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Care and Cleaning for Alpaca and Sheepskin





Normally you will find that alpaca is quite durable and easy to care for. It does not yellow or fade, nor does it attract dirt or dust. To remove dust you may vacuum it (using attachments only) or shake it out as often as you wish, but avoid immersing your rug in water. Machine washing or steam cleaning is not recommended since they can cause stitches to pop and also the natural oils in the fur and hide will be drawn out, causing the fur to be a little less soft and the hide to be a little less flexible each time it is washed. Occasionally you may want to "freshen" your rug, by dusting it with ordinary baby powder and giving it a brisk brushing.

For liquid spills: after blotting up as much of the spill as possible, rub with cornmeal or baby powder and brush (dog brush) after drying. You can also spot-clean some stains. To do this, mix shampoo or mild soap in a cup of warm (104 deg F / 40 deg C) water. You may also add cornmeal or baby powder to the water and shampoo mix. Apply mix with cotton cloth and rub stained area. Be careful not to saturate the leather with water. Remove the mix with a damp cloth. Dry with a blow dryer at room temperature. Brush (some fibers may come off). If your stain is grease-based, add some detergent to the mix. If the stain is on white fur, you may add a teaspoon of non-chloringe bleach to the mix.

Alpaca rugs cannot be used as bathmats. If they get too wet, they can shrink, shed, and smell. If a general cleaning is necessary after several years, your rug may be taken to a fur cleaner for specialized dry cleaning. Regular commercial dry cleaning is not recommended. As an alternative, we are acquainted with a rug cleaning/repair service that has extensive experience with all manner of rugs, both woven and animal fur including exotic animal hides, such as lion and bear. These people are phenomenal and they treat their customers like royalty! They are located in Arizona, Nevada, and Illinois, and will pick up and deliver for free in those states and will pay for shipping from other states. They have a 100% Client Satisfaction Guarantee and a 1 year warranty. Contact Nima Soltani at passionofpersia@yahoo.com, or click on the link below: PassionOfPersia.com

Wall Hanging: Alpaca is known for its warmth and lightness. It can usually be hung on a wall with simple push-pins (thumbtacks with slightly longer needles, found in office supply stores). The thickness of the fur will hide the push-pin heads. Use as many as needed for proper support. Small finishing nails can also be used.



Your sheepskin product has been tanned using the most advanced technology known to man. And since wool fleece is a natural lanolin-containing fiber, it resists soiling, thus simplifying cleaning. As a result, your sheepskin should require minimal effort to maintain its look and luster.

Regular Maintenance:

  • Vacuum your sheepskin rug as you would any rug. Most dust, dirt and spills remain on the upper surface of the sheepskin wool fibers and are easily removed. Occasionally shaking out your sheepskin also removes loose dirt and helps restore the fleece to its’ original fluffy condition.
  • Although wool is a springy fiber, after long use it may tend to mat down a bit. To restore the pile to its’ original state, brush it up with a coarse brush. Wire “slicker brushes” work best and do not harm the fleece. Slicker brushes are special wire brushes available at pet stores. Any dirt and particles that are brought up while brushing can then be vacuumed away. This process will clean your sheepskin while also reviving the posture of the fleece.
  • Minor Spots: If something sticky is found on the sheepskin rug you can clean it up using the suds from a mixture of liquid dish soap and water. If Urine (pet or people) is the problem we recommend using "urine gone" or a similar product. In most cases spot cleaning with warm water and mild soap is all that is needed. See the more detailed comments on this in the alpaca cleaning section.
  • Major Spruce-Ups: Remember that your sheepskin is a fine leather product and must be treated as such. Harsh washing, steam cleaning, or machine drying can cause permanent damage, therefore dry cleaning at an establishment that specializes in leather is the recommended cleaning method. Find one that uses white spirits or perchloroethylene as its’ cleaning agent. If the sheepskin is badly soiled however, it may be machine-washed without damage providing that proper instructions are followed:


  • Hand wash or machine washon a GENTLE cycle in COOL or WARM water (less than 100 degrees), using a mild soap specific for sheepskin. We recommend Pure Castile biodegradable camp soaps or Eucalan Wool wash. Do not use Woolite or laundry detergents such as Tide.
  • Rinse thoroughlyin cool water and gently remove excess water. If machine washing, spin with fleece facing out. Dry naturally without direct heat or sun (do not dry in a spin dryer). You can dry it flat or on a line and stretch to shape while damp to prevent shrinkage. Your sheepskin may take a few days to dry; this is quite normal and is safest.
  • After washing, the wool may revert back to its natural curly state. For best results, you can help restore the fluffy appearance by brushing the wool while it is wet, while it is damp, and again when it is dry.

As an alternative to the above methods, we are acquainted with a rug cleaning/repair service that has extensive experience with all manner of rugs, both woven and animal fur including exotic animal hides, such as lion and bear. See our comments about Passion of Persia above in our Alpaca Care section.

Storage: Should you wish to store your sheepskin at any time, place it in a cool airy place avoiding direct sunlight. Packaging in plastic bags for an extended period of time is not recommended as the sheepskin fibers will not breathe and condensation may occur in warm conditions.