A few months ago I found a sheepskin rug in my parent’s garage and after gently questioning them about it’s use I found that it wasn’t being used and that I could have it – yay!
For the past few months it has been living in my bedroom in front of my nightstand. Despite coming from a garage it was in great condition.
Not sure why I made my bed such a backwards way, but anyway, the sheepskin looked really nice until Bob (I could end just about any sentence that way… until Bob). I had noticed in the past few months that Bob just loved to lay on that thing and chew up his toys. Which is totally fine with me except that all his hair started to get stuck in the fur of the rug which is confusing and then there were all these bits of chewed up dog toys stuck in the fur, plus some blue ink got on it and honestly don’t know who is to blame for that. But all of that wasn’t enough for me to actually bother to clean it (I would periodically shake it out and try to vacuum it but it wasn’t very helpful) until Bob straight up threw up on it. I was like seriously Bob?! My entire house is hardwood and you choose to vomit on 3’x2′ dry clean only sheepskin? Really? So it went directly into a trash bag to be dealt with later because dog vomit is nasty and ain’t nobody got time to deal with that crap at 11:30pm on a work night. Later I took it out of the bag enough to check the tag which said dry clean only. Okay, that’s annoying but I figured paying $15-20 to get the thing cleaned for me isn’t the worst thing to ever happen. Except the dry cleaners said they wouldn’t take it. Say what? Isn’t that your job to dry clean dry clean items? I was annoyed. But it really need to get cleaned and the vomit had been on it for like a week at this point so I figured I couldn’t hurt it worse by trying to clean it myself. Here is what it looked like pre-cleaning:
dog vomit (semi-censored because nobody wants to see dog vomit)
After several google searches I came up with many different answers. I love the internet but sometimes too many opinions on how to do something can be confusing so I just decided to combine everything I read because I’m all about making good choices!
How to How I cleaned a sheepskin rug:
1) Shake it out
The less dirt and hair and other debris that you can remove pre-cleaning is in your best interest.
2) Give it a bath
I filled my tub with about six inches of cool water and then I added about three capfuls of baby shampoo.
(the wire brush comes in later)
While I was drawing a bubble bath for my sheepskin rug I couldn’t help but think to myself, “This is such a first world problem.”
The rest is pretty self explanatory… just move it around and bathed it. It was really gross and I got wet and I felt gross and sort of wanted to become a vegetarian afterwards because being that close to wet animal fur makes you reconsider all sorts of things about your life.
3) Rinse and repeat
If I didn’t mention this at the beginning you will get wet. So don’t do this wearing a silk blouse and cardigan like I did because that’s just not smart.
But yeah, you’ve got to rinse and rinse and rinse because animal fur apparently soaks up a lot of water and the water will be filthy and you will be super grossed out and you will totally have to clean your tub afterwards.
After you’ve rinse and squeezed as much water out of the rug as possible it will look like you have a dead labradoodle in your bathtub but be cool because you’ve got to get through this.
4) Brush it out
At this point I am like what am I doing with my life???? I am brushing a rug that I just gave a bath, what has my life come too??? But you will get through it, I promise. You will be changed, but you will get through it.
I really wish I could suggest that you skip this step, but I think this might be the key to the success of this process. Brushing out the rug got out a lot of the debris lodged down deep inside the fur. It was also oddly satisfying. I felt like a kid playing with a doll’s hair. Mostly because you can yank and pull and tear out the hair and your doll can’t do anything about it (was I a sadistic child or is that normal?). I used the edge of the bathtub to help me as I brushed out my rug. I felt like I was in an animal version of Psycho wherein I am obsessed with caring for a dead animal because let’s be honest that is exactly what a sheepskin rug basically is.
5) Wait, because this sucker takes for. ever. to dry
I exaggerate a lot but when I tell you took this rug seven days for this rug to dry I am not kidding you. Seven. Days. Honestly, it’s still a little damp. I wish I had a clothes line outside for it because I think that would have been faster. I even dried it in the dryer for 10 minutes but that made me nervous so I stopped. So basically you just have to wait.
But when you are done waiting your rug will be clean and you will have gone to a place deep inside of yourself and come out with a new appreciation for the rug that you have so intimately bathed and cared for.
It is definitely a little more crimpy/curly than it was before but I think if I brushed it again it would look the same, but the crimpyness doesn’t bother me. The washing part only took me about 45 minutes but it felt like forever since this was such a silly task. I really hope I don’t have to wash it again any time soon. Bob, I hope that my angry words got through to you, DO NOT VOMIT ON MY SHEEPSKIN RUG.