Help me get cat pee out of a sheepskin rug.
June 29, 2018 2:16 PM   Subscribe

I have a 3 or 4 year old sheepskin rug (not the kind from Ikea, either). My cat (seen here hugging her lil tail to her lil face) peed on it because I mistakenly thought she didn't mind the door being attached to her litterbox hood.

This happened a year ago and I never cleaned it because I was confused by conflicting advice on the internet, such as "use baking soda" "never use baking soda" "use this wool cleaning product" "never use that wool cleaning product" etc.

The rug doesn't smell much but it has been peed on and I don't want the cat to reuse it.

The most likely-to-succeed option seemed to be to use baking soda and wash it in the tub, then hang to dry. Will I destroy it if I do this?
posted by Emmy Rae to Pets & Animals (7 answers total)
The good news is that you're not alone. You're so not alone that you're not the only person this week to have a cat damage your sheepskin rug! See this related post.
posted by asperity at 2:25 PM on June 29, 2018 [6 favorites]

Yesterday's answers to almost the exact same dilemma.

Once dry, treat the spot with this magical product and let it dry in the sun. Treat the backing with balm if you need to soften it back up at the end of the process... or just let it soften up naturally with use.
posted by jbenben at 3:57 PM on June 29, 2018

magical product maybe but
Before Use: Absorb access solid or liquid waste. Shake well and test for colorfastness on a hidden area. Do not use on wool or leather surfaces.
sheepskin is leather and wool .
posted by hortense at 5:32 PM on June 29, 2018

Yeah, enzyme cleaners that destroy proteins destroy the proteins in wool and hide as well. Personally I would not use baking soda (or bleach or borax), because alkalinity is also bad for wool. I have washed wool ikea rugs in the tub with cold water, mild shampoo, and a vinegar rinse. Hang to dry. Cold water prevents the proteins in the urine from "cooking" onto your wool.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:26 PM on June 29, 2018 [2 favorites]

I had a sheepskin that the cat got. I washed it in Woolite and dried it outside in the shade. When the hide was dry I hung it in the sun for a day. Your rug will never be the same, but if you use a roller or kneed leather product into the hide to soften it and then comb out the fleece, it will help the final look immensely. You may not want to comb the fleece. Some people like the shaggy twisted fibers rather than the fuzzy soft look.
posted by BlueHorse at 9:23 PM on June 29, 2018

Do NOT use vinegar. I use vinegar for most cleaning jobs around the house, and find it particularly good at neutralizing odors. But when I tried it on a sheepskin rug that my cat peed on, it disintegrated what I guess you'd call it the hide part, the natural leathery backing on the rug. I was left with a mere handful of fluff.
posted by Neeuq Nus at 10:03 AM on June 30, 2018

A vinegar rinse is not straight vinegar. If you've got a few inches of water in your tub to rinse a wool rug, add about a cup of vinegar to the water. I use a quarter cup when washing items in the sink. I wash vintage wool and silk items all the time with a vinegar rinse and have not damaged anything. It's got to be diluted though because 5% acetic acid is no joke.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:37 AM on June 30, 2018

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