5 Myths about Maintaining Wool Carpet
Updated: Oct 31, 2022
Wool is one of the most popular materials used for carpets and is favored by many homeowners due to its stunning appeal. Wool carpets have that sense of sophistication that not all carpets have and can instantly make any home feel modern and luxurious. Aside from the aesthetics, wool carpets have plenty of benefits including being hard-wearing, sound-absorbing, fire-resistant, and environmentally friendly.
Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding wool carpets, especially when it comes to cleaning. Some people think that wool carpets are a nightmare to maintain while others believe that soaking them in moisture will cause them to shrink. In hopes of helping you clean your wool carpet more effectively, we’ve taken a look at the most common cleaning myths regarding wool carpets and will debunk them once and for all.
Myth #1 - Wet cleaning a wool carpet will damage the carpet fibers
Wool carpets are made of natural fibers and the main belief is that using wet-cleaning methods (wet extractors) can harm the carpet altogether. This is because natural fibers are thought to be less resistant to wear and tear than synthetic carpet fibers.
Fact - This is entirely false
Wool is much more resilient compared to synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester and can withstand any wet cleaning method without suffering a hint of damage. If a wet extractor is used according to instructions, it will do little to no harm on a wool carpet. A wet extractor can prove useful in treating liquid spills and dry out a wool carpet in a matter of minutes.
Myth #2 - Soaking a wool carpet will cause it to shrink
One of the major concerns with wool carpets is that the natural fibers may absorb liquids and cause them to shrink. This can be attributed to older carpets made of jute (a woven fabric made from plant fibers) that shrink when exposed to water or moisture.
Fact - Not true
As previously mentioned, wool carpets are extremely hard-wearing and no amount of water or moisture can cause the fibers to shrink. Of course, you don’t want to leave your carpet soaking wet so it’s best to dry it immediately after wet cleaning to avoid any damp smells.
Myth #3 - Over-wetting the carpet will cause discoloration
Wool carpets tend to discolor when oversaturated with water. Such is the case when a massive spill occurs and turns the wool carpet into a brown shade.
Fact - False again
A wool carpet turns brown when oversaturated with water not because it got discolored, but because of the backing on the carpet that wicks back when wet.
Myth #4 - Bleach should never be used on wool carpets
Fact - This is true
Bleach is corrosive and will damage your wool carpet severely. When cleaning wool carpeting, it’s best to stick to stain-removing chemicals that are safe to use on natural fibers. If in doubt, you can test an inconspicuous area of your wool carpet to see if the cleaning chemical poses an adverse reaction.
Myth #5 - Wool should be air-dried only
Fact - False
The faster your wool carpet dries, the better. It’s a good idea to ventilate the room after wet cleaning your carpet to facilitate drying times. Place carpet floor dryers in strategic positions to ensure your wool carpet dries as fast as possible. The good news is that unlike synthetic fibers, wool is naturally resistant to mold and mildew as the fibers allow moisture to pass through.
How to clean a wool carpet properly
Now that we’ve got the facts laid out, it’s time to figure out how to actually clean a wool carpet. A lot goes into carpet cleaning that most homeowners get wrong which is why we’re here to give you a quick rundown of proper carpet cleaning. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
Vacuum your wool carpet at least once a week. This will help prevent dust, dirt and debris from accumulating.
Treat spills and stains as soon as possible. Use a paper towel to blot the liquid and apply undiluted vinegar over the spill before finishing up with detergent.
Use a gentle detergent solution when treating spots or stains. Delicate fabric washes are usually colorfast so that they don’t harm the natural colour of wool fibers.
Have your wool carpet cleaned professionally every six months. Professional carpet cleaning can do wonders in terms of keeping your carpet clean and in great condition.
Along with proper cleaning, it’s also important to implement preventative measures that will help preserve the condition of your wool carpet.
Use indoor slippers to limit the tracking of mud and dirt
Restrict food and drink to non-carpeted areas when possible
Move the wool carpet away from direct sunlight to minimize fading
Choose carpet cleaning products carefully