Wool is a natural carpet fiber made from sheep hair. Its durability and aesthetic make it a popular choice for homes and offices. Despite its soft texture, wool is a hard-wearing carpet fiber. It outlasts most synthetic options with a lifespan of 20-50 years.
When selecting a natural wool carpet, check the color and purity of the fiber. A good quality carpet costs around $15 per square foot, with lower qualities costing around $5 per square foot.
Wool Carpet Types
There are two types of wool carpet: 100% wool and wool blend.
1. 100% Wool Carpet
Natural wool carpets, also known as 100% wool carpets, are woven from pure wool fibers. They’re hand-made and feel soft on both sides.
Wool carpet is easy to vacuum and resistant to soiling, but the fiber absorbs liquid spills and stains. In such an incident, you should treat the spill immediately. The downside with 100% wool carpets is that they shed. Wool carpets also burn when exposed to flames, so avoid placing one near a fireplace.
2. Wool Blend
A wool blend carpet comprises 80% wool and 20% synthetic fiber. Synthetic fibers enhance the carpet’s stain resistance and reduce shedding. Nylon, propylene, and polyester are synthetic fibers common in wool blend carpets.
Wool and silk blend carpets are also popular for their unique patterns and resilience. When choosing a wool-blend carpet or rug, check the percentage of the wool fiber. Higher wool content offers better insulation and desirable wool properties.
How to Clean a Wool Carpet
Wool fibers are short and delicate. Avoid using harsh cleaning methods.
Vacuum your wool carpet at least twice every month to keep dirt and grime from adhering to the fibers.
It’s best to use a cylindrical brush vacuum cleaner. You can also shake off loose dirt from wool rugs.
2. Carpet Extractor
Professionals use a carpet extractor to deep clean wool rugs. While steam cleaning carpets is effective, avoid using hot water and harsh detergents. Run the extractor over the carpet to avoid flooding in the area.
Dry your wool rug in an airy space to prevent mold and mildew growth. If kept wet for a long time, wool carpets can also develop an unpleasant odor.
3. Household Detergents
A gentle household detergent can clean up wool carpet stains. Avoid using detergents with chlorine, ammonia, or other bleaches.
- Mix your household detergent with a bucket of cold water. Dip a sponge in the water and use it to scrub your carpet.
- Use a second sponge dipped in plain water to rinse the soap and dirt. To avoid over-wetting your carpet, work in small sections.
- Hang the rug outside to speed up the drying time.
Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning and maintenance instructions. When using a wool carpet in high-traffic areas, it’s best to seek professional cleaning services. Deep cleaning your carpet at least once a year helps increase its longevity.
4. Wool Carpet Stain Removal Tips
Treat liquid spills immediately to avoid staining. If there is a stain, use vinegar and cool water to dab the affected area. Blot the spill with a dry cloth till the carpet dries. You can also use salt to remove red wine and fruit juice spills.
When spot cleaning, don’t rub liquid on other carpet areas, or it will cause the stain to spread. Instead, use a round spoon to scoop up the liquid, rinse, and blot the area dry.
Wool Carpets Pros & Cons
Natural wool carpets have several advantages over synthetic options. But they also have some undesirable properties. As a result, manufacturers blend wool with other fibers to improve the carpet’s quality.
- Durable – With proper maintenance, a wool carpet outlasts synthetic carpets and other flooring options. Wool has high resilience, which makes it bounce back when stepped on. As a result, wool carpets retain their original pile height in high-traffic areas.
- Resistant to Soiling and Dirt – The outer scales on wool fibers repel dirt and dust particles. Solid fibers are also effective at hiding dirt, which reduces the need for frequent vacuuming.
- Sustainable – Production of wool carpets is energy efficient, unlike synthetic carpets. As an organic fiber, wool is biodegradable. The fiber decomposes when disposed of and is recycled without harming the environment. Wool carpets are also more durable and require fewer replacements.
- Hypoallergenic – Wool is the ideal carpet fiber for homeowners with allergies. It absorbs moisture from the air and traps dust. Rooms with wool carpeting have less smoke, dust, pollen, and allergens produced by dust mites. Vacuuming releases these particles from the carpet fibers.
- Insulation – Wool’s insulation properties make it a sought-after fabric for carpeting and winter clothes. It has millions of tiny air pockets, which trap heat between the fibers. Wool carpets are warm and cozy during winter and cushion against outside noise.
- Expensive – Natural wool is one of the most expensive carpeting options despite its sustainability. Most homeowners settle for synthetic carpets within their budget. Combining wool with nylon or polyester makes the carpet affordable without ruining its desirable characteristics.
Wool Carpet vs. Synthetic Carpet
Choosing between wool and synthetic carpets comes down to use and durability. While nylon and polyester are less durable, they offer better stain resistance. A synthetic carpet would suffice for your kids’ rooms or the dining area.
If you want a luxurious carpet for your bedroom, consider wool. Wool carpets maintain their original appearance over a 20–25 year lifespan. Synthetic carpets, however, need a replacement every 3-5 years.