29 Animals In New York City Did This Last Year Top Tips for Taking Care of a Cowhide or Other Animal Skin Rug

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Top Tips for Taking Care of a Cowhide or Other Animal Skin Rug

Care for cowhide or other animal skin rugs and accessories

Cowhide and other animal skin rugs, such as zebra or reindeer, have made a dramatic comeback in interior decoration in recent years and so has the need to keep them clean and in perfect condition. Caring for cowhide or other animal skin rugs requires careful cleaning and periodic spot cleaning. Using tools and products that you can easily find on hand at home and a simple cleaning process, you can keep a cowhide rug looking fresh and perfect for a very long time.

What you will need

  • A vacuum cleaner with a suitable brush attachment
  • Bristle brush (an old-fashioned scrub brush is ideal)
  • A mild cleansing soap
  • An ordinary household sponge
  • Scotch Guard or a similar fabric protector
  • A steam cleaner (such as a vaporetto) will help you get deep into the wool and clean the carpet to maximum effect.

The first step

Once you have purchased your carpet and installed it in your home, you should make sure to vacuum it regularly to prevent your carpet from becoming heavily soiled by cowhide and thus avoid unnecessary deep cleaning. Use the brush attachment of your vacuum to clean the fur in the direction of its natural ‘grain’. You should do this by gently blowing out dust and other dirt contaminants. By doing this every week, you will ensure that the wet bits of dirt do not start to cut the fur from the skin. A good old fashioned sweep of the rug outside will also shake out embedded contaminants.

The second step

Do not wet the carpet when cleaning, however, you can gently steam clean it without adverse effects. The fur inside the skin is of course composed of tanned animal materials (to preserve the skin proteins). Fur hides repel water and moisture and thus keep the animal relatively dry. If it becomes too wet while cleaning the skin, then go outside and dry the skin naturally in the sun. This also has the effect of killing any bacteria or germs that may be in the hair.

The third step

Remove dirt spots with a non-alkaline cleaning soap. Leather soaps will work on stains on a smooth, fur-free skin, but when wool is involved, then baby shampoo or mild detergent gently lathers when cleaning is much better for hairy skin. Apply the soap suds to a sponge and then gently rub the skin in the direction of the grain. At the end, rinse thoroughly with a damp sponge to get rid of the shampoo residue left on the fur.

The fourth step

Use Scotch Guard or a similar fabric protector before your rug is stained and after cleaning, as this will help the wool repel further stains and thus keep your cowhide rug valuable and beautiful in a pristine condition.

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