A Complete Guide On How To Clean Your Shag Rugs

Shag rugs make your place look cosier. They’re the most comfortable and super soft to the touch and are available in various cοlours and materials, like wool, leather or cotton, to pair with the rest of your home decor. There are different types of rugs:

  • Flokati: This type is the fluffiest and looks like the sheepdog. It’s made of 100% wool.
  • Leather shag: Leather carpets are more delicate. You should avoid this type if you own a pet.
  • Wool rug: It’s the most popular one.
  • Synthetic: This type is the least expensive and easiest type to clean, but it doesn’t have the same quality as wool.

a dog lying on a white shag rug

Rug care, and especially cleaning the shag rugs,  is a challenging task for any homeowner. The high pile and the long fibres can make it much easier to accumulate dirt and grime and much harder to clean. To help you keep in good shape your fluffy carpets, we have all the necessary information to master that challenging task. So, are you ready to find out how to clean your shag rugs? Let’s get started!

How to clean a shag rug?

Most rugs can’t be washed in the washing machine because of their size and the delicate materials they are made of. The same applies to shaggy rugs. They have a high pile, which can quickly accumulate dirt and crumbs, making it quite difficult to clean them, especially if it’s too large. If you have a carpet cleaner machine, things would be much easier. Even if you don’t have such a machine, there’s a way to clean them, no matter the size of your rug.

Needed materials:

Steps to follow:

  1. Shake it. Pick up your rug and take it outside. Give it a fair shake. If you have a large rug, then hang it on a clothesline. Use a broom or a mop to beat it to remove all dirt particles and crumbs.
  2. Vacuum it.  It’s vacuuming time. Use the upholstery attachment to prevent damaging the fibres of your shaggy rug

To vacuum your rug the right way, you should:

  1. Roll it up and place it to the side. 
  2. Lay a sheet on the floor. 
  3. Unroll the rug on the sheet with the soft side facing down and start vacuuming the backside first.
  4. Once you’ve finished, roll it up again and remove the sheet.
  5. Lay the rug back to place and vacuum the top. Vacuum it vertically and horizontally to fluff up the fibres.

How to deep clean your shaggy rug? 

Deeper cleaning should be done at least once a year to maintain its good condition and prolong its lifespan. Before applying a deep cleaning, make sure to check the care label and the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any damages. 

vacuuming a shag rug

You can use a special carpet dry shampoo, or if you prefer a more natural way, you can make your cleaning solution with water and vinegar. 

Deep cleaning your shag rug with a carpet cleaner

Needed materials:

Steps to follow:

  1. First, shake and vacuum your rug following the steps mentioned above. 
  2. Next, mix the cleaner of your choice with lukewarm water according to the instructions labelled on the package and apply it to the entire carpet. 
  3. Hang your shaggy rug to air dry. If that’s not possible, then let it dry in a well-ventilated place

Deep cleaning your shag rug with vinegar

Needed materials:

  • A bucket
  • Lukewarm water 
  • White vinegar

Steps to follow:

    1. Shake and vacuum your carpet to remove any loose dirt.
    2. Fill a bucket with equal parts of lukewarm water and vinegar.
    3. Apply the vinegar solution to the carpet.
    4. Let it air dry.

Extra tip: Before applying either the commercial cleaners or the vinegar solution, you should test it first on a small inconspicuous area to ensure that there won’t be any discolouration

Hοw to clean your shag rug by hand?

If you have a small shaggy rug, you can pretty easily clean it by hand in your bath.

Woman cleaning carpet wearing yellow cleaning glove

Needed materials:

  • Cold water
  • A laundry liquid 

Steps to follow:  

  1. Fill your bathtub with cold water and add some laundry detergent. Make sure that the detergent is bleach-free and with no scent.
  2. Place your carpet into the soapy water and move it to wash. 
  3. Leave it for half an hour
  4. Rinse very well with water and squeeze the excess water.
  5. Let it air dry completely.

Hοw to steam clean your shag rug?

Professional rug cleaners usually do steam cleaning. However, it is a rug cleaning method you can do yourself, as long as you have a steam cleaning machine. It’s a quick carpet cleaning way, and you’ll be amazed by the results. We must warn you, though, that a steam cleaner may damage the carpet’s fibres. 

Here’s how you can steam clean your carpets:

  1. The first step is to vacuum your carpets.
  2. Then, use hot water and a carpet cleaner along with your steam machine. 
  3. Squeeze your carpet to remove the excess water as it’ll be damp.
  4. Then, dry your carpet.

Hοw to dry clean your shag rug?

Dry cleaning your shaggy carpet is a handy and easy way because you don’t have to air-dry your carpet afterwards. You can do it using dry shampoo

Here’s what you need:

  • A dry shampoo
  • A vacuum cleaner

Then, do as follows:

  1. Apply a small amount of shampoo on the carpet. 
  2. Next, brush your rug with your vac turned off. Make sure to use the vac’s cleaning-head bristles
  3. Once you’ve finished brushing, let the shampoo dry. Check the instructions on the package for the exact time.
  4. After the shampoo dries, vacuum the shampoo’s leftovers. 

Hοw to clean spots out of your shag rug?

