Cowhide rugs easily fit into any kind of décor, and yours may be a decorative wall hanging or used as a floor covering. Either way, cowhide is one of the most durable and stain-resistant fabrics used for rugs, but they still require cleaning to keep them in top condition. Fortunately, caring for your rug is as easy as incorporating these strategies into your normal cleaning routine.
Limit Exposure to Dirt and Food
As with any of these types of rug or carpets in your house, it is easiest to keep them clean through preventative measures. While cowhide will resist liquids to a certain degree, they can soak into the hairs and lead to spots that require deep cleaning. Try to place your cowhide rug in a location that receives less traffic in the home. For instance, they make a great addition to a reading nook, or you can place yours near the fireplace. If your rug is used in areas where food and drinks are regularly consumed, then clean up any spills as soon as possible to prevent them from soaking into the fibers.
You can use a vacuum on your rug to pick up small pieces of surface debris. While your regular home vacuum works, you do need to use a few special techniques to prevent damage to the rug. The hose attachment on your vacuum works best for disrupting the hairs as little as possible, and the nozzle allows you to have control over the areas that you clean. As you move the hose across the rug, make sure to vacuum in the direction of the hairs to avoid roughing them up too much.
Shake It Off
Although vacuums do a great job at picking up dirt that accumulates on the surface, they do tend to miss dirt that works its way deeper into the hairs. For this reason, it helps to take the rug outside on occasion to give it a good shake. While you may have seen people beat other rugs with a stick to get the dust out, this is not safe to do on cowhide rugs. Instead, use your normal strength to shake it out. This is enough to disrupt the loose particles of dirt.
Clean Spills Properly
Liquid spills should be cleaned up as fast as possible to avoid having deeper stains set in. For fresh wet stains, use a towel to blot up as much of the liquid as possible. Remember to never rub the stain since this grinds the pigments into the hair. If the rug is wet from a major water spill, you can air dry it or place it in the sun until it dries.
Use a Mild Solution to Clean Deeper Stains
At times, you may not catch a spill right away, or it sets quickly. When this happens, you can use a mild soap and water solution to spot clean the area. Make sure that the soap you use is not alkaline, and never soak the carpet. Instead, use as little of the solution as possible to moisten the area and lift the stain. Afterwards, use a clean, damp cloth to remove all of the soap from the hairs.
Never Use the Washing Machine
While it may be tempting to toss the rug into your washer or take it to the dry cleaner, this is not safe to do with your cowhide rug. Unfortunately, these techniques use high heat or chemicals that damage the hairs and lead to issues such as bare spots, frizz and tears. If your rug requires more cleaning than you can manage at home, then only take it to a professional service that specializes in cowhide care
With proper care, cowhide rugs can last for many years, and people often pass down these rugs as heirlooms to their family. Now that you know how to care for these rugs, don’t be shy about putting your rug anywhere in your home or business that you desire a touch of rustic charm. You can find out more about animal skin rugs by clicking here.