Best Ways to Clean a Cowhide Rug to Keep It Long

Cowhide rugs are indeed a popular choice for home decor, Here are some guidelines for routine cleaning, stain removal, and deep cleaning.

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Photo: Best Ways to Clean a Cowhide Rug to Keep It Long

Cowhide rugs are indeed a popular and versatile choice for home decor.

Here are some guidelines for routine cleaning, stain removal, and deep cleaning of cowhide rugs.

Care Basics

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Photo: Care Basics

Regular Maintenance.

Shake the cowhide rug outdoors to remove loose dirt and debris.

This can be done by gripping a corner of the rug and shaking it vigorously. You can also use a broom with soft bristles to gently brush the hair of the cowhide rug.

Brushing in the direction of the hair helps to keep it looking neat and smooth.


Use a Vacuum Cleaner with a suction-only attachment or a handheld vacuum to remove dust, dirt, and allergens from the cowhide rug.

Avoid using vacuum attachments with rotating or beater brushes, as they can damage the rug’s hair and backing.

Stain Removal.

For liquid spills, blot the area immediately with a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel.

Press down gently to absorb the liquid. If a stain remains, dampen a clean cloth with water and gently blot the stained area.

Avoid using excessive water, as it can damage the rug’s backing. For set-in stains, a small amount of baby shampoo, clarifying shampoo, or mild soap (such as foaming hand soap or liquid castile soap) can be mixed with water.

Use this solution to blot the stain gently. Rinse the area with a clean, damp cloth afterward.

Avoid Excess Water.

Cowhide rugs should not be soaked in water or exposed to excess moisture.

This can cause the rug to stretch, become misshapen, or damage the backing. Remember to always test any cleaning solution or method on a small, inconspicuous area of the cowhide rug before applying it to a larger visible area.

This helps ensure that the cleaning method does not cause any adverse effects on the rug’s hair or color.

By following these care basics and practicing regular maintenance, you can keep your cowhide rug looking beautiful and extend its lifespan.

Tips for Vacuuming

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Photo: Tips for Vacuuming

Use Suction Only:

Ensure that you use the suction function of your vacuum cleaner without any rotating brush or beater bar attachments.

These attachments can damage the rug’s hair and cause it to shed or create bald spots.

Choose the Right Attachment:

If your vacuum cleaner has a nozzle or upholstery attachment, use that instead of the standard brush attachment.

These attachments are usually safe for use on delicate surfaces like cowhide rugs.

Vacuum in the Direction of Hair Growth:

When vacuuming the cowhide rug, move in the direction of the hair growth.

This helps to prevent tangling or pulling of the hair and ensures a thorough clean. It’s generally recommended to vacuum from the head to the tail of the hide.

Gentle Pressure:

Apply gentle pressure while vacuuming to avoid putting too much stress on the rug’s hair.

A light touch is sufficient to remove dirt and debris.

Pay Attention to Edges and Corners:

Take extra care when vacuuming the edges and corners of the cowhide rug.

These areas are more susceptible to damage, so be gentle and avoid any vigorous movements.

Clean the Vacuum:

After vacuuming the cowhide rug, check and clean the vacuum cleaner to remove any collected dirt or debris.

This helps prevent the transfer of dirt to other surfaces.

Remember, if you prefer not to vacuum your cowhide rug, you can always shake it outdoors or use a soft-bristled brush to remove dust and debris.

Regular maintenance is key to keeping your cowhide rug looking its best.

Tips for Steam Cleaning

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Photo: Tips for Steam Cleaning

Vacuum Thoroughly:

Before steam cleaning, vacuum the cowhide rug to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris.

This step helps prevent these particles from becoming embedded in the rug during the steam cleaning process.

Use a Clothing and Upholstery Steamer:

Use a clothing and upholstery steamer specifically designed for delicate fabrics.

Avoid using steam cleaners with high-pressure or excessive steam output, as they can over-saturate the rug and potentially damage it.

Work in the Direction of Hair Growth:

When steam cleaning, move the steamer wand in the direction of the hair growth on the cowhide rug.

