FUR & SHEEPSKIN
Shake talcum powder (FYI: baby powder is made mostly with talcum, you can use it) all over onto your rug, and let it lie for 2-3 hours. Then brush the powder through the hair and shake, shake, shake. Repeat up to three times.
Then to clean the bottom, get a cloth damp with warm, soapy water and wipe down—let it air dry, and put back in place.
For a real deep clean, the thing to check is for waterproof backing. For rubber or latex backing, use a top loading machine, arranging evenly around the agitator (try throwing in a couple towels to balance the load). Set the machine to large load and cold water, only using half the amount of detergent (rugs just don’t need a lot)—dry on fluff. When it’s all dry, take a wide-tooth comb and re-fluff the fur.
Before snagging the first cleaning product off the shelf at your local drugstore, be warned: DO NOT use ammonia or any other highly alkaline cleaner, it’ll damage the wool. If you’re not sure whether or not your rug is wool, snip a piece and light it with a match—real wool will smell like burning hair.
Start by turning your rug over and vacuum the underneath—it loosens the deep down nitty gritty and moves it to the surface. Then, flip the rug right side up and vacuum the top (tip: wrap nylon mesh around your vacuum to protect delicate and older rugs). If it’s small enough, hang it on a clothesline next and beat it like Michael Jackson or shake it like Taylor Swift.
For a really deep clean (it’s a good idea to do this kind of cleaning every 12-18 months—aka every Spring), put the small rugs in a zippered pillowcase or mesh laundry bag and wash in cold water on gentle, then tumble dry low. With large area rugs, make sure it is on a vinyl or concrete floor first (if wood is the only option, put an old blanket or towels underneath). Sponge some commercial carpet cleaning foam on and rub it in—ending by rinsing or vacuuming, letting it dry completely before replacing.
Take a vacuum to it first, front and back. These are good ones to shake and beat outside, too. For washing, use a top loading machine, arranging evenly around the agitator (try throwing in a couple towels to balance the load). Set the machine to large load, cold water and delicate cycle—only using half the amount of detergent (rugs just don’t need a lot). These are best hung dry—on a drying rack, slatted picnic table, or stacked bricks—hanging them on a single line will distort the rugs shape.
Any good tricks of the trade? Share your foolproof rug care tips below!