Learning How to Clean Your Shag Rug

clean shag rug

Incorporating a rug into your decor plan is a fun way to add to the style and comfort of your home. However, regular cleaning of your rug is key to keeping those rugs looking stylish. Unlike low pile rugs, a shag rug isn’t easily cleaned with the quick swipe of a vacuum. Shag rugs, which continue to grow in popularity, must be carefully cleaned to prevent damaging the rug.

What type of shag rug do you have?

How you clean your shag rug depends on what type of rug you have.

  • Wool
  • Synthetic
  • Leather

The basics

Regardless of which type of shag rug you have, a few universal cleaning tips apply to all shag rugs.

  • Prevention: The most important cleaning tip is preventing major messes. Avoid walking on the shag with your shoes. Keep shag rugs in low traffic areas and limit food and beverage consumption near the rugs.
  • Vacuuming 101: An upright vacuum will not only be incapable of cleaning the rug, but there’s a good chance that you will damage both your vacuum and the rug. Use a handheld attachment if you must vacuum.
  • Beat the rug: There’s a reason old photographs depict rugs being taken out for a beating; it gets the dust out! Hang a rug outside and gently hit the rug to loosen dirt and debris.
  • Spot clean: If a spill does happen, clean it up immediately. Try to soak up the liquid with a microfiber cloth as quickly as possible to prevent the fluid from reaching the backing. Cleaning methods vary on the material type of the shag.

Cleaning wool shag rugs

Wool shag rugs come in a variety of styles including noodle shag, Flokati, and shaggy wool. Noodle shag rugs consist of thick noodle-shaped tufts of wool while “shaggy” wood rugs consist of much thinner strands of wool. The knots of shaggy wool rugs are tighter than the knots on a noodle rug. Be extra gentle when trying to shake out a noodle shag rug since the noodle tufts can be easily pulled from the backing.

If you are lucky enough to own a Flokati rug, you probably know how exquisite this rug is. White and fluffy, Flokati rugs are traditionally white, 100% wool, and handmade in Greece. Unlike the other two wool rugs, this one must be brushed routinely to keep mats from developing.

Cleaning synthetic shag rugs

Synthetic shag rugs are more affordable than a wool rug, and cleaning them may be a little easier. In addition to shaking the rug and spot cleaning, some synthetic shag rugs may be able to handle light use of a steam cleaner. However, note that synthetic rugs will not last as long as a higher quality wool rug.

Cleaning leather shag rugs

Due to the nature of leather, a leather rug is considerably harder to keep looking new. However, unlike the wool and synthetic varieties, it is safe to use a leather cleaner on a leather shag rug.

While regular maintenance (including spot cleaning or shaking out the rug) is necessary, it is possible to extend the life of your rug with thorough professional cleanings. If you own a shag rug, contact Embassy Cleaners for a consultation.

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