How to clean a wool carpet

A wool carpet or rug can make a stunning addition to your interior. It makes a durable and environmentally friendly choice when it comes to choosing flooring for your home, and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to colours and patterns.  

While many of us may be tempted to opt for a laminate or wood floor choice, especially with small feet or muddy paws running around, there’s something very comforting about a wool carpet. A wool carpet can instantly add warmth, texture and style to your living space and keeping it clean can be a lot easier than you may think. 

Here at Neo Direct, we are on hand to provide you with some quick and easy tips on how to care for your wool carpet. 

1. Vacuuming regularly

Using a high-quality vacuum cleaner with good suction and soft bristles can extend the life of the wool fibres in your carpet, soft bristles gently remove any trapped dust or dirt without damaging the appearance of the wool. If you have any furry friends in your home, we would recommend using our pet hair attachment for corded vacuum cleaners as this will eliminate any fine pet hairs. 

Top tips: 

  • Vacuum wool carpet every day for the first week it is laid, this is because it is essential to remove any lint and dust that may be still remaining from installation. 
  • Vacuum twice a week in high traffic areas,  such as your entrance hall or living room. Pass your vacuum over these areas 5 to 7 times. 
  • Vacuum once a week in low traffic areas even if your carpet isn’t used much just to remove any dust that moves through the air. Pass you vacuum over these areas 3 times. 

2. Removing stains

This may go without saying but ensure you are blotting spills and scraping up solids immediately. Despite wool naturally detering liquids from absorbing into its fibres, it’s important you reduce the chances of stains as soon as the incident occurs. Scooping solids straight away stops them from digging deeper into the carpet. Blot (no rubbing) spills with a dry paper towel. 

How to remove stains from a wool carpet

  1. Plain water is the best for wet stains.

If your spill is fresh, plain tap water will suffice on a wool carpet or rug. After you have blotted all you can using a dry paper towel or cloth, fill a spray bottle with warm water and spray a little on the carpet. Gently rub the water onto the stain with a soft sponge or cloth, then continue to blot using your dry cloth or paper towel. 

  1. Pet accidents can be removed with baking soda or vinegar.

Sometimes pet accidents can’t be avoided, especially if you have a new puppy. Baking soda can absorb the odour while the white vinegar can help disinfect the area.

First, sprinkle a good amount of baking soda on the stain and leave for 30 minutes, then vacuum. 

Secondly,  make your own solution using: 

Half a cup (120ml) of vinegar 

Two cups (470ml) of water 

Half a teaspoon (2.5ml) of liquid dishwasher detergent 

Then, dip a sponge or cloth into your homemade cleaning solution, gently wring out and lightly rub your stain using a circular movement.

When you’re confident the stain has gone, rub a damp (water) cloth or sponge over the area to rinse out the solution, then dry. 

  1. Blot any hard to remove stains with mineral turpentine.

Stains such as rust, oil, lipstick or crayon can be removed using mineral turpentine. This is a solution that is used to thin paints and can be found at your local DIY or hardware shop. Soak a clean cloth or rag in the liquid, then lightly dab and blot the stain with it. Remember to blot with a dry paper towel. 

  1. Clean liquid stains with wool detergent and vinegar. 

Stains such as coffee, tea, or juice can be removed using an (approved) wool detergent and white vinegar. 

Make your solution using:

1 teaspoon (4.9ml) of wool detergent 

1 teaspoon (4.9ml) of white vinegar 

1 litre of warm water 

Next, dampen your cloth in the homemade solution, then lightly rub and dab the stain. Use water to remove the cleaner and finally leave to dry for several hours. 

3.  Use a steamer 

You need to steam clean your wool carpet at least once a year. At a glance, your carpet may appear clean, but there is a chance of a lot of hidden dirt. Dried mud, dust or trapped sand can wear the fibres of your carpet as you move around day today. Steam cleaning once a year can remove this hidden build-up of dirt. Consider twice a year on a highly used carpet.

Remove all furniture from your carpet before cleaning and remember you will have to wait at least a day for the carpet to be fully dry and livable again. 

Reasons to steam clean your carpet  

Carpets are made up of a number of individual fibres that attract so many different types of dirt, from food, mud, dust and pet hair. While hard surfaces can be easily cleaned with a mop, many are left under the impression that vacuuming a carpet is enough. You could vacuum your carpet every day and it still wouldn’t pick up the underlying dirt. A build-up in this dirt can result in a musky smell, therefore, steam cleaning your carpet can keep it looking fresh and as good as new.

Steam kills dust mites and bacteria, although vacuuming will eliminate some dust mites, it won’t remove them all. Bacteria and other minuscule particles, such as cold and flu viruses can live in your carpet alongside dust mites that aggravate allergies. Steam cleaning your carpet is the only way to completely eliminate and destroy bacteria from your carpets.

How to steam clean a carpet with a steam mop 

Steam mops are an essential tool to have in your home. They don’t use harsh chemicals, they’re lightweight and are easy to move around. While steam mops are perfect for polishing up hard surfaces such as tiles or hardwood, they are also great for giving your wool carpet a deep clean. 

  1. Clear your floor of any furniture and other items then give your floor a thorough clean with your vacuum cleaner. This makes it easier to use the mop over the carpet and will prolong the life of your steam mop pads. 
  2. Fill your steam mop with water. You’ll find manufacturers guidelines which will advise you how much, as every steam mop is different. Be careful not to overfill the mop as this could result in a boiling water spill. Don’t add any harsh chemicals to the mixture, one of the main benefits of a steam cleaner is that you don’t need any additional chemicals as hot steam is enough to kill bacteria. 
  3. Attach the cleaning pad and ensure it is secure before use. Attach the carpet glider and again, ensure it is secure. 
  4. Glide over your carpet with the steam mop as you would a vacuum or mop. Work on small areas at a time to avoid walking over areas you have just cleaned. 

Remember, don’t let your carpet become saturated in water, light steam is enough to clean your carpet efficiently. Soaking your carpet could encourage mould growth.

If your carpet is particularly dirty or smelling, we would recommend using a professional carpet cleaner for the first clean, then using a steam mop to clean your carpet at regular intervals afterwards. 

Here at Neo Direct our Hot Steam Mops come equipped with a glider, carpet and fabric tools to ensure a deep clean of your carpet and a smooth glide over all your floor surfaces. Boasting 180-degree swivel heads, our Hot Steam Mops are perfect for getting into tight spaces. Our ergonomically designed handles can reduce hand and wrist stress, while our variable steam control and a measuring cup can ensure you don’t soak your carpet. Be sure to also explore our extensive range of floor cleaning equipment to keep your home looking sparkling and clean.