How to Clean Faux Fur Rugs in 5 Simple Steps
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Does your faux fur rug in your living room or bedroom look a little dirty or disheveled? It’s time to spruce it up and bring it back to “life.” Faux fur rugs give the room a chic look, but they’re magnets to dirt and dust. Let's cover how to clean faux fur rugs together.
If you want to restore your faux fur rug, you must take care when cleaning it. It’s not as simple as throwing it in the washer. Fortunately, we put together this step-by-step guide to help you get your rug looking as good as new.
How to Clean Faux Fur Rugs in 5 Steps
Most faux fur types of rugs require dry cleaning and you’ll get the best results from this method. However, dry cleaning is expensive and, in some cases, accounts for a significant percentage of what you spent on it in the first place. Why go to the time, effort, and expense of dry cleaning it if you can get the same results at home?
Following this step-by-step method for how to wash faux fur rugs, you’ll get great results from cleaning your faux fur rug at home. To start, you’ll need to gather the following items:
- Sheepskin detergent or mild laundry detergent
- A handheld or upright vacuum with a hose attachment
- Baby shampoo
- Baking soda
- Cat brush
- Rubber gloves
- Undyed white dish towel
I always recommend you read through all of these steps first before you begin so you understand the order of the steps and the timing involved in each. You don’t want a surprise in the middle of the procedure.
1) Shake Out the Rug & Vacuum
The first thing to do is take the rug outdoors and give it a good shake. Another approach is to hang it on the laundry line and give it a light beating with a broom handle to loosen the debris and dirt embedded in the fibers.
Next, with the rug still hanging on the line, take your vacuum and give it a good once-over. Ensure you run the vacuum attachment with the grain of the fibers in the rug, or you risk it becoming matted and tangled.
2) Fill Your Bathtub with Detergent & Water
Fill the bathtub about a quarter of the way with warm water. Add a tablespoon of your laundry detergent to the water. We recommend using a detergent with a “HE” classification on the label, which means high efficiency. These detergents don’t foam as much as traditional products and won’t leave any sticky residue on the rug after you finish cleaning.
3) Leave the Rug to Soak
Work the water into the rug to loosen any remaining stubborn dirt and grime in the fibers. Put on your rubber gloves and use your fingers to work the threads, but be careful not to tangle them. Leave the rug to soak in the water for half an hour. Soaking in the detergent is a key step in how to clean faux fur rugs.
4) Rinse the Rug
Drain the water from the bathtub and refill it with room-temperature water. Work the rug with your hands to remove the detergent residue from the fibers. If you have a handheld shower attachment for the tub, use it to wash off the remaining detergent. Tightly roll the rug to squeeze out the water. Don’t wring or squeeze it as your mat and damage the fibers.
5) Dry & Air
After rinsing, unroll the rug and leave it in a shady area outdoors to dry, not in direct sunlight. Don’t overstretch the rug when laying it out, and don’t hang it from the washing line, as it will stretch the fibers, ruining the rug.
Tips for Light Cleaning of Faux Fur Rugs
If the rug is lightly soiled, follow the steps above. However, add an extra four tablespoons of detergent to the water to give it more cleaning power.
When you have the rug in the water, use your sponge and dip it in the water. Wring it out and use it to gently dab away any soiled stains. Don’t apply too much pressure, or you’ll damage the fibers. Remember to rub the stain with the grain of the fibers, or you’ll end up matting them.
Pay attention to the darker areas of the rug; they represent the worst stains and require more attention than other areas. Keep rinsing the sponge as you go, or you risk moving the stain around.
Rinse the rug using the previously described method. After rinsing, use the sponge to work away any additional soapy residue in the soiled area.
After rinsing and rolling, lay the rug flat and go over the area you cleaned with the sponge using a cat brush. Work the fibers to remove any matting caused during the cleaning process. Remember to leave it in a shady area to dry. Placing it in direct sunlight will shrink the fibers, leaving you with a shriveled mess.
Tips for Heavy Cleaning of Faux Fur Rugs
If you have a severely soiled rug, put it in the washer to remove the tough grime and stains. Follow step one outlined above to beat and vacuum the rug and remove any excess dirt or debris trapped in the fibers.
After your basic cleaning, throw the rug in the washer. This tip only works for front-loading washers, as the agitator in top loaders causes matting and frizzling of the fibers. Lay the rug flat in the washing machine, don’t ball it up.
