Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cleaning and Caring For Your Cowhide

We brag so much about the durability and longevity of a cowhide rug or cow hide accessory. And - with good reason - it's true. Natural hides have been used for centuries in practical interior design, as clothing and also as shelter in many cases - with great success. It's no wonder that budget-conscious designers and style-savvy do-it-yourselfers choose cow hide rugs both for adding a bit of color and style to their space; and also for a highly functional rug for high-traffic areas.

But in order to really get the longest life from your cow hair rug - you have to take care of it.  Luckily, care of a cowhide is really simple.

1. Vacuum and clean with warm water.  Vacuum dust and dirt from your cowhide rug regularly, as often as you clean your home.  Keep it fresh and fluffy and soft by lightly brushing it (even with warm water and mild soap from time to time). TIP: Never saturate your hide with water and always blot it dry and allow it to fully dry on it's own. Many clients say they like to take the hide outdoors for a couple of hours to dry, how and where is up to you - as long as the hide is never fully saturated.  When brushing or cleaning with warm water and soap - make sure you are using a damp brush or rag, as opposed to a saturated one. Leather will contract with water, so you must never fully saturate the natural hide/skin underneath the fur. You should never attempt to place your hide in the washing machine, or take it to the dry cleaners.

2. Quickly address stains and dirt.  Stains are best sorted out when dealt with the moment you notice them. Again - start with a  mild solution of warm water and soap. Again - damp, not saturated. If there is an odor (such as with urine, vomit, wine) you might try a bit of vinegar, heavily diluted with water. (5% or less white vinegar to 95% water.)

2. Rotate the rug every month or so.  This will ensure even wear; if it is in a high-traffic area. If folks are not walking on the rug, this is unimportant.

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