Everyone wants their favorite rug to look new forever, but not everyone loves to clean rugs and carpets (I know I don’t). Pushing rug cleaning off until the holidays or spring just makes the job harder and more time-consuming when you do get to it. Putting it off can also be bad for your health.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, dust mites are among the top allergy and asthma triggers and guess where they like to live– in your carpets and rugs. While trendy and oh-so-soft under bare feet, the style and texture of shag rugs make them even more susceptible to catching dirt and bacteria.
Here are five rug cleaning tips that will keep your shag in tip-top shape and your home allergy-free.
The simplest way to keep your rug clean is to keep the dirt away. The majority of dirt that gets trapped in your rug comes from outside. Placing doormats in your entryways will help say no to dirt and mud. Also, try having a no shoes in the house policy. Besides making rug cleaning easier, it’ll give your family more opportunities to strut those fun novelty socks.
The Carpet and Rug Institute (Yes, that’s a thing) recommends vacuuming your carpet and rugs at least once a week, and even as much as once a day if the rug is in a high-traffic area. Shag rugs, though, are tricky. Some professionals advise against directly vacuuming the rug because it may break the tendrils. If you have a vacuum with a high pile setting, you can try this first. If not, turn the rug over and vacuum the back. This will still remove dirt and fluff the fibers while protecting them. Regular vacuuming will not only keep the rug clean, but it will keep the air in your home clean as well.
Be sure to use a vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and empty your filter regularly (after each use is a good place to start).
Whether you do it yourself or have it done professionally, your rug cleaning routine should include a deep scrubbing every 18 to 24 months. If you do it yourself, be sure to read the instructions on the carpet steamer to prevent using too much or too little soap. Too much detergent will leave residue and your rug will lose that soft comfiness you love.
The first tip to stain removal is to hit it while it’s fresh. Water works as the best solvent, so always start there. Use a light-colored damp rag or paper towel and dab the stain. For a wet stain, you can try cat litter or salt to dry it up. For a dry stain, combine equal parts white vinegar and room-temperature water, pour over the stain, and work into the rug with a microfiber cloth.
Be sure to hang-dry the rug once you’ve removed the stain. After the rug is completely dry, vacuum the area with a hand-held vacuum to get out any dry materials that may remain.
If you’re really devoted to keeping your shag rug looking fresh, treat it regularly with a stain resistant treatment. This will prevent both decoloration and the sticking of harsh stains.
Another way to show your rug some love is to apply dry carpet shampoo weekly. Work the shampoo into the tendrils and let dry, then vacuum the rug with a hand vacuum or shake the residue out.
Feeling overwhelmed with the task of rug cleaning? Don’t worry. We’ll take the hard parts off your hands.