A Complete Guide on How to Clean a Cowhide Rug

  • Mulki Sulaeman
  • May 25, 2023
A Complete Guide on How to Clean a Cowhide Rug

Why You Should Clean Your Cowhide Rug

Cowhide rugs are a popular choice for home décor and add a touch of rustic charm to any space. However, like any other rug, cowhide rugs can attract dirt, dust, and even stains over time. If left uncleaned, dirt and debris can damage the fibers of the rug, making it look dull and lifeless. Furthermore, prolonged exposure to dirt can trigger allergies and respiratory problems, making it necessary to clean your cowhide rug from time to time.

Thankfully, cleaning your cowhide rug doesn’t have to be a daunting task. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to clean your cowhide rug effectively without damaging it.

Tools You’ll Need

Before we dive into the specifics of how to clean your cowhide rug, let’s talk about the tools you’ll need. The good news is that you don’t need any fancy equipment or expensive cleaners to get your cowhide rug looking like new again.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment
  • A soft-bristled brush or sponge
  • A bucket of warm water
  • A mild detergent or soap (optional)
  • A clean white cloth

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Cowhide Rug

Now that you have all the necessary tools, let’s start the cleaning process.

Step 1: Begin by shaking out your cowhide rug, or if it’s too large, use a broom or vacuum cleaner to get rid of any loose debris. This will make it easier to clean the rug thoroughly.

Step 2: Use the vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment to gently vacuum your cowhide rug. Make sure to vacuum in the direction of the hair and avoid using a beater bar or brush attachment, which can damage the fibers of the rug.

Step 3: If your rug has any stains, use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to gently clean the affected areas. Dip the brush or sponge in a bucket of warm water and scrub the stains in a circular motion. If the stains are stubborn, you can add a mild detergent or soap to the water. However, it’s important to test the cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the rug first.

Step 4: Once you’ve cleaned the stains, rinse the brush or sponge in a bucket of clean water and use it to rinse off the soap or detergent. Then, use a clean white cloth to blot the rug dry. Avoid rubbing the rug, as this can damage the fibers.

Step 5: Finally, let your cowhide rug air dry. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat, as this can cause it to fade or crack. Instead, lay it flat on a clean, dry surface and allow it to air dry naturally.


Cleaning your cowhide rug doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. With the right tools and a little bit of patience, you can keep your cowhide rug looking beautiful for years to come. Just remember to vacuum it regularly, clean up any spills or stains immediately, and follow the steps above to deep clean it as needed.

Gather Your Supplies

Before you start cleaning your cowhide rug, it’s crucial to have all the necessary supplies in hand. Here are some of the items that you will need to clean your cowhide rug:

  • A vacuum cleaner
  • A soft-bristle brush
  • A mild soap or cowhide rug cleaner
  • A damp cloth
  • A dry cloth

Make sure that the vacuum cleaner has a soft-bristled attachment to avoid damaging the rug’s surface. If you don’t have a soft-bristle attachment, you can use a regular vacuum cleaner with a thin cotton cloth over the attachment to avoid scratches. Also, make sure that the mild soap or cowhide rug cleaner is suitable for the type of cowhide rug that you have. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach as this can cause the rug to discolor or damage its texture.

Once you have gathered all the necessary supplies, you are ready to start cleaning your cowhide rug.

How to Vacuum a Cowhide Rug

Like any other rug, a cowhide rug also requires regular cleaning to maintain its shine and texture. However, the cleaning process for cowhide rugs is different from that of other rugs. Vacuuming is the easiest and the most effective way to clean your cowhide rug. Here are some tips to keep in mind while vacuuming your cowhide rug:

1. Use a Soft-Bristled Brush Attachment

When vacuuming your cowhide rug, it’s essential to use a soft-bristled attachment to avoid damaging the hair on the rug. The hair on a cowhide rug is shorter and more delicate than that of other rugs. Therefore, a hard-bristled brush attachment can pull on the hair, causing it to shed or break, and it can even lead to bald spots on the rug.

2. Clean the Rug Thoroughly

Before vacuuming, pick up any big debris or dirt from the surface of the rug. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove any stuck-on particles or dirt that may have accumulated on the surface. This will make it easy for the vacuum cleaner to reach the deepest fibers of the rug and suck the dirt out.

