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Shag Rugs

8 Ways To Keep Your Shag Rugs Looking New

Shag rugs are a popular modern design trend, especially in America.

It is the rug with some longer pile which looks shaggy. Shaggy rugs are made with Synthetic fiber for a living roomOne beautiful shag carpet could give your room a more beautiful and warm feeling.

They're often featured in interior design magazines and television shows because shag rugs for living room add luxury and elegance to any room. However, there's one thing interior designers forgot to mention...

These soft shag and fluffy shag rugs can be a PAIN! because they are thick soft higher pile rugs than regular hand-knotted rugs, which means the fibers are cut longer than in regular rugs.

Of course, having an elegant item doesn't come without a catch. High pile shag rugs are significantly harder to clean than regular area rugs. Dirt and dust get deep in the crevices between the fibers, making it nearly impossible to reach them all. Large shag rugs can be very heavy, making them even more difficult to clean, especially if it's a fluffy white shag rug.

Adding to the difficulty is the variety of types of shaggy rugs for the living room on the market. There are many different types of shag area rugs, and each shaggy rug should be cleaned and cared for differently specific to its materials. Frieze shag carpets are made with Dietary fiber. Same is the case with Wool Shag rugs who need to be cleaned in a far different way than normal shag rugs.
This is one reason why professional rug cleaners will charge significantly more to clean shag rugs than they will to clean more expensive, low-pile rugs. That's why is here to help you learn about the different types of shag rugs and their specific traits so you know how to clean shag rugs before just taking the household vacuum across them.

Checkout some of our Shag Rugs

5 Types of Shag Rugs

1. Flokati

Flokati shag rugs are a type of handmade wool rug, traditionally made in Greece. These shag rugs are usually a white or cream color, but can be dyed into multiple color schemes. They are 100% wool, including the rug backing.  

Best flokati rugs are one of the fluffiest types of shag rugs and remind you of a sheepdog--they dirty easily and have to be cleaned and brushed often.

To maintain the soft, fluffy look of a Flokati shag rug, you should clean it on a regular schedule--before it even gets dirty! Otherwise, it will get messy, matted, and stained to the point where you'll never clean it back to the original look.

2. Wool

There are two main types of wool shag rugs "noodles" and "shaggy."

The rugs displayed above and below are "noodle" rugs. Their thick wool fibers--in the shape of noodles--make an especially soft, luxurious rug, but their texture comes at a price. Soft fibers attract anything a feather duster can - dirt, dust, hair, and other particles that stick have probably made a home in your noodle rug. Not only do these rugs attract dirt, but it is especially difficult to get out because the tufts are loosely attached to the backing, which makes them easily pull out.

The other type of wool shag rug is the "shaggy" wool rug. The fibers in these shag rugs are a lot thinner and closer together than those of the noodle area rug.

The small wool shaggy 100% wool rugs sale available at are hand-knotted with 100% natural wool. This type of shag rug is much easier to clean than the fluffier versions above because the knots are much closer together, which makes it more difficult for dirt and grime to slip through the cracks.

This type of shag rug is more durable and easier to care for, but is sometimes more expensive than the traditional low-pile rug. carries many types of hand-tufted shaggy rugs for living room in a reasonably smaller size, which makes the price lower on this type of luxury shag rug. However, if you're getting a LARGE, high-quality shag rug, the price quickly adds up... (and makes it more difficult to clean).  

3. Leather

Leather shag rugs look like crumpled up paper masquerading as a rug:

These shags are somewhat easier to clean than others because you can use a leather cleaner on them. These rugs, however, can be pricey based on brand and quality of leather, and ARE NOT pet-friendly... or in general, life-friendly.

Placing a leather shag rug strategically in a low-traffic area in your home is key to keeping it clean - a place that it won't come in with foods, liquids, and pets. Basically, a leather shag rug is like a wedding cake--you can look at it but don't touch it or you'll ruin it. So are they worth it? That's up to you!

4. Acrylic

Acrylic wool shaggy rugs not only look cheaper than wool shag rugs, but they are actually a danger for your home.

Acrylic rugs are highly flammable, so we DO NOT recommend putting them in your home. 

5. Synthetic

Although synthetic shag rugs are not the highest quality rugs, they can be somewhat easier to clean because unlike wool, they can actually handle a steam cleaner a few times. However, they will still not last very long due to low quality materials.

How to Clean Your Shag Rugs

As you learned, there are many different textures and types of  new shag rugs. Each has a specific tolerance to chemicals, vacuums, and steam.We understand you must be waiting impatiently to know the best ways to clean a shag rug. So here are some tips and tricks to finally clean that shag rug!

Pro Tip: Before you start using any method, better test the small hidden part of your rug first. It applies particularly in cases where cleaning products are involved. Reading all ‘instructions for use’ carefully is also a good idea to play safe

1. Vacuum

Can you vacuum a shag rug? Yes, but in a cautious way.  There is a different method to vacuum it. 

