Cleaning cowhide rugs: How to keep real fur rugs naturally beautiful

Wohnzimmer mit Ledersofa, odernem Polstersessel, Metalltisch, weißer Stehlampe und Kuhfellteppich

Cowhide rugs are currently very popular and bring a touch of naturalness to your living room. This type of rug not only looks fantastic, but is also robust and easy to care for.

If you love something special and have decided on a cowhide rug, then you have come to the right place. In the following article, we will tell you how to take care of your cowhide rug so that it lasts for a long time.

Why are cowhide rugs so popular?

Cowhide rugs are a real eye-catcher in any room. If you have fallen in love with such a rug and decided on this design, then you are already enjoying its uniqueness, as each cowhide rug has its own special coloring and pattern . Whether you want to give your room a cozy flair or spice up the existing color scheme: a cowhide rug is an excellent choice. But what is the best way to care for it and what should you pay attention to when cleaning natural fur rugs?

Cleaning cowhide: What you should pay attention to when cleaning and in everyday life

Cowhide rugs are of high quality and last for years. The unique pieces are also ideal for allergy sufferers . High-quality cowhide rugs are hypoallergenic . Even in areas that are subject to high levels of wear and tear, such as entrance areas or hallways, the natural rugs are impressive even after years. Their presence creates a wonderful ambience and enhances every room. The prerequisite here is that the rugs are properly cared for.

White cowhide with brown spots

Image source: Unsplash

You don't need to create a complicated cleaning routine for this. Because these unique pieces are really easy to care for. In fact, your carpet will stay beautiful for the longest if you devote as little care to it as possible. Regular vacuuming or beating is often completely sufficient . If you decide to use the carpet beater alternative, which our grandmothers already used, it is of course easier if you are not alone. Because as we all know, a cowhide can be large and bulky. By shaking it out, you remove microorganisms, dust and loose dirt. But be careful: only beat the carpet gently!

However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when caring for cowhide rugs. Only then will you be able to enjoy the stylish hides for a long time. With the following tips, you can do this in no time.

  • How to vacuum a cowhide rug properly: Use the appropriate attachment for vacuuming, such as a soft brush attachment. When vacuuming the real fur rug, remember to always work in the direction of hair growth . Also reduce the suction power of your vacuum cleaner. This is the gentle way to remove dust and dirt from your cowhide rug.
  • Turn regularly for even wear: Turning regularly ensures that the carpet wears evenly and preserves its natural colors and textures.
  • Keep your cowhide rug dry: Avoid getting the rug wet as this could affect its shape and texture. Washing machines, steam cleaners and dry cleaners are taboo .
  • Air regularly: Cowhides often have a strong, natural smell. If the smell bothers you, it helps to air the carpet well. Scented sprays or perfumes are not recommended as they can make the smell worse . That's why we advise you to hang your new carpet out in the fresh air and air it. You'll see: in no time at all, the specific smell will disappear and only the design will reflect that it could be a real cowhide.
  • Protect the carpet from sunlight: Even though a short exposure to sunlight after cleaning can be helpful, the cowhide carpet should not be exposed to direct sunlight for hours. The UV light would dry out the material unnecessarily and undesirable discoloration would also be the result.
  • Choosing the right cleaning product: Avoid aggressive products that contain silicones and artificially produced surfactants . Instead, use gentle natural soaps or sustainable cleaning products that use plant-based surfactants and washing soda to do an effective job . When removing stains, never rub against the hair structure and always use a soft, slightly damp cloth. Make sure that the leather side of the carpet does not get too wet and can dry properly.
  • Avoid direct heat: You should avoid using direct heat to dry your cowhide. You should therefore avoid drying your real fur with a hot hairdryer or laying the rug on the radiator to dry. It is better to carefully dab your cowhide with a soft, absorbent cloth and let your favorite piece dry in the fresh air in a shady spot. As you have already learned, natural materials such as real fur do not tolerate direct UV light very well.
  • Washing machine and dryer are taboo: Washing in the machine or drying in the tumble dryer is a no-go for cowhides!
  • Protection and waterproofing of the real fur carpet: It is advisable to waterproof your real fur carpet once a year.

Emma Grün Tip: You should not place heavy furniture such as chairs, tables or dressers on cowhides. They leave unsightly marks that are almost impossible to remove.

Impregnating cowhide rugs: That's why protection from external influences is so important

Impregnating cowhide rugs is an important measure for caring for and protecting the rug for several reasons. Find out now why and how you should impregnate your real fur rug at certain intervals and why you should focus on sustainability when making your selection:

  • Stain protection: Impregnating agents form a protective layer on the fur that prevents liquids and dirt from penetrating the fibers . This is particularly useful in households with children or pets, where the risk of soiling and stains is increased.
  • Durability: Impregnation extends the life of the carpet. The protective barrier minimizes wear and tear and keeps the fur beautiful and fresh for longer.
  • Preservation of appearance: A treated cowhide rug retains its original appearance. The hide remains softer and retains its natural texture, even when exposed to regular foot traffic.
  • Easy to clean and maintain: Impregnated cowhide rugs are easier to clean because dirt and stains cannot penetrate the hide as easily. This makes the general care and cleaning of the rug much easier.

