How to clean and wash a natural sheepskin rug

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Please read this article all the way to the bottom.
There is important information to make washing your sheepskin a success. Old sheepskins 15 years+ are risky to wash as they may have dried out and possibly perished over time.

Natural Sheepskin rugs are very easy to care for and when washed they can look like new again. This week I washed my two natural Ivory Double long-wool sheepskin rugs that I had beside our bed and are about four years old.

It is better to wash them in warmer weather. I waited for an overcast day in summer and dried it in shade. I bought it inside at night. If it is colder and your home is heated then dry them inside but not in a direct hot air flow like under a heat-pump.

Air flow is important but not over-heated air. Just warm air movement. They need to dry slowly over several days up to one week. This is important so that the leather doesn’t go hard.

This is what my sheepskin looked like before washing. It was dirty, the wool was matted and it had small twigs & things stuck in it.

Cleaning sheepskin rugs
My dirty and matted sheepskin before washing

It is important that you brush the wool BEFORE washing with a sheepskin brush, this is like brushing your hair before you wash it to get out all the tangles and helps to avoid the sheepskin wool matting up during washing.

I washed the sheepskins in a bath (because it was a double size and wouldn’t fit into my washing machine) using lukewarm water (38°C/100°F) and using a small amount of non-ionic and non-alkaline mild liquid detergent wool wash shampoo (Sheepskin woolskin shampoo).

Please only use shampoos/detergents which are non-alkaline, non-ionic and do not contain biological enzymes. They need to be safe for the leather.

Do NOT use Woolite or laundry detergents such as Tide. Do not use common wool wash designed for wool only. The wash you use MUST be safe for the leather. If the bottle doesn’t say it is safe then it’s not safe. You need a specialist product.

If your sheepskin is larger than a double it will be very heavy when wet so it is easier to use a laundromat but make sure they have a machine that can do a gentle wool cycle and a slow spin.

People often ask me why they can’t just use a normal woolwash. The reason is that normal woolwash is only safe for the wool, but is NOT safe for the leather.

If you don’t use the right soap the sheepskin may either fall apart or go hard and stiff. The wool may also matt up beyond salvage if you use the wrong soap type.

We recently developed a special wool wash that is safe for the wool AND the leather, this is a pretty unique woolskin wash. This is only available from Gorgeous Creatures but can be used on all kinds of things including your UGG boots, mohair throws, woolen knitwear hand washing and as a normal low-irritant laundry detergent.

Washing sheepskin in the bath
Washing my sheepskin in the bath

Don’t agitate the sheepskin too much while washing; you just want a gentle action of water moving through the wool to dislodge dirt particles. But not so much movement that the wool mattes up like felt.

Swish the sheepskin around gently in the water for about 3 to 5 minutes. If you use a washing machine it MUST be set to the delicate wool cycle setting.

Hand wash sheepskins with gentle motion in mild wool wash
Hand wash sheepskins with gentle motion in mild wool wash

Release the dirty water and refill the bath with fresh warm water to rinse the last soap and dirt away, you might need to do this a few times.

Roll the sheepskin rug up and squeeze out as much water as you can, let it drain and then transfer to a washing machine to gently spin out most of the excess water.

Rinse and drain the sheepskin rug to clean
Rinse, drain and spin the sheepskin rug

To dry the sheepskin rug I used a clean towel to lay it on, and pulled the leather gently into shape making sure it is flat. It is important that is dries slowly away from direct heat like direct sunlight and artificial heat or the leather could shrink or harden (I chose an overcast but warm day).

Do not tumble dry your sheepskin on a HOT heat, it is safe to tumble dry on a LOW heat but this takes ages. I usually do a mixture of allowing the sheepskin to dry naturally for a few days until it is mostly dry, and then finishing it off in a LOW heat clothes dryer.

Take care NOT to place the sheepskin on a radiator, steam pipe or in front of a fan heater as this may damage the leather of the sheepskin rug. Do not be tempted to speed up the drying process with extra heat, you will ruin your sheepskin. Natural air flow is best to improve the drying process.

Lay the washed sheepskin flat to dry
Lay the washed sheepskin flat to dry slowly in the shade

Use a metal bristle sheepskin brush to brush the wool gently and briefly while it is still damp. If it is a warm day the wool will dry very fast. Give the sheepskin wool another good brush as it dries and a final brush once completely dry.