The only resemblance in vacuuming shaggy and other types of rugs is:

You should vacuum them once or twice a week ideally. It becomes even more important if they are securing a high traffic location.

Here is a look to dissimilarities for vacuuming a shaggy beast!

You never want to use a regular upright vacuum to clean a shag rug. You'll ruin your rug, your vacuum, or possibly both. Shag rugs are too thick for a vacuum to properly clean, and the fibers could possibly get stuck in the vacuum's rotating beater bar, ripping the shag out of the back of the rug. 

The beater bar of a vacuum cleaner is present right inside its main suction area. It is round in shape and contains brush bristles on it.

If you’re going to vacuum a shag rug, you can choose for any of these options:

  • If shaggy is covering a large area, you can buy a suction-only vacuum that doesn’t contain a beater bar.
  • If the budget doesn’t allow, you can buy some vacuum attachments like an upholstery accessory. You can find them easily at the rugs/carpet care store.
  • If you aren’t willing to spend any of your bucks and go with a standard vacuum, then uncouple its beater bar.

Pro Tip: Carpet/Rug Rake attachment can be the best accessory for your hairy rug. It looks like a comb. It vacuums your rug while grooming it with its gentle comb-like bristles.

Now as you have decided the type of vacuum for your rug, here is how to vacuum a shag rug:

Slowly vacuum your shag rugs with an attachment, row by row. You can also turn your rug over and vacuum the back to knock the dirt laying in the shag outwards.

It might be helpful to shake your rug out before vacuuming to get a fuller clean.

Remember that vacuuming can’t take all dirt out of your shaggy. You should keep running over the same spot for at least two to three times to obtain good results. This condition specifically applies to white shag rug or beige shag rug because of their lighter color tone.

Warning:  If you feel like pulling the fiber of rugs, STOP IT! Vacuuming might not be a suitable way to clean your Shag rug then. Choose for an alternative option.

2. Shake It or Smack It

Take your rug outside and shake it, especially with another person helping for bigger rugs, but be careful the wind isn't blowing towards you! Hang it upside-down or over the clothesline and beat it with a broom or a mop handle.

Fun fact: There was once a law in Britain that you could not beat or shake any carpet or rug in any street!

Don't try to kill it! Just hit it enough to loosen up the dirt particles and get the dust flying. Some recommend leaving the rug outside in the sun for a few hours to kill any lingering bacteria, but keep in mind the sun's UV rays can damage the color of your shag rug if it sits out for a prolonged period of time!

Tip: If you own a wool shag rug, you can even use your dog’s wide-toothed brush to fluff it up. It is a practice followed by a few wool shaggy owners.

Yet, Remember! It can only work on sheepdog-like rugs. If your shaggy is synthetic, you can possibly damage it.

3. Try a Dry Bath

Sometimes, even after shaking and vacuuming, the shaggy look dirty. It can be because these methods cannot ensure absolute cleanliness.

This scenario might sound more common to those who own a pink shag rug or a grey shag rug. The light color tone makes them very sensitive towards dirt/dust.

Now, how to clean a shag rug? Giving your rug a bath with dry shampoo is an easy way out.

All you would need to have is a dry shampoo of any good brand and a brush with soft bristles. You should prefer an outside area as giving a bath to a shaggy can create a lot of mess.

Sprinkle the dry shampoo all over the rug. Take the brush and start cleaning the rug gently. You should then leave the shampoo to set it properly. This time may vary depending on your shampoo.

You can check the manufacturer’s instructions for it. It is normally more than 10 minutes or so.

You can vacuum the rug to take the shampoo out of it. It will help in breaking the dirt loose from the fiber strands

4. Spot Clean Shag Rugs

This Shag Rug cleaning method is a big savior at disastrous moments. Just imagine, spilling some fruit juice or curry on your shaggy. It is somehow enough to give you a mini heart attack.

Now, you have some stains on your shag rug, here is something you need to follow!

You first need to be super vigorous in cleaning the spills before they set deep inside the carpet. The cloth you choose for soaking the spilled liquid must need to be of white or any neutral color. Why?

 It will eliminate the chance of the fabric color transferring on your shaggy. 

Absorb the spill as much as you can on cloth. You should avoid rubbing a cloth on the rug, as it can spread the stain. Just dab the cloth repeatedly to soak all of the liquid.

If you are concerned about the choice of cloth for cleaning the stains, go for microfibre. It can do the job well without leaving any of its marks on the rug.

Now take any wet and clean cloth, start dabbing it on the stained rug part. Keep doing it till the time you feel you are done with handling the stain.

Baby wipes and wet paper towels can also be a good choice. There is a condition for choosing them - they should be alcohol-free. 

WARNING: avoid scrubbing your shag rug with a hard bristles brush thinking it will remove the stains properly. It can rather damage the delicate fiber strands. 

