How To Clean Cowhide Rug

Cowhide rugs, crafted from natural cow hair and skin, offer a unique home accent. They're actually worthwhile investments. That's why they need essential care to keep them exquisite, durable, and stain-resistant. If by any chance you own this type of rare and irreplaceable rug, then knowing the correct methods for caring for and cleaning it will be vital. It seems to be that cleaning an entire cowhide rug can be a dangerous thing to do. It is because of its special kind of material.

Keeping a cowhide in good condition creates a harmonious mix of softer touches. You can do it from just shaking and vacuuming to utilizing specialized cleaners, such as vacuum cleaners, for unruly spots. You should begin by educating yourself about the inherent delicacy of Oriental rugs and the recommended procedures for safeguarding their natural beauty.

Hence, if you were unsure how to go about removing spills or including the renovation of your cowhide rug, the guide below has an uncomplicated and effective approach. You can go for other techniques if the stain persists.

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Ways To Clean Cowhide Rug Damage-Free

You can clean your cowhide rug by vacuuming and shaking it. To remove grease and stubborn stains from the rug, dab water, detergent, or eucalyptus oil on the spots and wipe it off with a damp fiber cloth. Or you could steam clean it to remove odors.

To clean pet urine/poop or vomit from the rug, a mixture of white vinegar and water will help to remove stains, for example, liquid stains or food stains, and odor. If the rug is a faux cowhide, simply wash it with detergent and water. Now, let’s delve into the step-by-step procedures for cleaning both authentic and imitation cowhide rugs individually:

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1- Vacuuming A Cowhide Rug

Can you vacuum a cowhide rug? That question may arise in your mind when you wish to clean the rug. The answer is yes, absolutely. You can clean the cowhide rug by vacuuming it. In fact, regular vacuuming is the first step to keeping your cowhide rug clean from dirt, dust, pollen, and pet hair. However, avoid using attachments like rotating brushes or beater bars when vacuuming a cowhide rug.

This is because these attachments can destroy the rug’s material. So, stick only to sucking the pollutants out of the cowhide rug. If your vacuum doesn’t come without an attachment, use an upholstery attachment to vacuum your cowhide rug safely. And remember to vacuum in the direction of hair growth on the carpet to prevent losing the hair.

Begin your vacuuming process from the rug's center and work toward the outer edges. Ensure that all rug sections, including the corners and edges, are vacuumed thoroughly. If the carpet is filthy, you might need to go over it twice with the vacuum. Or if it’s stained, you must clean the spots immediately.

2- Cleaning Cowhide Rug Stains

Dealing with stains on a cowhide rug is most effective when you tackle them promptly. Cowhide naturally resists stains; in many cases, a quick wipe with a bit of water can do the trick. But can you wash a cowhide rug in the washing machine, or can you hose down a cowhide rug? The answer is no, you must not. It’s crucial to exercise caution and not go overboard with water when cleaning cowhide, as the liquid can damage the material.

Cowhide Rug 2

Instead, use a butter knife to remove the dried solids on the rugs. If the stain is stubborn, especially grease spots that are difficult to remove, you can use a bit of eucalyptus oil or detergent to clean them. Here’s how to clean cowhide rug stains depending on what kind of spots are there:

  • Using A Butter Knife For Dried Solids

If you spot any solid debris, pick them up using paper towels. In case the solids have dried up, gently scrape them off the rug's fibers using the edge of a butter knife.

  • Using Water To Dab At Stains

Take a microfiber cloth, make it slightly damp with water, and then wipe the area where the spot is, making sure to move in the direction of the hair. When cleaning cowhide, most of the time, water does the job of getting rid of stains.

3- Cleaning The Spots With Detergent Or Cowhide Cleaner

If the stain doesn’t budge after wiping it with water, grab a bit of detergent like baby shampoo or a specialized cowhide cleaner like from Hudson Hides. Put a small amount on a damp microfiber cloth, ensuring not to soak it. Apply the liquid to the cowhide in line with the hair’s growth direction, and use another clean and dampened microfiber cloth to wipe away the stain.

Cowhide Rug 1

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4- Applying Eucalyptus Oil On The Spots

Soak up as much of the stain as possible using a clean, dry microfiber cloth. Apply a small quantity of Eucalyptus Oil to the spots. Before going all-in, test the Eucalyptus Oil in a hidden part of the rug to ensure it won't discolor the hair.

Also, ensure you use pure Eucalyptus Oil. Don’t go for diluted versions or products containing other ingredients, as these might harm the rug. Gently work the oil into the stain with a clean microfiber cloth. Blot away any excess oil using another cloth. Allow the area to air dry completely.

If the stain is still visible after using Eucalyptus Oil, it might be time to seek professional cowhide rug cleaning. Just type “cowhide rug cleaning near me” into Google to locate a professional cleaner, like a steam cleaner, in your vicinity. But be sure to verify their professionalism before making a decision.

5- Steam Cleaning The Cowhide Rug To Remove Odors

For a thorough cleaning of cowhide rugs, steaming is an excellent method. It not only eliminates odors but also eliminates any lurking bacteria in your cowhide rug. As an added perk, it revitalizes the hairy surface of the carpet, leaving it looking as good as new.

