How to Clean Shag Rugs

Dr. Harry Noland
7 Min Read

If you want to maintain the vibrant charm of your plush shag rugs without the need for professional help, you’ve come to the right place. In this section, we will provide you with easy steps to clean your shag rugs at home.

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning shag rugs at home is possible without professional help.
  • Regular cleaning and maintenance will ensure your shag rugs continue to look great.
  • Gathering the right cleaning supplies is essential for effective cleaning.
  • Pre-treating stains before cleaning can save you time and hassle.
  • Proper washing and drying techniques are crucial to maintain the look and feel of your shag rugs.

Gathering the Necessary Supplies

Before you start cleaning your shag rug, you will need to gather a few essential cleaning supplies. Having the right tools will make the cleaning process easier and more efficient.

Cleaning Supplies: vacuum cleaner mild detergent soft-bristle brush clean towels or cloths

Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a high-pile setting to effectively clean your shag rug. You can use a mild detergent to remove any stubborn stains, a soft-bristle brush to scrub gently, and clean towels or cloths to dry the rug when finished.

You can easily find these cleaning supplies at your local home goods store or online. Having these supplies on hand will enable you to clean your shag rug quickly and efficiently without any professional help.

Preparing the Shag Rug for Cleaning

Before you start the cleaning process, it’s important to prepare the shag rug first. Begin by taking the rug outside and giving it a good shake to remove any loose dirt or debris. Next, use a broom or rug beater to gently beat the rug and remove any remaining dirt.

If your shag rug has any stains, it’s important to pre-treat them before cleaning. You can do this by applying a stain remover directly to the affected area or by using a mixture of mild detergent and water. Apply the solution to the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before blotting it with a clean towel or cloth.

Vacuuming the Shag Rug

Now that you’ve prepped your rug, it’s time to start cleaning! Grab your vacuum cleaner with a high-pile setting and begin vacuuming the shag rug. Start from one end and work your way to the other, using overlapping strokes to ensure thorough cleaning. Make sure to pay extra attention to high-traffic areas and any remaining stains on the rug.

It is important to use the high-pile setting, as this will allow the vacuum’s suction to penetrate deep into the shag fibers, removing any dirt or debris that may be trapped inside. Using the correct setting will also prevent your vacuum from damaging the rug.

When vacuuming, take your time and ensure that you cover every inch of the rug. Overlapping strokes will help ensure that no area is missed and that all dirt and debris is removed. Remember to be gentle with the rug and avoid using excessive force, as this can cause the shag fibers to become tangled or damaged.

Once you have finished vacuuming, take a step back and admire your clean and refreshed shag rug!

Washing and Drying the Shag Rug

Depending on the size and material of your shag rug, you can choose to either hand-wash or machine-wash it. If you have a small rug that can fit in your washing machine, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for machine-washing and use a gentle cycle. For larger rugs, hand-washing is usually the better option.

To hand-wash your shag rug, fill a large container or bathtub with cool water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Gently sponge the rug with the mixture, working from one end to the other. Rinse the rug thoroughly with cool water and use a soft-bristle brush to fluff up the shag fibers.

After washing, allow the rug to air-dry completely before placing it back in the room. Never place a shag rug in a dryer, as the heat can damage the fibers. To speed up drying time, hang the rug outside or use a fan to circulate air around the rug.


Now that you know how to clean your shag rugs, you can maintain their plush texture and vibrant charm at home without professional help. By gathering the necessary cleaning supplies, preparing the rug for cleaning, vacuuming it thoroughly, and washing and drying it properly, you can ensure that your shag rug remains a beautiful addition to your living space for years to come.

Remember to shake or beat your rug outside to remove loose dirt and debris before cleaning. Additionally, pre-treat any stains using a stain remover or a mixture of mild detergent and water. When vacuuming, use a high-pile setting and overlapping strokes to ensure thorough cleaning. Pay special attention to high-traffic areas and any remaining stains. If you need to wash your shag rug, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for hand-washing or machine-washing and air-drying.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning your shag rugs may seem like a daunting task, but with these easy steps, you can do it yourself at home. Regular cleaning and proper maintenance are essential for extending the life of your shag rug and preserving its beauty. By taking care of your shag rug, you can enjoy its elegant and cozy feel for many years to come.

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