Considering wool carpets or recently purchased a home that contains them? Congratulations. Wool is a high end, highly sought fiber. It does require some special care, though. We have compiled everything you need to know about vacuuming wool carpets. This article also provides a list of the best vacuums to handle the job.
In a hurry? Don't have time for the details? Here are our best picks Vacuum for Wool Carpet
- Wool Carpets
- What to Look for in a Vacuum for Wool Carpets
- Product Comparison
- Top 4 Best Vacuum for Wool Carpet on the Market Reviews
- Maintenance of Wool Carpets
- General Cleaning
- How to remove spots
- Beware of Sprouting
- Protect Against Heavy Furniture
- Watch Out for Insect Damage
Wool is a very attractive carpet choice. For one, it is a natural and renewable fiber. They can also be made without any synthetic dyes or chemicals. Your whole family can lounge on the floor without breathing in anything dangerous. Wool carpets are ideal for a hypo-allergenic home.
With proper maintenance, wool carpets can last for a long time. There are some elements that are not so great. Below we've listed the pros and cons of this popular flooring choice.
Pros About Wool:
- Sheep can be shorn every 9-12 months. They mostly eat only grass. Wool is truly a renewable resource. The manufacturing process does not release any harmful chemical by-products either. Many wool carpets are fully biodegradable.
Wool carpets are both soft and springy. They retain their shape well. They will even offer years of comfortable lounging.
Resilient & Durable
Resiliency has to do with how well fibers bounce back after compression. Wool is quite resilient. It can withstand high traffic without crushing. With the proper maintenance you can expect your wool carpet to last decades.
Wool is resistant to soiling. It will not take on or hold dirt and dust. Wool fibers have microscopic scales. These prevent dirt from embedding. Wool is also good at repelling oil stains. These stains can occur from human skin, shoes, and cooking. The fiber’s scales also disperse light. Any soiling that does occur is hidden.
Most synthetic fibers melt under high heat, but not wool. It doesn’t burn, though it does blacken. A mark will be left if it gets burned, but it will not ignite. That can be a helpful safety feature. It also makes wool the only type of carpet to place near a hearth.
Wool is highly absorbent. That leads to one of the more unique features about it. When the air is humid, the carpet will pull excess moisture from the air. When the air gets dry, it releases moisture. Simply having a wool carpet can help keep the home’s moisture level balanced.
Wool cannot regulate moisture levels in very humid rooms or geographical regions. A dehumidifier will still be required in these cases. Wool that can never dry out will grow mold and mildew.
Wool is a natural insulator. It may even reduce your heating and cooling bills. That’s something to take into account when budgeting for your new carpet.
Cons About Wool:
While wool requires the same basic maintenance as other carpets. You will need to regularly vacuum and deep clean it. Yet, it is also easily damaged. Avoid vacuums with too-powerful suction. Only hire professional cleaners familiar with wool carpet. They can ensure the wool carpet doesn't shrink or get too wet.
You may not think about shedding with wool carpets. This can be a big problem. The first few vacuumings will cause loose fibers to fill the dust bin. Wool is what’s called a “staple fiber." The fiber is short, so many are left unattached in the manufacturing process. The amount of shedding does diminish over time. You will have to put up with it until the new carpet is broken in.
Prone to Staining by Liquids
Wool’s ability to absorb moisture is not always a positive feature. Liquid spills are likely to be sucked up pretty quickly. Try to purchase a carpet that's stain resistant. You will still need to clean any spills as quickly as you can. If the liquid sits on the carpet, it will soak into and stain the carpet fibers.
Fades in the Sun
You won’t want to put wool carpeting in full sun areas. Some sun is perfectly okay. The colors will fade in intense brightness. Fading doesn’t affect the structural integrity of the carpet. It may limit the time you can enjoy it.
Wool is one of the more expensive carpet fibers available. It outstrips even high-end nylon carpets. There is also variance in price per square foot. You may still be able to find wool carpet on a budget. You can also consider a wool area rug. They are cheaper than a wall-to-wall carpet.
What to Look for in a Vacuum for Wool Carpets
It can be tricky to find the right vacuum for your wool carpets. You need a beater bar and brush roll to move the fibers enough. On the other hand, suction that is too powerful can cause damage. You should choose a vacuum with a specially designed gentle brush roll. Another option is to look at a vacuum without brush roll.
It is also helpful to find a model with many options. For example, multiple attachments are important for wool carpet. Vacuums that offer height adjustment are also great. You can set them at the height that works for the pile of your carpet. The pile, or depth, will vary between different types of carpet. Even different wool carpets.
Now on to shopping! Let’s find you the best vacuum for wool carpet.
