cowhide rugs

How to wash a cowhide rug. Can cowhides easily be cleaned?

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Yes they can, they are in fact a very family friendly and easy to care for rug option. I am proud that I was the first person in the world to write instructions on how to clean a cowhide rug. And these instructions where then copied worldwide and in some cases changed to make them incorrect.

For example some websites say that you can hose a cowhide rug down outside, please don’t do that, unless the cowhide has been caught in a flood in which case it is already wet and you can’t damage it more than it already is, I really don’t recommend getting the leather wet if you can avoid it.

So after years of actual experiments (yes I intentionally spilled things on my cowhide rugs to see what happens), trial and error, years of using cowhide rugs as my main floor rugs at home and feedback from hundreds of customers, my cowhide cleaning instructions have recently been tweaked and updated.

And in another exciting world first we have developed a specialized cowhide cleaning product that we know will do a much better job and most importantly is safe for the leather. The natural ingredients actually moisturize your rug and make the hair glossy and healthy looking again. We recently went live with a special website all about our Gorgeous Creatures cowhide cleaner product that includes information like the ingredients.

Read about an extremely dirty white cowhide rug and how well the cowhide cleaner works (including photographic proof) in our blog article. Or how a lady in Australia cleaned an old smelly cowhide that her cat had pee’d on our blog article.

People often ask me about thing like red wine spills on cowhide, this is the least of your troubles. The Gorgeous Creatures cowhide cleaner is designed for general cleaning of dirt and grime but it also has some magic ingredients. What do you do when your cat throws up or your dog pees on your rug? Our cowhide cleaner is antibacterial and deodorizes any bad smells and nasty accidents. Rescuing your cowhide from all kinds of nasty spills.

If you want to save your valuable cowhide rug when accidents do happen this product should be in your cupboard ready to go when you need it. The cowhide cleaner is not a stain remover, you need to treat a spill as soon as it happens to avoid the staining.

We have made a video showing you how easy it is to use this spray-on wipe-off product spilling all kinds of terrible things onto a cowhide and washing it off right in front of you. Here is a link to the video on YouTube.

Cowhide cleaning video common spills

For full instructions on how to care for your cowhide rug visit our main website here. Or Click here to buy our cowhide cleaning product.

Special cowhide rug cleaner that is safe for the hair and the leather.
Special cowhide rug cleaner that is safe for the hair and the leather.

 Use this cowhide cleaner to solve these cleaning issues:-

  • Dust, dirt and mud on a cowhide rug
  • Red wine or orange juice spills on cowhide rugs
  • Food spills, chocolate, oil, grease and fat, sauce, squashed fruit and other food on cowhide rugs
  • Dog, cat or child urine or excrement on cowhide rugs
  • Blood from cuts or stubbed toes
  • Dog, cat or child throw-up on cowhide rugs
  • Cowhide rugs that children have drawn on with coloring-in markers or crayons
  • Makeup on a cowhide (don’t ask us how makeup gets down there!)
  • Cowhide rugs that have been caught in a flood

Use this cowhide cleaner on these skins:-

  • Cowhide rugs
  • Cowhide covered ottomans and furniture
  • Cowhide patchwork rugs
  • Calfskin rugs
  • Goatskin rugs
  • Reindeer skins
  • Deer skins like red deer or fallow deer

Rug Rules – what works best?

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If you are working with a rectangle or square rug there are a few optional visual rules that can make your rug sit better with your furniture and your room.

However at the end of the day just do what you think looks best. Cowhide rugs break all the normal rules of rug placement.

Rule A) All furniture on the rug.

If the room is very large and open plan, perhaps a joint lounge, dining room and kitchen area then try using the rug to map out specific spaces within the larger space.

For example define the living room seating area with a large rug that can fit the grouping of all your sofas, arm chairs and the coffee table with at least a 50cm border behind all the main furniture so that the rug has “breathing space” within the space.

This works really nicely if there is a fireplace on one of the walls defining this space. However if you live in a warehouse type home this lounge space may well be right in the middle of this large room and away from any walls or windows.

I love the idea of a winter lounge and summer lounge setting. Perhaps the fireplace is the winter focus and windows to a garden is the summer focus.

A rug can look wonderful under a dining table but remember that you need at least 70 centimetre clearance from the table edge to the edge of the rug so that the table and chairs look balanced and there is room for people to pull out a chair to sit on without it falling off the rug.

Two different large rugs with two groups of furniture in the same space can work very well if done right. The rugs do not need to match.

Rule B) All furniture off the rug.

If the living room is on the medium to small side then you can make the room feel larger by having all the seating like sofas and armchairs off the rug so the rug creates a reverse border framing the inside of the furniture grouping.

The only piece of furniture allowed on the rug when you use this rule is a coffee table. It is important that the rug is the right size and proportion to your sofas. Generally a little larger than the furniture footprint looks about right.

Rule C) Furniture half on and half off the rug.

This rule needs to be used with caution. I really does depends on the type of seated furniture you own so whatever feels visually right will be the right answer in this situation.

I tend to like a rug exactly half way under a sofa, not almost all the way under or only a few centimetres under because that looks silly and out of balance.

Rule D) Cowhide rugs break all the rules

It is true! Because cowhide rugs are a curvy organic shape they really don’t comply with the standard rug rules. I’ve found that a cow skin will visually take up more space than they physically cover, so you will not need a cowhide rug as large as the rectangle or square rug that you are replacing.

What I think happens is that our brain fills in the gaps between the wavy edges and the overall impression is that a cowhide rug fills a space better. Try to position a cowhide rug on a 45 degree angle to furniture – this works much better than trying to line a cowhide rug up with the straight edge of a sofa.

A cowhide rug on an angle will lead people into the seating arrangement and feel more inviting. It is perfectly acceptable for some of the cowhide rug to be under some of the furniture.

When it comes to coffee tables a cowhide rug doesn’t even need to be directly under your coffee table, it is OK for only some of the rug to touch and anchor the coffee table. Be brave, have fun and experiment.

How to position a cowhide rugby Kirsty Mason from Gorgeous Creatures.

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