How to Wash a Wool Rug in Washing Machine

Ever wondered if you could toss a wool rug in the washing machine without worry?

If you’re pondering over how to wash a wool rug in washing machine, you’re spot on for seeking expert advice.

As a seasoned carpet cleaner, I’m here to guide you through the nuances of machine-washing wool rugs, specifically addressing how to wash a wool rug in a washing machine safely and effectively. This guide is packed with insider tips to ensure your wool rugs come out looking as good as new without any mishaps.

Let’s unravel the mystery and make rug cleaning a breeze, transforming what seems challenging into a simple, worry-free process.

Understanding Wool Rugs

Wool Rug Characteristics

Wool rugs are renowned for their durability, natural resilience, and ability to repel stains and dirt. These luxurious floor coverings, crafted from the soft, natural fibres of sheep, are not just a treat for the feet but a testament to timeless elegance.

Wool’s unique structure makes it insulated during colder months and breathable when warmer, providing year-round comfort. The fibres’ natural elasticity means wool rugs maintain their shape and plushness, even in high-traffic areas.

Why Special Care is Needed When Washing Wool Rugs

Wool rugs require special attention due to their natural fibres.

When exposed to excessive water or harsh chemicals, wool can shrink, lose shape, or even fade in colour. The key to preserving their beauty lies in gentle cleaning methods.

Wool is naturally absorbent, which means it can hold onto moisture, leading to potential issues like mould or mildew if not properly dried. Understanding these characteristics is crucial for maintaining the integrity and longevity of your wool rugs, especially when using a washing machine.

Pre-Washing Machine Tips for Wool Rugs

Before you even think about introducing your wool rug to the washing machine, there are a few crucial steps to ensure it comes out in top condition.

Spot Cleaning:  Wool rugs can be prone to odd spills or stains. When this happens, act swiftly. Gently blot (don’t rub!) the stain with a mixture of water and mild detergent. For stubborn stains, a specific wool-safe cleaner is your best bet. Remember, wool is sensitive, so avoid harsh high alkaline chemicals.

Colour Test: Before a full wash, checking if your rug’s colours will run is vital. Dampen a white cloth and gently dab it on a small, inconspicuous area of the rug. If any colour transfers to the cloth, washing it in a machine could lead to a colour-bleeding disaster.

Preparation: Shake out your rug outdoors to remove loose dirt and debris. If it’s small enough, roll it up carefully to fit into your machine, ensuring it’s not crammed in. For larger rugs, a professional cleaning might be a safer option.

These pre-washing steps are essential in preserving the quality and appearance of your wool rug, setting the stage for a successful machine wash.

Get Your Obligation FREE Quote Now!

Please fill in your details below and we’ll get back to you.

Machine Washing Wool Rugs

When it comes to machine washing your wool rug, the devil is in the details. Here’s how to do it right:

Selecting the Right Washing Cycle: Wool rugs need a gentle touch. Opt for the delicate cycle on your washing machine. This setting uses a slower spin and less agitation, reducing the risk of damage to the fibres. Avoid normal or heavy-duty cycles, as these can be too harsh and may lead to shrinking or felting.

Water Temperature: Cold water is your wool rug’s best friend. Hot water can cause shrinking and damage the fibres, so always set your machine to a cold wash. This precaution helps maintain the rug’s shape and colour integrity.

Choosing Detergents: Not all detergents are created equal, especially when it comes to wool. Use a mild, wool-safe detergent – these are specifically designed to gently clean without stripping away natural oils. Steer clear of bleach and fabric softeners; they’re too harsh for delicate wool fibres.

Following these steps will help ensure your wool rug emerges from the washing machine looking as splendid as ever.

Post-Washing Care for Wool Rugs

After washing, the way you care for your wool rug can make all the difference.

Drying Techniques

Wool rugs should never be tumble-dried. The best approach is air drying. Lay the rug flat in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight, which can cause fading. Flip it over periodically to ensure even drying. This method prevents shrinking and helps maintain the rug’s natural shape.

Maintaining Rug Shape and Texture

While drying, gently reshape the rug by hand if necessary. Avoid stretching or pulling the rug, as wool can become misshapen when wet. Regular brushing or light vacuuming after it’s fully dry can help restore the rug’s natural fluffiness and texture, keeping it looking plush and inviting.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Washing Wool Rugs

When it comes to washing wool rugs, a few common missteps can lead to disappointment:

  • Using Hot Water: This can shrink and damage wool. Always use cold water.
  • Overloading the Machine: This doesn’t give the rug enough space to move freely, potentially leading to uneven cleaning and damage.
  • Harsh Chemicals: Bleach and strong detergents can ruin wool fibres. Stick to gentle, wool-specific products.
  • Ignoring Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always check the rug’s care label before proceeding.

Avoiding these mistakes will help keep your wool rug in pristine condition.

Pros and Cons of Machine Washing Wool Rugs


  • Convenience: Machine washing is quicker and less labour-intensive than hand washing.
  • Effective Cleaning: Modern machines can gently yet thoroughly clean wool rugs, removing dirt and allergens.


  • Risk of Damage: Incorrect settings or detergents can cause shrinking, felting, or colour bleeding.
  • Size Limitations: Larger wool rugs may not fit in standard home washing machines, requiring professional cleaning.

Weighing these pros and cons is crucial for deciding the best cleaning method for your wool rug.

Conclusion: Machine Washed Rug

In conclusion, washing a wool rug in a machine can be a safe and effective way to keep it clean, provided you follow the right steps. Remember to use cold water, a gentle cycle, and wool-specific detergents. Always air dry and handle your rug with care post-wash. By avoiding common mistakes, you can maintain the beauty and longevity of your wool rugs.

If you’re unsure or hesitant about washing your wool rug at home, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. As an expert in carpet cleaning, I’m here to assist you. Contact us for advice or professional cleaning services to ensure your wool rugs are cared for with the utmost expertise.

Get your obligation FREE quote now!

Scroll to Top