Sheepskin carding brush
Brush your sheepskin with a special sheepskin carding brush

This is how my sheepskin rug looked once dry. Clean and fluffy and like brand new again.

Clean sheepskin after washing
A clean sheepskin after washing with the Gorgeous Creatures Woolskin Woolwash
Sheepskin washing kit - woolwash and carding brush
The Sheepskin woolwash is available on it’s own or as a set with the carding brush

NOTE:- If your sheepskin rug is very old, let’s say 10 to 15 years or more then washing it, especially in the wrong type of soap may cause the leather to fall apart. Or spinning it in a washing machine could cause tears in the leather.

It is really hard for me to say when this will happen because it depends on how the sheepskin has been tanned, used, stored and how much sun it has received over its lifetime.

Old leather is often perished where the fibers of the leather have started to dry-out, break-down and perish. This aging can not be repaired or reversed. Don’t wash a sheepskin that is more than 20 years old.

Any washing using these instructions is done at your own risk.

If your sheepskin has become yellow with age then washing it will not take the yellow colour away, this is actually UV sun damage and can not be reversed
. Treat yourself to a new sheepskin rug and protect it from direct sunlight and UV damage.

Dyed sheepskins should be dry cleaned because washing will most likely remove too much dye colouring. Or there could be a colour change if the dye reacts with the ingredients in the woolskin wash.

To check if your sheepskin is dyed look at the leather on the back. If the leather is white then it is probably natural. If the leather has a colour tinge similar to the wool colour then it is probably dyed.

All dyed sheepskins should be protected from direct UV sunlight or even reflected bright sunlight to reduce or avoid fading.

dryclean sheepskin Please visit our Gorgeous Creatures website to see our sheepskins products.

sheepskin woolskin wash shampoo-videoDemonstration video – How to wash a sheepskin rug by hand


171 thoughts on “How to clean and wash a natural sheepskin rug

    Mara Harris, Santa Fe NM said:
    31/01/2019 at 2:24 am

    I bought a small sheepskin at a flea market and have used it on my bed so the cats sleep on it rather on my bedding. Works most of the time! I realized I should probably wash it, so I purchased a sheepskin wash and used your instructions. While the sheepskin was ostensibly white, it was very, very dirty and took many rinses to get the water clean. I air-dried it slowly as instructed, and it’s much whiter now that it’s dry. But the suede backing is somewhat stiff–not throw-away stiff but certainly not supple like it was. Any suggestions? I’m trying to soften it up by manipulating it gently by hand, that seems to be working but it’s not as supple as it once was. Any input would be most welcome!

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      31/01/2019 at 9:00 am

      Hi Mara, you are doing everything right. The one thing you could have tried is to massage the leather a few times as it dried. This might have stretched and relaxed the leather fibres a bit as it dried. When you wash a sheepskin the leather is never as soft as if was when new. We can’t recreate the process that happens at the tannery. Just keep massaging the leather and as it gets used it may soften a little bit more. I’m guessing you don’t know the age of the skin if bought from a flea market (second hand?). I actually recently wrote a blog called “Seven things you need to know before you wash a sheepskin rug” and the first point is that the leather will never be as soft. I hope this helps, just keep on doing what you are doing.

    barbarastravels said:
    03/10/2018 at 8:06 am

    I’ve washed my very old sheepskin rug in the washing machine and let it air dry. Obviously I used the wrong detergent and now the hide is stiff. I’m thinking of duct taping the underside just to keep it together!!! The wool turned out beautifully, though! I bought it in NZ back in 1986 on my honeymoon and gave it to my Mom as a gift–got it back once she passed away. Don’t really want to throw it away. Wish me luck!!

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      04/10/2018 at 8:57 pm

      I do wish you luck :-). It is very special to have a sheepskin that means so much to you and it is worth looking after. Maybe you could glue a fabric backing to help support the leather. This means that you couldn’t wash it again in the future but it might help you stop it from falling apart some more. Good luck.

    barbarastravels said:
    03/10/2018 at 8:00 am

    Any way to soften a hide that was washed and dried hard?

