How To Care for Your Shag Rug

Shag Rug

When you think of shag rugs, it might conjure up images of lava lamps and VW vans, but these rugs are back in a big way. An investment in a shag rug can be a classy, comfortable addition to any room in your house. Shag rugs feel great underfoot, and can last for years if properly maintained. In terms of care, they are somewhat different from traditional rugs, and you should be mindful of this when cleaning them. Check out these tips for keeping your shag rug looking its best.

General Care

As with almost any rug, a pad underneath is a good idea. Don’t let the thickness of a shag rug fool you – it still needs protection underneath, and a rug pad is a good way to keep your rug from slipping on a smooth surface.

Your shag rug will also need to be vacuumed regularly. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it doesn’t take long for dirt and other damaging particles to work their way deep into the rug. You should vacuum a shag rug twice a week to keep these harmful materials out of the rug.

Vacuuming your rug regularly is a great way to extend its life, but the length of the pile on a shag rug means you need to take some extra precautions. It is better to use a vacuum without a beater bar, or disengage your vacuums beater bar when cleaning your shag rug. The reason? This can snag strands of the rug and tear them or even pull them out. If the rug is small enough, you may even want to take it outside and beat it to loosen dirt and other debris.


Spills on a shag rug should be cleaned in the same manner as spills on any other rug. Blot at the spill with paper towels, and be sure not to rub it into the fibers. You will also want to rinse the area with water to get rid of any residue from the spill. The length of a shag rug means that there is more material for a spill to be absorbed into, so take your time and double-check to make sure you have cleaned up the entire spill. Shag carpets also take a long time to dry, so you may want to place a fan by the affected area to speed up the process. Excess moisture can cause mold or mildew, and damage your rug.

If you are using a cleaning product to get rid of a potential stain, make sure you know what type of material your rug is made of. Chemical cleaners can easily damage natural fibers. Either way, you should always test your cleaner on an inconspicuous part of the rug before using it.

You should have your shag rug professionally cleaned about once a year, or even more often if there are stains that you can’t get out by yourself.

Shag rugs can be a little trickier to take care of on your own, so if you have any more tips you’d like to share, let us know in the comments below!