Cowhide rugs are a great way of adding an elegant touch of style to your home decor or office. Being hypoallergenic, they’re perfect for people who suffer from allergies or skin sensitivities, while their naturally water-resistant and stain-repellent properties make them the easiest to care for.
Here you’ll find tips for cleaning and care your cowhide rug, as well as some simple tips for preserving the colours to keep your rug looking its best.
Cowhide rugs are a great way of adding an elegant touch of style to your home or office.
Being hypoallergenic, they’re perfect for people who suffer from allergies or skin sensitivities, while their naturally water-resistant and stain-repellent properties make them the easiest to care for.
Here you’ll find the best advice for cleaning your cowhide rug, as well as some simple tips for preserving the colours and textures to keep your rug looking its best.
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Cleaning and care instructions
One of the greatest benefits of owning a high quality cowhide rug is knowing that, with the right care, it can last for decades on your living room.
The good news is, cowhide rugs are notoriously easy to clean and require little maintenance to preserve their natural beauty. In fact, it’s likely that you already have all the cleaning equipment you need at home.
By following these simple cowhide rug care instructions, you should be able to protect your rug from the general wear and tear of life to keep it looking vibrant, clean, and beautiful for many years to come.
The basics: How to clean a cowhide rug
Broom and vacuum only: Use a vacuum or broom to keep your rug clean and free of dirt. Only use the standard vacuum head and never use a rotating brush, as this can cause damage.
Rotate regularly: By regularly rotating your rug, you’ll be able to spread the wear and tear of foot traffic to preserve its fabulous natural cowhide colours and textures.
Things to avoid
Always keep it dry: It’s important to avoid getting your cowhide rug wet. This can lead to curling and may even cause the rug to lose its shape. You should avoid hosing down, steaming clean or soaking your cowhide rug.
Never rub vigorously: Soak up liquids with a cloth or sponge, rubbing gently with the grain of the rug.
Do not wash or dry clean: You should also avoid bleaching, ironing or tumble drying as these can all shorten the lifespan of your rug.
Avoid direct sunlight: After cleaning, it’s best to leave the rug face down in the sun for a short period of time. This will allow it to dry and disinfect without the risk of colour fading. Please take care to limit sun exposure to just a few hours.
Removing spills and stains
Accidents happen, and in the general hustle and bustle of life, spills are bound to occur.
From family spills to pet stains, the sooner you can clean up the mess, the more likely you are to prevent a spill from turning into a permanent stain.
Not only can liquid spills result in unsightly stains, they can also cause warping and curling. The good news is, cowhide rugs are naturally water and stain-resistant, meaning that if you’re quick to remove the spill, even nasty coffee, wine and urine stains can be lifted.
Here’s how you can safely remove liquid stains from your cowhide rug:
Use a damp cloth or paper towel to gently soak up as much liquid as possible from the rug without rubbing. In most situations, this simple step suffice to bring even the whiter rugs back to their original conditions.
Step 2: If the stain is still noticeable, combine a couple of drops of hand soap or dish detergent into warm water to create a gentle cleaning solution.
Step 3: Dip a household sponge or a soft white cloth into the mixture. Please note: if using a sponge, never use the scouring side.
Step 4: Taking the damp (not soaking) cloth or sponge, slowly and gently rub the solution into the stain, moving with the grain of the rug.
Step 5: Once applied, use another clean sponge or cloth dipped in warm water to remove the detergent. If your rug gets too wet during this process, make sure to dry it before proceeding.
Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 until you’re satisfied with the result. Take care to remove all detergent once completed as it may become dirty and cause discolouration over time. If possible, use a wet & dry vacuum cleaner to suck up any excess water.
Step 7: Complete the process by soaking up any remaining water with another soft cloth, and leaving the rug to dry away from direct sun exposure.
If your rug is heavily soiled, or the above process didn’t work, you may wish to apply a single drop of detergent directly onto the stain, rubbing gently.
Avoid using any other chemicals, as they can damage, dry out or discolour your rug.
Solid stains such as candle wax, pet vomit or gum can take a little extra time to remove. Be patient and avoid soaking or vigorously scrubbing your rug, as this can cause further damage:
If the solid material is hot, it’s best to leave it to cool before attempting to remove it. Place ice cubes in a plastic bag on top of the spot for 15 minutes, ensuring there’s no leakage or excess liquid that could make the rug wet.
Step 2: Use a plastic spoon or the blunt edge of a butter knife to carefully remove the solid debris. Always move with the grain of the rug and be careful not to push the debris deeper.
Step 3: Dip a sponge or clean white cloth into warm water and begin gently scrubbing. Take care not to soak the rug.
Step 4: Once you’re satisfied with the results, use a new cloth to dry the area completely.
Frequently asked questions on how to clean a cowhide rug
Can you wash a cowhide rug in the washing machine?
While there are stories of people successfully running a cowhide rug through the washing machine, we do not encourage it. A washing machine may damage your rug or even cause holes. Machine washing may also cause your rug to wear out earlier than expected.
For the same reason, we discourage sending your rug to a laundry service.
How do you clean pet accidents from a cowhide rug?
To clean dog urine or poop from your cowhide rug, you may need to use a solution of white vinegar and water. The same applies for cats.
If the liquid stain removal process outlined above fails and your rug still smells of pet urine, replace the detergent solution with a tablespoon of white vinegar diluted in two cups worth of water. Then proceed to follow the steps for removing liquid stains.
Once dried, sprinkling baking soda and letting sit for 24 hours may help to neutralise any excess smells. After 24 hours, use a vacuum to remove the baking soda, then use a dull knife to gently scrape the area in the direction of the hair to make it fluffy again.
Are cowhide rugs easy to clean?
Water-resistant, stain repellant and naturally hypoallergenic, cowhide rugs are surprisingly easy to clean and usually don’t require any special equipment beyond what you already have in your home.
How long do cowhide rugs last?
If cared for properly and you now know how to clean a cowhide rug, a top quality cow skin will last for many decades.
Are there any specific care instructions for white cowhide rugs?
Over time, you may notice your white hide taking on a yellow tinge. Rugs that see a lot of foot traffic may be more prone to yellowing, so it’s best to rotate your rug regularly to help prevent this from occurring.
As white cowhide rugs will show up stains more clearly than other colours, it’s vital that you soak up spills as quickly as possible to prevent staining.