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How to Clean a Shag Rug: Tips and Tricks

Shag rugs are an excellent addition to any home as they offer a soft and cozy feel underfoot. However, they can quickly become a trap for dirt, dust, and debris. Cleaning them can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not sure where to start. In this article, we’ll walk you through the best tips and tricks on how to clean a shag rug to keep it looking fresh and new for years to come.

Why Cleaning Your Shag Rug is Important

Shag rugs are made of long, fluffy fibers that tend to trap dirt and dust particles quickly. When not cleaned regularly, these particles can get ground into the fibers of the rug, making them harder to remove over time. This build-up of dirt and dust can also cause the rug to become discolored and develop an unpleasant odor. Therefore, it is essential to keep your shag rug clean to maintain its beauty and prolong its lifespan.

Materials Required for Cleaning a Shag Rug

Before you start cleaning your shag rug, you need to gather the following materials:

  1. A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  2. A clean, white cloth
  3. A mild detergent
  4. Warm water
  5. A soft-bristled brush or sponge
  6. A large, well-ventilated space for drying the rug

Steps to Clean a Shag Rug

Cleaning a shag rug can be done in five easy steps:

  1. Vacuum the rug thoroughly: Start by vacuuming the rug with a brush attachment to remove any loose dirt and dust particles. If your shag rug is heavily soiled, you may want to vacuum it in different directions to loosen up the dirt.
  2. Spot-clean any stains: If there are any stains on the rug, mix a mild detergent with warm water and use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to gently clean the affected area. Be sure to rinse the area with clean water and blot it dry with a clean cloth. Avoid using too much water as it can damage the rug’s fibers.
  3. Shampoo the rug: Once you’ve spot-cleaned any stains, you can proceed to shampoo the entire rug. Mix a small amount of mild detergent with warm water and apply it to the rug using a soft-bristled brush or sponge. Work the solution into the fibers of the rug, being careful not to scrub too hard. Rinse the rug with clean water and blot it dry with a clean cloth.
  4. Rinse the rug thoroughly: After shampooing the rug, make sure to rinse it thoroughly with clean water. You can use a garden hose or showerhead to rinse the rug thoroughly. Make sure to get all the soap out of the rug, as any remaining soap can attract dirt and dust.
  5. Dry the rug: Finally, hang the rug outside in a well-ventilated area to dry. Avoid exposing the rug to direct sunlight or heat, as this can damage the fibers. Once the rug is dry, fluff it up with your hands to restore its texture.


Can I clean my shag rug with a steam cleaner?

No, it is not recommended to clean shag rugs with a steam cleaner as the heat and moisture can damage the fibers.

How often should I clean my shag rug?

It is recommended to clean your shag rug every six months or as needed, depending on the amount of foot traffic it receives.

Can I vacuum my shag rug daily?

Yes, you can vacuum your shag rug daily to keep it looking clean and fresh.

People Also Ask

How do I fluff up my shag rug after cleaning it?

To fluff up your shag rug after cleaning, use a soft-bristled brush or your hands to gently massage the fibers in the opposite direction of the pile. This will help to restore its fluffiness and texture.

Can I dry my shag rug in a dryer?

No, it is not recommended to dry your shag rug in a dryer as the heat can damage the fibers. Instead, hang the rug outside in a well-ventilated area to dry.

Tips and Tricks for Maintaining a Clean Shag Rug

Here are some additional tips and tricks to help maintain the cleanliness of your shag rug:

  1. Vacuum your shag rug regularly to prevent dirt and dust from building up.
  2. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach when cleaning your shag rug, as these can damage the fibers.
  3. If your shag rug is too large to hang outside to dry, you can lay it flat on a clean surface to dry. Be sure to flip it over periodically to ensure it dries evenly.
  4. Consider using a rug pad underneath your shag rug to prevent slipping and protect your floors.
  5. If your shag rug has a foul odor, sprinkle baking soda over the surface and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up.


Cleaning a shag rug may seem like a daunting task, but it’s essential to keep it looking clean and fresh. By following the steps outlined in this article and using the right materials, you can easily clean and maintain your shag rug for years to come. Remember to vacuum it regularly, spot-clean any stains, and shampoo the entire rug as needed. With proper care, your shag rug will remain a beautiful and cozy addition to your home.

Need help with cleaning your rug? Give us a call!

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