How To Clean Wool Rugs & Shag Rugs - 7 Best Secrets

This world has explainable reasons for how beautiful things happen. It's funny really knowing such big parts of our lives are quite simple in reality, but taken for granted everyday. 

Now we have you pondering about the "big things" you have and if they're taken for granted your house, your car, your pets, maybe even your husband or wife, All of these things gave you such unmatched joy the first time they became part of your life. Your expensive, valuable, hand-knotted wool rugs or shag rugs are just as incredible, whether you knew it or not, because of the materials they contain and how they were made.

Still wondering where we're going with this?

RugKnots will share the industry's best-kept secrets for how to clean wool rugs and new shag rugs. Knowing our secrets to clean your wool and shag rugs will spark and restore the beauty that your rug adds to your home. 

Checkout some of our Wool Rugs and Shag Rugs

Secret #1: Tip from Rug Masters of Durango 

Starting with a simple spot cleaning trick, check out the video below to learn what to do in case of an accident on your wool rug.

When spot cleaning your wool rugs, the trick is to ALWAYS dab and blot the spot! NEVER rub back and forth, as this can cause the spot of liquid to dry faster, leaving a stain in the wool fibers forever. Here are more tips that you should use to clean wool rugs. 

Secret #2: Practice Preventative Maintenance 

Try to never place heavy objects on top of your wool area rugs and shag area rugs! Objects such as plant pots, coffee tables, dressers, bed frames, or heavy storage chests can cause significant, irreparable damage to your area rugs after being on top of them for long periods of time.

The genuine wool fibers in your rug are hand-knotted or hand-tufted at a specific angle, so when you move heavy objects over the rug, the fibers are forced in different directions. This causes the wool in your area rug or shag rug to be ripped out and matted.

Wool fibers will never return to their natural position because the weight of the object over time forcefully smashed the fibers down and changes the knot pattern on the back of the area rugs. Just don’t do it!

Secret #3: A Unique Vacuuming Technique

As mentioned in secret #2, the wool fibers in area rugs lay angled in the direction they were handwoven. Vacuuming your all wool rugs and shag rugs can be just as devastating to the natural pattern of the wool as leaving heavy objects on top of them.

However, vacuuming a rug is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to keeping it clean. As we mentioned in previous blogs, you should vacuum your rug no more than twice a month to keep it looking new. Just make sure your vacuum does not have a beater bar or you turn it off.


When it comes to vacuuming, make sure you are vacuuming from side to side —NOT end to end. This prevents the vacuum from grabbing the rug’s fringe and helps keep it intact. You also want to make sure you take your rug outside once a year and vacuum the back to grab the embedded dirt you may have missed.

Pro tip: If you hit a corner of your rug and dust flies - it needs to be washed!

Secret #4: Vacuuming Technique From Better Homes and Gardens

If you are still skeptical about vacuuming your precious wool rugs, fear not! You can protect your rug even more from vacuums by placing nylon over the attachment. You want to make sure you are still sweeping side to side, but the added layer of nylon will give you a little more confidence when handling your wool rugs. As the piece of nylon accumulates dirt, simply change it out. Who knew?!

This can also help you find lost earrings, bobby pins, and other odds and ends that may have disappeared into your wool rug's pile!

Secret #5: For All Pet Owners Worrying About Hair Removal From Wool Rugs & Silk Rugs

We know your furry friend is more like family. Pets are a wonderful addition to families and homes, but not so much for wool rugs cleaning. However, we know a vacuum doesn't always grab the hair they inevitably leave behind. That’s why you need a stiff brush! Brushing a rug with a stiff brush can help you clean the pet hair out of your wool rugs. Make sure you are brushing in the direction of the nap of the rug!

Secret #6: The Dreaded Chewing Gum Disasters

Chewing gum stuck in your braided wool rug? YIKES! It happens… BUT RugKnots has the secret to removing sticky gum from your precious wool rugs and fluffy shag rugs.

You’re going to have to act fast! Pull upwards and out on as many pieces of the gum if you can. Quickly grab a plastic bag and fill it with ice cubes to place over the top of the remaining gum — this hardens it up! The final step is to gently scrape the gum off with a dull knife or spoon and vacuum it up (using the technique from secret #3). If you need to use a dry-solvent to spot clean, be sure to dab and blot like we mentioned in secret #1!

Secret #7: This Disaster Tops Chewing Gun

Painters and artists alike, have you dropped a brush on your wool rug?

Homeowners, maybe you wanted a fresh coat of paint in the living room and you thought you could do it without spilling a drop…

What are you supposed to do when you get paint on your wool rug?! Don’t worry, we’ve got a solution!

If you’re using acrylic or latex paint and accidentally drop or spill some on your wool rugs, it's okay! While the stain is still wet, spot clean it with the detergent solution we mentioned here, making sure to dab and blot, not rub! If the color still remains, dab it with some rubbing alcohol.

If you’re using oil-based paint, sponge the spot with odorless mineral spirits. This will help to loosen the paint and allow you to dab it away  just use caution! You do NOT want to soak through to the backing of your wool rugs.

With these seven secrets and our ultimate guide for how to clean a wool rug, your precious area rugs will be restored and cleaned to their original beauty.

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