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      04/10/2018 at 8:55 pm

      Hi Barbara, sometimes a re-wash using the correct product will help with the softness of the leather. And also allowing the skin to dry slowly away from heat.

        barbarastravels said:
        05/10/2018 at 12:31 am

        I don’t think it will fold enough without breaking for me to get it into the washing machine. I may try to soft it a bit with some water and maybe rewash it in the sink. Thanks for the suggestion.


          barbarastravels said:
          05/10/2018 at 12:40 am

          Hi, Kirsty. By the way, I like the idea of the material and I could use fabric glue and use the skin to pattern the whole bottom. Couldn’t be any worse and it would be prettier and easier to work with than the duct tape! I’ll let you know how it turns out.


    laurie turney said:
    21/08/2018 at 7:48 am

    Can I use 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water solution to spot clean old dog urine stains?? I have a quad rug and it will be a huge undertaking to wash the whole thing, besides it’s clean except for 2 dried pee stains.
    If you do not recommend the vinegar/water solution, can you recommend anything other than your product? I’m sure your product is amazing but I can’t wait a few weeks for it.
    Thanks, Laurie

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      21/08/2018 at 8:27 am

      Hi Laurie, I don’t recommend the vinegar because it is an acid which is terrible for leather and will do more damage than the pee. If you are looking for a temporary solution until you find a cleaner then use plain water only to rinse the pee out. But if the pee is already dried and is old then why is it a problem to wait a few weeks? You could look into dry-cleaning but this will be expensive. My product (and any product that is safe for leather) will not remove stains anyway. I’m only an expert about my product, I can’t comment on any other product sorry (I simply don’t know). Regards Kirsty

    Martina said:
    12/08/2018 at 7:03 am

    Hi thank you for your good advice. However, I began the cleaning process of the sheepskin rug before reading your advice about wahing old rugs. I washed it by hand in the bathtub with a bit of woolite first. Then I added the specialist sheepskin product containing lanolin. I began to see in the tub when rinsing it that the leather was beginning to be fragile and the fur began to loosen. However, very gently I finished the whole process as they say: I squeezed out as much water as I could simply by pressing on it. I rolled it up several times in different towels and water absorbing mats. Then I laid it on the towel on the floor and gave it a gentle brush but I noticed several edges began breaking away and fur coming out in quite a bulk with them. I was so ruined. I wanted to save on dry cleaning and we have 5 rugs altogether which have never been cleaned, look dirty greyish and smell badly of accumulated dust and dirt. But the cleaning results are not what I expected and my whole day is ruined because I ruined the rug. My mother will be very annoyed with me because she’s always said I must not wet the sheepskin rug or I can throw it away. What can I do please? Is there any chance of repairing the damage or have I had it?

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      12/08/2018 at 8:51 am

      Hi Martina, unfortunately there is no way to reverse the damage and rescue your sheepskin. You said that the sheepskins where old & dirty but you didn’t say HOW OLD??? I think the lesson here is that all things need to be cleaned and maintained. Sheepskins should be washed every year to keep the leather moisturized and supple. But once they reach about 10 years old they are probably too fragile to wash. Other that the age of the sheepskins the other thing that you did wrong was to use Woolite. Woolite is great to wash wool but is not safe for leather. You needed to use a non-ionic, non-alkaline woolskin wash like our Gorgeous Creatures woolskin wash shampoo. But even with this product washing older sheepskins is a risk. Everything else you did sounded correct. So I’m sorry to say that the damaged sheepskin will need to be thrown away. Sheepskins do not last forever. If you try to wash another old sheepskin I don’t know what will happen. Regards Kirsty

        Martina said:
        22/08/2018 at 5:39 am

        Hi Kirsty. I’m sorry I’m responding with delay but for some peculiar reason when I was checking if there was any response nothing was showing up so I put the whole matter to rest. Now I see you responded which makes me very happy. Thank you that you care. The rug I washed was 10 years old and maybe more but there is a rug that is even older. I agree with you that rugs should be maintained. The only trouble is that these rugs were bought from a market and nobody ever says how one should look after them. Mum also made a mistake by aerating them on the line but also in the sunlight. It’s only now that I learned that sheepskins should be kept away from sunlight. Other than that mum never washed them because she was convinced that if you wet the sheepskin it will spoil so badly that you could throw it away. Neither did we comb/card them. Like I said no maintenance instructions were ever given so that’s the result. Could you please tell me how I could clean the other rug that’s the same age I ruined (about 10 years old) which smells dusty and the edges are grey and another rug which is even older I think about 20 years which doesn’t smell as bad but is yellowish. The other 2 are younger. One is 2 years old and the other under 10 but I don’t know how old exactly. How can I clean those rugs that are really old and the one in particular that is grubby and smells of dust? Surely there must be something I could do to reverse its horrid condition. And how would you clean the other ones that are not so old? I think wetting them would be a risk. Even the one that is 2 years old. I have no idea how the skins had been tanned. And I’ve learned that it matters a great deal because some tanning techniques simply can’t support a washing method. Thank you Kirsty.

