Learning how to clean a shag rug is not as difficult as it seems. The DIY (Do It Yourself) tips mentioned in this guide will make it easy for you to keep your shag rug clean.

A shag rug is a warm, decorative, fluffy, and adorable item that adds beauty and enhances the interior design of your home. However, it requires more maintenance and attention while cleaning than regular rugs.

Table of Contents

How to Clean a Shag Rug

What Makes Shag Rug Dirty?

Different Types of Shag Rug

Flokati Shag Rug

Leather Shag Rug

Acrylic Shag Rug

Cleaning a Shag Rug: A Checklist (Tools, Methods & Instructions)

Preparation for Cleaning a Shag Rug

Items You Need to Prepare Before Cleaning a Shag Rug

Using a clean broom or rug beater

Using vacuum cleaner

Using dishwash

Using baking soda

Using dry bathing

Using steam cleaning

Steps to Cleaning a Shag Rug

Tips for Cleaning a Shag Rug

A List of Shag Rug Cleaning Solutions (8 Problems Solved)

How to Clean a White Shag Rug?

How to Clean a Fluffy Rug by Hand?

How to Clean a Polyester Shaggy Rug?

How to Clean a Fuzzy Rug?

How to Clean High Pile Carpet?

How to Vacuum a Polyester Shaggy Rug?

How to Clean a Thick Shaggy Rug?

How to Clean Wool Shag Rug?

Tips to Prevent Your Shag Rug from Becoming Dirty

Common FAQs for Cleaning Shag Rug

  1. Can I use bleach to clean my shag rug?
  2. Are shag rugs difficult to clean?
  3. How can I remove pet pee from my shag rug?
  4. How often should you clean your shag rug
  5. Should I wash shag rug in a washing machine?

Conclusion

What Makes Shag Rug Dirty?

Shag rug has a long, uneven plushy pile which makes it more attractive but has a downside. The downside is that this long pile traps and hides more dust and dirt than rugs with flatter weaves.

Other things that could make a shag rug dirty besides dirt and dust include liquid and solid spills like juice, oil, dust, pet pee, fingerprint, etc.

Different Types of Shag Rug

Leaving your shag rug dirty and discolored is the meanest thing you can do to it. There are various methods to restore freshness to your shag rug, and they are pretty simple. It does not matter what material your shag rug is made of; whether synthetic or natural fiber, there are ways to get it cleaned. Continue reading to know the best way to make your shag rug clean.

Flokati Shag Rug

A flokati shag rug

Image source: Pinterest

Flokati rugs are mostly white or cream in color and sometimes dyed with different colors. They are made purely of wool, and this makes them fluffier than most shag rugs.

Leather Shag Rug

A leather shag rug

Image source: Amazon

Leather is a natural fabric. A leather shag rug looks so attractive and is easier to clean than other shag rugs. It can be cleaned using a leather cleaner. However, do not place in a high foot-trafficked area and places where there could be spills often.

Acrylic Shag Rug

An acrylic shag rug

Image source: ebay.com

Acrylic is fine and soft in texture, though it is made from synthetic fiber. It is luxurious, comes in varieties of vibrant colors, and is stain resistant. Acrylic does not damage easily unless placed close to the fire; it has poor fire resistance. It is as easy to wash as leather and can be washed using mild detergent.

Cleaning a Shag Rug: A Checklist (Tools, Methods & Instructions)

Preparation for Cleaning a Shag Rug

  • Get all your tools ready.
  • Make a solution if you will be using a cleaning solution in your cleaning process.
  • Ensure you have the right cleaning products before you start cleaning.
  • Test the cleaning product on a small hidden portion of the shag rug before you use it on the entire rug surface.

Items You Need to Prepare Before Cleaning a Shag Rug

Cleaning a shag rug might be tricky, but it becomes easy when you know the processes involved and the right tools. Different cleaning methods require different tools; here are all the tools you need irrespective of the method you have decided to use.

  • Water
  • White towel or microfiber cloth
  • Mild soap or detergent
  • Soft bristle brush
  • A vacuum cleaner with an upholstery attachment
  • Steam cleaner
  • Tub or container to wash a rug
  • Rug beater or broom
  • Railings
  • Recommended cleaning products
  • Dry carpet shampoo
  • White vinegar
  • Small bowl
  • Carpet rake
  • Baking soda
  • Fan

#1 Using a clean broom or rug beater 

Image of a rug beater

Image source: Amazon

Dust is an accomplice of rugs. And shag rug especially traps dust because of its high pile. How can this dust be removed? Just follow these simple steps.