Dusting Brush, Upholstery Tool, Crevice Nozzle
Top 4 Best Vacuum for Wool Carpet on the Market Reviews
#1 Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner
The Soniclean is the only vacuum on our list that uses patented sonic cleaning technology. It has a sonic bar that releases 200 vibrations per second. This loosens embedded dirt and debris so that it can be suctioned easily. Unlike many vacuums, the bristles on the Soniclean are soft. They will be gentle on wool carpet. It also has a patented adjustable vent system. This system allows users to customize the vent height.
It’s great for allergy sufferers, too. Soniclean uses Seal-Tech hospital-grade HEPA filter bags. These retain 99.97% of debris. The air won’t just be clean, it will smell clean. The Soniclean can use Sonicfresh fragrance pods. They release the scent of clean laundry while you work. The vacuum will even stay smelling fresh.
The digitally-controlled motor has two cleaning modes. Quiet Mode works for average soil levels on carpets and hard floors. Deep Cleaning Mode tackles high traffic areas that need a little more suction. It also has a jam protection feature. This feature automatically shuts off the vacuum if anything gets stuck in the brush roll. You can avoid accidentally burning out the motor or snapping the belt. Soniclean is so confident in their product that they offer a lifetime warranty on the belt.
Add in a 35-foot long power cord, ultra-lightweight design, and large front wheels. Vacuuming with the Soniclean is a total breeze. Loaded with patented technology, we can confidently recommend this vacuum.
- 11.5 x 14 x 43.5 inches
- 10.5 pounds
- Five year warranty
Sonic vibration assisted
Soft brush roll
HEPA quality + fragrance pods
Sonic vibration assisted
Soft brush roll
HEPA quality + fragrance pods
#2 Miele Complete C3 Soft Carpet
Miele is a brand known for quality construction and innovative features. This canister model is probably the best Miele vacuum for wool carpet. It includes a specially designed SoftCarpet Electrobrush with independent motor. There is also a 12.5-inch cleaning track. The track will quickly take care of your beautiful wool flooring. Two rows of bristles penetrate to loosen embedded soil.
It also has a five-level height adjustment. You can vacuum with confidence no matter how the pile. The additional seven levels of suction power are easily toggled on the powerhead. There is truly no other vacuum with this level of customization.
It’s easy to maneuver with 360-degree swivel wheels. The Deluxe Comfort Grip handle keeps you comfortable while you work. The Miele comes with three integrated accessories. These include a crevice nozzle, upholstery tool, and dusting brush.
The Miele features a nearly silent motor. It uses a HEPA AirClean filter to capture 99.99% of dust and debris. This vacuum is a bit pricey. It is great for people with several different flooring types. The C3 Soft Carpet, despite its name, can clean any floor.
- 17.2 x 23.2 x 15 inches
- 20 pounds
- Five year warranty
Parts may be tricky to replace
On the heavy side
Learning curve to find the right settings
#3 Miele Complete C3 Marin Vacuum
Miele has designed their Complete C3 Marin Vacuum to clean a variety of surfaces. In fact, Miele claims that the C3 Marin can clean every floor out there. This versatility is aided by the six adjustable height settings. The Miele Electro Premium electro brush is gentle enough to be used on wool.
The Miele Complete C3 Marin Vacuum also has a telescopic, stainless steel wand. The long electrical cord means you will not have to change outlets very often. Finally, three integrated extra tools provide everything you need to clean.
#4 Oreck Upright Vacuum Cleaner LW100 Magnesium SP with 3 HEPA Bags
The Oreck brand is known for high-power cleaning with a lightweight design. We like this for wool carpets because it has dual brush head speeds. You can stick with gentler action. Then change it in areas that are highly soiled or need to be fluffed up. The self-propelled motor, large wheels, and 7.7 pound weight make the job virtually effortless.
Oreck uses an advanced HEPA filter bag. It’s great for allergy sufferers. All of their vacuums come with three extra bags as well. You won't have to buy more bags for a while. Safe for any type of flooring, this vacuum also has side brushes. The brushes ensure your baseboards and corners stay clean. That’s handy for eliminating spider webs and other insect hiding spots. You want to get rid of insects that love to invade your wool carpet.
The Oreck does not come with any accessories. It does have a long 30-foot cord. It will also lie almost flat when needed to vacuum under furniture.
- 12.5 x 10.5 x 47.5 inches
- 7.7 pounds
- 7 year warranty
Dual brush speeds
On/off button awkwardly placed
Zipper access to bag can be sticky
Maintenance of Wool Carpets
Wool carpets have a tendency to suck up moisture. Wet spills can therefore pose a problem. It is vital to immediately address spills and stains. If left for very long, the foreign substance will chemically bond with the carpet’s pigment. At that point removal is extremely difficult without damaging the carpet pile.
