How To Keep A Shag Rug Looking Good

FSS115A from Faux Sheep Skin by Safavieh

A shag rug can upgrade your home in an instant. The unique look of shag rugs and their soft, inviting texture can make a home warmer and cozier while also making it more stylish and modern. Unlike most rugs, shag rugs have a deep pile that not only makes them softer to the touch but also softer on the eyes. Adding a shag rug to your home is the easiest way to bring in more texture, style, and depth. You will find shag rugs in mid-century designs, contemporary rooms, minimalist layouts, and even in Scandinavian decor. Whether you’re minimalist and modern, hygge and cozy, or somewhere in between, shag rugs are truly for everyone.

Shag rugs are made with a variety of materials, including flokati wool, faux and real fur, leather, and acrylic. Of course, the higher pile of shag rugs means more maintenance. Find out how to keep a shag rug looking good with the tips and tricks below!

Shaken, Not Vacuumed

SHS121A from Sheep Skin by Safavieh

Vacuuming your shag rug can cause a lot of trouble. This can create more knots within the rug and it can ruin the texture of the pile. The vacuum can even tear the fibers off the rug, and you may end up ruining your vacuum too. Instead of vacuuming, shake your rug to get dirt, cat litter, hair, and whatever else finds its way into the crevices of your shag rug off. Then you can vacuum up the mess of your floor.

As silly as it might feel, you may just need to get on your hands and knees and pull out any tough pieces that are caught in the rug—we did say shag rugs were more high maintenance! If you see anything particularly sticky stuck in your rug, use a spoon to scrape the piece out. If you live in a high-traffic home with lots of children and pets, you may want to keep your shag rug somewhere with less traffic, like the master bedroom. Here are some tips on choosing the right rug for high-traffic areas.

Spot Clean Trouble Spots

Hand Tufted Solid Tassel Lane Shag from Kaleidoscope by NuLoom

At some point or another, you will have spots on your rug that need to be washed out. Always start with a mild soap and water first. Dab the spot instead of rubbing your washcloth around. This will only make the stain worse and spread throughout the fibers of the rug. Dab with soapy water, rinse with plain water and repeat until the stain is removed. Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners as they may worsen the texture of your rug.

When using any product besides a mild soap and water, test out the solution on a tiny part of the rug first to make sure you don’t ruin the rug and create a new stain. The best thing you can do to avoid stains on your rug is to make a rule in the house that no food or drinks are allowed in the room with the shag—especially red wine!

Leather shag rugs are the hardest to clean, but they do look spectacular. Here is everything you need to know about leather shag rugs.

Comb & Untangle

FSS115A from Faux Sheep Skin by Safavieh

Just like you would do to keep your dog’s hair from matting, comb your shag rug on a regular basis! This is a great habit to keep your shag rug looking good as new. Brush your shag rug in one direction, pulling through any knots. Any foot traffic, even in socks or bare feet, will cause the rug to start to tangle. No matter how clean you keep the appearance, your shag rug won’t look good if you’re not combing it. Remember how we said shag rugs are high maintenance?

Keep your beautiful shag rug fluffy and soft with regular combing. Use your fingers to pull apart any particularly tough knots. The more often your comb your shag rug, the easier it will be to comb through it. There are so many different types of shag rugs, but those that are larger with higher piles will need the most untangling.

Layer Your Rugs

shag rug layered on natural fiber rug

You also want to protect the bottom of your shag rug. If too much dirt gets trapped underneath your shag rug it can wear on the knots and make your rug less sturdy. You don’t want your rug to play “mop” and trap dust underneath its fluffy texture. Layering rugs is a highly popular design technique, especially in modern homes, Southern styles, and bohemian designs. Protect the bottom of your shag rug by layering it on top of a natural fiber rug. Enhance the overall texture of the room by choosing a natural fiber rug with tassels, woven patterns, or one that is round.

Shag rugs that are in more irregular shapes look even better when using this layering technique. Make sure the rug on top—the shag rug—is smaller than the rug underneath. While shag rugs bring a lot of texture to a room individually, layering rugs is one of the most popular trends today for adding texture to any room.

Keep The Area Clean

Amor1 from Amore by Nourison

One of the best things you can do to promote longevity in your delicate shag rug is to keep the rest of the house clean, particularly the area around the rug. It’s no secret that dust, hair, and dirt travel around the room, so if you have a messy floor then your shag will be messy too. Routinely sweep dirt and other messes away from your rug and always mop the floors.

Remind everyone in your home to not simply swipe crumbs and dirt off the counters, but to throw these pieces in the trash. When cleaning the floors around your shag rug, take your shag outside and hang it so it can begin to lose some of its dirt. Make sure everything is spotless before bringing the rug back in.

If you’re still nervous about bringing a beautiful shag rug into your home, start with a darker colored shag rug, or shag rugs with lower piles. These will be easier to keep looking good as new.

how to keep a shag rug looking good

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