How To Clean Up A Spill On A Wool Carpet

Spills on carpet are never easy to clean up, but when you have a wool carpet, this situation is even more challenging. You cannot use most conventional carpet stain removers on wool, and you also have to worry about the carpet shrinking if you get it too wet. To clean up a spill on a wool carpet safely, follow these steps:

Step 1: Soak up as much liquid as possible.

Liquid tends to bead up on wool carpet when it is first spilled, but if you don't soak it up quickly, it will sink into the carpet and be harder to clean. Use an absorbent towel or large stack of paper towels, and press straight down on the spill. First, press gently to remove surface liquid and avoid shoving it deeper into the carpet. Then, press a bit harder to reach the deeper, soaked-in liquid. Do not rub; this will just spread the spill and possible stain.

Step 2: Mix some laundry detergent made for wool with water, and use it to treat the spill.

Don't use a conventional carpet cleaning stain remover; most are not safe for wool. Instead, make your own by mixing together 1 tablespoon of wool-safe laundry detergent and 1 cup warm water. Place this in a spray bottle, so you can save what you do not use for cleaning up future spills.

Spray the cleaner onto the spill area, starting at the outside of the spill area and working your way in. Let it sit and work its magic for a few minutes, and then soak it up with towels, as you did the liquid in step 1. Repeat the spraying and soaking process several more times if a stain remains.

Step 3: Encourage slow drying.

If your wool carpet dries too quickly or in too warm of conditions, it may shrink or buckle. Resist the urge to place a fan or space heater near the spill area. If you blotted up as much liquid as possible, the spot should air dry on its own within a day or so.

The good news is that wool fibers don't tend to soak up liquids as quickly as synthetic fibers, thanks to the natural, water-repelling coating called lanolin that they contain. Thus, a spill that might stain a synthetic carpet may barely leave a mark on your wool carpet -- as long as you get to it as quickly as possible and follow the tips above.