          gorgeouscreatures responded:
          22/08/2018 at 8:07 am

          Hi Martina, have a look at the back of these sheepskins (look past the dirt we need to know what colour the leather is), if the leather looks creamy white (Alum tanning) or light bluish grey (chrome tanning) then they can be washed. If the leather looks more brownish yellow like the colour of a rawhide dog bone then do not wash as this is probably some other lesser tanning technique (called dressing) that doesn’t like water. I think you can still try to gently hand-wash the 10 year old skin very carefully but do not spin out the water in the washing machine or the weight of the skin might tear it apart (this is done at your own risk), and the younger 2-5 year old skins will probably be OK as well. Do not wash the 20 year old skin that is yellow. It’s too old and the yellow is oxidization and UV damage and can never be washed out. You must use the correct non-ionic and pH neutral sheepskin woolskin wash for this. If you use water only I’m not sure if the smell or dirt will be removed. Please let us know how you got on if you do decide to wash the other skins an feel free to ask more questions. All washing is done at your own risk :-), cheers Kirsty

        Joel D Watkins said:
        29/09/2018 at 1:16 am

        I just washed a 13 year old rug. I was afraid that the leather would fall apart but it did not. I did see some hair loss around the edges. so far so good. I use the rug in an medieval reenactment.

          gorgeouscreatures responded:
          04/10/2018 at 8:54 pm

          Well done Joel. I’m glad that the washing went OK, it’s a risk with s sheepskin that age. Your Medieval re-enactments sound amazing. I’m pretty sure sheepskins where not clean in those days :-).

    Claire said:
    28/07/2018 at 12:34 pm

    Thanks so much for you directions. My cat spilled some pink lemonade on my sheep skin rug my mom brought back from Ireland. I washed it using the product and your directions. Most of the stain came out, but unfortunately some of the pink coloring didn’t come out. Do you have any other suggestions for me? Thank you!

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      28/07/2018 at 5:44 pm

      Hi Claire, the good news is that the sun will remove the red dye very quickly so put it in the sun for a week and see if it fades away a bit more. that’s the safest way, don’t resort to bleach. Not much else I can think of. I think it will reduce with time. Cheers Kirsty

    Rachel said:
    18/07/2018 at 9:27 am

    How would You suggest I get a coffee stain off of my sheep skin car seat cover ?

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      18/07/2018 at 10:44 am

      Hi Rachel, with stains it’s really hard to say what will work. I’d probably dry-clean it if you don’t want to risk washing it. But do it as quickly as possible as the stain will only become more set the longer you leave it. Did you flush it with fresh water when it happened? Did that not take the coffee away? My woolwash is not a stain remover, it doesn’t have any harsh chemicals like bleach.

    Gail Morrison said:
    20/06/2018 at 2:26 am

    I washed my natural sheepskin as you suggested with a mild non-alkaline shampoo, then rolled it to squeeze out the water then wrapped it in a towel. it was in really god shape but still dripping so I did what you suggested and put it through a gentle spin cycle. when I went to spread it out I found that the side had ripped. I was not pleased, is there anyway to repair the damage. It is at least 35 years old, and How can I avoid this the next time.

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      20/06/2018 at 8:46 am

      Hi Gail

      Washing a sheepskin that is that old is always a risk. They are fragile. So sorry to hear that the spinning tore the skin. Gently pull into shape and allow to dry slowly (it may tear again so be very very gentle), just shape it. Once it is dry you should be able to stitch this tear closed again. Use a whip stitch similar to the stitch they would use to sew up a cut like a doctor, looping the thread over the tear and anchoring on either side back and forth. A curved needle makes this easier.

      My blog article says:-
      NOTE:- If your sheepskin rug is very old, let’s say 10 years or more then washing it, especially in the wrong type of soap may cause the leather to fall apart. It is really hard for me to say when this will happen because it depends on how the sheepskin has been tanned, used, stored and how much sun it has received over its lifetime. Old leather is often perished where the fibers of the leather have started to dry-out, break-down and perish. This can not be repaired.

