Top Tips for Taking Care of a Cowhide Rug

Top Tips for Taking Care of a Cowhide Rug

The Importance of Caring for Your Rug

There is no doubt that in recent years, cowhide rugs and other animal skin rugs have been returning to the mainstream. What used to be considered antiquated and out of date is now part of the mainstream for interior decoration.

Taking care of your cow hide rug or other type of animal skin rug requires not much more than simply the occasional vacuuming.  Fortunately, keeping your cow hide rug clean and spotless doesn’t require hard to find cleaning ingredients. Simple household cleaners can be used to make sure that you cowhide rug will continue to impress visitors for the long run.

Cleaning Instruments That Will Come in Handy

In order to keep your cow hide rug in perfect condition, you will need a few cleaning instruments that you most likely have around home. If not, you can purchase these for a minimum investment.

  • A brush with hard bristles (a scrubbing brush is best)
  • Cleaning Soap for Carpets
  • Household sponge
  • Vacuum Cleaner with a brush attachment
  • Some sort of fabric protector such as Scotch Guard

A steam cleaner might also be a warranted investment if you have several cow hide rugs inside your home. This will make sure that you clean all of the fibers inside your rug. You can also rent steam cleaners for periodic cleanings.

A Simple Guide to Cleaning Your Cow Hide Rug

  • Vacuum regularly. If you don´t touch your cowhide rug for several months, chances are that it will accumulate dirt and other contaminants that will penetrate into the fibers of the rug. By vacuuming regularly, you can avoid having to deep clean your rug as often. Use the brush attachment of your vacuum to get deep into the fibers and make sure to move the attachment in the direction that the furs naturally run. Depending on the size of your rug, you can also periodically take it outside to beat it with a heavy stick. This will help to dislodge any contaminants that are too deep to be reached by a vacuum.
  • Never soak your cow hide rug when you are cleaning it as this can cause long term damage to the rug. Cow hide rugs are tanned in order to better preserve the proteins on the skin. By soaking your rug you can disrupt the tanning materials on your rug. Use a steam cleaner if your rug is especially dirty. When finished take it outside into the sunlight to dry it out immediately after it cleaning. The heat from the sun will also kill off any bacteria, germs or other contaminants that are embedded in your rug.
  • Never using alkaline cleansing soap on your cowhide rug. If someone has tracked dirty footprints over your cowhide rug, you might need to use some sort of soap to get the stains out. Leather soaps and baby shampoos are good options for getting out stains on cow hide rugs with hair. Use your household sponge and rub gently until the stain disappears. Again, make sure to take your rug outside to dry immediately after cleaning and rinsing.
  • Scotch Guard or other fabric protectors can help your cow hide rug repel stains before they happen. After you have cleaned your rug, rub it down with a little bit of fabric protector to make sure it stays clean for longer.

By following these simple guidelines, your cow hide rug will stay in pristine condition for years on end and will continue to impress guests who visit your home.


  • Lucy

    Hello @Patricia, curling can be a sign that your cowhide is overheating as that typically occurs when there’s a lack of moisture. A light mist or humidifier near it for short periods of time should help it.

  • Lucy

    Hello @Dorothy, we don’t recommend any harsh chemicals on the rug or using febreze as a method to clean/refreshen it.

  • Dorothy

    Can you use fabreze?

  • Patricia

    My cowhide is curling up on the edges how can I soften it and make it way back down?

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