How to Clean a Cowhide Rug? (Explained!)

Clean a Cowhide Rug

You placed your cowhide rug at maybe a high-traffic spot in your place and it is begging for a cleanup. Or maybe you placed it somewhere else and it still managed to accumulate dirt.

Although resistant to stains, cowhide rugs are technically made of pure leather. So excess water could easily damage them. Now, that makes cleaning them, a tricky task. And, these rugs look bright and attractive until your pet has an accident on them or you accidentally spill your red wine.

How to Clean Cowhide Rug?

Cowhide rugs are easy to clean and maintain because they are stain-resistant. Regularly cleaning them does not require expertise in cleaning. Removing stains or deep cleaning cowhide rugs can however be a challenge if you don’t know what to do. This is why we have compiled simple and effective methods of carrying this out.

#1- Deep Cleaning a Cowhide Rug

Cleaning your cowhide rug regularly is necessary if you want it to last long. You must ensure that stains do not settle or spend a long time on the cowhide rug.

However, general cleaning like this isn’t enough to maintain your cowhide rug, once in a while you should deep clean it, whether it looks like it needs it or not. Since you don’t have to do this regularly, be ready to go all in and do the work. It may take time and energy but it’s worth it.

Deep cleaning can also get rid of the musky scent or return the shine of your cowhide rug.


STEP 1- Vacuum your rug. Cowhide rugs are easy to clean and most dirt like dust, hair, and pollen, can be removed by vacuuming it. While vacuuming your rug, it is important to note that you can’t use your vacuum cleaner’s rotating or beater brush. This can damage your cowhide rug. You should only use its suction and it shouldn’t be high.

STEP 2- Brush it. Vacuuming may not have removed all the dirt from your cowhide rug, especially if you haven’t been cleaning it regularly. Brush it in the direction that the hair lays to remove any leftover dirt.

STEP 3- Warm up your upholstery steamer to its operating temperature. It ensures that it starts cleaning as soon as you put it on your cowhide rug.

STEP 4- Start cleaning in the direction that the hair lays. Do not keep the steam cleaner in one spot as you do not want to saturate your cowhide rug. Excess moisture can damage it.

Steam cleaners clean cowhide rugs deeply without causing any form of damage to it. The rug’s colors are restored and last longer.

STEP 5- Air dry the cowhide rug.

#2- Cleaning Dog Urine From Cowhide Rug

The greatest challenge of cleaning dog urine from cowhide rugs is how to get rid of the odor. Because of the porous nature of the rug, the urine is quickly absorbed, and if this isn’t addressed quickly it encourages bacteria to cause foul odors.

Follow this method step by step to prevent this from happening when your dog has accidents on your cowhide rug. This also works on other pets’ urine.

This cleaner contains enzymes that break down the urine and its substances to get rid of odors. It works fast and does not have an overwhelming scent that is discomforting. The smell disappears as it dries from your rug.

You’ll Need

1- Nature’s Miracle Pet Urine Destroyer (Like Nature’s Miracle)
2- Paper towels
3- White cloths
4- Rubber gloves
5- Water


STEP 1- Place paper towels or rags on the urine stains and use these to absorb as much dog urine as you can.
Wear rubber gloves before doing this if you are bothered about accidentally touching urine.

STEP 2- Remove the paper towels and get rid of them properly. If the dog urine has a sticky residue, scrape that off with a spoon or use a paper towel.

STEP 3- Use a damp light-colored cloth to apply Nature’s Miracle to the urine stain, and let this sit for about 2 hours. This gives the cleaner time to break down the urine and get rid of the odor.

STEP 4- Use a damp cloth to wipe the urine stain in the direction that the hair lays. Apply more of the cleaner to the cloth as you wipe the rug if necessary. Rinse and repeat until the rug is clean.

STEP 5- To get the cleaner’s residue out of the cowhide rug, use a damp cloth to wipe the area a few times.

You can use baby shampoo in place of Nature’s Miracle if it is more accessible to you. It works well and it is mild on the rug. These steps are also applicable to it.

A mixture of water and shampoo is perfect for cleaning small stains on the cowhide rug. It is an effective way to keep your rug looking clean and smelling fresh. Even sheepskin rugs can be well-cleaned with just water and shampoo.

#3- Cleaning Vomit Out of Cowhide Rug

Whether it is a human’s or your pet’s, vomit can be a mess. It dries quickly and can cause permanent damage to cowhide rugs if not cleaned immediately. Fortunately, they can be easily cleaned before damage is done.

You’ll Need

1- Eucalyptus oil
2- Vinegar
3- Microfiber cloth
4- Water
5- Rubber gloves
6- Cloth
7- Paper towels/ knife


STEP 1- Scrape the vomit from your cowhide rug. Trying to clean the rug with vomit will only cause a mess. You can use a butter knife, spoon, spatula, or paper towel, to do this. Anyone that works for you is fine, as long as you won’t be using it anymore.
Wear rubber gloves to avoid touching the vomit with your bare hands.

STEP 2- Use a microfiber cloth to apply eucalyptus oil on the vomit stain. Just put some oil on the cloth and use it to dab the stain. Dab it all over the area to spread the oil. Ensure that you don’t use excess.

STEP 3- Let the eucalyptus oil sit on the vomit stain for about 10 minutes. It will break down the vomit residue and make it easy to be wiped off.

STEP 4- Mix 20 parts water with 1 part vinegar. Dip a clean cloth into the solution, wring it out, and use it to wipe the vomit stains. Repeat this step until your cowhide rug is clean.

STEP 5- Use a damp cloth to wipe the rug and let it dry.

#4- Food & Grease Stains

These stain types are best cleaned immediately for better results and to prevent foul smells.

You’ll Need

1- Knife
2- Cornstarch/ baking soda
3- Cloths
4- Water
5- Dish soap


STEP 1- Scrape off solid waste or dry food stains with a blunt knife. Get as much as you can out of the cowhide rug without damaging it.

STEP 2- If the food or grease stain is already dry, apply some eucalyptus oil to it. Then cover the stain up with a pile of cornstarch or baking soda. Choose which one is more accessible to you. You will get similar results. If the stain is fresh and hasn’t dried up, you don’t need to apply oil.

STEP 3- Let whichever one you choose sit on the stain for at least 4 hours or overnight. This enables it to absorb the stain well, leaving no residue.

STEP 4- Vacuum the cornstarch/ baking soda in the direction that the hair lays. If there are still traces of the stain left, you can clean it with dish soap.

STEP 5- Put a few drops of liquid dish soap in water and mix it. Dip a cloth in the soapy water and wring it out. Then use it to wipe the stain in the direction that the hair lays.

STEP 6- Use a damp cloth to remove the soap residue when the cowhide rug is clean.

Cowhide Rug Cleaning Tips

1- If you are using a chemical cleaner, perform a spot test on a small portion of the rug.

2- Do not use harsh chemicals like bleach.

3- Protect the floor from excess moisture when cleaning your cowhide rug. Water causes the leather to shrink.

4- Do not use excessive heat when drying the rug.


You need to take the right care of your cowhide rugs for them to last longer. Also, use the right temperatures when drying the cowhide rug.

1 thought on “How to Clean a Cowhide Rug? (Explained!)”

  1. Pingback: 5 Steps | How To Clean A Sheepskin Rug (Quick Guide)

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