Start the washing machine on the setting for delicate fabrics like wool. We prefer using a cold water wash as there’s less chance of the fibers shrinking while washing. When you finish the spin cycle, remove it from the machine.
Use a cat brush to remove any matted areas, and lay the rug flat in a shady spot to dry. Natural drying is important in how to clean faux fur rugs because it keeps the fibers from becoming too poofy and frazzled, if that makes sense. You want it to come out in it's natural state.
Tips for Spot Cleaning Faux Fur Rugs
If you have a stain on a specific area of the rug, you can use our spot-cleaning method for the best results. If you drop something greasy on the rug, grab a paper towel immediately and use it to dab up as much of the stain as possible.
Use a white dish towel and apply ½ tablespoon of mild HE laundry detergent as a carpet cleaner. Dab the stained area with the detergent, working from one side of the stain to the other. Don’t use a circular motion, as you’ll mat and knot the fibers.
Add a stain-remover product, like OxiClean, to the towel if the stain isn’t lifting. Give the product time to work in the fibers. After you’re satisfied you’ve lifted the stain with repeated blotting, wet a clean side of the dish towel, and wipe the area to remove the detergent. Leave the rug outdoors to dry in the shade.
FAQ’s Regarding Cleaning Faux Fur Rugs
Here are a handful of questions that tend to come up whenever someone wants to know how to wash a furry rug. Let’s go over these details now.
How Do I Remove Oil-Based Stains From Faux Fur Rugs?
If you drop something greasy on the rug, add a tablespoon of baking soda or cornstarch to the affected area to absorb the fatty residue. Let the powder sit on the rug for four hours, then vacuum it up. After lifting the stain, clean the rug using our spot-cleaning method.
How Do I Remove Odors From Faux Fur Rugs?
If your pet urinates on the rug, it’s going to dry into a yellow stain and create a bad odor that sweeps through the room. Add half a cup of baking soda to the affected area and let it sit there for 12 to 16 hours. That soaking will be key in how to clean faux fur rugs of lingering odors. You may consider using enzyme cleaners for urine, too.
Use an upright vacuum or hang the rug on a laundry line and use a handheld vacuum with a laundry attachment to vacuum up the baking soda. If the smell and stain don’t dissipate, use our step-by-step method to clean your faux fur rug.
How Do I Make a Faux Fur Rug Soft Again?
Over time, your faux fur rug gets dirty, and the soiling causes the fibers to become rigid. Follow our step-by-step method for washing your rug to make it fluffy and soft again. After washing, run a cat brush through the fibers, going with the grain. The brushing removes the mating from the rug, restoring its fluffy look.
Are Faux Fur Rugs Machine Washable?
Most faux fur rugs aren’t machine washable, and you’ll need to dry clean them for best results. However, you can always try our step-by-step method for hand-washing your rug and see if you get the desired results. If not, follow our directions for machine washing your rub and hope for the best.
Can I Restore a Matted Faux Fur Rug?
If you machine wash your faux fur rug, there’s a good chance you’ll end up matting the fibers. However, you can untangle it by brushing it using a cat brush. Cat brushes have soft bristles and are effective at removing matting from fluffy cats, so they might work on your rug as well.
Remember to brush with the grain of the fibers, or you risk further matting the rug. This also works to help remove hair from your rug that may have been tangled up in it and not come out in the wash, too.
Key Takeaways for How to Clean Faux Fur Rugs
Let’s recap the main points from above to re-emphasize what we’ve learned:
- Most faux fur rugs are for dry-cleaning only. However, you can clean it at home using our step-by-step method.
- Try hand-washing the rug before you attempt to use the washing machine.
- If you must use the washing machine, use a front-loader, not a top-loading model, or you risk matting the fibers.
- Use a cat brush to remove matting from the rug and restore its fluffy look.
- It’s possible to remove spot stains from a rug if you spill something on it.
- Use baking soda to remove unpleasant odors, like cat urine, from the rug.
As you can see, hope is not lost! You can wash your favorite faux furry rugs yourself or if you don’t mind the expense, you can take them to a dry cleaner and have it done for you.
That’s How to Clean Faux Fur Rugs at Home
Can you wash a faux fur rug? By following the procedure we’ve outlined above in 5 easy steps, you’ll restore the beauty and comfort of your fluffy rug in no time. We’ve even shared other details about how to do it and especially how not to do it so that you achieve the best results possible. And that, my friends, is how to clean faux fur rugs at home at little cost of time or money.