How can I maintain / clean my cowhide?

Cowhides make a wonderful centerpiece in any room. Of course, it is possible that they may be accidentally spilled on or that use may cause dirt to build up after a while. Should that happen, no worries. There are several ways to keep your cowhide in top condition and enjoy it for as long as possible!

Regular maintenance of your cowhide

1) Dusting the cowhide

If the cowhide is in a frequently used area such as the living room, it will get dirty faster than if it is in the bedroom, for example. You can occasionally vacuum the cowhide on the lowest setting. Vacuuming the cowhide ensures that dirt will not adhere or accumulate. The following applies to vacuuming the cowhide:
- Always vacuum in the direction of the hair.
- Set your vacuum cleaner to the lowest setting.
- Are you using an attachment when vacuuming? Make sure it does not rotate.
- If you only use your vacuum cleaner on a powerful setting, you can also use a dust buster.

2) Knocking out the cowhide

Instead of vacuuming, the cowhide can also be knocked out. Knocking out is the easiest and simplest method of getting the cowhide clean. By beating out the cowhide, you ensure that underlying dirt, such as sand or mud, is loosened. Although a vacuum cleaner removes most of the dirt, knocking out the cowhide can ensure that the underlying dirt is also removed.

  • Use the hand or a mat beater when beating out. If a mat beater is used, pat the cowhide with care. Knocking out by hand is preferred over the mat beater.
  • You can also do a good job of fluffing out the cowhide instead of knocking it out.

3) Rotate your cowhide regularly for even wear

If you use the cowhide as a rug it will wear out faster than if the cowhide is used as a wall decoration or if you hang it over the banister of your sofa. For example, if your cowhide is in the living room or hallway where there is a lot of foot traffic, the parts of the cowhide that are walked on will wear out more quickly. To limit this kind of wear you can turn the cowhide regularly so that the wear goes evenly.

4) Brush clean the cowhide

Cowhide brushing is ideal for removing dirt from areas that may have been missed when vacuuming. Or if beating out / flapping out the cowhide is too difficult. Brushing the cowhide also puts less pressure on the cowhide compared to vacuuming and beating out which in turn is more beneficial to the life of the skin. Brushing also keeps the hairs of the cowhide beautiful.
- Always brush the cowhide in the direction of the hair.
- Use a brush with soft bristles or medium hardness.

Removal of stains / dirt from the cowhide

1) In the event of a drink spill, act as quickly as possible

If you have accidentally spilled drinks or food on the cowhide then it is important to get the spilt off the cowhide as soon as possible. For example, should you have dropped drinks on the cowhide and let it soak into the leather then it becomes a lot harder to get clean. The actions below can be used when cleaning up/cleaning drinks.
- First, make sure you remove most of the moisture. For this it is best to use some dry kitchen papers or a clean dry sponge.
- Use a dabbing motion. Avoid a sweeping motion as much as possible. With a sweeping movement you will spread the liquid / press it into the leather.

2) Scrape away solid dirt first (eating)

Accidentally spilled food on the cowhide? Then make sure you remove the solid bits first. The easiest way to remove the solid dirt is to use the back of your knife, for example. Then you gently wipe off the solid dirt.

  • Scrape away the solid bits by going with the direction of the hair.
  • Above all, don't use the sharp edge of your knife!
  • Instead of a knife, you can use a brush with medium to hard bristles.
  • Make sure you don't put too much pressure or you'll push the dirt into the leather.

Did your dog/cat do its business on the cowhide?

Dogs and cats find it wonderfully comfortable to lie on a nice warm cowhide. However, it may happen that your dog or lace has done its need on the rug. Is it just a little pee and are you right there? Then you can use the steps from tip 1. However, are you there later and it may have been (partly) retracted? Then use a combination of tip 1 and 3. Does it involve poop or vomit? Then it's best to use a combination of tips 1, 2 and 3.

3) Use a natural cleaning agent / green soap for liquid dirt

If any stain remains after removing the solid pieces then you can treat it by using lukewarm / warm water with a small amount of natural detergent / green soap in it. This will ensure that the remaining stain is also removed.
- Use a clean sponge or cloth to apply the remedy to the stain you want to remove.
- You can swipe in multiple directions to remove the stain. However, do it with caution.
- Make sure the sponge/cloth is not soaking wet.
- If the stain has been removed then you can just wipe the spot with a clean sponge / cloth with clean lukewarm / warm water.
- Is the stain gone? Then dry the spot as far as possible with a clean dry cloth.
- Finally, you can use a brush to comb the hair back into the right direction.

Remove creases and wrinkles from cowhide

1) Place a heavy object on the creases/folds

The use of cowhide can cause wrinkles to develop over time. The most common way to get wrinkles out is to moisten them. Place the cowhide on a flat surface. Then place a stack of heavy books or weights on the spot where the wrinkles are.

2) Fold against the fold

Should there be a crease in the cowhide, you can reduce it by folding against the crease.

On the back of the cowhide you can see how the fold is formed. If the fold is darker and points upwards, you can fold the fold the other way. Then you put a heavy object on it, for example a stack of thick books or some weights. These can then be left on the fold for several hours or overnight. If necessary, this can be repeated several times.

3) Dampen the wrinkles/folds and place a heavy flat object on top of them

The process can be sped up by moistening the creases on the back. Lay the cowhide with the hair side on a flat surface then use the plant spray to moisten the back (leather side). Spray about 4 to 5 times. Do not make the leather soaking wet as this is detrimental to the leather. Now that the leather is damp, place some heavy objects (eg a stack of thick books or some weights) on the damp part of the cowhide. Let the heavy objects stand on the moist creases for a few hours or overnight. The wrinkles will pull right out leaving you with a nice flat cowhide again.

Wash the cowhide in the washing machine or dryer?

Don't! Never put the cowhide in the washing machine or dryer. It's easy of course but the washer and dryer actually damage the cowhide greatly and the leather will never be as beautiful as before. Use only the above tips to clean / maintain a cowhide.

Prefer to buy a new cowhide? Then check out the most beautiful cowhides right away.