Cleaning sheepskin rug: Here’s all you need to know | Cuero Design
Sheepskin Butterfly Chair

Cleaning sheepskin rug: Here’s all you need to know

Your throw is easy to maintain

Just like with a pair of good shoes, you need to take care of your lambskin. Don’t worry though because it’s very easy and by the time you have finished reading this article you will be an expert.

sheepskin decorating chair

You’ll love your sheepskin

A natural lambskin product can quickly turn out to be one of your favourite items. If you treat it right it will bring you great joy for many years. There is nothing I love more than sinking my hands into my own throw made of Icelandic Sheepskin. I am one of those who look forward to autumn so I can wear my favorite woolen jumper!

And I am not alone! Sheepskin products are one of the most popular products in history. In history? Yes … IN HISTORY! The first sheep were domesticated between 9 000 to 11 000 years ago and there are evidence of tanning processes that are almost as old.


You need to treat your lambskin the way you care for your shoes

You are walking on the street when someone suddenly stops you. “May I kindly ask you where you bought your incredible shoes?”

Oh yes, that’s the feeling that I want to help you keep alive. If you want your sheepskin to steal the show, even as time goes by, read this and prepare yourself to be showered with compliments.

Sheepskin Butterfly Chair

Humans clearly have a natural necessity to feel the softness and warmth of a wonderful fur pelt. It’s not strange that you will frequently find them in basically every television show ranging from “Game of Thrones” to “Marco Polo”.

Okay okay, you already know that sheepskin are amazing. But don’t these white, fluffy wonders get dirty? How in the world do you care for them?

So perhaps you are thinking of buying a lamb rug but you don’t know if it’s going to mean a bunch of work for you to maintain it. Or perhaps you have already bought a fur throw and you want to know how to care for it? If so, keep reading because this article is for you.


White Icelandic Sheepskin

The secret you need to know about sheep

Ever been to a farm and seen these animals in real life? Were they spending their time in ultra hygienic, super modern white rooms? Did you see them wearing a protective cover against rain and mud? Or were they walking around outside in a semi-muddy meadow?

You don’t need to clean them

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Sheep keep themselves clean. This occurs because of their natural characteristics that have been developed over millions of years of evolution, further perfected by almost 10 000 years of breeding. These properties were absolutely essential for the animals to develop in order to protect themselves against external threats.

Lanolin: The Super Ingredient You Didn’t Know About

Lanolin is the natural fat that you find in wool. It is the natural super grease that a bunch of companies want to extract from wool in order to make a range of products from skincare to lubrication. And guess what, the weight of fresh wool consists of between five to twentyfive percent lanolin!


Natural properties of wool:

Here’s a short list of natural characteristics that have been developed by sheep to keep them clean.

  • Dirt repellent
  • Resistant to: Water, flame, static electricity
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Resilient


But it doesn’t mean you don’t have to anything!

If you choose to buy a product made of lambskin, you will still need to do some maintenance work to keep it fluffy and clean.

The point is to take care of the sheepskin in a way that doesn’t force you to wash it. You do not want to get to the point where you have to use cleaning chemicals that eliminate the natural lanolin that keeps it clean. This article is meant to help you prevent this situation rather than teach you how to do the wash itself.

So here are some basic cleaning instructions that we always recommend to customers that buy our sheepskin butterfly chair:

Follow these easy steps to care for your lambskin

  1. Keep it fluffy by brushing it

    If you sit on your pelt all the time, it will start to flatten eventually. You need to brush and shake the sheepskin regularly to avoid this from happening. How often, you ask? It depends on its usage. You will notice when the wool begins to flatten.

  2. Shake it to help it repel dirt

    Since lanolin repels dirt naturally, you will notice that it’s quite simple to remove it by shaking your product. This helps the dirty particles that are loosely attached, basically fall off.

  3. Avoid stains!

    Yes, the wool naturally repels dirt but please try not to spill wine, coffee or any other things that will stain it. These liquids are not naturally occurring in nature and sheep haven’t developed a way to protect themselves against it. If you get these types of stains you will be forced to make an effort to remove them at the risk of losing the lambskin’s natural potency.

  4. If you get a stain anyway, do this.

    As I already mentioned, you do not want to use chemical detergents to remove stains from your sheepskin throw. They usually contain surfactants that affect the naturally protecting grease in the wool. Instead, use the cleaner that mother nature has given us: Starch. Simply dampen the wool a little, cover it with potato starch or cornstarch and rub it. Leave it to dry and then brush and shake the dry starch away. You won’t believe it but it actually works. I don’t know why it works so if you know I’d love you to tell me in the comments section below.

    Don’t overuse water though. It’s not good for the wool to get too wet. And take it easy with the water temperature. It’s not good for the lanolin to be heated too much. It’s enough if you use lukewarm water.

    You should repeat this step every once in a while even if you don’t get a stain in order to keep your pelt fresh.

  5. Avoid direct sunlight

    Your sheepskin won’t get destroyed if you place it in the sun but it will lose its fine tone so I always recommend this part for long term use.

3 Easy And Effective Ways To Take Care Of Your Sheepskin

In summary, learning how to best take care of your Cuero Design Sheepskin, Sheepskin Stool and Sheepskin Butterfly Chair is pretty easy. You simply have to follow three easy steps:

    1. Occasionally remove the sheepskin seat and let it hang overnight in the fresh air. Shake the seat and brush the wool carefully.
    2. To remove stains and give the wool new freshness, spray with water until damp, cover with potato or corn starch and rub in. Leave it to dry.
    3. Vacuum or brush the starch away and then shake off any residues.