3. Use a Proper Vacuum Setting

When vacuuming your cowhide rug, set the vacuum cleaner to the lowest possible setting. The high suction can damage the delicate hair on the rug and cause balding. If your vacuum cleaner doesn’t have adjustable settings, you can use a brush to disperse the suction over a larger area, ensuring there is no direct suction on any one area.

4. Vacuum on Both Sides of the Rug

Vacuum the cowhide rug on both sides to ensure that all dirt and debris are removed. Flip the rug over and vacuum the backside to remove any residual dust, dirt, or debris that can damage the leather. Ensure that you use a clean surface to vacuum the back of the rug to avoid dirt and debris infiltration into the rug.

By following these vacuuming tips, you can easily and efficiently clean your cowhide rug at home. Apart from vacuuming, you should spot-clean any spills, stains, or spots on the rug, and also, ensure that your cowhide rug is kept away from direct sunlight and moisture to avoid damage.

How to Spot Clean a Cowhide Rug

If your cowhide rug has a spill or stain, it is important to clean it up as soon as possible to prevent it from setting in. Follow these steps to spot clean your cowhide rug:

  1. Blot up any excess liquid: Use a clean, white cloth to soak up as much of the spill or stain as possible. Avoid rubbing the spot, as this can spread the stain and embed it deeper into the rug.
  2. Apply a mild detergent solution: Mix a small amount of mild detergent, like dish soap, with warm water. Dampen a clean sponge or cloth with the solution and gently blot the stain. Avoid saturating the rug and continue to blot until the stain is lifted.
  3. Rinse the area: Dampen a clean, white cloth with plain water and gently blot the area to remove any remaining detergent residue. It is important to remove all of the detergent to prevent it from attracting dirt and dust later on.
  4. Dry the area: Use a dry, clean cloth to blot the area to remove any excess moisture. For best results, lay the rug flat to dry. Avoid using a hair dryer, heater or direct sunlight to speed up the drying process, as this can cause the rug to curl or fade.

Remember to always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the rug before applying it to the stain to prevent causing damage. For tough stains or larger areas of soiling, it may be best to consult a professional cleaner to safely clean your cowhide rug.

How to Deep Clean a Cowhide Rug

Cowhide rugs are a great addition to any home. They are durable, hypoallergenic, and provide a unique, natural look to your space. But, just like any other rug, cowhide rugs can collect dirt and stains over time. It is important to deep clean your cowhide rug every six months to ensure it lasts for years to come. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly deep clean your cowhide rug.

Step 1: Shake it Out

The first step in deep cleaning your cowhide rug is to remove any loose dirt and debris. Start by shaking the rug outside to remove any dirt, dust, or hair. If you don’t have access to outdoor space, you can also use a soft brush to gently loosen any debris.

Step 2: Vacuum the Rug

After removing any loose dirt, use a vacuum cleaner to further clean the rug. Make sure to use a soft brush attachment to prevent any damage to the cowhide. If the rug has any stains, use the vacuum’s spot cleaning attachment to focus on the affected area.

Step 3: Spot Clean the Stains

If there are any stains on the cowhide rug, it is important to spot clean them before deep cleaning the entire rug. Use a mild detergent and water solution with a soft cloth to gently remove the stain. Remember to test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the rug first before applying it to the stain.

Step 4: Deep Clean the Rug

Now it’s time to deep clean the entire cowhide rug. Fill a large basin or bathtub with lukewarm water and add a cowhide-safe cleaner, such as Woolite or a mild detergent. Gently submerge the entire rug in the water and use a soft brush or cloth to gently scrub the rug. Be careful not to rub too hard or use any harsh chemicals, as this can damage the cowhide. Rinse the rug thoroughly with clean water and hang it to dry in a well-ventilated area. Avoid hanging it in direct sunlight or using a hair dryer, as this can also damage the rug.

Step 5: Brush the Rug

After the rug is completely dry, use a soft brush to gently brush the hair in the direction of the natural grain of the cowhide. This helps to maintain the rug’s natural look and texture.

By following these steps, you can keep your cowhide rug looking beautiful and clean for years to come. Remember to deep clean your rug every six months or as needed, and spot clean any stains as they occur. With proper care, your cowhide rug will continue to be a stunning addition to your home.

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