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How To Clean Shag Rugs?

Fluffy and Fresh: How to Clean a Shag Rug with Ease

by Muhammad Erenay 07 Jul 2023

Do you want to know how to clean a shag rug with ease? They are popular for adding warmth and comfort to any room. Their plush, long fibers provide a cozy and luxurious feel underfoot. However, like any rug, shag rugs require regular cleaning to maintain beauty and freshness. In this article, we will explore effective methods for cleaning a shag rug with ease.

Shag rugs are known for their fluffy texture and can accumulate dust, dirt, and other debris over time. Regular cleaning is essential to keep them looking their best and to ensure they remain free from allergens. Let's delve into the world of shag rugs and discover the best cleaning practices.

Understanding Shag Rugs

Shag rugs are characterized by their long, twisted fibers creating plush and soft surfaces. They come in various materials, including wool, synthetic, and natural fibers like bamboo or jute. Due to their construction, shag rugs trap dirt and dust more easily than other rugs, making regular cleaning necessary.

Regular Maintenance and Cleaning

Regular maintenance and cleaning of shag rugs are essential in knowing how to clean a shag rug easily. Shag rugs are known for their long, fluffy fibers that can easily trap dirt, dust, and debris. These rugs can become dull, flattened, and unattractive without proper care. 

However, by following a simple cleaning routine and using the right tools and techniques, you can easily maintain the beauty and longevity of your shag rug. In this section, we will explore effective strategies and tips for regular maintenance and cleaning of shag rugs, ensuring they remain a cozy and luxurious addition to your home for years.

What You'll Need: Equipment / Tools

Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and test any cleaning products on a small, inconspicuous area of the shag rug before applying them to the entire rug. To clean a shag rug, you will need the following equipment and tools:


  • Vacuum cleaner: A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment is essential for regular maintenance and for removing loose dirt and debris from the rug's surface.
  • Mild detergent: Choose a gentle, non-abrasive detergent for carpets or rugs. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage or discolor the fibers.
  • Bucket or spray bottle: You will need a bucket or spray bottle to mix the cleaning solution. Ensure it's clean and free of any residues from previous cleaning products.
  • Soft bristle brush: A soft-bristle brush or a sponge can be used for spot-cleaning stained areas. It should be gentle enough not to damage the shag fibers.
  • Clean white towels or microfiber cloths: These are useful for blotting and absorbing excess moisture during cleaning.
  • Rubber gloves: Wearing rubber gloves can protect your hands from any potential irritants in the cleaning solution and prevent skin contact with dirt and grime.
  • Stain remover: If you encounter specific stains like food spills, pet stains, or ink marks, having a carpet stain remover designed for the specific type of stain can be helpful.

Shake and Vacuum: Vacuuming Tips

Regular vacuuming is the key to knowing how to clean a shag rug to prevent dirt from settling deep into the fibers of your shag rug. When vacuuming, use these techniques:

  • Adjust the vacuum cleaner to the highest setting to avoid pulling the fibers.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or a brush attachment to lift the dirt effectively.
  • Vacuum in multiple directions to ensure all rug areas are cleaned thoroughly.

Check For And Clean Stains: Spot Cleaning

Accidents happen, and when spills or stains occur on your shag rug, it's important to address them promptly. Here's how to tackle spot cleaning:

  • Blot the stain immediately with a clean, dry cloth or paper towel to absorb as much liquid as possible.
  • Avoid rubbing the stain, which can push it deeper into the rug fibers.
  • Use a mild detergent mixed with water to gently clean the stained area, using a soft-bristle brush or sponge.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry.

Deep Cleaning A Shag Rug

Deep cleaning of a shag rug is essential to revitalize and refresh its appearance. Over time, shag rugs can accumulate embedded dirt, stains, and odors that regular vacuuming alone may not fully remove. Deep cleaning involves a more thorough and intensive cleaning process that penetrates the rug's fibers, extracting deep-seated dirt and revitalizing its texture. 

This section will explore effective techniques, equipment, and cleaning solutions for deep cleaning a shag rug, ensuring it regains its original vibrancy and plushness. Following these guidelines, you can restore your shag rug's beauty and extend its lifespan, making it a comfortable and inviting centerpiece in your home.

At Rug Gallery, our range of shag rugs come in various shades, styles, and intricate designs that fit any aesthetic and space. So, browse our collection today and find the rug that is perfect for you:

Deep Clean With Dry Carpet Shampoo Granules

Dry cleaning is an effective option for shag rugs that are delicate or sensitive to moisture. Here's how to dry-clean your shag rug:

  • Sprinkle a dry carpet cleaner or baking soda over the entire rug.
  • Gently work the cleaner into the fibers using a soft brush or broom.
  • Let the cleaner sit for the recommended time stated on the product packaging.
  • Vacuum the rug thoroughly to remove the cleaner and loosened dirt.