The Best Advice You Can Receive

Every company eventually has its own care instructions for sheepskin. There are countless of helpful guides that offer useful information. The best advice you can receive regarding your rug is to follow the instructions given to you by the person you bought it from.


Do you have any advice to share?

Have you had any good or bad experiences that we could all benefit from knowing about? Perhaps you have some good tricks up your sleeve? If so, please let us know in the comment’s section below!

Did something happen to your sheepskin? Let us take a look at it.

Help Me Restore My Sheepskin

2 BKF chairs lambskin & leather

Written by Maria Agustina Vouk & Nils Kjerstadius


    • Hi Linda,

      Thanks for getting in touch. There are several companies that sell special sheepskin brushes. We have found that it works fine with a dog brush in case you don’t want to buy a special sheepskin brush.

      Warm regards,

  • I didn’t realize that sheepskin was hypoallergenic. However, that seems like great news if you are looking to have something in your home that won’t cause your guests to have an allergic reaction. Maybe I’ll look into some sheepskin. What kind of advice would you give someone looking for the right sheepskin?

    • Hey Johnny,

      Thanks for your comment and I agree, it is great that sheepskin are hypoallergenic. Here are some quick guidelines for how to find the best sheepskin for you:
      1. Find out which sheepskin you will like the most. There are many types of sheep with different qualities of wool. One of the more commonly bred sheep are merino, an economically sound sheepskin to buy with very nice wool.
      Here at Cuero we offer the Icelandic Sheepskin which of course are my personal favorites! They have really amazing wool, bred over more than 1100 years specifically to survive in the harsh climate of Iceland. If you look at the closeups of the pictures in this article, you will see that there’s really something special about them.
      2. Make sure your sheepskin is vegetable tanned if you want to be on the safe side regarding the hypoallergenic properties. Regarding this point it’s better to talk to a doctor but in my experience I have noticed that sheepskin that are chrome tanned can make me feel a little ill if I am in close contact for too long. My recommendation is therefore to make sure your seller guarantees that your sheepskin is vegetable tanned which means it has been naturally curated without any artificial chemicals.
      Again, the Icelandic sheep are all tanned the same way as the vikings did. These sheepskin are so precious that almost nobody wants to spoil them by tanning them in another way.
      3. Choose the right color. Which color will fit your home best? Make sure the color of your sheepskin is a natural one if you are looking for the hypoallergenic quality.
      4. Buy your sheepskin and enjoy it!

      For the sheepskin nerds there’s of course a little more to it. I will write a more detailed article of how to look for the right sheepskin in the future but I hope this is good enough for now Johnny.

      In the meantime, you can read look here if you want some more information about our Icelandic sheepskin.. There’s also some great information on the webpage of the Icelandic Lambskin Marketing Board.

      Kind regards,

    • Hi David,

      I am glad you love sheepskin and even happier that we could help you learn something new about it.

      Stay warm,

  • I bought a vintage fluffy sheepskin scarf from a street market. Brushing has worked beautifully to fluff it up, but I was thinking about washing it, because it doesn’t smell too fresh.Is washing it a really bad idea?

    • Hi Beck,

      You can wash it with wool soap. Use as little water as possible (preferably only dampen the sheepskin) and follow the instructions of the soap you buy carefully.

      Kind regards,

  • That is pretty amazing that sheepskin and wool are naturally repellent to dirt and water. You certainly want to do your best to maintain them, but this is good to know. I would treat them well and they should last for a long time.

  • My Jacob sheepskin has survived and thrived beautifully for many years now. Until last night. I tripped and dropped part of a bowl of pasta in tomato sauce on it. My dog was traumatised by my screech.

    Is there anything I can do?

    Thank you.

    • That’s too bad Geraldine! I would try the starch trick if I were you. If you are lucky, it will remove the stain. At least it should take away the worst part. Check the text under the following headline in the article: If you get a stain anyway, do this.

      There you have information of how to try to clean it with starch.

    • Oh no! That’s really unfortunate. Try brushing it and shaking it. I don’t think it will save it but perhaps it will help somewhat. The lanolin has probably been washed away so the self-cleaning properties are probably gone with it.

      Please let me know the results, Mary!

  • We have a sheepskin we purchased 30 years ago in NZ that we use as a rug. A few years ago our sweet elderly dog discovered it and made it her own favorite cozy bed. She has since crossed over the rainbow bridge but her younger brother-pup has lovingly claimed it. I would like to freshen it from time to time and eager to try your method by brushing, using a bit of sprayed water and starch. Do you have any other advice for this beloved rug? Many thanks!

    • Hi Carol,

      It’s amazing that your sheepskin has lasted for 30 years. Good job! I think it can be a good idea to take it out and shake it and let it hang in the fresh air. This should help to freshen it up too.


  • We have a sheepskin area rug that a friends dog decided to pee on! The tag says to dry clean it, but what do you suggest?

  • I washed my two sheepskins in the machine with Woolite on wool setting. then put them through the fast spin.
    Hung them over a chair and it took a couple of days to dry.
    They turned out lovely and fluffy again.

  • Oh my goodness! This cornstarch trick worked! A rug cleaner specialist on the phone today said I should “buy a new rug” rather than have it cleaned. Last ditch effort was I went to the market and bought corn starch. Thank you!!!!!!

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