    Kim Hiley said:
    03/06/2018 at 6:29 am

    Sadly I have a Norwegian full sized sheepskin rug, in my ignorance I took to a service laundrette and they washed it ‘commercially. As a result the hide is quite stiff and the pelt is so knotted and tangled. Please, any advice as to how I restore it , as best possible would be surely appreciated. Kind regards.

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      03/06/2018 at 5:02 pm

      Hi Kim, you could try to brush out the tangles with a wool carding brush. But if they are really matted then this might not work. If that is successful then you could gently hand-wash it with my woolskin wash and this might help to soften the leather a bit but it will never be like it was before you washed it. You didn’t say what soap was used by the laundry.

    Suzi Johnson said:
    05/04/2018 at 2:02 am

    A friend just gave me a sheepskin rug (5×7 at least and is brown ) that she no longer wanted . It really needs a good cleaning and not sure if I want to tackle it myself . Should I go to a laundry and try their big machines ,dry cleaner or professional rug cleaners ? What should I request of them for cleaning ?

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      05/04/2018 at 11:10 am

      Hi Suzi, if the laundry machines have a gentle wool cycle you could try that with our special woolskin wash. Or alternatively use a good drycleaner who can clean leather (I assume this is a sheepskin rug wool still attached to leather?). I wouldn’t use a professional rug cleaner I don’t think they would be equipped to do a job like this.

        Suzi Johnson said:
        06/04/2018 at 1:13 am

        yes ,it is still attached to skin . Can I find the woolwash in u.s. ? or is there another option for soap (shampoo or hand wash for sensitive fabrics )? thank you

          gorgeouscreatures responded:
          06/04/2018 at 7:35 am

          Hi Suzi, I can’t speak about other products available in the USA as I don’t know them and have not tested them. The Gorgeous Creatures woolskin wash is only available from Gorgeous Creatures and I send bottles of this product to customers in the USA every day. Do not use ANY product not designed to be safe for leather and not non-ionic. Do not use anything for sensitive fabric or humans, this is a situation where substitution leads to disaster. I also forgot to ask how old this 2nd hand rug was. After 10 years is is risky to wash leather as it might be perished.

            Suzi Johnson said:
            06/04/2018 at 10:07 am

            not sure of age ,but leather is still pliable . does not feel fragile

              gorgeouscreatures responded:
              06/04/2018 at 2:09 pm

              If it’s still pliable you might be OK. It’s just a factor to consider as older leather is always risky. Treat gently when wet.

        Joe Herring said:
        31/05/2018 at 12:33 am

        Hi, I have hair on my head like the hair on my leather sheepskin rug, I dated a hair dresser for 4 years and she chemically straightened my hair one night for some laughs at the pub and Idk, I’ve never had straight hair so I thought… Why not. Anyway, that’s another story for another time. What if I used a little bit of that magicical straightener goo in a bathtub full of room temp water till the hair relaxed and gave it like 3 fresh water rinses and then the the whole drying process… Chemical doesn’t sound good to me either but she did all kinds of things to my hair in 4 years, bleaching, dying etc.. Whatever this magical goo was, it didn’t burn, smell, itch or anything I’d associate with a chemical treatment. And it worked for me, why wouldn’t it work for my sheep buddy? Thank you for your time, have a Great Day!

          gorgeouscreatures responded:
          21/08/2018 at 8:33 am

          Hi Jo, everyone keeps forgetting that it is the LEATHER that is the problem. Humans have hair, sheep have wool, these are not the same thing. Also when a thing is alive it is totally different to a tanned skin which has been chemically preserved and the proteins have been changed. To everyone, DO NOT use weird chemicals on your sheepskin rugs, bad things will happen. Always use a non-ionic cleaner, this means that it is perfectly neutral, and will not chemically react with leather or urine.

    Aline said:
    19/03/2018 at 9:38 am

    I have a yellow hued rug with white leather back. It really isn’t dirty. However, I have been using it for my two new grandbaby boys when they visit and there has been a little spittle if breast milk. Hate to wash the rug, is it possible to just take a damp cloth with your solution and gentle wipe over the wool? Leaving it slightly damp.