  • If your rug is small and can be carried easily, move it outside and shake it vigorously to remove the dust.
  • If your shag rug is bigger, hang it over the railings and beat out the dust with a clean broom or rug beater.
  • You can air dry for some minutes before you return your rug to its initial position in its brand-new look.

#2 Using vacuum cleaner

Image of a high-pile-carpet vacuum cleaner

Image source: houseandbeyond.com

Vacuuming is also used for removing dust and dirt from shag rugs. But the plushy pile of a shag rug can get caught in the vacuum and pull off easily. So high-pile-carpet vacuum is recommended for cleaning shag rugs. Follow this process to vacuum your rug.

  • Get your high-pile carpet vacuum.
  • Set your vacuum and ensure you disengage the beater bar so that the pile of the rug will not pull off.
  • Suck out the dust progressively using the vacuum.
  • After you are done cleaning the surface of the rug, it is time to clean the other side.
  • Place a plastic sheet on the floor and turn over the rug. Then, engage the beater bar.
  • Suck out the dust on the other side of the rug, too, because dirt may be trapped underneath.
  • After cleaning both sides of the rug, remember to vacuum the floor as well so that your vacuumed rug will not trap the dust.
  • Air dry your rug.

#3 Using dishwash 

Image of a dishwash

Image source: Amazon

Stains can discolor your shag rug and make it unfit for use. The easiest way to get rid of those stains is to remove them once they happen.

  • Check both sides of your shag rug to identify the areas with stains.
  • Mix a few drops of dishwash in warm water.
  • Get yourself a soft bristle brush or microfiber cloth. Dip it in the dishwash solution and scrub it gently on the stained area.
  • Mop with a clean moist towel to remove the soap.
  • Air dry the rug under the sun or raise it so air can flow into the damp area.

#4 Using baking soda

At times, your shag rug may not be dirty or dusty but appears dull and smelly. It is time to use some baking soda. Baking soda traps dust and removes the odor. Here is how.

  • Get a reasonable amount of baking soda depending on the size of your shag rug.
  • Sprinkle this baking soda on the shag rug as much as you want.
  • Allow it to stay on the rug for a minimum of four hours, preferably overnight.
  • Remove the baking soda by shaking and vacuuming the rug.

#5 Using dry bathing

You can dry bath your shag rug when dirt has penetrated the pile, and you need more than vacuuming to clean out the dirt.

  • First of all, vacuum your shag rug.
  • Get a ‘dry carpet shampoo’ of your choice and sprinkle it on the rug.
  • Use your soft bristle brush to sink the shampoo into the rug.
  • Leave for some minutes or for as long as instructed by the manufacturer.
  • Remove the shampoo by vacuuming or shaking out the rug.

#6 Using steam cleaning

Steam cleaning is used to remove soil after it has seeped deep into the rug. You need a vacuum, a recommended cleaning agent, water, and a steam cleaner.

  • Just like you do when dry bathing your shag rug, start with vacuuming.
  • Get your steam cleaner, add water, and the cleaning agent as recommended.
  • Move the steam cleaner over your shag rug until all the soil and stains are blotted out.
  • Then, air dry the rug under the sun by hanging it over a clothesline.

Steps to Cleaning a Shag Rug

In addition to using the right tools, cleaning products, and cleaning methods, you also need to know the steps involved in cleaning a shag rug. See the steps below.

  • Roll out the rug and take it outside.
  • Shake off the dirt.
  • Hang the shag rug over the railings and beat out the dust using a broom or rug beater.
  • Air-dry the shag rug to kill bacteria that have hidden inside the shag rug.
  • Roll in and restore the shag rug.
  • Vacuum to loosen the pile of the rug.

Tips for Cleaning a Shag Rug

  • If your shag rug has a solid stain, you can scrape it off first with a spoon before you start cleaning.
  • If the stain is mud, allow it to dry before you scrape so you can clean it easily.
  • Use a white microfiber cloth for cleaning so you won’t transfer dyes into your shag rug.
  • While cleaning, do not rub the stain forcefully, or it will push the stain further into the rug and make it difficult to wash.
  • Spot-clean immediately if you have a spill on your shag rug.
  • After every cleaning, groom your shag rug with a carpet rake to prevent it from matting and restore its fluffiness.

A List of Shag Rug Cleaning Solutions (8 Problems Solved)

How to Clean a White Shag Rug?

  1. Roll up and take out your rug.
  2. Hold the corners of the rug or hang it over a railing.
  3. Whack it using a rug beater or a broom till all dirt fall off.
  4. Dust both sides of the rug.
  5. Do not clean with dirty hands, and remember to use clean tools.

How to Clean a Fluffy Rug by Hand?

