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Can You Steam Clean Wool Carpet & Rugs?

Updated: Nov 23, 2023

can you steam clean wool

Wool carpets and rugs are known for their luxurious feel, natural beauty, and durability. They add a touch of elegance to any space and are a valuable investment for your home.

However, like any carpet, wool fibers can accumulate dirt, stains, and allergens over time. Many homeowners wonder if it's safe to steam clean their cherished wool carpets and rugs.

In this blog post, we will explore the subject in detail and provide insights into the proper care and cleaning of woolen floor coverings.

Understanding Wool Fiber Characteristics

Before delving into the cleaning process, it's crucial to understand the unique characteristics of wool fibers.

Wool is a natural material that has a high level of water absorption. This means that it can retain moisture easily, making it susceptible to damage from excessive water or prolonged dampness.

Additionally, wool fibers are sensitive to heat and agitation, which can lead to shrinkage and distortion if not handled with care.

Can You Steam Clean Wool Carpet and Rugs?

Yes, you can steam clean wool carpets and rugs, but it must be done with caution and by following specific guidelines. Professional steam cleaning, also known as hot water extraction, is generally considered safe for woollen floor coverings when performed correctly.

What Steam Cleaner Should I Use?

There are plenty on the market, but we have had great success with the Karcher SC3 steam cleaner (we also found the American alternative in the link.)

The reason we like this one for homeowners is that it is a really affordable way to get professional results.

Hiring Professional Carpet Cleaners

how to steam clean wool carpets

When it comes to cleaning wool carpets and rugs, it's best to entrust the task to experienced and certified professional carpet cleaners.

These experts have the knowledge, skills, and equipment required to clean wool fibers effectively without causing damage.

They can adjust the steam cleaning process to ensure it remains within safe moisture and temperature levels.

Want to clean wool carpets or rugs yourself?

It's perfectly possible for you to do it yourself, but it will require a bit of investment to get the right equipment and products to do it safely:

What you need:

  • Steam Cleaner for rugs & steam carpet cleaner for carpets

  • Wool-safe cleaning chemicals

  • Softer bristled pile brush or crb brushes

You can't cheap out on your steam carpet cleaner. The vacuum needs o be powerful enough to suck out most of the moisture, especially because wool is a thicker material.

If you don't do it properly, your carpet will not only remain dirty, it will also smell for days and potentially cause mould.

With proper care, your wool carpets can last many decades, but get it wrong and you will need to replace this expensive carpet in no time. We highly recommend hiring an insured professional to look after your wool carpets for you.

A few other things you can steam clean with the right techniques:

Low-Moisture Steam Cleaning

To protect your wool carpets and rugs during steam cleaning, opt for a low-moisture steam cleaning method.

This technique uses less water and shorter drying times, reducing the risk of over-wetting the fibers.

Professional cleaners will also use specialized tools designed to extract the maximum amount of moisture, leaving the carpets only slightly damp after cleaning.


pre testing carpet

Before steam cleaning your wool carpet or rug, a reputable professional will perform a spot test in an inconspicuous area.

This test ensures that the cleaning solution and steam cleaning process are suitable for your specific type of wool and that there will be no adverse reactions, such as color bleeding or fiber damage.

Regular Maintenance

To keep your wool carpets and rugs in pristine condition, implement a regular maintenance routine.

Vacuum your woolen floor coverings regularly to remove loose dirt and debris.

Place doormats at entryways to minimize the amount of dirt brought into the space, and promptly attend to spills and stains to prevent them from setting.


In conclusion, steam cleaning can be safely employed to clean wool carpets and rugs, provided it is done by professional carpet cleaners who understand the unique requirements of wool fibers.

Hiring experienced experts ensures that the cleaning process remains within safe parameters, preventing potential damage such as shrinkage or distortion.

Remember that regular maintenance, including proper vacuuming and immediate stain treatment, is crucial for preserving the beauty and longevity of your cherished wool carpets and rugs.

With the right care, your woolen floor coverings will continue to exude elegance and comfort for years to come.

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