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      19/03/2018 at 10:08 am

      Hi Aline, yes you can spot clean with the woolskin wash. Just make up the solution and sponge the area. Rinse with fresh water. Try not to get the leather wet for spot cleaning. Cheers Kirsty

    Debra Rush said:
    29/01/2018 at 7:41 am

    I have a 5’x 8′ sheepskin that is four pelts sewn together. my dog peed on it and I am beside myself trying to figure out how to get the stains out. It may have sat for 3 days before I saw the spots and they are way bigger on the skin side than the fur side. The stains are very yellow. I blotted first but it urine was already drying, then I coated it with “Natures miracle Advanced severe mess Enzymatic Formula”, The product really helps the smell but the yellow stains are still really yellow….help please! I love my rug and want it to be nice and white again. Is there an at home way to do this even though i’ve used another product on it already or should I send it to the cleaners? Can the cleaners even get the yellow out? Can I spray leather conditioner on the skin to keep it from drying out?

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      29/01/2018 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Debra now that you have done some things to your rug like the enzyme formula we have no idea what will happen. For other people reading this NEVER use enzymes on leather please. I think your best action now is to get it dry cleaned but make sure the do a dry clean and don’t try to wash it. I don’t know if this will get the yellow out. Once you start to use multiple products you don’t know what chemical reactions will happen. The woolskin wash that we sell is not a stain remover (no bleach or ammonia). But if you wash out the urine with the woolskin wash then the urine stain should fade over time when exposed to sunlight.

    Kristina said:
    30/11/2017 at 2:16 am

    Do you know what happens if you wash a sheepskin that has not been tanned, but has been treated using alum, which is the traditional way of doing it in the Faroe Islands? Our sheep have a much longer wool, when we treat them, with lots of ‘underwool’. We treated this sheepskin ourselves a few years ago, but are not happy with it, as it seems matted and almost greasy, so we probably did not wash it well enough to begin with. I am just wondering whether it would help to wash it with your product.

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      30/11/2017 at 8:26 am

      Hi Kristina, I have only ever dealt with professional Alum tanning. In general Alum is a good way to tan and OK to be washed with this product. But because it was at home (not a tannery?) then I don’t know what will happen. Worst case scenario it might fall apart if the tanning was not done to a strong enough level. I assume the back leather is a white colour? The greasy feeling means that you didn’t wash out the natural Lanolin enough, you would normally use a really strong de-greaser product for that. I’m not sure if my product is strong enough to improve the greasiness. It will probably help but may not remove the Lanolin completely. And a good brush using a proper wool carding brush like my woolwash kit will help with the matting. But again if the matting is too far gone then the brush may not be able to completely fix that either. It’s hard to say when I can’t see the sheepskin. If you are really unhappy with the sheepskin as it is now then it is worth a go washing it with my product and brush. I hope this has helped. Cheers Kirsty

        Kristina said:
        30/11/2017 at 9:27 am

        Thanks Kirsty 🙂 I think I will give it a go!

    Berkeley said:
    08/11/2017 at 3:33 pm

    Great post! Is it normal for some “shedding” to occur while you brush the fur? I don’t want to thin out my rug.

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      08/11/2017 at 4:02 pm

      Hi yes it is normal for some wool to come out when you brush a sheepskin. Just start to brush slowly and gently. I don’t think this will thin it out and it is better to brush than not brush.

    marilynn driesenga said:
    16/09/2017 at 5:50 am

    Would baby shampoo work? I have a large tub and a 6 X 4 rug (actually 4 pelts sewn together) Another site said a little hydrogen peroxide might whiten, do you agree? My has always been on the floor at the foot of our bed and never exposed to direct sunlight but it has yellowed.

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      16/09/2017 at 7:25 pm

      Hi Marilynn, baby shampoo would be OK for the wool but I can’t stress enough to all the people trying to use anything but the right specialist soap (non-ionic) that this has a high risk of damaging the leather and /or making it go all hard and crunchy. So use baby shampoo at your own risk and you might be ok or you might ruin your sheepskin it’s probably a 20%/80% OK/Not OK chance. I also cringe at the thought of hydrogen peroxide, this is a very harsh chemical and I don’t know what it would do to the leather. Sheepskins do go yellow with age, there is nothing that can prevent this as it is oxidization with the air all around us if no direct or bright sunlight is involved.

    Linda said:
    21/08/2017 at 3:36 am

    I did not research how to wash my small sheepskin and put it in the washer, then air dried it in a dark room, but while the wool is soft and lovely, the leather is stiff. Is there a solution for this?

