How to clean Flokati rugs?

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Aug 14, 2010
Real Name
Tal Alon
Business Location
United States
I got Flokati rug from Greece to clean (its not that dirty) , as far as i know i need to dust, shake, wash with cold water and wool safe detergent then dry it with fans and no sunlight.

any other suggestion ?


Scott W

Preferred Vendor
Premium VIP
Feb 14, 2006
West Jordan, UT
I have an article on that topic I will try to post here. It will be updated on placed on the website next month.

File is too large to post. So I will copy and paste.

Cleaning Flokati Rugs

Flokati rugs have been around a long time but are not a style most of us see every day. Recently they have seen their popularity rise. This shaggy rug, with long fibers, has found a market niche as baby boomers look back nostalgically at the shag carpets of the 1960s and 1970s. Originating in Greece, manufacture of these products, trendy or not, is said to date back some 1,500 years. Flokatis can be made from the finest wool sewn into a wool backing to lamb skin or sheep skin with the wool still attached to much less expensive synthetics and/or synthetic backings.

For sheep skin with the hair attached – The fleece can be brush with a long comb and/or vacuumed with suction only (no beater bar or revolving brush). Follow this by cleaning like delicate upholstery. I suggest Fabric Shampoo whipped into a foam and brushed in with a horse hair brush. This can be extracted with water only or with Fab-Set in the rinse water. Avoid getting the skin itself any wetter than absolute necessary. The skin likely has not been tanned with a system that is made to withstand moisture. This limits the cleaning options and results.

The long fibers of Flokati rugs limit the cleaning options. At the same time as they seem to cry for frequent cleaning. They do respond well to the proper cleaning process. Here are my cleaning recommendations.

Advise the consumer to rotate the rug to even out the wear. This is good advice for nay area rug.

Begin by removing as much dry soil as possible. Most vacuums use a rotating brush which is not suitable for Flokatis! You may pick-up each corner of the rug and shake it vigorously. You can hang the rug and beat it in the old fashioned way, or use a compressed air jet to blow loose soil out of the rug. Try directing the air from the back. The soil will go everywhere so be prepared. Perhaps do the dry soil removal outside.

Smaller rugs are machine washable if the backing is in good condition. Wash in cold water on gentle cycle. Rugs larger than 30" x 54" must be washed in a large commercial washer (35 lb.) as found in many Laundromats. Larger rugs will be beyond the capabilities of even large commercial washing machines.

Start machine and add mild detergent (no bleach) as water is filling. Add rug after detergent is mixed with water. Use Bridgepoint’s Fabric prespray or Hydro Break (about 2 cup) or other product made for natural fiber rugs instead of laundry detergent. After washing, lay the rug flat to dry. (See more about how to dry below.) After the rug is dry, use your hands to fluff rug to its original state. It is normal for some shedding to occur when rug is washed.

If you have the facilities, washing by total immersion works well. If a rug can survive machine washing then in-plant cleaning should not be a problem. Again Bridgepoint’s Fabric prespray or Hydro Break are the products to use for gentle cleaning. If you encounter heavier soils, Zone Perfect is an alternate choice. Be sure to rinse wll.

Place the rug upside down in a bathtub or shallow washing pit*. If it is a natural fiber, begin rinsing with clear water. Then massage the rug using Fabric Prespray; rinse with lukewarm water. Rinse again in cool water.

Hang dry or tack out. There is a possibility of shrinkage. Flokatis can usually be stretched back to their original size while damp. It may be a good idea to measure the rug before cleaning. Then you will know what the original size is.

Use air flow and / or dehumidification to speed drying of natural fibers. Don't dry above 200 degrees F. Shake while damp to fluff up fibers. Don't rub or brush when damp.

In washing machines, don't use water above 105 degrees F. Water temperatures up to 150 degrees are OK for shorter periods of time such as for HWE.

Because the pile is so deep, HWE will not always provide good results. However, when other methods are not practical, you can clean Flokati using an upholstery tool.

Don’t clean with high pressure or reciprocating brushes.

Don't dry clean with solvents. However, Flokati rugs can be “fluff” cleaned without heat in commercial dryers and then brushed out.

For tough stains don’t forget Stain Magic and Red Relief are both available in special formulations for wool. Stain Zone can be diluted with equal parts water and used on wool. Watch carefully and be ready to rinse out these products if any unwanted color change occurs.

Scott Warrington

* A wash pit of any size can be constructed using a frame of 3” PVC pipe covered with pool liner or heavy gauge plastic.

Flokotis and sheephides are not the same. Flokatis are woven wool with a very long pile and are made in Greece. These submersion wash well, but first focus on dry soil removal with compressed air or by hand with a hose cuff. I would not be afraid to tumble wash them if a large machine is available. Sheephides are the actual hide/skin of one (or many sheep sewn together) with the wool still attached. These often have a "machine wash cold, tumble dry with no heat" label. I find they submersion wash well. Again, focus on dry soil removal. The danger is in overdrying the hide/leather side. If you don't break the capillary action, the hide side will dry very stiff and can crack or break. Break the capillary action by tumble drying (no heat) or scrape/agitate the hide often during the drying process.
Aug 14, 2010
Real Name
Tal Alon
Business Location
United States
Thank you very much for sharing. i cleaned the rug with the upholstery tool since it was in very good condition and when finished i put 3 blowers to dry. . It took times but came out like new.