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Article: How To Clean and Care For A Shag Rug

How To Clean and Care For A Shag Rug

Shag Rugs are all the rage and have been a best-selling item here at Super Area Rugs in recent months. Not only can we help you find the perfect shag rug that accentuates the features of your space and accents your design, but we can help you keep it in it’s best shape for years to come with these shag rug care tips too. These shag rug care tips are intended not only to keep your rug looking clean and fresh but also feeling as soft and comfy as it’s earliest days.


Daily Care

Take off your shoes! We know, it’s not always as easy as it seems, but particularly with shag rugs with deep, light piling it’s best to remove your shoes before you step onto your shag and don’t be afraid or forget to ask your guests to do the same!Keep the liquids away. To be safe, it's ideal to prevent drinks on your shag rugs.


To give your shag rug the gentle care it deserves it’s ideal to use a comb vacuum attachment or hand comb / brush that is made specifically for routine care of rugs and delicate items. 


 If you do not have the comb attachment, when cleaning your shag rug you can vacuum with your regular vacuum cleaner but it’s best to disengage or completely remove the rotating beater brush to prevent damaging or beating on the shag piling. This will help extend your shag life while maintaining routine vacuuming and cleaning. 


 Every four to six months you should roll up your rug, flip it over with the backing side up, and vacuum the back side with the beater bar activated. This helps agitate any dirt or particles that have been trapped deep between the shag fibers while protecting the top side too. Depending on the dirt that becomes dislodged, repeat as necessary before repositioning your rug shag-side up.

Washing / Deep Cleaning

Not all shags are created equal so it is best to first determine what type of shag rug you have before washing it. Traditionally, most shag rugs will come with a either a jute backing or cotton canvas backing which look like this : 

Jute Backing

Cotton Canvas

If your shag rug looks anything like the two pictures here, it is advised they you do not wash them using regular methods. The water and moisture can overtime degrade the foundation of the shag rug and thus lead to it falling apart. It is recommended to steam / dry clean these rugs. 


Now, if your shag rug's backing does not look like the above two pictures, you may be able to wash them with soap and water to get rid of stubborn stains. More recently, the shags have evolved in their production to be machine washable as seen in our faux fur shag rug and our microfiber shag rugs. Both of this variety of shag rugs can be washed and line dried.

Additional Care

Restore the fluff to your shag rug by gentle brushing with a soft furniture brush to extend and separate the fibers adding new life and lift. 


 Don’t ever machine wash or dry that shag rug, just don’t. It won’t turn out well, trust us, we’ve seen the results! At the least we recommend cleaning all area rugs one to two times a year depending on the level of traffic and usage of the area. 


 To keep mold, mildew or bacteria from developing you can simply hang your rug outdoors in direct sunlight for 2-3 hours a few times a year to fill anything growing that could also harm your fibers. 


Sometimes, its cheaper to replace

Depending on your rug and how long you have had it, replacing it might be a better options. In the modern era, you can get a large shag rug for under $200 (what some cleaning companies charge for professional cleaning). Not only will you get a new rug, but you also save precious time which can be spent enjoying what you love to do most.


Take a look here for budget friendly shag rugs to fit any room and space.



Still needing help? 

Ask one of our rug and carpet experts below.

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