Tips for Caring for a Shag Rug

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Shag rugs are comfortable because of their thick piling.
Shag rugs are comfortable because of their thick piling.

A shag rug is a great addition to a room's decor. Shag rugs are comfortable because the fibers are plush and the material is soft. However, shag needs more care than traditional rugs due to its composition. The extra-thick material can be difficult to clean, and special measures must be taken to ensure the life of your shag rug.

  1. Vacuuming

    • Vacuum your shag rug at least twice a week. Change the direction of the vacuum to loosen up tough dirt stains. Suction-only vacuuming should always be performed; using a vacuum with a bristle bar attached will cause the pile to loosen and become fuzzy. Occasionally shake the rug outside to remove any trapped dirt or crumbs.


    • Sweep your shag rug daily. Use a stiff-bristled brush to remove dirt and other particles trapped in the pile. Daily sweeping will also keep the rug from clumping up or matting. For particularly expensive or long-piled rugs, buy a grooming rake or pilator. They are specially designed to keep shag rugs clean and maintained.


    • Use a steam cleaner to deep clean your shag rug once or twice a year. Steam cleaning removes dirt and oil residue that vacuuming alone cannot remove. You can rent a steam cleaning machine or take your rug to a professional carpet cleaner. Remove as much excess water as possible after steaming, because shag rugs are very absorbent.


    • If there is a spill on the carpet, blot it up immediately with an absorbent cloth or paper towel. Wash the area with mild soap and water. If the rug is made of natural materials, do not use a chemical cleaner. For white shag rugs, treat the area with a bleach-water solution. Use a vinegar-water solution on the spill to remove odors.

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