How to Clean Sheepskin & Wool Slippers
Sheepskin and wool slippers are a popular and comfortable choice of footwear.
Sheepskin is naturally excellent at repelling dirt and water, with the added bonus of having its own antibacterial properties, minimising the chance of odour even on the hottest of days.
Just like us, your slippers will need a little bit of TLC from time to time. Not only will this keep them looking and feeling their best but it can contribute towards the longevity of the slipper.
We always recommend treating your sheepskin slippers with a suede protector prior to first use.
Step 1: Brush
The first step when cleaning your slippers is to give them a brush with a soft-bristled brush on the soft suede side to gently remove any loose dirt and debris. This will help to prevent any dirt from getting ground into the fibres of the sheepskin.
The hair side of the sheepskin can be brushed to remove any dirt or dust and keep the wool fluffy.
Remember that wool is very similar to our hair and can treated similarly…
- Curly sheepskin (like Gotland or Mongolian) - avoid using a fine toothed comb as it will separate the curls
- Long straight wool (like Toscana or Icelandic) - you might use a wide toothed comb
- Short and Straight (like Merino or British wool) would benefit from a finer toothed brush like a dog brush | comb or this rug brush.
Step 2: Remove Surface Marks
For slippers with a printed or nappa finish, a wipe with a damp cloth should do the trick.
You can try using a suede rubber or brush got a to remove surface marks on the suede outer of your slippers. Just remember to start with a clean rubber and apply light pressure to avoid damaging the fabric.
Step 3: Spot Clean
For occasional cleaning of suede and wool, it is best to do this by hand using mild (not hot) water. Use a damp cloth or sponge with a very mild hand washing detergent (non-bio) that is suitable for washing wool (like the Little Beau Sheep wool wash).
For more stubborn stains, gently rub with a damp light nail brush or cloth, working in a circular motion, being careful not to rub too hard as this will damage the suede or wool. Be sure to rinse the cloth frequently to avoid spreading the stain and try not to get the slipper soaking wet.
Step 4: Dry
Drying the slippers should be done as naturally as possible, letting them dry at normal room temperature, avoiding radiators or heated appliances and direct sunlight.
P.S. the best way for the slippers to hold their shape after washing is to place some paper inside them. It may take a few hours for them to dry completely. Once dry, you might want to give the woolly side another brush.
Once your slippers are dry, you can re-apply a suede protector, then leave them for a few hours before wearing again. Fill them with some dry paper to help maintain their shape while they dry.
Step 5: Renew Flattened Wool
With time and pressure when wearing slippers frequently, the wool will naturally bed down and flatten around your feet. Your slippers will still keep you warm but you can refresh the wool by brushing it from time to time.
You might consider refreshing your favourite slippers by adding a new insole or finally, it might be time to treat yourself to a new pair.
If you look after your slippers, like they look after your feet, then they will remain beautiful, clean and well-maintained for longer 😊