How to Clean a Leather Rug: The Ultimate Guide

When you think of leather, you probably imagine supple, sleek leather jackets or the plush rug in your friend’s apartment. It doesn’t immediately conjure images of a pile of dirt-colored fibers that appear to be rotting away. However, even the most pristine leather rugs will get dirty over time. However, there is no need to panic if you see your leather rug in a less than desirable state. With the right care and maintenance routine, your leather rug can look brand new again. Cleaning a leather rug requires some different techniques than cleaning other types of rugs; however, this guide will help you understand how to clean a leather rug so that it lasts for years to come!

Why is my Leather Rug Dirty?

Every rug will get dirty over time, but you might be surprised to see how quickly leather rugs can get grimy. This is because leather is a porous material that is much more likely to trap dirt and dust than other types of rugs.

Why is my Leather Rug Dirty

Before you start cleaning, it is important to identify why your leather rug is so grimy. Depending on the condition of the rug, different cleaning methods may be required. This will help you avoid damaging your rug and make sure that your cleaning method is effective.


Perhaps the most common reason leather rugs get dirty is because of stains. If a cleaning agent spills on your rug, it is much more likely to stain than synthetic fibers. This is because the surface of leather is not as smooth as synthetic fibers, so the cleaning agent sits on top of the rug and doesn’t easily evaporate.

Dust and fibers

Another common reason for dirty leather rugs is dust and fibers. If your rug is exposed to high levels of foot traffic, it is likely to collect a great deal of dust and fibers over time. While synthetic fibers can easily be cleaned away, dust and fibers that land on a leather rug can be much more difficult to remove.

How to Clean a New Leather Rug?

New rugs are likely to be extremely dirty; however, it is important not to use a harsh cleaning method that could potentially damage the fibers. While you will need to clean your rug more frequently, a gentler cleaning method will help prevent damage to the fibers.

Damp cleaning

One of the gentlest cleaning methods is to use a damp cloth. This can be particularly useful for removing smaller stains that are easy to wipe away. Be careful not to make the rag too wet, as this could damage the fibers of your rug.

Mild detergent

If your rug has stubborn stains, mild detergent can be a helpful tool. Make sure to dilute the detergent and clean the stain as soon as it appears to avoid making it worse. The sooner you clean your rug, the easier it will be to remove the stain.

Air freshener

Over time, a rug can develop an unpleasant smell. This is particularly common for rugs that are frequently used, like in a kitchen or hallway. Spraying your rug with an air freshener will help remove any lingering odors.

How to Deep Clean a Stained Leather Rug?

Generally, you should use a gentler cleaning method when cleaning a new rug. However, if a stain has developed over time, you may need to use harsher cleaning agents to remove it.

How to Deep Clean a Stained Leather Rug?

Professional cleaning

Professional cleaning services can help you remove difficult stains from your rug. These services can use stronger cleaning agents to break down the stain and remove it from your rug.

Oily stains

If your rug has an oily stain, use a mild detergent solution and a sponge to scrub it clean. Make sure to rinse the sponge completely to avoid spreading the oil around your rug.

Sticky stains

Sticky substances like sap, glue, and gum can be difficult to remove. You can try to dissolve the substance with a warm, soapy water solution, but it may be best to go to a professional if the substance is stuck in the fibers of your rug.

How to Clean an Oiled Leather Rug?

Oil is a common problem for leather rugs. It can stain the surface of the rug and also make it more difficult to clean in the future. The best way to remove oil from a leather rug is to use a cleaning agent designed for this purpose.

Solvent cleaner

Use solvent cleaners to break down the oil and remove it from your rug. Make sure to follow the label instructions for the best results.

Cleaning agent

Cleaning agents are another good option for removing oil from a leather rug. Choose a product that is designed specifically for cleaning leather; these products will likely be slightly stronger than cleaning agents designed for synthetic fibers.

How to Dry and Sanitize a Wet Leather Rug?

If you are cleaning a wet rug, you will want to use a gentler cleaning method than you would for a dry rug. You don’t want to risk damaging the fibers, especially if your rug is already stained.

Damp cleaning

Any cleaning agent that is safe for use on dry rugs is also safe for use on wet rugs. However, a damp cloth can be particularly effective if your rug is wet.

Mild detergent

As discussed above, a mild detergent can be a helpful tool for cleaning a new or stained rug. However, you should use it sparingly if your rug is wet, as it can make the fibers more prone to damage.

Air freshener

Spraying your rug with an air freshener will remove any lingering odors and make it smell fresh again.

Tips for Maintaining Your Leather Rug

Your leather rug will be much more durable if you keep it clean and properly maintained. This will prevent dirt and grime from building up and damaging the fibers.

Regular cleaning

It is important to clean your leather rug regularly. This will help prevent stains and remove dust and dirt that can damage the fibers. It is also important to clean your rug regularly so that you don’t end up damaging the fibers with harsh cleaning agents.

Protect your rug

You can protect your rug by covering it when you don’t want to use it. This will keep it free from the elements, which can damage leather when it is exposed to too much water or sunlight.

Choose the right rug

Selecting the right rug for your space can help you prevent stains and breakdown of the fibers. Choose a rug that is large enough to cover a high-traffic area without being so big that it looks out of place.


How do you take care of a leather rug?

To take care of a leather rug, you should vacuum it regularly to remove any dirt or dust. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe it down if needed. If the rug gets wet, be sure to dry it off completely before using a vacuum or brush to clean it.

Can you dry clean leather rugs?

Leather rugs can be dry cleaned, but it is not recommended. The harsh chemicals used in the dry cleaning process can damage the leather. Instead, a gentle vacuum or dusting is usually all that is needed to keep a leather rug clean.

Can you wash a leather rug in the washing machine?

Leather rugs should not be washed in the washing machine, as this can damage the rug. Instead, they should be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner or a damp cloth.

How do you clean a faux leather rug?

To clean a faux leather rug, start by shaking it off to remove any loose dirt or dust. Then, use a vacuum cleaner with the upholstery attachment to clean the surface of the rug. If there is any dirt or stains on the rug, you can use a mild detergent and a damp cloth to clean it. Be sure to rinse the cloth thoroughly after each stroke, and avoid getting the fabric wet. Let the rug air dry before using it again.

How do you clean woven leather?

To clean woven leather, you can use a damp cloth and some soap. Be sure to dry the leather completely afterwards, or it could become damaged.

Related Video: How To Clean a Cowhide Rug Guide

Bottom line

Although leather is a durable material, it can be damaged by improper cleaning. The best way to clean a leather rug is to use a mild cleaning agent and clean it regularly. Protecting your rug from the elements and using the right rug for your space will help it last for years to come. If your rug does get dirty, don’t panic! You can clean it with a mild solution, or bring it to a professional cleaner. Make sure to follow these cleaning tips to keep your rug looking brand new!