Cleaning Guides

How To Clean a Cowhide Rug

TaraPatta /

Cowhide rugs can be a very stylish touch in a modern interior. However, just like any other beautiful thing, this leather also needs proper care and good maintenance. There are a lot of misconceptions about cowhide rugs not being durable, containing dangerous chemicals or that they cannot be cleaned. In this article, we are going to break this myth, showing you how to clean a cowhide rug in a few easy steps.

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So, if you:

  • Have a cowhide rug that doesn’t look that good anymore;
  • Are wondering how to clean stains on it;
  • Want to know how to get pet urine and its smell out of the rug;
  • Simply want to take good care of your rug.

Then your luck is in today! Keep reading to learn the best practices of cleaning cowhide rug.

How to care for a cowhide rug

Cowhide rugs are very durable, stain-resistant and easy to maintain. However, like any other carpet or rug, this one also needs a certain level of care. Here are some very important things that every owner of a cowhide rug needs to know:

How often should you clean your cowhide rug

A cowhide rug needs to be vacuumed at least three times per week. However, in order to keep your rug fresh-looking and clean, you need to perform a deep-clean once or twice a month, depending on the usage.

But first, we will teach you what are the steps on cleaning cowhide rug on a daily basis.

How to clean your cowhide rug regularly

1. Vacuum.
Vacuuming will remove the dust and prevent the build-up of dirt and stains in the long term.

Always vacuum in the direction of the hair, to prevent damage.

2. Shake it off.
Alternatively, you can use the old-school method. Just pick up your rug, take it outside the house (or on the balcony) and shake it vigorously. It is important not to beat the rug to avoid damage.

Rotate the rug or change its location in the room. This way, it will not wear unevenly.

3. Brush the rug.
Brushing it with a hard plastic brush helps in getting out particles that the vacuum cleaner or the shaking are incapable to remove. What’s more, this action will keep your cowhide rug’s hair soft, shiny and fluffy.

Sometimes, your cowhide rug will need more advanced cleaning than the usual removing of dirt. So, if you happen to spill some liquid or food, or your pet decides to leave a “present” on the carpet, here is how to clean cowhide rug stains:

How to remove stains from cowhide rug

Even though these rugs are stain-resistant, if you procrastinate the cleaning of the stain for too long, you minimise the chance of getting rid of it. It’s very important to act fast!

How to clean liquid stains

If you are dealing with red wine, coffee or tea, you have no time to waste. Start momentarily by following these steps on how to wash cowhide rug:

You’ll need: paper towel, knife, sponge, shampoo, water, cloth

  1. Absorb the liquid.

    Soak up the liquid stain, using a paper towel. Just dab the spot, don’t rub it, as this will spread the stain.
    Note: If there is dried matter, scrape it away in the direction of the hair, using the blunt edge of the knife.

  2. Prepare a solution.

    Mix a couple of drops of shampoo with lukewarm water.

  3. Apply.

    Use a damp sponge to apply the solution to the cowhide rug. Scrub and rub carefully, until the stain disappears.
    Note: Make sure the sponge is not soaking wet.

  4. Rinse.

    Take a clean cloth and dampen it with water. Gently wipe away the shampoo solution residue.

Don’t dry clean or wash in the washing machine. Cowhide rugs should never be allowed to become soaking wet or be exposed to dry cleaning chemicals.

How to clean pet urine from cowhide rug

Having a cat or dog is all fun and games until they decide to leave a urine stain on the couch or on the floor. What if your lovely pet leaves a smelly mark on your favourite cowhide rug? Here is how to proceed:

You’ll need: white vinegar, water, sponge, baking soda, vacuum cleaner, knife

  1. Prepare a solution.
    Mix two glasses of water with one tablespoon of white vinegar.
  2. Apply the mixture.
    Dampen a sponge with the solution and carefully dab the area.
  3. Dry.
    Let the rug air dry. It’s a good idea to leave it outside with the hide, not the hair, facing the sun.
  4. Apply baking soda.
    Once it’s completely dry, sprinkle the affected area with baking soda and let it sit for 24 hours.
  5. Vacuum.
    Remove the baking soda, using a vacuum cleaner.
  6. Scrape.
    Using a dull knife, scrape the area to make your cowhide rug fluffy again.
Pour a small amount of vinegar and water solution into a spray bottle and spray the back of the stained area. This will help with PH balance and odour removal.

How to get food out of a cowhide rug

If your child loves throwing food on the floor, or you are a little bit clumsy in the mornings when having breakfast, and you drop some food on the floor, have no fear! Here is a guide on how to clean food and grease off a cowhide rug:

You’ll need: knife, eucalyptus oil, two cloths, dish soap, water

  1. Scrape off the food.
    Using a dull knife, carefully scrape as much food as you can off the cowhide rug in the direction of the hair.
    Note: You can also use a spoon.
  2. Apply eucalyptus oil.
    Gently apply a small amount of eucalyptus oil on the stain, using a cloth.
    Note: Do not apply oil directly onto the cowhide rug.
  3. Create a soapy mixture.
    Mix one tablespoon of dish soap with two glasses of lukewarm water.
  4. Apply the solution.
    Dampen a clean cloth with the solution and gently rub it into the rug.
  5. Rinse.
    Use another cloth to dampen with water and dab the area.
  6. Dry.
    Let the cowhide rug air dry.

If the stain you are dealing with is stubborn and the methods above don’t work, we recommend you to book a professional carpet cleaning service.

Are you struggling to clean stains off a cowhide rug?

Book a rug cleaning service and let the professionals handle it!

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In case, you’re not sure about the process of the carpet cleaning service and its cost, check out our blog post that explains it all.


  • Regular cleaning is the key to having a fresh and good looking cowhide rug.
  • Do not use a washing machine or a dryer when cleaning a cowhide rug.
  • Always try to clean a stain immediately.
  • Cowhide rugs are naturally stain-resistant and durable.


Do you have experience with cleaning cowhide rugs? Maybe you have some tricks and tips of your own? Don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments below.

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