How to Clean a Leather Rug the Right Way

Leather rugs fall to the rare luxurious accessories that significantly add to the aesthetics of a household. Such sophisticated pieces are manufactured from top-quality leather types and leave a lasting style statement.

With regular care and maintenance, you can expect your expensive leather rugs to last for an extended period. So, learning how to clean a leather rug properly should be a ritual to keep this piece in its showroom shine.

You should know that leather rug cleaning involves some unique supplies and techniques. Don’t worry; this guide will reveal the effective cleaning methods for your woven leather rug without compromising the quality and suppleness.

how to clean a cow leather rug

How to Clean a Leather Rug Step by Step

No matter how sleek and plush your leather rug might be, it is bound to get dirty with time. Dust, dirt, and spills are often inevitable and can make your sleek rug look shabby. Due to the porosity of leather, it is more likely to trap grime and dirt than other rug types. It would help if you don’t let your rug be a victim of such pesky stains.

That said, here are a few supplies needed for cleaning leather rugs.

  • A cleaning bowl
  • Leather cleaner/ mild dishwashing soap/ saddle soap
  • Warm water
  • Soft-bristled brush or sponge
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Tea tree oil
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • White vinegar

“How to clean a suede rug” and “how to clean a cowhide rug” are some common questions leather rug owners ask. Hence, you can follow these steps if you need clarification on the proper method to clean leather rugs.

Step 1: Determine the Leather Type

Various kinds of leather are used for making rugs, and it is crucial to know the leather type you are dealing with before getting started with the cleaning. Such an action would help you avoid using certain products that could damage the piece.

For instance, while finished leather is resistant to certain harsh conditions and doesn’t get damaged when cleaned with a mild detergent or saddle soap, unfinished leather can be sensitive. It would help to read the manufacturer’s note about the leather type and its correct cleaning instructions.

Step 2: Vacuum your Leather Rug

Leather rugs often accumulate dirt and debris over time, and it is not uncommon to find various particles on this decorative item. So, attach a soft-bristled brush to your vacuum cleaner while scheduling your cleaning session.

Vacuum the rug following the direction of the hide’s hair, and ensure you don’t lift the hairs while doing so. If there’s no vacuum cleaner, you can manually flip the rug outside, shaking it carefully to remove any embedded particles.

Step 3: Prep the Cleaning Products

Mix some warm water and leather cleaner or mild soap in the cleaning bowl. You can also mix some white vinegar/rubbing alcohol and tea tree oil as a stain remover and disinfectant. Lather the cleaning solution in the bowl and move to the next step.

Step 4: Clean the Entire Surface

Damp your cleaning sponge or soft-bristled brush by dipping it in the prepared cleaning solution. Then, scrub the surface of the rug in small gentle motions. Avoid soaking the rug with excess moisture, and do not scrub so hard to prevent such damages as leather peeling, tearing, or scratching.

Step 5: Spot Clean any Stains

Stains on leather rugs are pesky and can prove challenging to get off, and these discolorations could mar your leather rug. Not to worry, you can remove stains from leather using rubbing alcohol or vinegar.

Mix the isopropyl alcohol with a small amount of water and apply it to the oil or grime stain using a cotton ball. Rubbing alcohol is also effective for getting pen off the leather; apply using a cotton swab and wipe clean. Vinegar is another stain-removing agent; mix equal parts of white vinegar with water and dab or apply it on the affected area of the rug.

Step 6: Rinse and Dry

After using the cleaning and stain-removal solution on the leather rug, it is essential to rinse the residue. Damp a towel in clean water and gently wipe the entire surface of this leather item.

Then, pat/dry the leather rug with a clean and dry cloth and place it in a well-ventilated area to air dry. Alternatively, you can set your vacuum cleaner on low and carefully use it to dry the leather.

Step 7: Condition and Polish

Leather rug conditioning and polishing may seem like an extra step, but it is crucial. Applying a leather conditioner or polish on your rug can help retain its suppleness, add a protective layer, and enhance its appearance. So, get a suitable leather conditioner/polish and apply a generous amount (follow the manufacturer’s instructions) on the leather rug after it gets dry.

can you wash a leather rug

Things You Must Remember When Cleaning Leather Rugs

Here are a few things you must remember during your leather cleaning schedule.

