Thursday, June 10, 2010

How To Care For Shag Carpet

Bethany Richmond and the CRI shag carpet pilator
This post about How To Care For Shag Carpet is dedicated to my friend Izzy who, in Isabelle Garland's First Smoke Rise Encounter, referred to an extraordinary sight: the raking a shag carpet.  Raking with a pilator as CRI's Bethany Richmond so elegantly demonstrates in this photo, constitutes a best practice in caring for shag carpet.

In my Wear-Dated days, with the expert guidance of Annette Smith, I proudly put together a Shag Carpet Maintenance document. I discovered, in looking for shag raking ammunition for Izzy, that the document was no longer available.  However, I'm able here to recreate most of the content and offer you expert advice on how you should care for your shag carpet.

Here goes...

Shag carpet is back. It’s thick, plush, luxurious and comfortable. It makes fantastic conversation piece area rugs and scrumptious wall-to-wall carpet.  For that reason, we share with you important information on how to care for and maintain your shag carpet.

General Shag Carpet Care:

Carpet generally wants to be vacuumed frequently, ideally twice a week and more often in high traffic areas. Shag carpet is no different. However, one major difference does exist between shag and other carpets, and it has to do with beater bars…

Vacuuming Shag Carpet:

The best way to care for your shag carpet is to vacuum it with a suction-only vacuum. If your vacuum has a beater bar, be sure to disengage it when vacuuming your shag carpet. When disengaged, the brushes on the beater bar should not come in contact with or abrade the fibers as you vacuum. The reason? Using a beater bar or brush may cause the yarns to “feather out” or lose their twist, resulting in pilling or fuzzing. That means your shag carpet would no longer look they way it did when you fell in love with it;. It would lose its unique character.

CRI Pilator - closeup
If you have a particularly thick shag carpet, you might consider using a pilator [see close up in photo] or grooming rake to keep your carpet looking well-groomed and carefully coiffed.

Caring for your shag carpet with frequent and suction-only vacuuming will ensure that your shag carpet provides you with the Beauty, Comfort and Durability you expect from it.

Something else to consider. Your vacuum… Have you checked whether it is certified through the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval/Green Label Vacuum Cleaner Program? The program has established industry standards on vacuum cleaner performance. Visit for details and listings.

Additional Shag Carpet Care:

For additional carpet care and maintenance guidelines, definitely speak with your carpet retailer.

For those of you with shag carpet, would you add anything to this post on how to care for shag carpet?

Shag Carpet & Pilator Image credits:

Thank you, Jenn Mendez and Bethany Richmond from the Carpet and Rug Institute, for capturing the shag pilator in action!  Check out the Carpet and Rug Institute Blog for many great carpet related resources.


Bethany said...

I have a beautiful shag rug in my bathroom. In addition to the methods you suggest, sometimes I take it outside and give it a good shake (it takes two people to do this). Shaking it really makes it look fluffy and nice again.

CB Whittemore said...

Bethany, thanks for adding that suggestion. Low tech is often the best tech! Best, CB

PS: you are a natural with pilators!

Unknown said...

Hey, thanks for your great information about how to care for shag carpet. i think really good suggestion. thanks for sharing this blog!!!!!!

CB Whittemore said...

Packard, you are most welcome. Knowing how to take care of shag carpets is a big deal and not necessarily intuitive!

Thanks for stopping by.


Vacuum cleaners said...

I recall my mother after vacuuming
the shag carpet she would take a rake and go over the carpet giving it back its shag look. Its a try!

CB Whittemore said...

Vacuum cleaners, I bet your shag carpet looked great after your mom raked it!


Kat D. said...

I have a big 10x14 shag rug. I use my shop vac. I cant get the brushes on my vacuum to turn off. The shop vac has great suction to get deep down. I also flip it over once or twice a year or whenever I rearrange the room. It's amazing what stays deep down in there!

CB Whittemore said...

Kat D,

I have heard many a person sing the praise of the shop vac.

I love your suggestion to flip over the rug. If the rug isn't too unmanageable, shaking it outside is also a great solution.

Thanks for sharing what you do.


Kerri said...

My husband and I just purchased an extremely thick 5x7 shag rug for our living room & I'm at a loss for how to clean it. With the assistance of your site & some other informative comments we hopefully will be able to manage it! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone recommend a good vacuum cleaner for shag carpet that is under $100? Thanks.


CB Whittemore said...

Brian, your best bet may be a shop vac...

Let me know what you wind up selecting.

Thanks for visiting.


CB Whittemore said...


Good luck! and thanks for the nice comments about what you've found on this site.


Ellen said...

I have an extremely thick shag wall-to-wall. Picking up and shaking are not options (although I wish they were!)

I have tried the vacuum, raking, and shop vac, but things stay forever in the carpet. I have no solution.

Any ideas for a shag non-area carpet?ry

CB Whittemore said...

Ellen, that is a tough one! Maybe an industrial strength shop vac?

Let me know if you've found a working solution.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...