At this point, if your shag rug needs more spot cleaning, go for another step. Choose any gentle dish soap or detergent. Mix them in water to make a solution. Dip any clean cloth in it and rub the stained part gently.

Once the stain is removed, leave the shaggy in the open air to get dry properly.

DIY TIP:Vinegar can also do the spot cleaning job in place of soap/detergent. It is, however, important to dilute it. A solution of an equal amount of vinegar and lukewarm water can be enough to fight with the stain.

This home remedy can go well with stains involving water. You should still be cautious with an acid. It is safe to first try it on any hidden part of your shaggy to see its effects.

Spot cleaning a shaggy is a hell of a lot of work. At this point, you must be thinking about how to take care of the shag rug?

Here are some preventive measures to avoid such mishaps:

You can place a rug in low traffic areas. There is another possibility to make strict rules at home regarding a shaggy baby. No one should be allowed to throw trash or eat around it.

Avoid walking on it with your shoes on. Keep the floor beneath it totally clean and dust-free.

These are some basic tips that you can follow to keep your shag rug looking new for a long time period.

5. Steam Cleaning

A steam cleaner can be a good option to thoroughly clean your shag rug. It is an easier method to get rid of all odors, dust, and other dirt settled deep inside.

In order to carry out the process successfully, first hold your vacuum and start doing your job. It is for the reason; vacuumed rug gets better cleaning with a steam cleaner.

Wondering over the logic? Once your vacuum removes the dirt present at top layers, steam cleaner gets the chance to focus more on grime buried deep inside.

Now, add water and carpet soap/detergent in a steam cleaner. You should take care of their quantity as the excessive cleaner can damage the shaggy. Don’t forget to read all the instructions before starting. 

Move the cleaner over your rug from one side to another. Keep doing the same till you feel it spotless and tidy.

Leave the rug at a properly ventilated location to let it air dry properly.

FYI: you can also protect your shag rug with a Scotch Guard. You can spray these products in order to gain protection against stains on the rug fiber. This method involves certain considerations and watchfulness.

Yet, would you like your Moroccan shag rug or a red shag rug to lose their charm with grime?

6. Washing

In order to prolong the lifetime of your shag rug, you should pay special attention to its maintenance. It means you better not let it stay dirty for any time.

As far as vacuuming is concerned, keep doing them weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. So, no dust can get a chance to settle deep inside the rug. Also, you can do spot cleaning in case of accidents.

The thing is you just cannot be careless with your silver shag rug or a black shag rug. These beauties need your keen attention.

Well, this isn’t all for your shaggy!

They need thorough cleaning twice or at least once a year. Dry cleaning is one option for it. If it is not possible, go for the detailed washing procedure.

You might feel reluctant to perform it, it is very much possible. You just need to be determined, gentle, and careful with its delicate fibers.

So, how to wash a shag rug? Just like the steam cleaning series, start the procedure with vacuuming.

If your rug isn’t very large, you can take any good-sized tub. Otherwise, washing on a clean floor can be a convenient option.

Fill the tub with warm (not very hot) water. Choose any safe detergent/cleaner and mix in the water. You can increase/decrease its quantity as compared to the rug’s size.

Put the rug inside and let it sit for 10 or more minutes. You can either use your hand or a brush with very soft bristles to remove the stains.

Rinse the rug properly to take out soap. Leave it for a significant time period in an open area to air dry.

At this point, a question might hit your mind. It is can you put a shaggy rug in the washing machine?

The answer is yes, BUT with a CONDITION. Only if your shag rug doesn’t have a rubber back, you can put them in the washing machine. Use a Gentle Cycle and Cold Water to machine wash it. Still, I must state, washing machine isn’t a preferable method to clean your shag rug.

To know more about how to wash rugs at home or maybe you decide to purchase a machine-washable rug we have published a guide for washable rugs you can check out!

7. Cool Air Dryer

This cleaning method applies specifically to small rugs only. You can use your dryer with no heat, just air only, to clean your rug. It can help you to take out soil and dust rooted inside.

FYI: Many professional cleaners have large-sized dryers. They use them for dusting purpose as well as grooming rugs after cleaning

8. Bring it to the Pros

If you want to get a deeper clean than the tips listed or avoid DIY techniques, bring it to the people who clean shag rugs for a living! 

Keep in mind that getting a shag rug professionally cleaned can be pricey because of the difficulty involved! 

Back in the 1970s, people were fond of these shag rugs. A very thick and comfortable shag rug with bright colors was a fashion statement back then. Why they disappeared? It is just because of the difficulty and price involved in their cleanliness.

Well! They are back on track again. I hope they will maintain their position this time, as people are more aware of various cleaning techniques.  

Thanks for reading tips on how to clean a shag area rug! Be sure to check out for an extensive list of 100% professionally handmade & hand knotted rugs and buy shag rug at great prices!  

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