Wool naturally repels stains from dirt and oil. It is still vital to vacuum regularly in order to keep your carpet looking good. The tips and tricks below help you keep your wool carpet clean.
Take care and vacuum regularly. You will probably not need to have your wool carpet deep cleaned for multiple years. Vacuum new wool carpets approximately once a week. This process keeps soil from getting pushed deep into the carpet fibers. Vacuuming too often, or with the wrong vacuum, can cause wool carpet fuzzing. The fuzz will shorten the carpet’s life. Not vacuuming often enough can cause matting. It is a delicate balance. On average, vacuuming weekly is a good place to start.
When you start to notice soiling, have a professional deep clean the carpet. Three methods of deep cleaning will work for wool carpets: dry foam, dry extraction, or spray extraction.
The dry methods are recommended. Wool carpet can mold if it gets too wet. As long as you trust your carpet cleaners, the spray method is just fine. We do suggest that a professional deep clean wool carpets. It is too hard for someone with little experience to clean wool effectively.
Aerosol Foam Shampoo
This method is typically used for small spot-cleaning jobs. The cleansing foam is sprayed sparingly onto the carpet. It is then worked into the pile with a damp brush or sponge. The carpet is left to dry. Finally, it is vacuumed.
It’s important not to use too much spray. Any left behind will attract further soiling.
Dry Extraction (Absorbent Powder)
The powder is sprinkled liberally over the carpet. It doesn’t matter if any of this is left behind. It is brushed into the carpet pile. There it absorbs the embedded dirt and oil. After a little while, simply vacuum the rug as normal. Any powder that remains will continue to clean. It will be removed with later vacuuming.
This method does not require any downtime. It also does not involve water.
Spray Extraction Cleaning
Spray extraction is often called steam cleaning. That’s not totally accurate, however. Warm water (not steam) is pushed into the carpet under pressure along with a cleaning solution. The soil is suspended in the fluid. Then it is removed by a wet vacuum system. Spray extraction is generally considered the most effective method. It gets to really deeply embedded soil.
It is easy to over-saturate wool carpets. They then will not dry out fully. Only allow spray extraction by a professional.
How to remove spots
1 Blot wet spills with paper towels or a clean absorbent cloth. Scoop up solids with a spoon. Avoid rubbing. This will fray the fibers.
2 Test a spot-removal cleanser first in an inconspicuous area.
3 Apply cleanser to a clean absorbent towel. Do no put it on the carpet itself. Then blot the stain.
4 Be careful to avoid over-wetting the carpet. you want it to dry relatively quickly.
5 Start at the edge of the stain and work inward. This direction avoids spreading the mess.
6 After applying the cleanser, blot with clear, tepid water. Be careful not to soak the area.
7 Put down a layer of paper towels about ½ inch thick and apply pressure. This will jump-start the drying process. Change the towels as they become soaked. Do this until no more moisture is absorbed under pressure.
8 Allow the area to completely air dry. Then fluff the fibers with your fingers to help the carpet regain its shape.
Beware of Sprouting
Wool carpets are sometimes subject to sprouting. Sprouting is when a single tuft rises from the pile surface. It can occur because of snags on shoes or even the wrong vacuum.
Though it is tempting, DO NOT pull at the tuft. Instead, trim it off with scissors. Unless you have a loop pile carpet, cutting will not affect it. Call a professional for sprouting on loop pile carpets. In any case, tugging will further damage the carpet.
Protect Against Heavy Furniture
You don't want your wool carpet damaged by heavy furniture. Place furniture cups under the legs to spread out the weight. It’s also a good idea to move the furniture around every couple months. This will allow the compressed fibers to rebound. Vacuuming can help straighten them.
Another way to rejuvenate flattened pile is to use a warm steam iron. Lay down a towel. Then gently inject steam into the carpet through the towel. Don’t press down on the carpeting. You may leave iron-shaped glossy marks on the wool.
Watch Out for Insect Damage
Insects can do a number on wool carpets. They are generally attracted to areas with food or plants. Preventative measures will keep them off of your wool carpet. Regularly vacuum, especially under furniture and along baseboards. You can also find insect repellent wool carpet.
Wool carpets have a lot of positive qualities. They can be an excellent choice for the home. They just don’t work in every space and situation. Wet spills can be fairly damaging to them. Therefore, we recommend choosing wool for adult-oriented spaces.
Once you have purchased and installed your wool carpet, you're not done. You need to select the best vacuum for wool carpet. Any one of our suggested models will do the job well. Now just sit back and enjoy your upscale wool carpeting for many years to come.