Shake Away the Dirt: Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is another popular method for deep cleaning shag rugs. It effectively removes dirt, dust, and allergens, providing a thorough and hygienic cleaning. Follow these steps for steam cleaning your shag rug:

  • Rent or purchase a steam cleaner specifically designed for rugs.
  • Fill the steam cleaner with hot water and the recommended cleaning solution.
  • Move the steam cleaner over the rug slowly and steadily, ensuring all areas are covered.
  • Allow the rug to dry completely before placing it back in the room.

Removing Odors and Stains

Removing odors and stains is crucial in knowing how to clean a shag rug. They can easily trap unpleasant smells and become susceptible to spills and stains due to their deep, high-pile fibers. Whether it's pet accidents, food spills, or other mishaps, addressing odors and stains promptly is essential to prevent them from setting in and becoming more challenging to remove. 

This section will explore effective techniques, cleaning products, and remedies to tackle odors and stains on your shag rug. By following these methods, you can eliminate unwanted odors and restore the pristine appearance of your shag rug, ensuring a clean and welcoming environment in your home.

Shag rugs are a great addition to any home if you want a statement piece, so browse our wide range of styles, sizes, and colors. We have options for all kinds of homes, whether traditional, modern, or transitional:

Brighten and Deodorize With Baking Soda

If your shag rug has absorbed pet odors, try the following methods:

  • Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the rug's surface.
  • Gently work the baking soda into the fibers using a soft brush.
  • Let it sit for a few hours or overnight to absorb the odors.
  • Vacuum the rug thoroughly to remove the baking soda.

Check for and Treat Stains

For common stains like food, beverages, or mud, use the following techniques:

  • Blot the stained area with a clean, damp cloth to remove excess liquid.
  • Mix a solution of mild detergent and warm water.
  • Apply the solution to the stain using a soft brush or cloth, working from the outer edges toward the center.
  • Blot the area with a clean, damp cloth to rinse off the detergent.
  • Repeat the process if necessary until the stain is removed.

Tips to Keep Shag Rugs Clean Longer

Long shag rugs require some additional care due to their extra-long fibers. Follow these tips to maintain and clean long shag rugs effectively:

  • Use a vacuum cleaner with adjustable height settings to prevent the fibers from getting tangled or pulled.
  • Avoid using a beater bar attachment, which can damage the long fibers.
  • Gently shake the rug outside to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • If the rug is small enough, hang it over a clothesline and beat it with a rug beater to dislodge embedded dirt.


In conclusion, maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of your shag rug is a straightforward process that can be achieved with the right tools, techniques, and regular care. By knowing how to clean a shag rug, you can keep your shag rug looking fluffy, luxurious, and inviting. Remember to choose gentle cleaning products, test them on a small area first, and follow the manufacturer's instructions. With a little effort and attention, you can ensure that your shag rug remains a cozy centerpiece in your home, providing comfort and style for years in Dublin, Ohio.


Can I clean my shag rug with a regular vacuum cleaner?

Yes, you can clean your shag rug with a regular vacuum cleaner. However, using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment or a vacuum specifically designed for cleaning high-pile carpets is recommended. This will help to effectively remove dirt, dust, and debris from the deep fibers of the shag rug without causing damage.

How often should I deep clean my shag rug?

The frequency of deep cleaning your shag rug depends on factors such as foot traffic, the presence of pets, and the rug's exposure to spills and stains. As a general guideline, it is advisable to deep clean your shag rug every 12 to 18 months. However, if your rug experiences heavy use or noticeable stains, you may need to clean it deep more frequently.

Can I use bleach to remove stains from my shag rug?

The frequency of deep cleaning your shag rug depends on factors such as foot traffic, the presence of pets, and the rug's exposure to spills and stains. As a general guideline, it is advisable to deep clean your shag rug every 12 to 18 months. However, if your rug experiences heavy use or noticeable stains, you may need to clean it deep more frequently.

Can I use a steam cleaner on all types of shag rugs?

Using a steam cleaner on shag rugs is generally not recommended. The high heat and moisture produced by steam cleaners can cause the shag fibers to shrink or become matted, ruining the rug's texture. It's best to check the manufacturer's guidelines for your shag rug or consult a professional cleaner to determine the appropriate cleaning method.

How do I prevent my shag rug from matting?

To prevent your shag rug from matting, there are a few measures you can take. First, avoid excessive foot traffic on the rug by placing it in areas with less activity or using rugs in high-traffic areas to minimize wear. Regularly vacuuming the rug with a brush attachment can help to lift the fibers and prevent matting. Additionally, periodically fluffing the rug with a carpet rake or gently shaking it can help restore its original fluffiness.

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