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How to revive a sheepskin rug

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If you have a sheepskin rug that's gone a little shabby, don't despair. It can be revived to almost new condition with a quick wash and a bit of elbow grease.
What you'll need: 
Genuine sheepskin rug
Washing machine
Wool friendly detergent
Strong wool comb, dog grooming comb or similar
Stiff brush (optional)
Give the rug a good shake (outside!) to make sure any loose dirt has been removed.
Put the rug in the washing machine with wool friendly detergent, making sure the detergent is for colours if your rug is dyed. Set the wash to a 30° cycle.
If the wash cycle did not include a good spin, set the machine to spin to remove as much water as possible from the rug. If you have a washer-dryer DO NOT DRY IT.
Take the damp rug from the washing machine and WHILE IT IS STILL DAMP, lay it out flat and begin combing. Test a small patch to make sure the comb is working well and, although unlikely, is not pulling the wool from the skin. Work in small sections at a time and comb out the whole rug. This should begin to de-tangle the wool. Some effort may be required.
When all the rug has been combed, make sure the base skin is not tucked under itself around any part of the edge, and lay, drape or hang it to dry.
When dry or almost dry, comb again. This time begin working in from the outside, combing towards the middle; against the nap. This lifts the wool and will really bring the fluffiness back. Work in small sections at a time.
Comb again for the final time; now from the middle out, like someone might do their hair. You may like to finish off with a stiff brush to neaten the wool.
Lay the rug back on the floor or wherever you like it, and enjoy your 'new' sheepskin.
Although this is a reasonably labour intensive task, the results are well worth it and very satisfying. The process is much the same as someone might use to wash and de-tangle their own hair (although a washing machine is possibly surplus to requirements in that case).
Do test a small area with the comb to make sure it's strong enough.
Don't worry too much about pullng the rug to pieces as you comb. These things are pretty tough! Do test a small area first though if you're not sure.
Some rugs have washing instructions. If different to the advice given here, follow them.
Some stiffness to the base skin may occur when the rug dries. This will loosen up again after a few days.
The damp rug is likely to be quite heavy. Make sure whatever you are drying it over is strong enough to support the weight.
Avoid drying the rug in direct sunlight as the skin base may become very stiff and possibly discolour.


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