017

Sheepskin appears in many places: popular boot styles such as Ugg boots are constructed from sheepskin, and sheepskin is also used in rugs and baby furniture liners. You can increase your sheepskin's lifespan by treating and properly caring for the skin. An article titled "How to Make a Sheepskin Coat" at the Mother Earth News website says that you'll get the best results dry cleaning sheepskin, although you can do some home treatments on your sheepskin.

Maintain your sheepskin with regular light cleanings. Clean your sheepskin whenever it starts to look dingy or matted. To clean your sheepskin, lay out your sheepskin so the fleece is showing. Sprinkle a generous amount of carpet cleaning powder or cornmeal into the fleece.

Work the powder into the fleece with your gloved hands. Make sure you cover the entire soiled areas. Roll your sheepskin's fleeced side against itself, so that the hide side is showing. Secure the sheepskin in the roll with a rope or by placing it in a plastic bag.

Leave the rug alone for at least eight hours for the carpet powder, and at least a day for the cornmeal. This gives the powder a chance to set into the fleece.

Beat or shake the powder out of the sheepskin, or vacuum it up from the fleece.

Brush and fluff the fleece with a wire brush after cleaning your sheepskin with powder. Regularly fluff the fleece side of your sheepskin to keep it from looking matted.

Wipe away dirt and grime from the hide side of your sheepskin with a clean, damp rag. Use the smallest amount of water to get the job done.

Treat the hide side whenever you dampen it. Rub a small amount of neat's-foot oil over the damp area to minimise the risk of your hide cracking as it dries. Always air-dry your sheepskin.


If your sheepskin is a machine-washable garment, follow the directions on garment's tag for cleaning in a washing machine.

Things You'll Need

  • Carpet cleaning powder or cornmeal
  • Rubber gloves
  • Large garbage bag (optional)
  • Rope (optional)
  • Vacuum (optional)
  • Wire brush
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About the Author

Katherine Harder kicked off her writing career in 1999 in the San Antonio magazine "Xeriscapes." She's since worked many freelance gigs. Harder also ghostwrites for blogs and websites. She is the proud owner of a (surprisingly useful) Bachelor of Arts in English from Texas State University.