If you're concerned about volatile organic compounds and are trying to design the greenest home possible, one of the carpet fiber choices that may be suggested to you is wool. While wool is a natural, eco-friendly material and a good choice for many homes, it has a few disadvantages too. Make sure you weigh both the up side and the down side of wool carpeting before you sign on the dotted line to have yours installed.
Pros of Wool Carpeting
Moisture beads up on its surface.
One of the best things about wool carpet is that it's pretty difficult to stain. Spill some water or juice on a wool carpet, and it won't absorb into the fibers immediately, thanks to a natural, waxy component called lanolin that coats the outside of the fibers. This gives you time to run to the kitchen and grab some paper towels to soak up the liquid. In most cases, little to no mark will be left behind as long as you act quickly. Of course, the liquid does eventually soak in – unfortunately you can't just leave it there.
It has a lush, soft feel.
A lot of green carpeting materials, like jute and sisal, are rough and uncomfortable underfoot. Wool, however, is soft and plush. You can walk across it comfortably in bare feet, and as long as a good pad is used under it, you can sit on it comfortably. This makes it a wise choice for living rooms, play rooms, and kids' bedrooms, where you want a carpet that's not only green, but also soft and friendly.
Cons of Wool Carpeting
You'll have to use special cleaners.
Forget about just pulling out the carpet shampooer and going to town once a year. Wool is very sensitive to moisture, so special precautions must be taken when cleaning it. You'll want to hire a professional, like A One- Steamagic, Carpet and Furniture Cleaning, to ensure the carpet dries at the correct rate and does not shrink. When it comes to cleaning up small stains and soiled areas, you can do this yourself – but only with a carpet cleaning agent made just for wool. General carpet cleaners will shrink, discolor, and fray your wool carpet fibers.
Moths may be attracted to it.
Moths like wool carpet just as much as they like wool sweaters. Some people have wool carpet for years and never have any issues with moths, while others find moths to be a problem. They leave little bare, worn patches on the carpet. The most effective way to get rid of moths is to have the carpet sprayed with a special pesticide agent, but this is not the greenest choice. You can reduce your risk of attracting moths by vacuuming your wool carpeting regularly, but there's no way to 100% guarantee you won't end up with a moth problem.
Wool carpets are a comfortable, stain-resistant, green carpet choice. If you're willing to vacuum regularly and put a bit more effort and money into cleaning, a wool carpet may be perfect for your home.