How to Clean a Shag Rug

5 Simple Methods for Cleaning Shag Rugs

With long, luxurious piles that give them their signature look and touch, shag rugs are truly unique pieces of floor decor. Their long piles boast a tactile appeal that is perfect for bare feet, but the shaggy fibers make cleaning shag rugs a little different from other rug styles. Stubborn dust and dirt particles can hide deep inside the rug's pile, so it may take a combination of cleaning methods to clean your rug effectively. Use one of these five simple methods or combine multiple techniques to clean your shag rug and keep it looking as fresh as the day you bought it.

The first step on how to clean your wool rug is to shake out your rug

1 // SHAKE

To clean your shag rug, start with the oldest rug-cleaning method in the book – shake your rug out by hand. Take your rug outside, hold it firmly by two corners, and powerfully shake it to loosen the dirt and dust. If your rug is too big to shake properly, hang your rug from a clothesline or fence and hit the rug with a broom handle or solid stick. This will send the dust and dirt flying and give your rug a chance to air out. Prolonged sunlight can fade the colors of your shag rug over time, but letting your rug soak up some rays for a short time will help kill bacteria and mites.

1 // SHAKE

The first step on how to clean your wool rug is to shake out your rug

To clean your shag rug, start with the oldest rug-cleaning method in the book – shake your rug out by hand. Take your rug outside, hold it firmly by two corners, and powerfully shake it to loosen the dirt and dust. If your rug is too big to shake properly, hang your rug from a clothesline or fence and hit the rug with a broom handle or solid stick. This will send the dust and dirt flying and give your rug a chance to air out. Prolonged sunlight can fade the colors of your shag rug over time, but letting your rug soak up some rays for a short time will help kill bacteria and mites.

2 // VACUUM

The extra-long pile of a shag rug requires a little extra attention when vacuuming compared to rugs with shorter piles. The long fibers of the pile can get caught in the moving parts of the vacuum and damage your rug, so adjust your vacuum's height setting to high and turn off the beater bars. Or, you can use the upholstery attachment and vacuum the rug by hand. If your rug is in a high traffic area, then you'll want to vacuum your rug more frequently to prevent dirt buildup. Flipping your rug over and vacuuming the bottom side with the beater bars engaged can help loosen dirt from the pile and ensure a more thorough cleaning.

The second step on how to clean your wool rug is to vacuum your rug

2 // VACUUM

The second step on how to clean your wool rug is to vacuum your rug

The extra-long pile of a shag rug requires a little extra attention when vacuuming compared to rugs with shorter piles. The long fibers of the pile can get caught in the moving parts of the vacuum and damage your rug, so adjust your vacuum's height setting to high and turn off the beater bars. Or, you can use the upholstery attachment and vacuum the rug by hand. If your rug is in a high traffic area, then you'll want to vacuum your rug more frequently to prevent dirt buildup. Flipping your rug over and vacuuming the bottom side with the beater bars engaged can help loosen dirt from the pile and ensure a more thorough cleaning.

The third step on how to clean your wool rug is to spot clean your rug

3 // SPOT CLEAN

When small spills or accidents occur, spot cleaning your rug is the easiest way to treat a soiled area without treating the entire rug. The trick to effective spot cleaning is reacting quickly to spills before they settle in, so make sure to have a stash of carpet cleaning supplies and rags easily accessible. When an accident happens, press firmly on the affected area with a clean rag and soak up as much liquid as possible. Spray the area with a carpet cleaning solution and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting the area dry with a new rag, working from the outside edges of the spill toward the center. Continue these steps until the area is clean. A shaggy pile makes this method harder than with short carpet, so make sure to blot deep into the rows of fibers.

3 // SPOT CLEAN

The third step on how to clean your wool rug is to spot clean your rug

When small spills or accidents occur, spot cleaning your rug is the easiest way to treat a soiled area without treating the entire rug. The trick to effective spot cleaning is reacting quickly to spills before they settle in, so make sure to have a stash of carpet cleaning supplies and rags easily accessible. When an accident happens, press firmly on the affected area with a clean rag and soak up as much liquid as possible. Spray the area with a carpet cleaning solution and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting the area dry with a new rag, working from the outside edges of the spill toward the center. Continue these steps until the area is clean. A shaggy pile makes this method harder than with short carpet, so make sure to blot deep into the rows of fibers.

4 // SHAMPOO

Before doing anything with your rug that involves water, read the rug care instructions carefully. If your rug can handle some moisture, then rent a carpet cleaner to shampoo your shag rug. A carpet cleaner distributes shampoo and hot water into your rug and then vacuums the liquid back up at the same time, lifting soils and stains as it goes. After cleaning, let your rug air dry outside to avoid mildew. For rugs that shouldn't get wet, try a powdered dry shampoo you sprinkle onto your rug and then vacuum up. The powder captures dirt and other particles to clean your shag rug more effectively than just vacuuming.

The fourth step on how to clean your wool rug is to shampoo your rug

4 // SHAMPOO

The fourth step on how to clean your wool rug is to shampoo your rug

Before doing anything with your rug that involves water, read the rug care instructions carefully. If your rug can handle some moisture, then rent a carpet cleaner to shampoo your shag rug. A carpet cleaner distributes shampoo and hot water into your rug and then vacuums the liquid back up at the same time, lifting soils and stains as it goes. After cleaning, let your rug air dry outside to avoid mildew. For rugs that shouldn't get wet, try a powdered dry shampoo you sprinkle onto your rug and then vacuum up. The powder captures dirt and other particles to clean your shag rug more effectively than just vacuuming.

The fifth step on how to clean your wool rug is to professionally clean  your rug

5 // PROFESSIONAL CLEANING

The safest and most effective way to clean a shag rug is to have it cleaned by professionals. Some materials need special care to prevent damage from at-home cleaning methods or staining from chemicals. If the cleaning recommendations for your rug require specific care that you can't provide, don't take the risk of damaging your rug by trying to clean it yourself. Even if you clean your rug yourself, it's still a good idea to have your shag rug professionally cleaned a few times a year.

5 // PROFESSIONAL CLEANING

The fifth step on how to clean your wool rug is to professionally clean  your rug

The safest and most effective way to clean a shag rug is to have it cleaned by professionals. Some materials need special care to prevent damage from at-home cleaning methods or staining from chemicals. If the cleaning recommendations for your rug require specific care that you can't provide, don't take the risk of damaging your rug by trying to clean it yourself. Even if you clean your rug yourself, it's still a good idea to have your shag rug professionally cleaned a few times a year.

Tips for New Shag Area Rugs

A new shag rug is an exciting addition to your home decor, but there are a few steps you should take to get your rug ready for your home. Watch this video for helpful tips about new shag rugs and how to easily clean them.




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