There’s nothing quite like leather to add a touch of luxury and style to a room’s décor. And when that leather comes in the form of an area rug, you get that lush, luxurious feel, in addition to the unique flair that an unusual piece like a leather rug adds. To make sure that your leather rug keeps its gorgeous appearance and lasts for years to come, you’ll want to take great care of it, so we’ve put together a little guide to caring for your leather rug properly.
Leather Shag Rugs
One of the hottest trends right now in leather is the leather shag rug. These luscious rugs are made by taking various lengths of leather strips, ranging from one to three inches long, and tucking them by hand into a sturdy backing. This makes for an exceptionally thick and cushiony rug, as well as a striking centerpiece for any room. But it also makes for a rug that needs special care to stay in top form.
Leather shag rugs should not be vacuumed with an upright vacuum, as this could pull out some of the leather strips. Instead, they can be vacuumed gently and carefully with your vacuum’s upholstery attachment, or better yet, they can be taken outside to be shaken out.
Cleaning chemicals of any kind should never be used on your leather shag rug, as they can discolor or even break down the leather. If a spill needs to be cleaned, it can be gently wiped up with a damp towel. But the very best solution to a messy situation is to have a professional dry cleaner clean your leather shag rug.
Now, when it comes to the more standard style of leather area rugs, we should differentiate between leather and cowhide. Yes, cowhide is leather. However, cowhide rugs retain the natural fur from the animal, giving those rugs a rustic look and a unique textural appeal. Leather rugs, on the other hand, have no fur, and thus feel deliciously smooth to the touch. Because of this important difference, the care of cowhide rugs is different from the care of leather rugs.
Leather rugs should ideally also not be vacuumed. Shaking them out is the best way to remove dust and debris without harming the material. For an in-depth cleaning, you can dilute mild soap in water and then use a rag to softly wipe the rug in a circular motion. But be sure to test your soap on an inconspicuous area of the rug first, just to be sure it won’t cause any damage. You can also try a foam-based leather cleaner, if you prefer.
Any residue or foam left over from this first step can be soaked up with a second, clean rag, which has been dampened and wrung out. Moisture still remaining on the rug should then be blotted up with soft towels weighted down by heavy objects, such as books. Once every trace of moisture has been removed, you can treat your leather rug with a leather conditioner, if you’d like, to keep it soft and supple and restore its original luster.
No matter what type of leather rug you own, taking special care of it is the best way to ensure that it will retain its beauty for years to come.