Can You Vacuum a Cowhide Rug? [Use The Right Technique!]

Cowhide rugs are still very popular in the US, mainly because, unlike other types of rugs, they are hypoallergenic.

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Some websites recommend keeping these rugs clean simply by wiping them regularly.

But can you vacuum a cowhide rug?

In this post you will learn:

  • Whether you can vacuum a cowhide rug
  • The correct methods to use to vacuum a cowhide rug
  • Type of vacuums you should use or avoid
  • And more!

Can You Vacuum A Cowhide Rug?

Yes, you can vacuum a cowhide rug as long as you use the correct tools and techniques. Grab a hard bristle brush for cleaning to remove trapped debris. Then, suck up the debris using a handheld vacuum, a vacuum hose or a flat head vacuum with retractable bristles. 

How Do You Vacuum A Cowhide Rug?

Vacuuming a cowhide rug is simple. Just follow the steps below to get your rug clean in no time ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Alternatively, you can watch this video to check one of the methods you can use:

1. Loosen Debris With a Hard Bristle Brush

Grab a hard bristle brush to remove dirt, sand, hairs, or any lodge debris.

Gently brush the entire cowhide rug until you are happy.

Bristle brush for cleaning

2. Vacuum Up The Debris

Next, all you have to do is sucking up the debris.

If you can reduce the suction power of your vacuum, then do so for extra peace of mind.

Otherwise, just be extra careful ๐Ÿ™‚

I have listed 4 simple vacuuming options below:

Option 1: Use a Flat Head With No Roller

These types of heads come with a bristle base for hard floors.

Simply push the button at the top of the head to retract the base.

Then, starting from the middle of your cowhide rug, push the vacuum towards the outside edge.  

Proceed using the same technique until you have vacuumed the whole cowhide rug.

Vacuum flat head with retractable bristle base

Option 2: Use a Beater Brush You Can Deactivate

If you have an upright vacuum that uses a beater brush, simply press the button that stops the brush from rolling.

Then proceed to vacuum outwards starting from the centre of the cowhide rug.

Option 3: Use Your Vacuum Hose Only

Another option is for you to simply use the hose to suck the debris.

Drag the hose from the middle of the rug towards the edges to suck up all the debris.

Option 4: Use a Handheld Vacuum

The final option is to use a handheld vacuum, which of course is not easy for those like me who tend to suffer with knee and back problems!

But if you are up for getting down on the floor to better inspect your cowhide rug, you can use your handheld vacuum to suck up the dirt.

Again, make sure you move outwards each time!

Can You Use a Roomba on a Cowhide Rug?

No, you should not use a Roomba to vacuum a cowhide rug.

These vacuums operate by cleaning in one direction until they encounter an obstacle. Your Roomba would then start to go in a different direction.

And even if you mapped your Roomba to vacuum a certain way, getting it to use the right technique to vacuum a cowhide rug would be time consuming.

As mentioned earlier, when vacuuming a cowhide rug you need to vacuum outwards, from the centre of the rug to the side. 

Unfortunately, you would not be able to have that level of control with a Roomba.

If you only own a Roomba and no other types of vacuums, do the following instead:

  1. Grab a hard bristle brush
  2. Gently scrub your cowhide rug outwards to remove any trapped dirt
  3. Shake the rug outside to get rid of the dirt

Best Vacuum For Cowhide Rug

You donโ€™t need to buy a special vacuum cleaner to clean your cowhide rug, as long as the vacuum comes with the following:

  1. A hose
  2. A flat vacuum head with no brush or a roller brush that can be disabled

If your vacuum comes with suction power settings, that would be a bonus! However, it is not a necessity. You will simply have to be extra careful.

So, whether you have an upright vacuum, a canister vacuum, a cordless vacuum, or a shop vac, all you need to do is use the right technique/attachments.

You could also use a handheld vacuum instead.


As you can see, vacuuming a cowhide rug is possible and it is not too hard either!

To recap, all you have to do is:

  1. Use a hard bristle brush to loosen up trapped debris
  2. Suck up the debris with either:
    1. A vacuum flat head with no roller 
    2. A vacuum that comes with a beater bar which can be deactivated
    3. A hose
    4. A handheld vacuum

Remember that, unless you are just using the hose, you will need to vacuum outwards to avoid ruining the rug fibre.