If you have carpeting in your home, then you've felt the pit in your stomach when something spills on it. We've all been there. Your husband's boss spills red wine all over your living room floor. Your beloved dog tracks mud in from the backyard. And if you have kids, it may happen more often -- like every day. But fear not! Even if you have wool carpet, we can tell you how to get rid of those pesky stains, and put your pit back where it's supposed to be.
Steam cleaning is a popular way to clean carpets because of its deep cleaning capabilities. A fine mist of steam and detergent is sprayed into the carpet to loosen and free up the dirt, which is then sucked up by the vacuum. The problem with washing wool carpet with water is a lot like the problem with washing wool sweaters. Water over a certain temperature will give you back a sweater that barely comes down to your waist. The same thing can happen with wool carpet. If you use water that's too hot, the carpet will start to shrink and pull away from the wall. The other thing about water and wool is that wool naturally has a high moisture content and it's quite absorbent, so you don't want to saturate it.
So how do you clean your wool carpeting without using water? The best way to care for wool carpet is to vacuum it regularly. Wool fibers have a natural wax coating that helps keep them from absorbing dirt, so if you get it while its fresh, dirt is pretty easy to get out of wool carpet. Different types of wool carpet require different care. Wool carpet that's made with loops, for example, should be vacuumed only with suction and not with a beater bar. A beater bar works to agitate the dirt so it can be easily sucked up, which is best for pile carpet.
There will be times when there's a spot on your carpet that needs to be cleaned that the vacuum won't take care of. If you want to skip using water, then a wool approved carpet shampoo is your best bet. Look for those with the WOOLSAFE logo on the bottle. You simply spray the shampoo foam on the spot, wait for it to dry, and then vacuum it up. Dry powders are another water-free option, but they're not recommended for wool carpet because the powder gets imbedded in the fibers and only adds to the dirt and bacteria that's already in there.