Things are more straightforward when it comes to cleaning all kinds of stains off your carpet. To spot cleaning all kinds of carpets, the rule of thumb is to remove the stain immediately. You can do this by first blotting the affected area with paper towels or a clean, microfibre cloth. 

food stains and a blue plate on the carpet

Here are the tools you’ll need and the steps you should follow:

Needed materials:

  • A bowl
  • Warm water 
  • Dish soap 
  • Baking soda
  • Paper towels or microfibre cloths
  • A brush with soft bristles.

Steps to follow:

  1. Blot the stained area with some paper towels or a cloth. Don’t rub to avoid the stain moving any further into the fibres.
  2. Fill a bowl with warm water and some dish soap. 
  3. Dab the stain with a clean cloth damped into the soapy water.
  4. Let it air dry.
  5. Sprinkle some baking soda to remove the stain and any bad smells. If your carpet smells bad, we’ve got you covered. We have the best ways to refresh your home and get smells from your carpet.
  6. Let the powder stay for half an hour, then brush it off.

Note: If your carpet is white or light coloured, we suggest using white microfibre cloths to prevent any colour transfer from the cloth to your rug. 

However, there are a few tips on how to treat each stain.

Gum or wax stain

What irritating stains! Fortunately, there’s an easy way to get rid of them!

Needed materials:
  • Ice cubes
  • A plastic bag
  • A clean towel
  • A vac
Steps to follow:
  1. Place a few ice cubes on a plastic bag and then over the wax or gum to freeze it. 
  2. Hold it on the stain for a while. 
  3. Finally, remove the ice pieces before starting to melt,  vacuum any wax/ gum and blot the spot with a white, clean towel.

Red wine stains

Red wine spills( or any other dark juice) aren’t a serious reason to throw away your fluff shaggy rug, as long as you act quickly before the liquid enters deeper in the fibres. All you have to do is pour a generous amount of salt on the stain. Then you can clean it with some vinegar cleaning mixture.

cleaning red wine stains from a carpet wearing yellow rubber gloves

Pet Stains 

To clean the mess that your four-legged friend makes on your shaggy rugs, you need to remove everything from the carpet first. Put on gloves, pick up any debris and throw them away. Avoid steam cleaners as the high temperature will make the stain and odour permanent. You don’t need to be occupied with any special cleaning products. Ingredients from your kitchen’s cupboards can help you make your DIY cleaning solution.

Needed materials:
  • A spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Lukewarm water
  • ½ teaspoon of non-bleach detergent.
  • Clean cloth
Steps to follow:
  1. Mix equal parts of vinegar and lukewarm water in the spray bottle and spray the spot. 
  2. Then, create a solution of ½ teaspoon of non-bleach detergent and water.
  3.  Rinse the area with the solution and blot dry with a cloth. 

But, if you need something more powerful because of a permanent odour, you can use an enzyme cleaner.

Kool-Aid stains

Kool-Aid contains dyes that can make the stains very hard to remove. That’s why the number one tip to remove that stain is to act ASAP.

Needed materials:
  • Salt
  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Lukewarm water
  • A microfibre cloth
  • A wet cloth
  • An iron 
Steps to follow:
  1. Pour a large amount of salt on the stain to absorb the liquid. Act as soon as the accident happens to ensure that it won’t enter the fibres. 
  2. Once the liquid has dried, make soapy water with some dish detergent and lukewarm water.
  3. Soak a clean cloth in the soapy water and dap it on the affected surface.
  4. Next, set your iron at the lowest temperature and place it above a wet cloth over the stain. Steam the stain and wait to see the dye removed from the carpet. 

When to go for a professional clean?

Of course, there’s always the choice to hire a professional. It would be better to let the specialists tackle your dirty shag rugs if your carpet is damaged during the cleaning process or if you find it hard to apply the above cleaning methods

How do you rejuvenate a shag rug?

Shag carpeting is more delicate than other carpet types due to its high pile and long fibres. Proper cleaning and maintenance can make a shag rug last for long or even restore its bad condition. But how can someone bring back its former fluffy state

  1. An easy but time-consuming is to “brush” it with your fingers through its pile. 
  2. Vacuuming regularly can also help your carpet not to lose its fluffiness.
  3. Steam cleaning is another way to restore your carpet and kill any dust mites

Extra Tips: How to keep your shag rug clean for longer?

Carpets are one of the greatest expenses around your house. That’s why you should take good care of them and keep them in good condition to last longer. Here are a few tips to help you prolong their life span. 

    1. The basic rule to remember is to vacuum the rug at least once a week or more, depending on the traffic area your rug is laid. 
    2. If a stain occurs, always treat it as soon as possible to prevent the stain from entering more in-depth into the fibres. 
    3. Before applying any cleaning product, test it first on a small area to avoid any discolouration and other damages. 
    4. Ask visitors and family to keep shoes off the rug.
    5. Rotate the rug for even wear every six month.

a woolen checked plaid, slippers and a coffee cup on a clean shaggy carpet

Carpet Cleaning will be a pretty easy chore from now without the need for a specialist. It might be a little time-consuming and in the condition of some elbow grease, but we promise that it’ll save you money, and you’ll have your carpets clean and fluffy like new. Apply the above methods according to your needs and keep your shag rugs clean all year.

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