How to Vacuum a Shag Rug (Step-by-Step Guide)How to Vacuum a Shag Rug (Step-by-Step Guide) https://www.carpetgurus.com/wp-content/uploads/How-to-vacuum-shag-rug-1024x576.jpg 1024 576 Rachelle Stone Rachelle Stone https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/b903daecc57f726c767c59baf58630cd?s=96&d=mm&r=g
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Shag rugs offer a blast from the past with their thick, plush piled construction. But all that fluffy fiber can be tricky to clean and maintain properly.
Follow our step-by-step guide to learn how to vacuum a shag rug to lift dirt, prevent matting, and keep it looking fabulous .
Why Vacuuming Shag Rugs is Tricky
The long fibers that give shag rugs their signature soft texture also make them prone to tangles, matting, and getting clogged up with dirt, dust, and debris.
Using an ordinary vacuum can be disastrous – the brush roll or beater bars easily tangle in the fibers and cause irreversible damage. The dense piled construction also makes it difficult for air to flow through a traditional vacuum head.
That’s why it’s important to choose the right specialized vacuum that’s up for the challenge of cleaning a shag rug without destroying it in the process.
The proper technique is also key to lifting out dirt without removing fibers or flattening the plush pile. We will show you how to refresh your shag rug like a pro.
Choose the Right Vacuum for Shag Rugs
To safely tackle vacuuming a shag rug, you need a vacuum designed specifically not to ruin or shred the long fibers:
Adjustable Suction Power
Look for adjustable suction levels from low to high. Strong suction is useful for deeply embedded dirt. But high levels can flatten and damage thicker carpet fibers. The ability to adjust down prevents this.
Adjustable Height Settings
When it comes to vacuuming high pile carpets like shag rugs, you’ll want to look for a vacuum cleaner with adjustable height settings for the cleaning head. This allows you to raise the vacuum up to gently glide over the thick carpet fibers without matting them down or causing tangles.
Anti-Tangle Brush Head
Avoid traditional beater bar brush rolls, which will hopelessly wrap and damage shag fibers. Opt for a smooth anti-tangle airflow head.
Lightweight Extension Wand
To avoid matting as you vacuum, choose a lightweight wand and vacuum head that can hover and float over the carpet without pressing down.
Large Navigation Wheels
Vacuums made for deep pile carpets also tend to have large wheels, which makes them easy to push and maneuver across the rug without pressing down too much.
Prep Your Shag Rug for Vacuuming
Before tackling the shag with your vacuum, do some prep work to ensure a deeper, more effective clean:
1. Shake Out the Rug
Take your shag rug outdoors and give it several vigorous shakes. This loosens surface dirt and dust before vacuuming.
2. Flip and Vacuum the Backside
Turn the rug over and vacuum the backside to remove any dirt and debris stuck deep in the fibers.
3. Clean the Floor Underneath
While you are at it, consider giving the floor a good vacuuming in the area where your rug is situated. This will help keep the surrounding space clean and tidy, and prevent any dirt or debris from accumulating underneath the rug.
4. Freshen Carpet Fibers
If your shag rug is in a high-traffic area and prone to odors from pets, smoke, etc., sprinkle a light carpet deodorizer or baking soda across the rug. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to freshen fibers before vacuuming.
5. Allow Carpet to Settle
After flipping and shaking, allow the rug to settle for 5+ minutes. This allows the fibers to relax and ensures deeper cleaning during vacuuming.
Now you’re ready to tackle the shag pile fibers with your specialized vacuum.
Vacuum Your Shag Rug
When vacuuming, take care not to press down too hard or aggressively with the vacuum head to avoid matting:
1. Make Slow, Straight Passes
Push the vacuum forward and back across the rug in slow, straight passes. Overlap passes slightly to cover all areas.
2. Work in Sections
Vacuum one-quarter to one-half of the rug at a time. Breaking it into sections ensures you get all areas.
3. Adjust Suction as Needed
Start on lower suction for the main body of the rug, then increase to tackle heavily soiled spots. Monitor for flattening or matting.
4. Lift and Fluff Matted Areas
Use the lightweight wand or attachment to gently lift and fluff any areas that become matted down.
Thoroughly vacuum the entire top and back sides, periodically lifting and fluffing matted spots.
Spot Clean Stains
For stubborn dirt or stains in a shag rug, carefully spot clean:
1. Identify Stain Type
Pinpoint what caused the stain – food, dirt, oils, etc. Different stains require different cleaning solutions.
2. Blot Liquid Stains
For fresh liquid spills, blot immediately with an absorbent cloth. Don’t scrub, which can spread the stain.
3. Apply Stain Remover
Spray a carpet-safe stain remover formulated for the type of stain directly onto the spot. Let it soak in for 5+ minutes.
4. Rinse with Water
Use a damp white cloth to blot the spot and rinse away the stain remover. Blot dry with a second cloth.
Spot clean stains carefully to avoid damaging the shag rug fibers by over-scrubbing or soaking the rug.
Maintain Your Shag Rug
Regular care is key to keeping a shag rug looking lush:
1. Vacuum Traffic Areas Frequently
Vacuum high-traffic zones like doorways at least twice weekly to prevent dirt buildup.
2. Professionally Deep Clean Annually
See a professional carpet cleaner yearly to deep clean and revitalize the entire rug.
3. Rotate the Rug Periodically
Rotate your shag rug every few months to evenly distribute wear from foot traffic.
Give your shag rug the specialized care it needs to prevent damage and keep it looking fabulous. Invest in a proper vacuum, be extremely gentle when cleaning, lift matted spots promptly, and maintain with frequent vacuuming on high-traffic areas.
Keep your prized shag rug groovy, baby!
Rachelle Stone has numerous years in the commercial construction industry as well as residential, taking pride in the relationships formed over those years & continue to thrive & make new connections everywhere. She focuses hard on turning them into "partnerships" that will last a lifetime. You can visit her at www.CarpetGurus.comAll stories by: Rachelle Stone
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