Cowhides are a unique material; they’re tough and durable, yet soft and supple, with hypoallergenic quality.

But due to its challenging cleaning process and maintenance, some of the homeowners are confused and ask the seller, “can you vacuum cowhide rugs or not?” Because if they can vacuum the cowhide rugs, decorating their home with it will be an easy choice for them. 

Today, our article is for homeowners with a cowhide rug cleaning dilemma. We will tell you whether you can vacuum your cowhide rug or not, along with some effective cleaning processes and some related information about cowhide rug cleaning and maintenance. 

So if you are interested in knowing more about cowhide rugs, scroll down and learn more. 

Can You Vacuum Cowhide Rugs

Yes, you can vacuum cowhide rugs. But it is not recommended cleaning methods by most experts. Because the fibers may get damaged or ripped off due to the intense suction, the suction will cause the rug to become more compact and may leave marks on the rug’s surface.

Along with suction, you also have to avoid using the beater brush of the vacuum cleaner. A beater brush can cause hair shedding. 

Remember, the vacuum cleaner should be used only with an upholstery attachment that too with lower settings. While vacuuming, try to start from the middle of the rug and run in the same direction of the hair ( towards the outer edges).

How to Vacuum Cowhide Rug

Vacuuming a cowhide rug is a piece of cake when you know how to do it in the right way. 

  • Shaking out all of the dust and debris will be your first step so that the dirt does not fall back onto the rug later on. You can shake it out by using a strong stick or broomstick; it will be more effective.
  • Next, make sure you have a clean area to lay your rug. Place the rug pad under it, so the rug doesn’t move while vacuuming.
  • Take a vacuums upholstery attachment vacuum cleaner and set it in the down position to avoid fiber tangle. 
  • Start from the middle, rotate at 360 degrees, and clean the full cowhide rug like this.
  • Make sure to run the vacuum cleaner at the outer edges and repeat a few times at the same place. 

How to Keep Cowhide Rug Clean

Keeping a cowhide rug clean is not easy, especially if you are not very good at cleaning. If you want to use any commercial cleaner to keep your cowhide rug clean, use a dry cleaning product that is specially designed for this type of material.

If you are not sure what products are safe for animal skin, best to use an alcohol-based cleaner and allow it to dry.

Also you cannot remove all the dirt with this method, you can follow any of the below processes to keep your cowhide rug clean:

  • Use white vinegar and baking soda to make a solution, dip the cowhide rug into this solution for a few minutes. 
  • Take some more solution in a spray bottle, grease stain with the solution, and scrub gently where a stain is available. Spray and scrub until the stain is lightened. Rinse with clear water afterward. 
  • Grease the entire surface of the cowhide rug with a thin layer of dish soap with the help of an edge of a spoon.
  • Let it sit for about 10 minutes before scrubbing off any loose dirt or stains from it. 
  • When the cowhide rug is cleaned, rinse away with plain water. Use a clean towel to absorb extra moisture and allow it to dry naturally under the sun, or use a fan to dry faster. 

What Should You Do if The Rug Gets Wet?

If the rug gets wet, you should immediately dry excess water to prevent mold and mildew from growing. 

  • Do not use any machine or device to dry the rug because this will damage the rug’s fibers. 
  • Use a towel or blanket made from natural materials like cotton and wool to soak up as much water as possible from the rug.  This will help absorb the moisture and prevent the rug from getting moldy.
  • You can also put a thick towel on top of your carpet and cover it with a thin layer of sand for an hour before taking it outside for air drying. 
  • Place it in the sun or lay it flat on the ground and let it dry out.
  • If the rug is too big for you to handle, you can also place it in front of a fan or use an electric fan to help speed up the drying process.

How to Clean Urine from Cowhide Rug

Urine can be a problem for your cowhide rug if you are not well versed in cleaning and protecting it. The stains from urine will turn the rug brown quickly, especially the stain when dealing with untreated animal skin.

  • Blot the urine with a clean microfiber cloth as much as possible. Fill a bucket with hot water and 2 cups of white vinegar. Add a few drops of dish liquid and mix well. 
  • Dip the rug in the solution for about fifteen minutes; this will loosen the urine and allow it to be removed easily. 
  • Sprinkle some baking soda over the wet cowhide rug. Spot cleaning with baking soda is an effective way to get rid of urine spots. Baking soda will absorb the moisture along with the urine.
  • Then scrub with a sponge or rag until the stain is gone. If some stubborn dirt is still there, take some solution in a spray bottle ( made in step-2), spray, and repeatedly scrub until the stain is gone.
  • Rinse away with clean water and dry naturally under direct sunlight or vacuum it up.

How to Clean Vomit out Of Cowhide Rug

Cowhide rug is stain-resistant so cleaning vomit or spillage or crumbs out of it is as simple as that.

