Washing & Drying Sheepskin
Wool does not have to shrink- sheep do not shrink or harden in the rain! Shrinkage, felting and skin hardening are due to hot water, agitation, the use of inappropriate detergents or tanning that does not allow washing. For Woolskin to be effective, the sheepskin must have been chrome tanned so that washing is possible.
Hot water, agitation and poor detergents cause the wool fibres to shorten and lock tightly together; causing shrinkage and felting.
You can effecively wash sheepskin and woollen products by using the following procedures.
Best Procedure for Sheepskin Washing & Drying:
1. Make sure sheepskin is washable. Use cold or lukewarm water.
3. Wash-machine wash using gentle/wool cycle.
4. Dry- Spin dry slowly, then lay flat with leather side up- away from direct heat or sun./
1. Use COLD or lukewarm water- NEVER HOT
(There is one exception: you can safely use hot water for HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskins. These superior sheepskins can withstand more than 200 hot water wash and dry cycles while retaining their softness and pressure relieving properties. HiTemp UR Medical Sheepskins are thermally disinfected when washed at 80C or 175F)
The use of excessively hot water:
- Will damage leather and may cause it to shrink
- May cause felting of the wool pile
- May cause loss of colour
- May make thorough rinsing much more difficult.
- May set some stains and make them difficult to remove
2. USE A SHEEPSKIN DETERGENT: WOOLSKIN
Wool detergents eg Woolite, are not recommended for the washing of sheepskins as they may contain chelating agents, phosphates, alkali, bleach, peroxide, triethanolamine, sequestering agents, phosphoric acid or enzymes. All are harmful to leather and should not be used.
We recommend : Woolskin: Sheepskin Shampoo & Conditioner
This is the only product that has been developed by the tanning industry specifically for the washing of sheepkins and sheepskin products. It will keep the leather soft and supple while maintaining the luxurious hand of the wool.
"Woolskin with Tea Tree Oil", a new generation product developed in conjunction with the tanning industry, will lubricate the sheepskin leather and give a distinct lustre and handle to the wool. The anti-bacterial in Woolskin remains in the washed article, providing continued action and prevention of odours. Woolskin kills mites ( the cause of house dust asthma) and washing with woolskin will also remove mite allergens.
3. WASHING SHEEPSKIN RUGS, UGG BOOTS & SHEEPSKIN SLIPPERS
- Handwashing Sheepskin Rug/Overlay/Underlay: Add lukewarm water to the tub first. Then add the recommended amount of "Woolskin-with Tea Tree Oil"- 20mL / lb of articles.
- Place the sheepskin in the solution and work it through the sheepskin for approximately 5-10 minutes. Squeeze by hand until clean. Rinse in cold water until it is clear. To remove excess moisture, use the spin-dry cycle of your washing machine. See drying instructions below.
- Handwashing UGG Boots and Sheepskin Slippers:UGG BOOTS and Sheepskin Slippers should ONLY be handwashed. Use WOOLSKIN to wash and condition UGG Boots and sheepskin slippers. Place enough cool water ( hot water will damage them) in a tub to cover the items and add 40mL of Woolskin. Leave for 10 minutes and then double rinse. Never put UGG boots or sheepskin slippers in a washing machine, as this can permanently damage the sheepskin.Do not dry your sheepskin or ugg boots in a dryer, near a heat source, or in direct sunlight. Instead, stuff the sheepskin slippers or UGG boots with paper towels, and let them dry naturally, away from heat. The towels will help the boots to keep their shape.We recommend that you use Woolskin to protect, clean and disinfect your sheepskin and ugg boots. Common boot products could damage them.
- Machine wash: Machine washable Sheepskin may be cleaned in a washing machine using the wool or gentle cycle. Use the recommended dose of Woolskin:
20mLfor a small load
40mL for a full load. Use half of these quantities for Front Load machines. Select cold or warm wash. DOUBLE RINSE
- Institutional Washing: Authentic Australian Medical Sheepskins are used extensively in hospitals and Nursing Homes. When approprtae washing procedues are used ( see below), they may be trabnsfered from one patient to another without cross infection.
Washing instructions for HiTemp Medical Sheepskins to meet thermal disinfection requirements.
The recommended detergent for institutional thermal and chemical disinfection is Woolskin. Acetic acid can be added to steps 1,5, & 9 to aid dye fastness ( pH controlled to 3.8 - 4.2)
4. DRYING SHEEPSKIN AND WOOL
Wool should be dried in the same way that you dry your own hair. Excess heat will damage wool. Place the wool item in the dryer ( no heat ) until nearly dry. Use the "fluff or gentle cycle" only. Remove from the dryer and place the sheepskin( leather side facing upwards ) or wool article on a flat surface or drying rack. Dry in the shade, away from direct sunlight or heat.
Do Not use direct Heat or direct Sunlight to dry washable sheepskin.
Air dry sheepskins with the leather facing upwards.