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How To Clean A High Pile Shag/Wool Rug

Clean It Before It Looks Dirty
shaggy rug

Removing Dust and Dirt From a High Pile Shag Rug

Those high-pile woolen rugs or shaggy flokatis are beautiful to the touch and can instantly warm up your cold floors. But when it comes time to getting them clean you may find that you simply can’t pull out the vacuum cleaner.  

Just like your wall-to-wall carpeting, shag rugs absorb dust mites, allergens, soil, pet hair and odors so, it’s important to keep them clean. Even in a room with no eating or drinking, dust and dirt will accumulate on a rug and make it look dirty. Dust mites and other allergens float around your home through windows, doors and the ventilation system, so even an infrequently used rug will need cleaning from time to time. Dirt, especially sandy dirt, is incredibly abrasive to fibers like wool. When you walk on a dirt-filled rug you are actually contributing to its wear and tear because the sand and grit actually cuts the fiber. Have you ever seen an older Oriental rug with bare spots? That is caused by the wear and tear of dirt abrading the rug's fibers over time. Wool is great at hiding dirt and a well made wool rug won’t look dirty even when it is. This is why it’s important to regularly clean them as best you can before you actually see the dirt with your eyes.  By the time you can see that the rug is dirty, damage has been done. 

You want to remove the dirt but you should not use your vacuum’s power brush head on a shag rug or even a medium high pile. And if you have a true shag rug, the best way is to not use the vacuum at all but rather clean it the old fashioned way: take the rug outside and shake it. You can hang it over a railing, a sturdy clothesline or a fence or invite some friends over to help shake it out. You can even purchase a rug beater if you need some extra power.  The thing to remember is that you must regularly remove the dirt and powerful vacuum cleaners may pull and damage the fibers.  These fuzzy rugs are a wonderful addition to a home and with proper care can last a long time.  

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