How To Clean A Cowhide Rug

How To Clean A Cowhide Rug

Also check out our post on how to fix a cowhide rug curl here.


A quality cowhide rug with proper maintenance will not just last a few years, it will last decades.  The cowhide rug that got me started in this business is still on my office floor twenty one years later!  However, it all starts with finding a quality cowhide rug.  Yes, you can find cheap hides all over the internet and large box stores, but if you want to have a cowhide rug that is going to hold up to the abuse of daily life, you’re better off to find a quality one.  You can browse our selection of large cowhide rugs here.  And don’t worry, we include a care card with all of our cowhide rugs.

Don’t think cowhide rugs are delicate.  We work with a lot of designers that “steer” clients toward a cowhide rug if they have kids or pets.  Follow our steps below for maintaining your new cowhide and you’ll get many, many years of use out of it.


Cowhide Rug Cleaning - Dirt


Can you vacuum a cowhide rug?  Yes!!  For usual maintenance you can simply let your robot vacuum run all over your hide without any issues.  Or you can use your vacuum’s hand attachment to get an all over clean without removing the hide.  You just don’t want to run your whole upright vacuum over it as the suction will just pull the cowhide up and jam the opening.  Another tip is to sweep from the spine outward.  You’ll want to brush with the grain of the fur not against.

Need more dirt removal?  You can remove the cowhide and shake with a snap like you would a towel.  I would absolutely do this outside as the dust/dirt will fly off of it, but it will return your cowhide rug to a like new condition.


Cowhide Rug Cleaning - Spills


Oh no, someone just spilled bourbon on my cowhide rug!  First thing to do is remove the excess liquid by blotting it with a dry cloth.  A quality cowhide will have some of a barrier when it comes to liquids so you will be able to get most of the spill off with a cloth.  Then rub WITH the grain of the fur, not against it.  If needed, mix detergent with water and use with the cloth.  Another important note is to let your cowhide rug air dry away from heat.  Make sure it’s laying flat while drying to prevent curling.  Have a curl?  Take a look at our blog on how to remove a cowhide rug curl here.


Cowhide Rug Cleaning - Pet Mishaps


I love my Labrador and luckily he has never had an incident on any of my cowhide rugs.  However, accidents do happen and here’s how to clean your cowhide if Spot leaves a spot.  

Try to get to the incident as quickly as possible and use the method above for spills.  If you’re too late or if we’re talking about something else, you can wet the rug with a soap/water mix to help remove the excess.  True story; I have a good friend who fosters Pit Bulls and he has one of my cowhide rugs.  They would have accidents on occasion and he told me he would take the hide outdoors and spray with a hose in the affected area.  He would then let it air dry and anything remaining would come right off.  While I don’t recommend a full on spraying with a hose it worked great for him.  Just be sure to let the hide lay flat to dry away from sun/heat.


I hope this information helps and if you have any questions, please reach out at  Also check out our extensive collection of top quality cowhide rugs here.

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