How to Clean Your Cowhide Rug [A Complete Guide]

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: January 9, 2024

Cowhide rugs have become a popular piece of home decor, and for a good reason:

They’re rugged, beautiful, and luxurious. They don’t shed, and they’re tough enough to hold up to everyday use, even in households with kids, pets, and lots of traffic. 

Just like any other textile in your home, though, cowhide rugs require some maintenance. If you’re wondering how to clean a cowhide rug, we’ve got the answers for you.

In this blog, we’ll break down the best approach to dealing with your dirty cowhide rug, and when you should think about hiring professional cleaners.

How to Clean a Cowhide Rug at Home

The most important thing you can do for your cowhide rug is to keep up with regular cleaning.

Shine rugs/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Follow these steps to keep your rug beautiful:

  • Vacuum the rug regularly. It’s safe to vacuum a cowhide rug just like you would any other rug, although you should turn the brushes on your vacuum head off (make sure beater bar is not in use). For best results, vacuum the rug at least once a week, moving the suction in the direction of the hair. 
  • Shake the rug off. In between vacuum cleanings, take the rug outside and shake it to clear debris off. This helps remove dirt without agitating the fibers of the rug.
  • Rotate the rug. Keep your rug looking fresh by rotating it regularly. This makes wear more even and extends the lifespan of the rug.
  • Avoid moisture. While cowhide is very durable, you’ll want to avoid getting it wet. Keep exposure to water at a minimum as you clean your cowhide. While a bit of water won’t ruin your rug, soaking it or washing it in a machine will damage the hide itself. 

These preventative care tips will help your cowhide age well and hold up to wear.

How to get pet Urine out of a Cowhide rug

Accidents happen, and pet urine is no exception.

If one of your four-legged friends makes a mess on your cowhide rug, you’ll want to blot it up as quickly as possible. Use a clean cloth to pat the stain and absorb as much liquid as you can from the stained areas.

Next, use a gentle spot cleaning solution to cut the smell of the stain and help the fibers of the rug release the urine. We recommend a mixture of water and white vinegar, which balances the pH of the rug.  Whatever you do, be sure you never soak or saturate the rug.

If the hide has grease stains, use an odorless mineral spirit. If the stain persists, look for a company that offers professional pet stain removal

When to Get Professional Cowhide Rug Cleaning

Like any other rug in your house, your cowhide rug will require professional rug cleaning from time to time. The frequency of your cleaning will depend, in large part, on the location of your cowhide rug, and the traffic level it experiences.

If your cowhide rug is in a high-traffic area, consider having it cleaned at least twice a year. Rugs in lower-traffic areas should be cleaned once a year.

If you’d like to extend the lifespan of your cowhide rug and prevent future stains, ask your cleaning company whether they offer a Scotchgard treatment, which will coat the fibers of your carpet and help it resist stains. 

Ready to book your professional cowhide rug cleaning appointment?Contact ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba here in Chicago, IL.

We’ll remove stains in your cowhide rug and help it stay beautiful and fresh for years to come.