The Best Way to Clean a Shag Rug

The Best Way to Clean a Shag Rug

Aug 10th 2023

No matter what kind of rug you own, cleaning it regularly is crucial to preserving its aesthetic value and practicality. Rugs add warmth and comfort to a space in addition to improving its aesthetic appeal. But because of their nature, they can quickly gather dirt, dust, and stains, which, if not cleaned and treated correctly, can shorten the rugs’ lives.

Knowing the proper cleaning methods for each type of rug, whether it be a shag rug, a traditional rug such as a Persian, or a straightforward area rug, can guarantee their continued vibrancy and attractiveness. In this article we will focus on the steps to cleaning shag rugs. These rugs are popular for their plush and unique look, as well as their soft and fluffy feel, though due to this they do in turn attract more dirt and debris. Keep reading along to learn about the best ways to keep them clean so they can continue to brighten your home for years to come!

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Cleaning on a Regular Basis

Regularly cleaning shag area rugs may stop dirt buildup, making them simpler to maintain. To remove dust, start by shaking out the smaller rugs outside. Use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment for larger rugs. Keep in mind that using the revolving brush attachment can harm your rug's long strands.

A shag area rug can also be handled using a carpet rake. This device can assist in untangling the fibers and removing dirt and dust. Simply rake the rug in the pile's direction while being cautious to protect the fibers. You can use the right attachment on a vacuum after you have finished raking.

Monthly Maintenance

A shag rug requires a little bit more care and attention each month than a typical rug needs to be cleaned. This is particularly important when you are cleaning shag rugs of larger sizes – the bigger the rug, the more complicated it is to clean. Using an upholstery attachment on a vacuum, remove any surface dust to begin the monthly cleaning procedure. Avoid using the revolving brush as it might pull and harm the rug strands. After the surface dust has been eliminated, it is time to deal with any filth that may be deeply embedded within the rug.

Vacuum the back of the rug while it is upside down. This aids in loosening and removing dirt that has become deeply embedded in the rug's fibers. Then, flip the rug right up after thoroughly and vacuum once more—without the beater bar this time. This will assist in lifting and removing the dirt you have managed to loosen from the rug's backing. Repeating this procedure a few times will help you get rid of as much dirt as you can.

You may want to add a third step—freshening the rug—after a thorough vacuum and any prospective carpet cleaner treatment. Sprinkle some baking soda sparingly over your shag rug and use gloves and a soft brush or your fingers to work it through the fibers. Allow the baking soda to remain on the rug for at least an hour, and ideally overnight. Baking soda eliminates odors, leaving your rug with a new scent. The following day, thoroughly vacuum the baking soda to remove any remaining particles.


Q: How do I clean a white shag rug?

A: White shag rugs present a challenge since dirt and stains appear more prominently than on darker rugs. Vacuum as often as you would any shag rug for routine upkeep. Any stains should be cleaned up right away to avoid them settling. Use a clean cloth and some water and mild soap for spot cleaning. Do not rub the stain; doing so could spread the spill or drive it further into the rug. 

Q: How do I deep clean a shag rug?

A: Make a mixture of lukewarm water and mild detergent for thorough washing. Use the solution to dampen a sponge or clean cloth, then gently blot the rug. To prevent damaging the rug's backing and hasten the drying process, avoid soaking the rug. Once you have completely covered the rug, rinse it with clean water moistened on a sponge, blot it with towels, and then allow it to air dry.

Shag rugs have become a staple of many homes over the years, and are rising in popularity with recent design trends. They’re the perfect amount of cushion underfoot, they add texture to design that wouldn’t have been there otherwise, and easily make a room feel warm and inviting. But with all of those pros comes the single con: they take more work to clean. The thick fibers are course and hold dirt and debris far more easily than thinner or lower-pile rugs, which means you have to work harder to keep them looking their best. Hopefully with this guide in mind, you’ll be able to keep your shag rug pristine, and adding comfort to your home for years to come.

If you’re looking to add a new shag rug to your home, or are looking for any other tips when it comes to keeping different kinds of rugs clean, be sure to check out We have plenty of rugs available in all colors and sizes, shags included, as well as other helpful tips and tricks available on our blog. As always, happy decorating!