How to Clean Sheepskin

Sheepskin hanging on a line outside.
Sheepskin is one of the most luxurious and soft materials in the world. Boris SV / Getty Images

There is nothing as luxurious and soft as something made out of sheepskin. The skin of sheep is very soft, warm and has high insulating properties. Sheepskin is comfortable to wear and is used in many products, including shoes and car seat covers. Since sheepskin fibers breath, sheepskin is comfortable to wear in any season [source: Partridge]. Here are some of the advantages of sheepskin:

  • It doesn't shed threads.
  • It resists wrinkling and tearing.
  • It retains its shape.
  • It stays warm, even when wet.
  • It's water resistant.
  • It's washable.
  • It's strong [source: Sheepskin].

It's important to know how to clean sheepskin, because the leather side of the sheepskin can be easily damaged if it's washed incorrectly. Sheepskins are machine washable, but you should remember the following basic rules when cleaning anything made of sheepskin:


  • Wash sheepskin with mild detergents that do not contain enzymes. Many wool-wash products contain enzymes, so read the label carefully before using any product on sheepskin.
  • Don't wash sheepskin with bleach.
  • Use a mild hand dishwashing liquid when washing smaller items by hand.
  • Wash sheepskin separately when washing them in the washing machine, so they won't be affected by bleeding.
  • Wash sheepskin in cold or lukewarm water up to 108 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).
  • Line dry sheepskin in the shade, and never tumble dry or iron sheepskin.
  • Lie sheepskin rugs on a flat surface to dry, or have them dry by hanging them on a line. Stretch them while they're still damp.
  • Brush long-haired wool products after they have dried [source: Kiwi Sheepskin].