How To Clean A Wool Rug - Everything You Need To know

Are you considering buying a new wool rug and want to ensure your new investment looks its best for as long as possible? We got you.

You’ll be glad to know that wool rugs have some inherent properties, like being naturally stain and soil resistant, which makes them easy to clean.

Spills are part of life; that's why we made this guide so you’ll know how to clean a wool rug yourself. We break it down into six of the toughest stains with quick video tutorials that you can easily follow.

How to keep wool rugs looking great at home

General maintenance and everyday cleaning for wool rugs

All Bremworth wool rugs are made from 100% NZ-grown wool that makes them naturally durable, stain resistant and easy to clean. To keep your Bremworth wool rug looking great, you should make sure that it’s maintained and cleaned regularly.

How do I keep my rug looking good?

We highly recommend that you dry vacuum at least once a week with a non-rotating suction head. Vacuum more frequently in areas with high usage. By doing this, soil or dirt won't become embedded in the pile or grind against the tufts' bases, wearing them out more quickly.

Caring for Different Types Of Wool Rugs

Care for your wool also differs from rug to rug. There are two types of wool carpets; Loop Pile and Cut Pile. Here are the best vacuuming techniques for each.

1. Loop Pile Carpets & Rugs

The best way to regularly vacuum loop pile rugs and carpets is to use a straightforward vacuum head.

To keep your carpet looking, its best to avoid using turbo or spinning head attachments as these can cause frizzing, and like with all carpets, avoid excessive force.



2. Cut Pile Carpets & Rug

When vacuuming cut pile rugs we still recommend using a suction head on your vacuum. Be mindful of excessive force, or excessively using a rotating brush vacuum head can compromise the tailored appearance of your cut pile rug.

We recommend using a simple suction head (avoid using excessive pressure, which could flatten the rug) and occasionally grooming with your turbo or rotating brush head.

Now that we've gone over those general wool rug cleaning and vacuuming tips let's dive deeper into how to clean six of the toughest stains and spills off wool rugs.


How to Clean 6 Common Stains and Spills Off Wool Rugs

Before we look at each type of stain or spill, let's run through a few general Do's and Don’ts that apply to all of them:


  • “Contain the stain" and immediately blot any liquids with paper towels.
  • Quickly scoop up any solids; avoid pushing them deeper into the rug pile.


  • Never ever, ever, ever rub a wet wool rug or carpet spill! Instead, you want to absorb it with plain white paper towels using a gentle blotting/dabbing action! Rubbing can drive the liquid deep into the pile and into the backing making it much harder to remove.
  • Submerge the rug in water or other liquids.

General stain and spill removal tips sorted. Now it's time to delve deeper. We've got quick, short videos that show you how to clean a wool rug from each of the six toughest stains and spills.

Cleaning solid dirt off rugs by yourself

Solid spills on wool rugs can require a bit more finesse than other messes. When you encounter one, start by removing anything that has settled on the surface and then tackle any liquid component present before addressing the saturation of the rug or flooring beneath it.

Below we've outlined how to clean three of the most common solid spills off a rug.

1. How to clean baby food off a wool rug

Step 1: Discard any large pieces of food.
Step 2: Pour a small amount of water on the spill.
Step 3: Soak up excess water with dry paper towels.
Step 4: Use downward pressure to soak - do not rub!
Step 5: Relax!

 2. How to clean pet dirt off wool rugs

Wool is naturally pet-friendly and is soft enough for your furry friend's paws. The following cleaning tips can be used for most pet-related spills like poo, vomit, and urine.

Step 1: Carefully scoop or contain as much as you can.
Step 2: Pour a small amount of water on the spill.
Step 3: Apply light pressure using dry paper towels until the majority of the spill is uplifted.
Step 4: Discard and repeat until the spill has disappeared.
Step 5: Soak up excess water with dry paper towels, and remember, do not rub!

3. How to clean soil off wool rugs

Step 1: Gently pick up and discard any large pieces of soil.
Step 2: Vacuum up the rest of the surface soil, hovering just above the spill.
Step 3: Vacuum using a brushless head - this is very important as a brushed head can rub the soil into the rug more.
Step 4: Relax and re-pot your plant!

