My beloved standard schnauzer Baxter will be fifteen in the fall and he is beginning to show his age.

DSCF7637 (1)

His ability to hold on when he needs to “go” has diminished (much to his horror and shame), and occasionally I’ve discovered a puddle at the back door,or a damp spot where he has been laying. DSCF7414

This geometric rug lies on the floor at the foot of our bed and was long ago claimed by him  as his bed.

With these accidents occurring, I checked the condition of this rug and discovered that indeed it was in a bad way. It was either throw it out, or try and wash it thoroughly.

I’ve never washed one of my wool rugs before, but in this case there was nothing to lose. If I couldn’t get the doggie urine out it would be in the garbage.

I laid it in the bathtub and let it soak in cool water, swished it thoroughly and rinsed it out. I was appalled by the dirt and sand (and yellow water ) that came out. I did this several times, with the same result each time. I headed to the store looking for ‘Zero’….the soap I used to use for wool sweaters back in the olden days when twin sets were still popular, but it has obviously gone the way of the dodo bird. It’s replacement is ‘Woolite’ so home I went with a bottle and high hopes that it would work and the dyes wouldn’t run.

I think I soaked, washed and rinsed it with the soap about 5 times until there was no grit or discolouration coming from it, then did it once more for good measure. Much to my delight, the dye stayed intact.DSCN0671

I hung it up over the grating on the veranda and left it there for several days to dry and be in the fresh air. I am absolutely delighted with the results. It hasn’t looked this good since it was first hooked.DSCN0672

It certainly isn’t going back on the floor though. I have a very washable blanket now folded up at the foot of the bed and Baxter seems to think that is just fine to sleep on.

I’m not saying that every rug would do so well with this treatment, but it worked well in this case.

I’m so glad I gave it a try and didn’t throw it out.

Thanks for stopping by.




26 thoughts on “A HAPPY ENDING

  1. I am hearing stories like this more and more – not the dog urine part – but the washing and great results. Good for you – it would have been such a waste to get rid of it. It’s gorgeous. I am sure as long as Baxter is cozy, he is happy.

    • I can’t actually remember what backing I used Karen, and when I looked it is not linen but either rug warp or monk’s cloth. I know I bought it from Gene Shepherd and it was pre-marked in squares. I would guess rug warp since I’m not at all fond of monk’s cloth.

  2. Wow! Thats wonderful! I washed a mat once in the washing machine,,,, it turned out good, too,,, it was at the sink and my husband spilled tomato juice!! It was on burlap, too! Which I thought would rot when wet,,, though it was not a pretty sight after the tomato ,,,, I hung it to dry and was reaaly clean,,,, I would not do it regulary,,,,
    Glad urs is a happy outcome,,,

    • I guess they are hardier than we’ve been led to believe Elaine. The washing machine would be a lot easier than bending over a bathtub for hours the way I did. The rug was fine. My back complained a lot.

  3. I did the same thing with my doggie rug. The stain never completely left and I even used Oxyclean made into a froth. Maybe it’s the sun. It’s my very first primitive hand cut so I keep it in a safe place.

    • Mine will stay in a safe place now too Vivien. Fortunately it had no visible stains so my concern was getting rid of the smell and not having the dye run. Successful on both counts. The bonus is that the loops have fluffed up and look like they’ve never been walked on.

  4. Hi Elizabeth, Mary Lou Justason sent me this blog and I was thrilled to see it. In 2009 I lost my little Norfolk Terrier Sara, and she had been ill for the last year, she had taken over a little rug I had made of scrappy worms I had bought from Fred MacDonnell and an old burlap sack. She had accidents and she had a very oily fur at this time so I actually washed the rug on gentle/cold water in my machine(many times) and would hang it over the deck rail. I had nothing to lose I figured and it turned out beautiful each time. I had it 2 yrs after Sara passed but it was lost in my house fire. Now with that said my grandson accidently threw rug I had made for my daughter in with the household rugs(on regular was with hot water) and ruined the rug. I have also washed some in the tub as you have with good results. Happy Hooking! Karen

  5. Sorry about your lovely dog having problems. What a lovely mat. So glad you managed to save it. Looks magnificent.

  6. Thank you Elizabeth, this is a good article for all to read. I am glad Baxter loves his blanket, give him a little scratch behind the ear for me.
    My corgi mix Sadie is going on 16 too so I understand totally….they are members of the family.

  7. My first rug was made of wool I spun with a drop spindle. I hooked it on old burlap that we used to wrap the cedars with for the winter. Not sure what I was thinking about. something about recycling I guess. At any rate I have carefully washed it in Woolilte several times as it’s always been on the floor and has quite a bit of white and cream in it. I used the same technique as you did and hung it over the tub to dry. Always successful until this last time. This time the weight of the water caused the burlap to separate near the bottom of the rug and I had to reinforce it with new burlap and re-hook quite a bit of it. I think I might have to have it dry cleaned next time. Or lay it flat on ever-changing towels. Could take weeks to dry. Any thoughts on dry cleaning? BTW your rug is beautiful!

    • I’ve never had a hand hooked rug dry cleaned Peggy, but when a relative’s dog had an accident on a large rug in our living room, we did, and it didn’t remove the smell. We finally got rid of it by hosing it down countless times with the garden hose and hanging it outside in the fresh air to dry for several days.

  8. What a great story. Thanks for sharing. I’ve have my first mat at the foot of our bed now for 20 years and it’s time for a good wash. I’ll undertake it now with more confidence. I wonder if Baxter’s pee didn’t help to set your colours? Maybe I should arrange a wee party on mine first! 😉

  9. I am so glad your rug cleaned up well. We have aging dogs so your experience will serve us well in the future. The rug is gorgeous. May I ask if this was a personal design or if you know the name of the pattern?

    • Jacqueline the pattern is called double cross and was the first offered by Gene Shepherd on his Internet Rug Camp, although I think perhaps it is from a traditional design based on a grid.

Leave a Reply to elizabethmartel Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s