Sheep can shed, but your wool shag rug's going to need cleaning
Owning a shag rug isn't quite like owning a pet, but establishing a regular grooming routine is important if you want your rug to look its best for many years to come. In the '70s, that meant combing the thick piles with a shag carpet rake - sort of like treasure hunting with gardening tools. However, unless your shag area rug has been neglected to the point of resembling a matted, woods-dwelling Wookiee, indoor raking shouldn't be necessary. Keeping shag rugs shagadelic is easy if you follow these steps.
"Regularly" means about once a week. It's important to not just plug the vacuum in and start vvrrrooming. Before you start, set the vacuum to its highest height setting. This will help prevent fuzzing or the pulling out of yarn. Beater bars and brushes will tend to have a damaging effect on shag area rugs, so you may wish to use a suction-only vacuum wand that's gentler on the fibers.
Regular vacuuming is important because long-term damage to your shaggy rug occurs through the abrasive impact that dirt and grit have on its fibers.
If you own a flokati rug or leather shag rug, shaking out the rug might be your preferred method. If your rug is too large to shake, hanging it over a railing and beating the back of it with a broom handle will have a similar effect - just like in the days before vacuum cleaners.
Treat spills and stains immediately
Stains on shaggy rugs made from synthetic fibers or other washable materials should be relatively easy to treat. In the case of wool shag rugs, you'll need to apply a stain-specific solution. If you own a high-quality flokati rug, you may want to keep a product such as a WoolClean spot removal kit in your home for treating tougher spills and stains.
Steam/dry clean annually
Even with consistent vacuuming, shaggy rugs are going to pick up grime that only deeper cleaning can eliminate. Some shag rugs are machine washable, but many are not - particularly the thicker, more luxurious rugs. If yours is not, you may wish to find a professional carpet cleaner in your area that has experience with wool shag rug cleaning.
Annual steam cleaning will help restore and maintain your rug's natural appearance. As gorgeous as flokati rugs can be, the cost of an annual cleaning is a small price to pay to protect the beauty of your investment. With leather shag rugs, regular dry cleaning is recommended.