  1. Vacuum your rug.
  2. Fill your tub with warm water and a little detergent.
  3. Place the rug in the water to soak for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Rub a clean, soft brush against the rug.
  5. Repeat the process using clean water alone.
  6. Wring out excess water from the rug and sundry.

How to Clean a Polyester Shaggy Rug?

  1. Beat out the dust following the same process as for your white shag rug above.
  2. Then vacuum the backside of your rug by engaging the beater brush of your wall vacuum. This helps to remove dirt hidden between the rug fibers.
  3. Turn your rug to the fluffy side but remember to disengage the beater brush of your vacuum while cleaning this fluffy side.
  4. Take outside and air-dry for some time.

How to Clean a Fuzzy Rug?

  1. Vacuum your rug first of all.
  2. Get a dry carpet shampoo and sprinkle some on the rug.
  3. Use a soft bristle brush to work the shampoo into the rug.
  4. Then use a handheld vacuum to clean the rug.
  5. If dirt remains, repeat the process until you get the desired result.

How to Clean High Pile Carpet?

  1. Remove liquid spills immediately using a clean towel.
  2. If it is a solid spill, use the edge of a spoon.
  3. If there remains a stain after following the first two steps, put a clean sponge in a solution made from mild soap and water.
  4. Gently clean the spot with this dampened sponge until the spot disappears.
  5. Then, rinse the sponge and use it to clean the same spot to remove soap.
  6. After that, use a dry clean towel to mop the wet surface.

How to Vacuum a Polyester Shaggy Rug?

  1. Vacuum both sides of your rug.
  2. When vacuuming the fluffy side of your rug, disengage the beater bar so the pile will not get caught by the vacuum.
  3. While cleaning the flatter side of your rug, engage the beater brush so that it can remove dirt and debris inside the rug.

How to Clean a Thick Shaggy Rug?

  1. Vacuum your rug.
  2. Get a baking soda and sprinkle a good amount on your rug.
  3. Use a soft brush to push the baking soda into the rug.
  4. Then vacuum again and air-dry the rug.

How to Clean Wool Shag Rug?

  1. Vacuum your rug and fill your steam mop with water only, following the manufacturer’s guide.
  2. Attach cleaning pad and carpet glider to the steam mop and check if it is safe to use.
  3. Glide the steam mop over your rug.
  4. Light steam your carpet to prevent mold and odor buildup.

Tips to Prevent Your Shag Rug from Becoming Dirty 

Prevention is undoubtedly the easiest way to handle a situation, and the same is applicable when it comes to cleaning your shag rug. You can avoid dirt or make it minimal if you apply the following tips.

  • Encourage ‘shoes off policy’ within the shag rug area.
  • Pick up dirt immediately it falls on a shag rug.
  • Do not place your shag rug in a high foot-trafficked area.
  • Keep the areas around and under your shag rug as neat as possible.
  • Air dry your shag rug to help kill bacteria and to prevent odor.

Common FAQs for Cleaning Shag Rug

  1. Can I use bleach to clean my shag rug?

  • Bleaching your shag rug is not recommended. Bleach is hazardous and contains harsh chemicals that can damage your rug. It can also destroy the beautifying colors of your rug.
  1. Are shag rugs difficult to clean?

  • Yes. It requires more effort than the regular rug, but the cleaning becomes easy once a routine is established.
  1. How can I remove pet pee from my shag rug?

  • Use vacuum cleaning and spot cleaning method following the steps written above.
  1. How often should you clean your shag rug 

  • You should clean your shag rug at least once a year. However, a shag rug can get dirty so quickly, meaning that you need to clean it regularly. If you don’t, you may not be able to restore its original beauty when you eventually decide to clean it.
  • It is ideal to clean your shag rug once in two weeks, but if it experiences high foot traffic, then it is better to clean it once a week.
  1. Should I wash shag rug in a washing machine?

shag rug in a washing machine

Image Source: Ruggable Blog

You can, but it is not recommended. Only do this if the label on your shag rug states that it is a machine washable rug. Even with that, while using a washing machine for your shag rug, the fiber may get caught during spinning and cause the fibers to pull off easily. Not just that, the rug will also soak in much water in the washing machine, and you may not be able to handle that without the help of a professional.

Conclusion

These simple DIY tips, if duly followed, will help you clean and restore freshness to your shag rug without causing any damage to it. If you want your shag rug to last, then ensure you follow the cleaning tips in this article. Also, remember not to rough handle your shag rug in the cleaning process.

If you need further help with cleaning your home items, explore Guy About Home or read related articles below.

Hi there! I’m Guy, the guy behind Guy About Home (that’s a lot of guy’s). I’m just your average guy (ok, I’ll stop) living in the USA who is really interested in making and doing.