  • Moisture resistance: Impregnating agents provide optimal protection against moisture, which is particularly useful in damp or wet rooms. This prevents the fur from being damaged by moisture or starting to smell unpleasant.
  • Protection against discoloration: Textile waterproofing products can help reduce discoloration caused by sunlight or other light sources. This is useful in rooms with a lot of natural light where the color of the fur could fade over time.
  • Increase in value: A well-maintained and waterproofed cowhide rug will retain its value. This can be especially important if the rug is considered an investment or heirloom.

Which waterproofing agent is suitable for cowhide rugs?

If you're wondering whether you can use any waterproofing agent to protect your favorite items, the answer is "no"! Conventional products often contain PFAS. They ensure that the surfaces are resistant to dirt and water. Unfortunately, the long-lasting chemicals accumulate in the environment over time. The fact that your loved ones, your pets and you yourself regularly walk barefoot on a chemically treated carpet should also give you something to think about when choosing the right waterproofing agent.

With a natural product like the textile waterproofing spray from Emma Grün, you not only protect your favorite items from external influences. Due to the fact that sustainable products work with harmless ingredients like sugar acid and are biodegradable , you also protect your health and that of your loved ones and make a positive contribution to a healthier environment. This means that the question of the right waterproofing protection has actually been completely answered. Or what do you think?

Impregnating a cowhide rug: step-by-step instructions

We have already explained why waterproofing cowhide rugs is so important. We also want to tell you how best to go about it. The following step-by-step instructions will help you to do it.

Step 1: Cleaning

To remove dirt, dust and other residues, you should first clean the carpet thoroughly. Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment . To avoid damaging the cowhide, you must always vacuum in the direction of hair growth.

Step 2: Drying

Before you start waterproofing, you should make sure that the carpet is completely dry after cleaning. To avoid damage from heat, it is best to let the cowhide dry naturally .

Step 3: Impregnation

Spray the waterproofing agent evenly onto the carpet in a well-ventilated room. To ensure uniform coverage, apply the spray evenly onto the carpet at a distance of about 20 to 30 centimeters .

Step 4: Let the cowhide rug dry

Now you have to let the rug dry completely. The drying time can vary depending on the product and the size of the cowhide . It is best to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Then nothing can go wrong.

If you want a stronger impregnation, you can repeat the process. However, with a sustainable impregnating agent, this is usually not necessary.

However, the waterproofing effect may diminish over time . That's why we recommend that you check the protective effect of the product at regular intervals.

To know when it's time again, you can use a commercially available spray bottle to spray some clean water onto the carpet surface. If the liquid stays on the surface, the waterproofing is still sufficient. If the liquid seeps into the cowhide carpet, you should repeat the process.


In order to protect and care for the natural fur, cleaning a cowhide rug requires careful handling. It is always advisable to act immediately when stains appear and to always be particularly careful when removing dirt. To keep the rug in good condition and protect it from heavy dirt and moisture, impregnation is recommended. A sustainable impregnating agent forms a protective layer on the fur, which extends the life of the cowhide rug and makes cleaning easier. With regular care and, if necessary, professional cleaning, your cowhide rug will remain an attractive and inviting part of your living space for many years.

FAQ: Questions & Answers

How do I make my cowhide rug smooth?

A cowhide rug looks best when it lies flat on the floor. If it has creases or raised corners, you can simply weigh them down with a heavy object such as a large book. However, make sure that the object does not have any sharp edges that could damage the hide.

Can you clean a cowhide rug with a vacuum cleaner?

Cowhide rugs are easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner. However, you should use an attachment with soft bristles. In order not to damage the fur, you should always vacuum in the direction of hair growth.

How to remove stains from a cowhide rug?

Stains can be removed from a cowhide rug using a damp cloth and a mild soap solution. For best results, always clean gently in the direction of hair growth and avoid excessive rubbing or scrubbing.

Can you shampoo or steam clean a cowhide rug?

Shampooing or steam cleaning can damage the coat and is therefore not recommended. It is better to use mild cleaning methods and consider professional cleaning if necessary.

How to remove odors from a cowhide rug?

Odors can be neutralized by airing or using a mixture of water and white vinegar. Sprinkling baking soda, leaving it overnight and then vacuuming it up can also be effective.


1. Cowhide –

2. Cleaning and caring for animal fur –

3. Cowhide: Care and cleaning questions –

4. Only clean cowhide carpet in an emergency –

5. Cleaning real fur carpets –