You must be careful when you spot clean wool rugs. There are certain do’s and don’ts and if not done properly can ruin your rug.
Wool fibers react differently than synthetic fibers and the first thing to know about cleaning wool is what not to do. Do not use a carpet spotter purchased at the local grocery store. Carpet spotters are made to clean synthetic fibers because 99% of all carpeting is manufactured with synthetic fibers.
You should look for the Wool-Safe logo on a bottle cleaner before making the purchase. Manufacturers pay Wool-safe to undergo tests for spotters and cleaners developed to clean and wash wool products. Once the product has been deemed safe, the wool-safe logo is attached to the product label.
Even though you have bought a wool-safe product, you should do a spot check for color fastness. Many hand knotted area rugs are not colorfast and you don’t want to ruin the whole rug when you could have tested first.
To test for color fastness, apply the spotter to a clean white cotton cloth in an inconspicuous area of the rug, not necessarily the spot you intend to remove. Apply the moistened cloth with some firm pressure, but without movement for about a minute. If the cloth comes back white then you are okay to proceed. You will need to complete this test on all colors of the rug as it is possible that some colors are color fast while others are not. If you get any color transfer from the rug to the cotton cloth, you should STOP and call a certified rug cleaning expert.
My Rug’s Dyes are Colorfast. How Do I Spot Clean the Rug?
1. Apply the wool-safe cleaning solution to a white cotton cloth, not the rug.
2. Press the cloth down with the heel of your hand and blot the spot toward the center of the stain. Avoid scrubbing in a circular motion as this could cause permanent texture distortion and matting.
3. To remove the soapy residue, either mist the area with clean water or wet a clean cotton cloth and blot again until soap is gone.
4. Lastly, blot with dry towels until all the liquid has been absorbed.
A wool rug is an investment and should be treasured for the beauty it adds to your home. If the stains are not removed to your satisfaction, you should look into calling a rug cleaning expert who can better diagnose the stain and the fibers used to make your rug. The best method can then be employed to treat the stain and extend the life of your rug.