Learn Insider Tips on How to Clean a Cowhide Rug

5 May 2023
Est. Reading: 3 minutes
What's in This Guide?
Cleaning Items You'll Need.
Protective rubber gloves
A small sponge
Dish soap
Hydrogen peroxide
Wet-dry vacuum (Shop-Vac) – with the “Detail Nozzle” and “Wide-Spade Nozzle”


Cowhide rugs, like all other leather goods, are incredibly durable. You can extend the life of a cowhide rug by learning how to properly clean it.

This cleaning tutorial shows you how to effectively clean a cowhide rug. By using the simple ingredients that you should have in your cupboards.

If you have pets, even if you regularly clean your rugs, accidents can still occur. We also show you our proven hack to remove dog or cat urine using peroxide and a wet-dry vacuum.

Simple Method How to Actually Clean Your Cowhide Rug

Step One: Vacuum The Rug
Vacuum the rug with the lay of the hair using a wide-spade attachment. This allows the fibres to be sucked into the open spade. In turn, the airflow extracts debris from the rug and deposits it in the vacuum.

Step Two: Mix The Cleaning Solution
In a bowl:

  1. Mix two or three drops of dish soap into 100ml of water.
  2. Use the sponge to stir the soap into the water.

Step Three: Apply The Cleaning Solutions
Rub the wet sponge and cleaning solution across the rug (with the lay of the hair).

Step Four: Vacuum Out The Slurry
Use the detail (crevice) nozzle and the Shop-Vac or other wet-dry vacuum to extract the dirt and moisture from the rug.

And that is all there is to it for a quick clean of your leather rug. Read on to learn how to deal with urine odour.

How to Easily and Effectively Deal with Urine Odour

The hair on an animal hide is a protein fibre and is quite resistant to soiling. However, if there are stains that need to be removed, you can do it by applying a little extra solution and rubbing it into the rug.

Step One: Treat The Back Of The Rug

  1. Adjust the cleaning solution. To treat the urine, combine around 50 ml of peroxide with the cleaning solution.
    Did you know as urine denatures, it chemically burns the fibres, leaving a yellow stain on the rug.
  2. Use your sponge to liberally apply the solution to the stain. This effectively neutralises the stain. With severe stains, it will deal with the odour but will not remove the yellow mark. The reason is that the urine has damaged the fibres.
  3. We recommend that you let the solution dwell for 20 minutes.
  4. Use the wet-dry vacuum to remove the excess peroxide solution from the rug.
  5. Allow to air dry.

Step Two: Treat The Front Of The Rug

  1. Flip the rug over and use the peroxide cleaning solution to extract the stains from the front.
  2. Use the sponge to generously apply the cleaning solution to get rid of the odour. Brush it in, along the direction of the animal hair.
    Tip: You need to put the same amount of solution on the stain as you think the cat or dog may have peed into it.
  3. Allow for 15 to 20 minutes before vacuuming off the slurry with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner.
  4. Allow the rug to air dry before testing to see if it worked.

You must neutralise it with either vinegar or acid if you're working with a wool rug. With the cowhide rug, however, we just vacuumed everything up as the leather is much more porous. To remove the moisture, you can also use a towel if you don't have a wet-dry vacuum.


Cleaning a cow hide rug at home is not too difficult provided you follow the steps above correctly (or in the video below).

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