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How to Clean and Care for Shaggy Rugs

Shaggy rugs can be a great addition to any home. They can make big open spaces feel cosy and snug, as well adding interest and unique style to smaller rooms. These beautiful rugs are in some ways misunderstood - many of us choose to avoid them, for fear that they will be high maintenance, tricky to care for, and won’t last very long. 

The fluffy, luxurious pile of a shaggy rug is on one hand the very essence of what makes this style desirable, but on the other hand this is what concerns us the most - how is it possible to care for such a thick pile, and won’t the dense strands just harbour dirt and dust?

Want to invest in a shaggy rug and add a cosy and luxe feel to your home, but worried about the upkeep? With just a few simple steps, you can ensure your shaggy rug always looks beautiful, but doesn’t cause you lots of hard work. Here’s how to clean and care for your shaggy rug, and make it a welcomed addition to your home…

Shaggy Rug Maintenance Explained…

Keeping your perfect shaggy rug clean isn’t as tricky. as you might think. 

Before you get started on cleaning your shaggy rug there are a few things to note…, 

  • Always check the instructions on the label of your rug, as there may be some small differences in the care advice, or products that you’re not able to use. There might be things listed below that are not suitable for your rug. If you’re in any doubt you can always contact the retailer of the rug and ask.

  • A little forward thinking and planning goes a long way - it’s best to keep on top of the care of your rug, rather than try and rescue a rug that’s not been well looked after.

Here is our step-by-step guide to keeping your shaggy rug in great condition, fluffy, luxurious and delightfully soft (and clean) underfoot…

#1: Keep Dirt Free

The first step when it comes to maintaining your rug is to regularly loosen any dirt that may have settled on or in the pile. On a dry day, take your rug out of the house and hang it over an outside railing or washing line. Then, using the handle of a broom or mop, beat the shaggy rug to loosen the dirt. Doing this every once in a while will ensure that dirt doesn’t build up, making it more difficult to remove. 

#2 Hoover Regularly

Give it a good old vacuum. Shaggy rugs should be vacuumed - carefully - at least weekly or, if necessary more often, depending on where in the home you choose to place your rug. To keep it in tip top and ‘fluffy’ condition it should be vacuumed daily, but few of us have time for this. A twice-weekly hoover will do, and this can just be done with the rest of the home - there’s no need for special equipment, or a lot of extra time.

The deep pile of the shaggy rug means that dirt and grit that sits on top of the pile will eventually work its way down the fibres. Don’t forget the underside either - this is especially important when it comes to shaggy rugs as the dirt travels down the pile onto the layer holding it all together. As soon as you have thoroughly vacuumed the top side, flip it over and give the underside a thoroughly good clean too.

#3 Spruce up When Needed

Dry carpet shampoo can work wonders to cheer up a shaggy rug. Following the manufacturer's instructions, the granules of the dry shampoo are sprinkled on to the rug and worked through the fibres. Some products need to be left for a short time and then vacuumed out from the rug. This is a great way of giving a rug a quick spruce up and making it feel and smell fresher. If you feel that your shaggy rug needs a deeper clean, steam cleaning is a great option.

#4 Consider a Professional Clean

This is the way to go if your rug hasn’t been very well looked after and needs a fresh start. If your rug is in need of a more serious clean, consider a professional clean, or hire a carpet cleaning machine to carry out a deep clean at home yourself. Follow the recommended instructions, but generally  it is important to use only a nozzle attached or a power head that operates via suction rather than a rotating head as this can damage the fibres of the pile.

Damage Control for Occasional Spills

No matter how careful you are, at some point something will get split on your rug. Knowing how to deal with this is key to ensuring the stain can be completely removed, to avoid damaging your rug. 

Whether it’s wine, coffee or something else,, the occasional spill is the biggest risk to your shaggy rug. If there is an accidental spill onto your rug, the key is to act quickly to mop up the liquid and avoid a stain setting in. Here’s what to do…

  1. Soak up any spills with kitchen roll or something similar to flannel or super absorbent cloth

  2.  Gently dab at the spill until you have as much of the spillage soaked up as possible - avoid rubbing as this will only push the liquid deeper into the fibres. 

  3. For heavily coloured liquids, adds a small amount of tepid water to help lift the stain

  4. Consider a reputable stain remover that will not strip the rug of its colour or damage the fibres. There are many available on the market. Follow the instructions carefully, and only use if steps 1-3 does not stop staining from occurring. 

With just a little extra effort, you can ensure your shaggy rug always looks beautiful in your home. Shaggy rugs don’t have to be high maintenance - just a few simple steps each week will ensure you can enjoy your rug for years to come. If you’re looking for a full guide to rug maintenance, check out our blog post on how to clean all rugs.

  • Posted On: 12 October 2015