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      16/09/2017 at 7:33 pm

      Hi Linda, not sure if I have replied to this before? You have not given me enough info to comment properly. You don’t say what soap you used although your technique sounds good. The most common issue is that people do not rinse the leather enough to remove any soap residue and then dry it too quickly so the leather goes hard. Maybe a re-wash with the correct non-ionic soap and a slow dry finished with a low heat dryer at the very end.

    Julie weir said:
    10/08/2017 at 10:06 pm

    Hi can you used a conditioner after washing to help with getting the Nots out

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      15/08/2017 at 2:11 pm

      Hi Julie, ummm… I’m not sure. I have not tested this with human conditioner and I don’t know what would happen. I suspect that hair conditioners have all kinds of odd things in them and that this might not be good for the leather even if it helps the wool. I wouldn’t use it. You need to brush a sheepskin regularly so that it does not knot up – this would be the best advice I can give you.

      Debbie Hughes said:
      19/12/2017 at 10:03 pm

      Hi. I have horses and use a mane and tail detangling spray on them which gives a silky , slippery feel to their manes. I am looking to buy a sheepskin rug and will put a little of this on it to keep it from tangling and repel dirt.

        gorgeouscreatures responded:
        19/12/2017 at 11:00 pm

        Hi Debbie, that sounds like a silicon type spray. Don’t get it on the leather, I don’t know what will happen. I also don’t know what will happen when you want to wash your sheepskin. I assume that the spray washes out of horses manes/tails OK. But then when those chemicals get into the leather these chemicals might be harmful. Unless they are non-ionic I wouldn’t recommend using this spray in your sheepskin. Remember that a sheepskin is a tanned leather, not a living skin like a horse. Cheers Kirsty

    Carol said:
    26/07/2017 at 1:37 pm

    Hi Would the washing instructions be the same for a Mongolian fur?

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      26/07/2017 at 5:19 pm

      Hi Carol, if you mean Mongolian Sheepskin wool (not fur) then yes I think this would be similar but don’t brush while it dries or after it is dry because you will fluff up the curls. I think that a gentle brush once washed to get the knits out and while still wet is OK then use your fingers to create the curls, then let dry naturally. Keep in mind that I have not done this myself so this is done at your own risk but please let us all know how you got on. Cheers Kirsty

    Artemis Hoods said:
    16/07/2017 at 5:16 pm

    Hi there thank for your post. It was helpful when I cleaned my sheepskin rug that had machine washable instructions on the back. Because my rug was so large, it is 3x as large as the one you have on your page! It took a very long time to wash it and I wanted to add that it was probably worth going to a laundromat to do this. I was scared to because I used Eucalon soap and it specifically says do no rinse and I don’t know how you can stop an industrial machine mid wash and make it spin at a laundromat. Overall though, I would also like to add that because my drain doesn’t have mesh net to catch hair and other debris, some of the hair went down my drain and clogged it! So beware for this incident if you have the same sort of drain I have. This was a time consuming process and took me a few hours to get my rug clean.

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      16/07/2017 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Artemis, all your comments are really good and I have updated my blog to suggest that larger sheepskins are washed in a larger industrial laundromat as long as the machine has a wool wash cycle and a slow spin. Good point about the drain clogging, that didn’t happen to me but I can see how it easily could. Thanks for taking the time to write. Cheers Kirsty

    Mohammad said:
    11/06/2017 at 3:17 am


    Does this apply to a sheepskin that was only dry out using salt and left in the Sun; the old traditional way. It was never treated.
    The rug is very dirty, dusty, and smells bad. The store who sold it to me told me not to wash it. Please advise. Thanks.

      gorgeouscreatures responded:
      11/06/2017 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Mohammad, no you shouldn’t wash your sheepskin with this product because your sheepskin is not tanned it is only preserved. Tanning chemically changes the proteins and “cooks” them making them stable. Drying in the sun with salt is not a proper tanning technique and I’m not surprised it smells bad, it is most likely rotting as it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere and bacterial start to grow inside the fibres. What you have is more like a salted rawhide. So please don’t wash it with this product.

    Mohammad said:
    11/06/2017 at 3:16 am


    Does this apply to a sheepskin that was only dry out using salt and left in the Sun?
    The rug is very dirty, dusty, and smells bad. The store who sold it to me told me not to wash it. Please advise. Thanks.

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