Cleaning liquids off wool rugs

Liquid spills are a little tougher to clean than solid spills, but not to worry, we've got some tips that can help you out. Soft drinks, juices and wine are three of the most common liquids that can end up on your wool rug, so here's how to tackle those.

1. How to clean soft drinks off a wool rug

Step 1: Clean up the spill immediately by gently blotting the spill with plain paper towels removing as much as you can. Watch the below video to see how that's done.
Step 2: Pour a small amount of water on the spill.
Step 3: Remove surface water with dry paper towels.
Step 4: Soak up excess water with more paper towels - use downward pressure, but do not rub!
Step 5: All done!

2. How to clean orange juice off a wool rug

Because orange juice is acidic, a lot of people tend to clean it off with vinegar, but this is ineffective because vinegar is also acidic. So, the best way to tackle orange juice spills on a wool rug is to go through the steps below.

Step 1: Clean up the spill immediately by gently blotting the spill with plain paper towels removing as much as you can.
Step 2: Pour a small amount of water on the spill.
Step 3: Remove surface water with dry paper towels.
Step 4: Soak up excess water with more paper towels - use downward pressure, but do not rub!
Step 5: All done!

3. How to clean wine off a wool rug

The most dreaded spill of all time! A wool rug and merlot are like a recipe for disaster but don't worry, if you follow these steps correctly and quickly, your rug can return to its former glory.

Step 1: Clean up the spill immediately by gently blotting the spill with plain paper towels removing as much as you can.
Step 2: When the rug starts to feel dry under the paper towels, pour a small amount of room temperature water, or Bremworth's Carpet Stain Remover on the spill and blot it again with a paper towel.
Step 3: Next, make the cleaning solution - mix 1/3 cup of white vinegar with 2/3 cup of water.
Step 4: Dampen a white cloth with the vinegar solution and gently dab it on the spill until it has disappeared. Use two separate towels, one to apply the liquid, while you blot away the stain using another dry towel.
Step 5: Pour yourself another glass of wine and relax!

How to clean stains off wool rugs

The reason why we use high-quality NZ wool at Bremworth is that the fibre is naturally durable and stain resistant. All the wool we use is 100% NZ-grown wool that's certified by the New Zealand Farm Assurance Programme (NZFAP).

There are two types of stains that can end up on your wool rugs - liquid and oily/greasy/dry stains. Here's what you can do to clean them off.

How to clean liquid stains off wool rugs

Step 1: If you're dealing with liquid stains on your carpet, we recommend using our effective Wet Stain Remover that you can buy from most supermarkets across NZ. However, before applying it, make sure you firmly blot up the stain first.

If you don't have our remover on hand, no worries! Simply dilute the affected area with room temperature water and gently blot using clean, dry paper towels. Avoid rubbing the stain to prevent permanent damage.

Step 2: Repeat this process until the stain disappears. Don't worry about damaging the wool pile with water - just be mindful not to over-wet the carpet, which can cause watermarks or damage to the backing.

How to clean oily/greasy/dry stains off wool rugs

Most oily, greasy or dry stains can be removed, even after a period of time. We produce a top-selling stain remover for dry stains that’s very effective on oily/greasy spills.

However, certain stains may have a chemical reaction with the fibre and can cause irreversible damage. So, the best thing to do is to visit our Stain Guide here, and cross-reference the type of treatment with the relevant stain.

Should you steam clean a wool rug?

That's a potentially dangerous option, as steam cleaning can cause permanent damage in some cases. 

If you've exhausted all options and that stubborn stain is still clinging on, it's time to bring in the experts. Contact our friendly team of rug experts for more help so we can direct you to the best next steps and even come out and have a look at your Bremworth rug if it needs professional care.

Further Care And Maintenance For Your Wool Rug

At Bremworth, we have a variety of wool rugs on offer, and it's important to know the unique advantages and features of each type to ensure you take proper care of them.

For example, when placing heavy items on any soft flooring like a wool rug there may be impressions left where the furniture has sat. Regular vacuuming can help with these when you move the furniture to a new location, and it can take a little while for them to disappear.

To know how to care for your wool rug properly, visit our rug maintenance guide.

We hope this guide to cleaning wool rugs and carpets has been helpful. If you want more help in your rug-buying journey, we've got a range of free tools and guides available.

Book a complimentary consultation with one of our carpet and rug experts.