How To Clean A Leather Rug

A leather rug is a unique design that adds a touch of creativity to any decor space and is generally low maintenance when it comes to upkeep. 

But when you do need to do the occasional tidy-up, or you have a stain on your hands, it is important to know how to clean a leather rug.

We outline the most effective methods you can use to clean your leather rug and keep it in nick condition at all times.

How To Clean A Leather Rug

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General Clean

You may think that a leather rug does not require as frequent clean-up as, for example, cleaning a natural fiber rug. But even though dirt and bacteria are not as easily trapped in leather, even minimal dust shows up a lot clearer on this type of fabric. 

You should aim to give your rug a simple cleaning every week or two to avoid a major build-up of dirt that may become more difficult to remove. If it is located in a high-traffic area, then the more regular, the better. 

Remove Excess Dirt

First, you will need to eliminate as much excess dirt and debris as possible. This can easily be done by giving the rug a good shake for a minute or two, as the dust should fly out. 

It is best to do this in your garden, balcony, or any other outside area. Doing it inside will cause a mess on your floors and furniture, which will require even more cleaning. 

Removing excess dirt is always important, whether you are cleaning a furry rug or a leather rug. 

Wipe Down Your Rug

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Combine two cups of warm water with a tablespoon of dishwashing soap in a small bowl. Do not make the water too hot, as this could damage the rug and/or lead to an injury.

Dip a clean cloth into the mixed solution, and allow it to soak up the liquid. Then wring out the cloth to get rid of excess moisture, as you do not want to flood the rug. 

Wipe down the rug with the cloth, making sure to cover all areas. Go over the rug with the cloth 2-3 times. You can re-dip the cloth into the solution and wring it out each time. 

Generally, avoid intense equipment as this can be too harsh on the leather. The same can be said for cleaning an alpaca rug.

Dry Your Rug

Use a fresh, dry cloth for this step. Gently wipe the entire rug to remove any of the water and soap from the previous step. Avoid rubbing too hard, as this might damage the leather. 

Continue this until it is as dry as possible. You can switch to fresh sections of the cloth as you go. 

If there is still some moisture on the rug, leave it to air dry in a warm area before returning it to its original spot. 

Stain Removal 

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General upkeep might be quick and easy, but if you have a stain on your rug, you will need to do a slightly heavier cleaning to remove it effectively. This is true of any fabric, such as cleaning a cotton rug

If the rug is located in a high-traffic area, there will inevitably be a spill or mess that you need to attend to. This could be grease, food, cosmetics, etc. 

The best approach is to clean the stain out as soon as possible, as this will make the process far easier. When it is left to settle into the leather for longer, it can be a challenge to remove. 

Remove Excess Dirt

First, remove any excess liquid or debris on the stain. If it is a fresh stain, there will likely still be moisture or dirt that can easily be removed. 

If it is liquid, use a paper towel to blot up as much as possible. If it is debris, you can gently scoop it up with a teaspoon. This can be done on most types of rugs, like when you clean a bamboo rug.

If it is a slightly older stain, you may need to gently scrape to remove the debris. Do this as softly as possible, as digging into the rig too hard may lead to irreversible scrape marks on the surface. 

Combine and Apply the Solution

In a small bowl, combine a liquid detergent with lukewarm water. Ensure the soap you use is not very harsh and/or heavy with chemicals, as this could cause discoloration or fade on the rug and require repair tools for carpets.

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Use a soft, clean cloth to apply the solution. Immerse a small section in the liquid, and then gently dab the stained area repeatedly. Continue this until you can see that the stain has cleared. 

You may need to switch to fresh sections of the cloth, and then dip it back into the solution. 

You should see the stain transfer onto the cloth that you are using, which is a sign that it is working. This method can be applied to cleaning a nylon carpet, too. 

Dry Your Rug

Use a fresh, dry cloth to gently wipe down the rug after cleaning out the stain. Do not rub too hard, as this may cause damage to the fabric. 

If moisture has seeped into the leather, press the cloth onto the area for a minute or two to draw it out. You can then leave it to air dry for a few hours, or overnight, depending on the rug and the size of the area. 

Once the rug is fully dried, check to see if the stain has cleared completely. If not, repeat the previous steps. 

Deep Clean

While you might try to avoid this, you may have a leather rug in your home that has not been cleaned for a long period and has collected dust, debris, and stains over time. If this is the case, you will need to do a deep cleaning of the rug to get it back to its former glory. 

To do this effectively, without damaging the rug itself, you will need to turn to professional carpet cleaning tools or products, specifically those that are formulated to be used on the leather without causing any damage. 

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Specialist products always work best for sensitive fabric, like when you clean a handmade rug.

Remove Excess Dirt

First, try to remove any excess dirt on the rug. You should do this as gently as possible to avoid damage. 

You can shake out the rug outdoors to remove loose dust particles that have settled onto the rug. 

You may also notice dried spills or stains on the surface. You can use a small spoon to gently scrape this off without causing dents or scrapes to the leather. 

Prepare and Apply Cleaner

Next, you will need to prepare your carpet chemicals

One of the best you can get your hands on is the Truck Mount Forum Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. This is formulated especially for use on leather, so you do not have to worry about any changes or damage to the appearance of your rug.

Prepare the cleaner or prespray according to the instructions on the packaging, and then transfer it to a spray bottle. 

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Spray the mixed solution onto the rug, making sure to cover the entire surface. Do not spray too much that you flood the rug, but generously enough to cover it. 

Leave it to settle onto the rug for 1-2 minutes before continuing. 

Blot the Rug

Next, use a soft, dry cloth to blot the entire surface of the rug. This will remove any stains or dirt present by pushing the cleaner into the leather and removing the bacteria at the same time. 

You can continue a pattern of applying cleaner and blotting it down 2-3 times, or until you are satisfied with the appearance of the rug. 

Dry Rug

Soak a fresh cloth in cold water, wring it out, and then use it to wipe off any excess cleaner on the rug. 

Leave the rug to dry overnight before returning it to its location. 

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Conclusion

There are several excellent methods you can use to clean a leather rug, and which you choose will depend on what type of cleaning you need to do. 

Cleaning leather rugs is generally straightforward and does not require the use of machinery.

It is best to clean your leather rug regularly with a quick and simple method, to avoid having to do heavier forms of cleaning. The same applies to most types of rugs, like cleaning a synthetic carpet.

If you are faced with an extremely dirty rug, or a stain that needs removing, you can use professional carpet cleaning products to do so. Always ensure you have all the necessary tools and products, from dry cloths to vacuums.

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