  • Wear hand gloves and take a few pieces of paper towel or a dry towel to pick up the vomit as much as possible. 
  • Make a solution of warm water and mild soap or dish liquid. This rug is stain resistant; we hope this simple solution will work.
  • Take some solution in a spray bottle, spray directly on the vomit stain, and leave it for 10 minutes before being scrubbed with a wet cloth or sponge.
  • If this does not work, make another solution of white vinegar and dish liquid, grease top of the stain with it, and let it stay for fifteen minutes., 
  • Scrub it and wipe it away with a damp cloth to remove the residue. Avoid using any hard bristles brush.
  • Blot up any excess moisture with paper towels or a clean cloth. Place it in front of a fan overnight or use a hairdryer on low heat to speed up drying time. 

How to Stop a Cowhide Rug from Curling

The most common cause of cowhide rug curling is air temperature. When the temperature changes, it causes the fibers to shrink. The best way to prevent this from happening is by keeping your cowhide rug in an area that does not experience extreme temperature changes.

If the hide rug is already curled, take it outside and shake it out. Then use a hairdryer to make sure that the rug fibers are fully dry before attempting to flatten it.

Next, fold the rug half lengthwise and place a heavy object on top of it for about 10 minutes or until it is sufficiently flattened and back to its original shape.

Why Do Cowhide Rugs Curl?

Several factors contribute to cowhide rug curling:

  • Humidity and moisture: Cowhide, like all leather, absorbs moisture. This can cause it to warp or curl, especially in humid environments.
  • Storage: If a rug is rolled or folded tightly for an extended period, the edges can become trained to curl.
  • Natural tendencies: Sometimes, the shape of the hide itself can predispose certain edges or areas to lift or curl.

How to Flatten a Curled Cowhide Rug

Here’s a simple method you can use to safely flatten your rug:


  • Spray bottle with clean water
  • Heavy books or weights
  • Old towels or cloths


  1. Lightly mist with water: Lightly dampen the curled area on both the top of the rug and the underside with water from a spray bottle. Avoid saturating the leather.
  2. Protect surfaces: Place an old towel or cloth beneath the curled section to protect your floor. Place another on top of the leather.
  3. Apply weight: Stack heavy books or other weights directly on top of the curled area. Ensure the weight is evenly distributed.
  4. Leave overnight: Let the rug sit with the weight on it overnight, or at least for several hours. The moisture and weight will help retrain the leather to lie flat.
  5. Check and repeat: Carefully remove the weight and check the progress. If necessary, repeat the process.

Additional Tips:

  • Sunlight: Sunlight can make leather more pliable. Consider placing the rug in a sunny spot (with towels to protect the color) during the weighting process.
  • Rolling: For large curls, try rolling the rug in the opposite direction of the curl before weighting it.
  • Professional help: If your rug is severely curled or valuable, consult a leather care professional for assistance.

Prevention is Key:

  • Humidity control: Maintain a moderate humidity level in your home.
  • Proper storage: If storing the rug, roll it loosely, ideally with a layer of acid-free paper for extra protection.
  • Rotate: Regularly rotate the rug’s position to prevent uneven wear and curling tendencies.

How to Get Wrinkles out Of a Cowhide Rug

To get wrinkles out of a cowhide rug, you can use a steam iron to press the wrinkles out. Fill the sink with cold water and add some vinegar or lemon juice.

Take cotton wool soaked in water or soaked tea bath towel or other clean lint-free cloth and place over the cowhide rug. Now Place the steam iron on it and press it down. 

For best results, steam away for about 2 minutes until all of your wrinkles or clothesline are gone. Before you steam iron the front part of the cowhide rug, you should steam iron the back part in the same way. It will help to get rid of wrinkles faster.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Wash a Cowhide Rug in The Washing Machine?

Yes, it is possible to wash a cowhide rug in the washing machine. But you shouldn’t do it. The cowhide fibers are porous and can easily absorb any residue left behind by a machine’s agitator, which may damage the rug in the long run. 

Can You Put a Cowhide Rug in The Washer?

Yes, a cowhide rug can be put in the washer. The cowhide wool allows the rug to be washed and dried without losing its shape or shedding hair.

Can You Bleach a Cowhide Rug?

Bleaching is a process that removes the natural color of an object and restores it to its original white color. If you want to change the color of the cowhide rug, you can use bleach.


We understand your problem, that’s why we have answered “can you vacuum cowhide rug or not” to clear your pickle.

Cowhide rugs can withstand a lot of wear and tear; if you want to vacuum, you can surely go with it. But don’t forget the cautions we have shared above, like using a standard upright vacuum cleaner with the correct brush attachment, etc.

To make your cowhide rug last longer, you need to know and follow the right vacuuming process that we have shared above.

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