Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Cleaning oval wool rug

rez | Posted in General Discussion on


I have an old common thick 4×8 braided wool rug that had been put away uncleaned and in rough storage for a goodly number of years hence a musty smell.

Seeing it is a fabric I thought of you all here to inquire as to the best method of cleaning the rug for normal in house use.


In those days, when my hands were much employed, I read but little, but the least scraps of paper which lay on the ground, my holder, or tablecloth, afforded me as much entertainment, in fact answered the same purpose as the Iliad.
Thoreau’s Walden

Edited 6/16/2007 3:25 pm ET by rez


  1. rez | | #1


  2. solosmocker | | #2

    Have had a few of these over the years. I used a dishpan of water and woolite and a scrub rush. Then I would put out on the grass in the sun to dry. Don't soak the rug. Dip the brush, shake out, and then scrub with the bubbles and just a little moisture. Do one side, let dry, then do the other and let dry. Do a VERY thorough vacuum of each side before attempting washing. If there are some stains, get a product called "Capture" at Home Depot. It's awesome.

    1. rez | | #3

      Thank you.

      1. user-51823 | | #4

        i personally would send it to a professional rug cleaner and ask them if they could do an environmentally friendly bug treatment. dirty unused rugs can harbor lice. i have little money, ut i scrimp in some areas so i can pay for things like this. (FYI, as of 2 yrs ago when i pulled up the carpets and sanded/refinished all my hardwood floors, i have NO carpet or rugs and i love the clean feeling).

      2. HelgaPataki | | #14

        very brave

        Id be scared to go close. 

  3. jatman | | #5

    I would have suggested the same as MSM-S.  I've paid probably too much to have a few rugs cleaned here and there but have never regretted it because the rugs came out so beautiful that I don't believe there was any other way to get them as clean.  In my home I've also removed all of the carpet and was constantly amazed to see what collected on the hard wood floors.


  4. lovemyelna | | #6

    Hi Rez
    I think we rely on the "professionals" too much. If your willing to
    take a chance, I'd clean it myself. Since the wool would probably
    stretch out of shape if you hung it, I'd lay it flat on an incline
    concrete drive-way. (I have sent out rugs to be cleaned and was surprised to find that they hang them and flood them with water and soap and rinse, rinse, rinse.) Use the soap of your choice, and tons of water to rinse away the dirt. I was encouraged to clean my own
    furnishings when my mom told me of a friend who purchased ($5) a beautiful pink velveteen chair that had been ruined by a mechanic
    (it was black with oil). Of course she didn't have much invested,
    so she didn't have much to lose. She took it outside and proceeded
    to scrub it with dish soap and hose and set it to dry in a very hot sun.
    Apparently it turned out beautiful! I take my older Ethan Allan
    couches (pale yellow) outside and scrub them with mild dish soap
    and a bowl of water and immediately vaccumm them dry with a shop vac.
    (clean the filter of the shop vac beforehand and set to dry afterwards or you'll have a moldy mess) I've done this for the last 10 years running. Works great and I know that
    they are clean and that they have no residual toxic cleaning residue.
    I clean the rugs and upholstery in the cars the same way. Of course you lose the scothgard finish but that happens in any method. You can spray your own scotchgard finish from a can but I prefer to forgo this. Sounds crazy I know but after paying the high prices of the professionals for a mediocre job, I thought I could do better my self. Just be careful not abraid the fabric by too much scrubing.
    Good Luck

    1. rez | | #7

      Good stuff.

       Thanks to all.

      1. Cherrypops | | #8

        Have you cleaned or begun to clean your oval wool rug?

        Which method did you use?

        Let us know the if you are you happy with the result?

        1. rez | | #10

          Thanks for asking.

          Having begun yet, it's sitting in the basement awaiting the time.

          Not that I want to appear phobic or anything but not knowing what the rug has been thru

          and not wanting chemicals involved in the cleaning, I'm thinking of swatting the daylights out of it

          and the use of a light pressure washer with several different soaps.

           Seeing it's summer it'll be lying spread out drying in the sun.

          That's the plan.

          So far anyhow ;o)

          Although I was at first considering a soak in the lake as the preliminary.

          Edited 6/22/2007 11:17 am ET by rez

          1. aliceb | | #11

            I have several old wool braided rugs I got from my grandma, I just turned 55 :) I have a product called Eucalon which is a rinse free cleaning agent which leaves a pleasant eucalyptus scent/coating on the cleaned item to help prevent bugs. I use the Eucalon in my washing machine but it could also be mixed up like the soapy solution described above and may not require so much water to remove any soap residue. Good luck cleaning your precious rugs.

          2. rez | | #12

            Thank you. I'll keep that in mind.

    2. user-51823 | | #9

      i am a dyed-in-the-wool DIYer from sewing to construction and beyond, but i have found that cleaning rugs is a chore i would happily give over to the professionals. a dry rug is heavy enough, but once soaked it's a dead elephant and very tough to handle. i draped an old area rug over the clothesline pole and did as has been suggested, and while i don't mind hard work, i found it problematic as well as difficult. i was working alone, and we had a rainy spell that prolonged the drying. when it finaly was dry, the weight of the wet carpet had caused some buckles that wouldn't lay flat. pros have the proper equipment and to me it's worth the price.

  5. rickgraham | | #13

    cleaning oval wool rugs

    there are different methods for cleaning rugs, like you can use vinegar, baking soda or even bleach the rug.but before doing this you have to vaccum the whole rug and apply the cleaning solution.check this post  on cleaning the natural area rugs it will be very helpful and easy to understand.

  6. HelgaPataki | | #15

    your very brave

    Id be scared.

  7. hollysurly | | #16


    1.Take area rugs outdoors and give them a vigorous shake to remove loose dirt, hair, sand or grit.

    2.Vacuum the rug with a plain vacuum nozzle. Use smooth, broad strokes to work your way from the top to the bottom. Flip the rug over and vacuum the back in a similar manner.

    3.Check the tag on the rug. If the carpeting in catechism is fabricated from 100 percent silk, any added charwoman have to be done by professionals. Cotton, absolute and fiber-blend rugs can be atom advised anxiously and done by hand.

    4.Mix 1 tsp. of mild, aqueous basin abrasion soap into 1 cup of algid water. Beat the band-aid agilely with a fork, until soap suds activate to form. Apply this admixture to any heavily decrepit areas or stains with a bendable cloth. Place burden on the bolt and authority it deeply adjoin the stain for 30 seconds. Use a cardboard anhydrate to absorb up any added moisture. Repeat, until the clay is no best evident.

    5.Move the rug to an breadth that will not be afflicted by active water, such as a driveway or patio. If this is not possible, actualize a workstation by accoutrement a ample allocation of the attic with a band of artificial debris bags. Cover the accoutrements with a band of absorptive towels, again advance the rug analogously beyond the top.

    6.Pour ¼ cup of babyish absterge into a ample basin or bucket. Add 1 gallon of algid baptize and activity well. Apply the adulterate absterge to the rug with a soft-bristled abrade brush. Move the besom in one administration only, application long, abiding acclamation that plan with the nap of the carpet.

    7.Blot the apparent of the rug with a ample anhydrate to absorb up any balance water.

    8.Leave the rug to dry. If the apparent feels dry to the touch, cast it over. Odds are acceptable that the aback is still damp. Return the rug to its antecedent position if it is absolutely dry.


    “The fashion wears out more apparel than the man.”

    "The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it."

    "Fashions fade, style is eternal."


This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More