How to Clean a Shag Rug and Keep it Looking New
Having rugs or carpeting in your home sets you up for a lifetime of rug cleaning. Different rugs require different cleaning methods, and a cleaning a shag rug can be especially challenging if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Shag rugs are easily identified by their long, shaggy fibers. They are experiencing a resurgence in popularity and are available in a variety of colors and materials. Learn how to clean a shag area rug and keep it looking great.
Keep Your Shag Rug Looking Great
Proper cleaning of your shag rug is a critical step in the life of the rug. These soft, fluffy rugs feel great underfoot but they can be a royal pain to clean. With their longer, more luxurious carpet fibers, they require more maintenance than other types of area rugs.
- Start With the Vacuum: Vacuuming is important for keeping your rugs clean, but you should never use a regular upright vacuum on your shag rugs. The long fibers can cause damage to your vacuum or could get ripped out, mangling the rug. While vacuuming your shag rug, use your upholstery or hose attachment. Go slow, cleaning one row at a time.
- Shake it Up: Clean your shag rug the way your grandmother used to. Take it outside and give it a good shaking to release dirt from the fibers. You could also hang it over a railing and hit it with a broom handle or carpet beater. It’s also good to leave your rug in the sun for a little while to kill any bacteria that may be lurking deep within the fibers, although, do not leave it exposed to the sun for too long. The UV rays will damage the coloring, causing fading.
- Spot Cleaning: Spills happen. It’s a natural part of life, especially if you have white carpet. The trick is to clean the spot before it has time to reach the rug pad. Press firmly on the stain with a clean rag to soak up as much liquid as possible. Then spray with carpet cleaner and allow it to sit for a few minutes before blotting the stain dry with a rag. Start from the outside edges of the stain, working towards the center. Repeat until the spot is clean. Remember that the long, shaggy fibers do take longer to clean than other carpet fibers.
- Shampoo: Use a dry carpet shampoo or, if you prefer, you can rent a carpet cleaner. Using a carpet cleaner, apply shampoo to your rug. If you don’t want your rug to get wet, sprinkle dry carpet shampoo to the affected area, and then vacuum it up. Renting a carpet cleaner should not be done unless you are certain your shag rug can get wet.
- Professional Cleaning: When in doubt, go with the professionals. Some shag rugs require special cleaning to prevent damage or staining from chemicals caused by cleaning it yourself. It doesn’t hurt to hire professional carpet cleaners a few times a year to ensure your carpet looks it’s best and stays damage free. This can be pricey, however, so keep that in mind.
Use these handy shag rug cleaning tips to ensure your shag carpeting stays plush and soft for years to come.