This helps prevent the tangling or matting of the hair.

Avoid Over-Saturation:

It’s important not to over-saturate the cowhide rug with moisture.

Excessive water can damage the backing of the rug and cause it to stretch or become misshapen. Use the steamer sparingly and keep the steam nozzle at a safe distance from the rug’s surface.

Test in an Inconspicuous Area:

Before steam cleaning the entire rug, test the steam cleaner in an inconspicuous area to ensure that it doesn’t cause any adverse effects or color bleeding.

Allow Sufficient Drying Time:

After steam cleaning, allow the cowhide rug to dry completely before placing it back in its designated area.

Drying times may vary depending on the humidity and airflow in the room. Avoid direct sunlight or excessive heat, as it can cause the rug to shrink or fade.

It’s worth noting that steam cleaning may not be suitable for all cowhide rugs, especially those with delicate or unique finishes.

If you’re uncertain or have concerns about steam cleaning your cowhide rug, it’s best to consult the manufacturer’s care instructions or seek professional cleaning services.

Treat Stains

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Photo: Treat Stains

What You Need:

  • Paper towels or rags
  • Butter knife or spoon
  • Light-colored cloth
  • Gentle clear shampoo


Step 1: Blot Liquid and Pick Up Solids

If there is a liquid spill, blot it immediately using paper towels or rags.

For solids, gently pick them up and dispose of them, using paper towels if necessary. If the solids have dried, use the edge of a butter knife or spoon to carefully scrape them off the rug’s fibers.

Step 2: Wipe the Area

Dampen a light-colored cloth with water and gently wipe the area where the spill occurred.

Work in the direction of the hair growth on the cowhide rug. In many cases, water alone is sufficient to remove residual staining from a spill on a cowhide.

Step 3: Apply Detergent to the Stain

If the stain persists after wiping with water, use a small amount of gentle clear shampoos, such as baby shampoo or clarifying shampoo.

Dampen a light-colored cloth with water and apply a small amount of shampoo to it. Avoid over-saturating the cloth with water.

Working in the direction of the hair growth, gently apply the shampoo to the stained area and wipe to remove the stain.

Step 4: Rinse the Area

After successfully removing the stain, rinse the cloth in Clean Water and wipe the cowhide rug in the direction of the hair growth to remove any residual detergent.

It’s important to remember not to use excessive water or liquid cleaners on cowhide, as it can damage the rug.

Always test any cleaning solution in an inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse effects. If you’re uncertain or the stain persists, it’s best to consult professional cleaners who specialize in cowhide rug care.

Remove Grease Stains

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Photo: Remove Grease Stains

What You Need:

  • Paper towels (optional)
  • Cornstarch
  • Vacuum cleaner


Step 1: Blot the Oil.

If the grease stain is fresh, start by blotting up as much of the oil as possible using paper towels.

Gently press the paper towels onto the stained area to absorb the grease. Be careful not to rub the stain, as it may spread further into the cowhide fibers.

Step 2: Apply Cornstarch.

Cover the oil or grease-stained area with a generous amount of cornstarch.

Create an even layer, similar to an anthill, ensuring that the stained area is completely covered. Allow the cornstarch to sit on the stain for several hours, or even overnight.

The cornstarch will help absorb the grease from the cowhide.

Step 3: Vacuum the Rug.

Once the cornstarch has had time to work, use a vacuum cleaner to remove the cornstarch from the rug.

Use a vacuum attachment suitable for delicate surfaces or a soft brush attachment. Gently vacuum the affected area, ensuring that you remove all the cornstarch.

Check if the stain has been successfully lifted.

If the grease stain persists, you may need to repeat the process by applying more cornstarch and allowing it to sit for a longer period.

It’s important to be patient and avoid rushing the process to ensure the best results.

If the stain remains stubborn and cannot be removed using this method, it’s recommended to seek professional cleaning services specifically experienced in cleaning cowhide rugs to avoid any potential damage.

*The information is for reference only.