How To Clean A Shag Rug

Step By Step Professional Guide

How To Clean A Shag Rug

How To Clean A Shag Rug – A shag rug might conjure up images of a psychedelic room with a wild burst of color, but believe it or not, the shag rug’s popularity survived past the seventies. When done right and done tastefully, a shaggy rug will add a chic and sophisticated accent to any room, whether its a gorgeous sheepskin rug or leather shag rug to hang on the wall or a cozy shag pile carpet or a flokati runner. A shag area rug will look gorgeous on hardwood floors, tiles, marbles, concrete, and natural wood. The thing with shag rugs is, as nice as they are, they are high maintenance and are notoriously difficult to keep clean because of their extra long fibers. Usually, cleaning shag rugs will require the help of professional cleaners. They would have the necessary tools and materials to do a thorough deep cleaning of shag rugs, get rid of stains and odors, dust mites, and debris deeply embedded in the fibers. Most shag rugs would probably require dry cleaning or steam cleaning only and the more expensive and delicate ones will not be machine washable.

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Shag Rug Cleaning Supplies

  • Vacuum
  • Rug shampoo
  • Beater brush
  • Fan or space heater
  • Bucket
  • Damp rag
  • White vinegar
  • A clean brush with stiff bristles

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Step By Step Guide On How To Clean A Shag Rug

Nevertheless, you will need to keep your shag rug clean and tidy in between professional cleaning or trips to the rug doctor. Keep reading for a step by step guide on how to clean a shag rug at home and how to maintain its quality.

Step One: Vacuum

Vacuuming for carpets and rugs is absolutely necessary, otherwise it will be a hotbed for dirt, dust mites, and dust and it might cause some respiratory problems, especially if there are children in the house.

However, too much vacuuming also tends to ruin or flatten your rug fibers, especially for shaggy rugs. So, before you reach for a vacuum cleaner, try giving your rug a good old shaking and beating.

For small rugs, take it outside and shake it vigorously to dislodge any dirt and debris stuck to the fibers.

For bigger rugs, you may also hang it on a clothesline and use a beater on it. Vacuum only as needed and choose a vacuum cleaner with a function specifically made for high pile carpets. Always vacuum in the opposite direction of the nap to keep your rug looking fluffy and full. When you do vacuum, don’t neglect the surrounding areas as well as the underside of the rug.

Step Two: Shampoo

Your rug will regular washing, but before anything else, check the the care label if washing is allowed. Some shag rugs are dry clean only. Take special care in choosing a rug shampoo. There are many different kinds but opt for an organic formula if possible. 

Dilute the shampoo in a bucket of clean water and whip with your hand to create suds. Don’t overwet the rug by pouring the water directly on it. Instead, scoop out the suds onto the rug. To rinse, blot with a clean, damp towel or a clean sponge. 

In lieu of a shampoo, you may also use a mild detergent or dish soap. It’s also helpful to have a dry rug shampoo or a dry carpet cleaner on hand. This shouldn’t replace regular rug washing with a good rug shampoo but it will work as a quick fix.

Step Three: Dry

Once you are done rinsing your shag rug, it’s time to dry it thoroughly. This part is crucial because a wet rug will develop a foul odor, not to mention mold, mildew, and bacteria.

Nothing beats exposure to direct sunlight when it comes to drying and disinfecting your rugs. But if this is not possible, a good old fan, blower, or space heater should do the trick.

Your rug should not be sopping wet to begin with, but if it is, make sure to wring it to get rid of excess water first. You can also blot it with a dry towel or sponge to absorb as much of the moisture as possible.

Step Four: Spot Clean Stains and Spills

No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. The key is to deal with spills as soon as possible and not give the stain a time to settle and to embed deeper into the fibers. First, blot the stain with a paper towel. Blot but do not rub, as you could be spreading the stain and making it worse.

Prepare a mixture of water and dish soap and apply it directly on the stain with a clean cloth. This is especially effective for oily food stains. For the more stubborn stains, there are many good carpet stain removers in the market, but you can also go the do-it-yourself route, which works just as well. Prepare a mixture of plain white vinegar and water and apply it directly to the stain with a clean cloth.

Wait for the affected area to dry and sprinkle some baking powder on it. This will help eliminate any stain or smell that might remain. Let it rest for about half an hour before brushing and dusting it off. Note that when cleaning your shag rug, regular maintenance and consistency are very important. Don’t wait until your rug is teeming with filth before you attend to it. Prevent permanent stains and damage by acting fast when you have spills and accidents.

Vacuum regularly to keep the dust and dirt that accumulates in the fibers manageable. Take good care of your shag rugs to keep it in tip top shape and looking good as new for many years to come.

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When To Call In the Professionals

For stains that prove to be a challenge, it’s best to send your rug to professional cleaners. In any case, it’s advisable to send your rugs to a professional cleaner at least once a year.

There are some treatments and deep cleaning techniques that only professionals can provide. Shag rugs will especially need a lot of TLC and pampering to keep it looking good.