Your Guide to Cleaning a Shag Rug

Your Guide to Cleaning a Shag Rug

Apr 25th 2023

Shag rugs are a popular choice for plenty of homeowners due to their soft, plush texture and cozy feel. However, their long fibers can make cleaning a shag rug a bit more challenging than cleaning other types of rugs. In this guide, we will cover various methods on how to properly clean a shag rug, from spot cleaning to deep cleaning, to ensure your rug remains looking and feeling fresh.

Regular Maintenance: How to Keep a Shag Rug Clean

One of the most important aspects of maintaining your shag rug is regular upkeep. To keep your shag rug clean, be sure to follow these simple steps:

Vacuum Regularly

Vacuuming your shag rug at least once a week will help remove dirt and debris trapped within the fibers. Use the upholstery attachment or a vacuum cleaner specifically designed for shag rugs, as a standard vacuum cleaner can damage the rug fibers.

Shake it Out

Take your rug outside and give it a good shake to remove any loose dirt and dust that may have settled within the fibers.

Rotate the Rug

To ensure even wear and prevent dirt from accumulating in one area, rotate your shag rug every few months.

How to Spot Clean a Shag Rug

Accidents happen, and when they do, it's essential to know how to spot clean a shag rug. Here are the steps to follow:

Blot the Stain

If the spill is still wet, use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot as much liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing, as this can cause the stain to spread or set deeper into the fibers. Be especially gentle with softer rugs, or smaller rugs.

Apply a Cleaning Solution

Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with water, and apply the solution to the stained area using a clean cloth. For a unique loom shag rug or other delicate materials, test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure it won't damage the fibers

Rinse and Blot

After applying the cleaning solution, use a clean cloth dampened with water to rinse the area. Blot again with a dry cloth to remove any excess moisture.

Dry the Area

Allow the spot to air dry, or use a hairdryer on a cool setting to speed up the process. Once the area is dry, gently fluff the fibers to restore their natural texture.

How to Wash a Shag Rug in the Washing Machine

For smaller shag rugs that are machine washable, follow these steps on how to wash clean a shag rug:

Check the Care Label

Before attempting to wash your shag rug, check the care label to ensure it is machine washable. Some rugs may require professional cleaning or have specific washing instructions.

Use a Gentle Cycle

Place the rug in your washing machine and select a gentle cycle with cold water. Use a mild detergent, avoiding bleach or fabric softeners, as they can damage the rug fibers.

Air Dry

After washing, lay the rug flat to air dry. Avoid using a dryer, as the heat can cause the rug fibers to shrink or become damaged.

How to Steam Clean a Shag Rug

Steam cleaning is an effective method for deep cleaning your shaggy rug, particularly for larger rugs that cannot be machine washed. Here's how to steam clean a shag rug:

Vacuum First

Before steam cleaning, thoroughly vacuum your shag rug to remove any loose dirt and debris.

Prepare the Steam Cleaner

Fill your steam cleaner with water and a mild detergent, following the manufacturer's instructions. Ensure the steam cleaner is suitable for use on shag rugs, as some models may be too harsh for delicate fibers.

Clean the Rug

Slowly move the steam cleaner across the surface of the rug, working in sections and overlapping each pass to ensure thorough cleaning. Be careful not to oversaturate the rug, as excessive moisture can damage the fibers and cause mildew.

Allow the Rug to Dry

After steam cleaning, allow your shag rug to air dry completely before placing furniture or walking on it. This may take up to 24 hours, depending on the rug's thickness and the room's humidity.

How to Dry Clean a Shag Rug

Some shag rugs may require professional dry cleaning, particularly those made from delicate materials like silk or wool. Consult the rug's care label to determine if dry cleaning is the recommended method. If so, take your rug to a reputable dry cleaner with experience handling delicate rugs.

How to DIY Clean a Shag Rug

If you prefer a more hands-on approach to cleaning your rug, consider a DIY clean. Here's how to DIY-clean a shag rug:

- Vacuum the rug thoroughly, using the upholstery attachment or a vacuum cleaner designed for these rugs.

- Mix a solution of mild dish soap and water in a bucket.

- Using a soft brush or cloth, gently scrub the rug's surface, working in small sections and following the direction of the fibers.

- Rinse the rug by blotting with a clean, damp cloth or using a wet-dry vacuum.

- Allow the rug to air dry completely, then gently fluff the fibers to restore their texture.

How to Deep Clean a Shag Rug

Over time, dirt and debris can become embedded deep within your shag rug's fibers, necessitating a more thorough cleaning. Here's how to deep clean a shag rug:

- Vacuum the rug to remove any loose dirt and debris.

- Rent or purchase a carpet cleaner designed for use with shag rugs. Be sure to select a cleaner that is compatible with your rug's material and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

- Clean the rug using the carpet cleaner, working in sections and overlapping each pass to ensure thorough coverage.

- Allow the rug to air dry completely before walking on it or placing furniture.

How to Clean Pet Accidents Off a Shag Rug

Accidents involving pet waste can be particularly challenging to clean. Here's how to clean pet waste off a shag rug:

- Remove any solid waste off of the shag rug using a plastic bag or disposable gloves, being careful not to spread it further into the rug fibers.

- Mix a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Apply the solution to the affected area, allowing it to soak in for a few minutes.

- Gently scrub the area using a soft brush or cloth, working in the direction of the fibers to avoid damaging the rug.

- Blot the area with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining residue and vinegar solution.

- Allow the rug to air dry, then gently fluff the fibers to restore their texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I clean my shag rug?

A: The frequency of cleaning your shag rug depends on the amount of foot traffic it receives and whether it is exposed to pets, spills, or other sources of dirt and debris. As a general guideline, vacuum your shag rug at least once a week to remove surface dirt and debris, and shake it out or rotate it every few months to maintain its appearance. Deep-clean your shag rug at least once or twice a year, or more frequently if it becomes soiled or stained.

Q: Can I use a regular vacuum cleaner on my shag rug?

A: Using a standard vacuum cleaner on a shag rug can damage the fibers and reduce the rug's lifespan. Instead, use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum cleaner or invest in a vacuum cleaner specifically designed for shag rugs. These specialized vacuum cleaners have adjustable height settings and gentle suction to clean the rug without damaging the fibers.

Iola Shag Geometric Area Rug

Shop Shag Rugs Now

Maintaining a clean and fresh rug requires a combination of regular maintenance and occasional deep cleaning. By following the methods outlined in this guide, you can keep your shag rug looking and feeling its best. Whether you choose to spot clean, steam clean, or DIY clean your shag rug, always consult the rug's care label and test any cleaning solutions on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure they won't damage the fibers. With proper care and attention, your shag rug can remain a cozy and stylish addition to your home for years to come.

For any further information on taking care of your rugs at home, be sure to check out our other blog posts!