  1. It is essential to conduct regular maintenance for your leather rug. While you don’t have to clean the rug daily, you can deep clean this piece once a week to maintain an attractive appearance.
  2. Leather is a natural and sensitive material that requires the right cleaning product to maintain its texture. Be sure to use a mild soap or leather cleaner and avoid harsh chemicals to prevent likely damage.
  3. Always blot spills immediately, and avoid rubbing the stain, as this can damage the leather piece.
  4. Never use a washing machine to clean your leather rug! Doing so would get the leather soiled with excess moisture and ruin the texture and shape.
  5. Leather does not thrive with excess heat; therefore, avoiding a dryer is advisable. Allow your leather rug to dry naturally in an airy or well-ventilated area, and keep it away from direct heat or sunlight.
  6. For stains or discolorations that you can get off, be sure to contact a professional cleaning service.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I wash a leather rug in the washing machine?

Leather is a natural but delicate material! So, can you wash a leather rug? No, leather rugs have no place in the washer – tossing your leather rug into a washing machine damages it. The movement in the washer would make the rug lose its texture and shape.

Also, a washer would make the leather rug soak in excess moisture, damaging this material. So, get a sponge or soft-bristled brush, damp it with a leather cleaning solution, and scrub the leather rug gently. Then, clean the dirt and dry the rug away from excess heat.

Q: How should you clean a leather jute rug?

Cleaning jute rugs are simple, but you need the right supplies to keep them clean and in pristine condition. Now, here’s how to clean a jute and leather rug.

  • Damp a soft rag or microfiber cloth with the cleaning solution
  • Wipe the surface of the jute carpet or rug carefully
  • Rinse off the residue on the rug using a cloth damped with clean water
  • Then, air dry the rug away from excess heat

Q: What cleaning products should you not use on leather?

If you are keen on keeping your leather in good condition, avoiding cleaning products that contain harsh chemicals is essential. You can get recommended leather cleaners and spot-test them on your leather piece to ascertain their suitability.

Also, some DIY solutions like cream of tartar, baking soda, lemon juice, rubbing alcohol, and lemon juice can be harsh for leather. Thus, some leather enthusiasts get such items diluted before using them on leather. Kindly note that leather is a sensitive material, and using these harsh chemicals or cleaning solutions could alter this material’s suppleness and overall texture.

Q: Can you steam-clean a leather rug?

Asides from using a damp cloth to clean leather rugs, you can also steam this piece to rejuvenate it. Steaming is one of the most effective techniques to help remove dye transfer stains and dirt from leather. If you seek a better solution on “how to clean a cow leather rug,” you can try steam cleaners.

What’s more, steam cleaning is swift, easy, and safe for leather items. It loosens the dirt and gets grime dissolved while disinfecting your leather rug. But, you must vacuum the leather rug before steam cleaning and ensure you clean in the rug hair’s direction.

Q: Why is my jute rug so dirty?

Like every other rug, jute rugs are bound to get dirty with constant use. However, you may be surprised at how quickly your jute rug gets grimy due to its porous nature. Nevertheless, moisture and oil spills, ink, dust, pet furs, fibers, and other particles can dirty your jute rug.

Q: What happens if a jute rug gets wet?

Excess moisture on a jute rug causes it to release oils that cause a brown discoloration on the fiber as it dries. Such stains on the carpet are often hard to tackle and would make the piece less attractive.

Spills are inevitable, especially with kids and pets around, but acting fast can help save your jute rug. So, get a cloth and immediately wipe out as much water as possible after a spill.

Q: Can you use vinegar on a jute rug?

White vinegar can help remove pesky stains on your jute rug. Get some vinegar mixed with equal parts of water in a cleaning bowl. Then, apply or dab this cleaning solution on stain marks on your jute rug using a cloth or cotton ball.

Wipe the residue off with a cloth damped with clean water, and dry away from sunlight and excess heat.

Final Words

Leather rugs are a beautiful and durable addition to any home – these pieces add elegance and sophistication to any room. But like any other type of rug, leather rugs must be cleaned to ensure they look their best.

However, you must get the right supplies and employ appropriate techniques for cleaning leather rugs. Doing so would ensure this item looks beautiful for years to come. This piece explains all there is to know about “how to clean a leather rug.”

Evina Naomi

Ewofere, Evina Naomi is a biotechnologist and passionate content writer. As a great lover of leather and various leather crafts, she broadly addresses leather-related issues. She is a writer of many excellent articles on leather. With great knowledge and enthusiasm, readers can access researched pieces on various leather types and the best techniques that work on them. Naomi is here to lead you through the journey of choosing excellent leather products and ensure you handle them rightly. So you can embark on your leather sewing and crafting journey with her and have an incredible experience.

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