If you don’t own an upholstery steamer, you can easily rent one inexpensively. Even those handheld steamers commonly used for clothes and curtains do the job admirably. Before you start steaming, vacuum to remove any dirt or debris that might get stuck when the steam is applied. Fill up the steamer’s water tank and switch it on.

Once you see steam coming out, gently move it across the rug’s surface, following the direction of the hair growth on your cowhide rug. Avoid lingering in one spot for too long to prevent over-saturating the carpet. After you’re finished, let the cowhide rug air dry naturally.

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6- Cleaning Vomit Or Pet Urine/Poop From Cowhide Rug

Soak up as much urine or vomit as possible with a clean, dry cloth. Then follow the steps below to learn how to clean dog urine from cowhide rug:

  • Create a mixture using white vinegar and water (9.5 oz water and 0.5 oz vinegar). This will assist in maintaining the proper pH balance and eliminate foul odors.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to apply the vinegar solution to the affected area. But first, test the solution on an inconspicuous area of the rug. Allow the vinegar solution to sit on the spot for 10-15 minutes. Blot up the vinegar solution using a clean, dry cloth.
  • If the odor is not completely gone, sprinkle some baking soda on the affected area. Leave the soda there for around 30 minutes to an hour. Lastly, use a vacuum cleaner to suck up the baking soda.

7- Cleaning Faux Cowhide Rug

First, take a look at the back of your rug. While the fibers are polyester, the backing might be made from suede or leather. Then, you must stick with the cleaning methods we discussed earlier. However, the majority of faux hide rugs usually have synthetic backing.

Many faux cowhide rugs will include care instructions on a label attached to the back. If it’s stated that all the materials are synthetic, you’re in the clear to use water and shampoo or a synthetic fiber cleaner for washing the rug entirely. But still, don’t use a washing machine to clean the cowhide carpet.

Ways To Clean A Cowhide Rug



Vacuuming A Cowhide RugYes, you can vacuum a cowhide rug, but avoid rotating brushes; vacuum in the direction of hair growth to prevent damage.
Cleaning Cowhide Rug StainsPromptly deal with stains using water in most cases; use a butter knife for dried solids, and exercise caution with liquids.
Using A Butter Knife For Dried SolidsRemove dried solids with a butter knife's edge, ensuring gentle scraping to avoid damage to the rug's fibers.
Using Water To Dab At StainsDab stains with a slightly damp microfiber cloth in the direction of hair growth, relying on water for most stain removal.
Cleaning The Spots With Detergent Or Cowhide CleanerFor stubborn stains, use a small amount of detergent or cowhide cleaner on a damp cloth, wiping in the hair's growth direction.
Applying Eucalyptus Oil On The SpotsUse pure Eucalyptus Oil for grease spots, testing in a hidden area first; gently work into the stain and allow the rug to air dry.
Steam Cleaning The Cowhide RugSteam cleaning is effective for thorough cleaning, removing odors and bacteria; use a steamer following hair growth direction.
Cleaning Vomit Or Pet Urine/PoopAbsorb as much as possible, then apply a white vinegar and water solution; blot and use baking soda for odors; vacuum after drying.
Cleaning Faux Cowhide RugCheck the rug's label for care instructions; for synthetic backing, use water and shampoo or synthetic fiber cleaner, avoiding a washing machine.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Use To Clean A Cowhide Rug?

To clean a cowhide rug, use a vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt and dust. For specific stains, using water, baby shampoo, or specialized cowhide clean is effective for spot cleaning. But always test any cleaning solution on a hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t discolor or damage the rug. Alternatively, you can use a steamer for thorough cleaning or white vinegar and water mixture to remove pet urine/poop or vomit stains.

How Easy Is It To Clean A Cowhide Rug?

Cleaning a cowhide rug is relatively easy. Routine maintenance, like vacuuming and spot cleaning, can keep it in good condition. Stains are usually easy to remove with the correct cleaning solutions. However, deep cleaning may require a steamer, and it’s essential to be cautious not to oversaturate the rug, as excessive moisture can harm it.

Can I Wash My Cowhide Rug In The Washing Machine?

No, washing a cowhide rug in a washing machine is not recommended. Cowhide rugs are made of natural or synthetic materials, and machine washing can cause the leather or backing to deteriorate and lose shape.

Can I Put Baking Soda On A Cowhide Rug?

Yes, you can use baking soda on a cowhide rug to help eliminate odors. Sprinkle a thin layer of baking soda over the rug’s surface, let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour, and then vacuum it up. Baking soda can effectively absorb odors without damaging the cowhide rug.

What Happens If Cowhide Gets Wet?

If a cowhide rug gets soaking wet, it’s crucial to blot up the moisture as soon as possible with a dry cloth or paper towel. Otherwise, excessive wetness can lead to damaging the rug or clumping its hair.


Maintaining your cowhide rug is easy once you’ve learned the ropes of how to clean cowhide rug correctly. To sum it up, each cleaning method differs based on the type of cleaning your real or faux rug requires. However, avoid using excessive detergent and water, and with the proper care, you’ll keep your cowhide rug looking great for years to come.

Emma James

A distinguished writer with an impressive 8-year track record of contributing to various prominent informational websites.

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