Shag rugs bring a beautiful warmth to the home. They’re a versatile design, softening the hard edges of modern homes or adding a homespun charm to a vintage interior. Super soft with a timeless appeal, many homes can benefit from the addition of a shag rug.
You can't help but dig your toes into the long pile of the shag rug, but this is also what makes it such a magnet for dust. Taking care of your shag rug isn't quite as simple as just going over it with a vacuum cleaner.
Looking after your shag rug is all about respecting the pile so that the rug maintains its plushness. In this guide, we've got some tips and tricks for keeping your shag rug in top condition, even in those high foot traffic areas. Read on for more!
Why Are Shag Rugs So Difficult To Clean?
Shag rugs are notable because of their durable softness. While other rugs get worn down, a shag rug can stay floppy and cushioned.
This is because the shag rug is made using long fibers, giving it a high pile. These long and loose fibers look amazing, but they're also the reason shag rugs can be a nightmare to clean.
Long fibers can actually help to hide the worst of the dust and staining, but when your shag rug starts to look worse for wear, that same pile hinders the ability for a deep clean.
Treat your shag rug like any other rug, and you're likely to find that the fibers start to fall out and shed.
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How To Clean a Shag Rug
Give It A Shake
An old-fashioned method, but a good one. Shaking down your rug is a fantastic way to remove any surface dirt and dust. Take your rug outside, and give it a good shake to loosen any dust or crumbs that might be caught.
If your shag rug is too big or heavy to shake down, try beating it. Hang the rug over something solid, and beat it with a broom. This should knock any debris loose.
Once you've given your rug a thorough shake, leave it to hang outside in the sunlight for a few hours. The exposure to sunlight can help to kill any germs that are trapped in the pile.
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It is possible to vacuum a shag rug, but it isn't as simple as vacuuming a carpet. A vacuum can pull at the fibers and pile of the shag rug and cause it to shed.
Instead, check to see if your vacuum has a high pile head. This is softer on the shag rug and doesn't have the same whirling motion that can pull at the fibers. Thoroughly clean the shag rug using the high pile setting.
If you don't have a high pile vacuum attachment, there is still a way to vacuum your shag rug. Flip the rug upside down, and vacuum the underside of the rug. Then, remove the rug, and vacuum the space where it was.
If anything gets spilled on your shag rug, try and clean it before the stain sets. Because of the high pile, there are more fibers for the stain to stick to. Even if you think you've cleaned it all up, brushing the pile the other way can reveal even more staining.
Begin by blotting the spill. Use a dry towel cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible or a damp cloth to dilute the stain. You should dab, rather than wipe, in order to keep the spillage localized.
Mix a few drops of dish soap with hot water. Use a brush with soft bristles to scrub the area carefully. Rub the stain until it's gone. Rinse through with water to remove the rest of the soap solution, and leave to air dry.
For set stains, use a carpet cleaner, and spray it directly on the stain. Leave to sit for a few minutes, before wiping away. For a homemade solution, mix warm water and white vinegar in equal measure. Spritz onto the stain, and wipe with a microfiber cloth.
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Dry carpet shampoo can help bring some life back to a shag rug that looks a little worn down. Sprinkle the powder over the rug, and then work it into the fibers with a soft cloth.
Leave the powder to sit for as long as suggested by the manufacturer. If you have a high pile vacuum attachment, vacuum the powder away. If not, shake the powder out.
Steam cleaners are generally suitable for use on a shag rug, but make sure to check the label before starting. Either rent a steam cleaner, or use the steam setting on your iron.
Move the steam cleaner in even strokes over the rug, and leave to dry in the sunshine. This method is best if the rug is starting to look dull, or has a smell.
Check the labels of your rug before you start your deep clean. For some shag rugs, water isn't a suitable cleaner. If that's the case, then you may want to contact a professional cleaning service.
If you can use water on the shag rug, use a carpet cleaner, hot water, and carpet shampoo. Once clean, hang the rug to dry.
Quick Tips For Shag Rug Cleaning
- It isn't always suitable to use water on a shag rug, so check the label before starting.
- One of the best methods for cleaning a shag rug is just giving it a good shake. It loosens the dirt and gets out the dust.
- Be careful to avoid snagging the fibers when cleaning your shag rug.
- Trapped dirt can wear away the pile, causing your rug to shed. Regular shaking and vacuuming can reduce this effect.
Although you can't just run a vacuum over it, cleaning a shag rug doesn't have to be complicated. Just remember to shake it out on occasion, and treat any spills as they occur. That will keep your shag rug soft and plush for longer.