I found the mother lode of woolly amazingness the other day. It’s pretty hard to find natural wool blankets at the thrift stores around here, and especially ones that are in nice condition and come out of the wash smelling only of pure wool (as opposed to the tenacious stench of synthetic perfumes, the smell of wet dogs and other potentially unattractive aromas). It is extremely rare to find sheepskin at the thrift stores here, and this rug may just be the thickest, coziest sheepskin rug I have yet to experience. To find all of this on one trip was super exciting.
Now that everything has been washed, and the sheepskin finally dry, it occurred to me that I might be in on a secret. Want to know?? Sheepskin can be washed in the washing machine! We have been washing our sheepskin in the washer for years. We don’t wash them frequently, but when they need a refresher it’s nice to be able to wash them in natural soap and water, in the convenience of our own home.
Set your washer to the gentle cycle. I think a front loader would be favorable, but we have washed them in top loaders in the past. The agitator can be hard on things, is the reason I mention that. Once finished, hang it to dry, out of direct sunlight (this one took 3 days to dry). Once it’s dry, some exposure to sun (UV) also has a purifying and freshening effect, and in between washings, an occasional hour or so of exposure to sunshine can help keep your wool items fresh.
I also read something just the other day (though I’m not remembering where at the moment), that addressed washing leather in the washing machine. It said that leather items can actually be washed in water. The importance is that the whole thing gets evenly saturated, and then evenly dried. This is easier with smaller items that don’t have a lot of seams. Larger items like leather jackets and bags might need a little more discretion. I never dry clean anything, and I break almost every washing rule (you know, those little care instructions on the labels of clothing and other textiles). With a little common sense and intuition, it almost always works out.