White Shag Rug: How to Best Take Care of Yours

There's nothing that speaks luxury like a lush, long pile shag rug. They'll add instant style and sophistication to any home decor.

Typically what defines a shag rug is the length of the pile and the texture of the rug. Shag rugs can include materials like sheepskin and other woven wool, faux fur, and anything that looks, well, shaggy and long, yet plush and cosy. There's an element of softness that can't be matched with luxurious shag rugs.

What is a good location for my white rug in my home?

Light colours and white shades will generally show dirt and stains easier than darker shades. White shag rugs may sound like a lot of work, but these products are actually pretty easy to keep clean. Placement is an important consideration.

A couple of things about where to place your shag rug:

  • The placement of your white shag rug should be considered carefully. Avoid placing one by the door as a floor mat, for example.

  • Kitchen rugs are wonderful and if you're a fan of them, avoid going for white shag styles below the sink or under your island area. If placing in a dining room, then consider a lower pile rug under a table.

  • If you're worried about fading or extended UV exposure then choose somewhere out of direct sunlight.

Like all rugs, white shag rugs will need regular vacuuming and shaking out. Tend to any spills and marks as soon as you can. It's best to blot carefully and avoid rubbing. Most stains can be taken care of pretty easily if tended to quickly.

How do you clean a white shag rug by hand?

Cleaning any rug by hand is generally the best way to keep it clean, white, bright, and in like-new shape. Of course, it also comes down to the material that it's made from. Spot cleaning is recommended as the first port of call.

Check the backing of your shag rug. If it's suede or something that looks like suede then it's generally best to dry clean. We recommend a quick look at the manufacturer's instructions before you dive into a hand wash.

If you know your rug can handle a hand wash, use a mild detergent that you'd be happy to wash dishes in by hand, bring water to around 40C (104F) degrees. Take care when lifting water-heavy products out of the water as items can get damaged when water-logged.

Can you machine wash a white sheepskin rug?

No matter the colour of a sheepskin shag rug, they should be washed with care. It's best to blot spills and stains immediately after they happen. If this isn't enough and doesn't produce the results you were hoping for, dry cleaning is recommended.

Once submerged in water, the appearance of your sheepskin will become altered. Try to contain stains and spot clean before washing the entire rug in water.

That said, some sheepskins can handle a limited number of machine-washes during their life with you. Use warm water (40C / 104F) on a 'gentle' or 'delicate' cycle in a non-agitating machine.

We recommend using a very mild detergent, like something that would be suitable for hand washing dishes. Some key things to remember:

  • Water temperature should be around 40C or 104F degrees.

  • Do not add bleach.

  • Dry flat or hang to air dry.

  • Do not tumble dry.

  • Do not iron.

Dry cleaning is generally recommended. You've made an investment by purchasing a sheepskin and worth the price of a good dry cleaner on the rare occasion your rug needs this level of clean.

Can you put a sheepskin shag rug in the dryer?

The short answer is, no. A sheepskin rug should never be tossed in the dryer.

Hang your sheepskin rug to air dry or lay it flat on top of a drying rack. Drying times vary depending on the size and thickness, but sometimes it can take several days for a thick area rug of decent size, to dry completely.

How do I make my sheepskin fluffy again?

Bring your sheepskin shag area rug back to life with a good shake and vacuum. This is one of the best tips for maintenance we can offer.

Sheepskin has a natural thin waxy coating within its fibres and this inhibits the growth of bacteria, resists soiling, and releases dirt with ease. So, shake it up and be vigorous!

For rugs with the longer pile, like the ones we describe as a shag rug, give them a gentle brush to fluff them.

Sheepskin product takes on a worn-in appearance and will age in their unique way. Over time the texture of your rug may take on its own style, a little like your favourite leather armchair.

How do you brush a shaggy sheepskin rug?

After washing, wool fibres will likely return to their naturally curly state.

A gentle brush with a wire wool comb or brush when still wet will liven the appearance, and help restore a fluffy look and feel for your usually plush and soft shag area rug.

How do you whiten a yellowed sheepskin rug?

The natural wool colour of a sheep is actually closer to grey than bright white. To avoid the yellowing or slight discolouration of your white sheepskin, it's best not to place it in direct sunlight. If your space is exceptionally sunny and you have plenty of windows, then move it around as the sun hits certain areas of the room during the day.

If you're bothered by the yellowing, which occurs naturally with age and use, take it to a professional dry cleaner who knows sheepskin. This may brighten your rug a little. For a yellowed patch that looks suitable for a spot clean, you can try a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Gently and sparingly spritz on the stain.

How do you get stains out of a white rug?

Wilson and Dorset's stain removal guide is an excellent resource for specific stains. We've put together myriad options for different products that may not come out easily.

Click here to learn more and find the particular product that you're trying to clean from your rug.

Can you use bleach on a white shag rug?

We don't recommend using bleach directly on a rug, however, if you are spot cleaning a specific stain then you can lightly spritz with a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. This may produce varying results depending on what. you're trying to bleach out of the rug.

It also depends on the material of your shag product. If it's a sheepskin then refer above. If it's a synthetic product then it might be able to handle a more concentrated bleach solution. Start with a weak mix and go from there.

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