How To Clean a Shag Rug (3 Ways To Do It!)

Chad Kilpatrick
by Chad Kilpatrick

Shag rugs have a look and feel to them that is different from any other style of rug. They are thick, luxurious, and may never go out of style. We’ve put together this guide, on the best methods to clean a shag rug.

To clean a shag rug, begin by vacuuming the rug. Next, wash the rug using dish soap or mild detergent mixed with warm water, or dry rug shampoo. For tougher stains, soak the rug in a bucket of soapy water for several hours. Finally, hang the rug up vertically and let it air dry overnight.

Shag rugs can be expensive. You’re going to want to care for your rug like you would any other item of value. A shag rug can be durable, soft, and a centerpiece of attention. Make sure it looks its best, by cleaning it often, and taking good care of it.

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Spot Cleaning is Important

When cleaning any kind of rug, spot cleaning is very crucial. To remove a stain from a shag rug, you must first spot clean it. You will need to blot the stain with a dry rag, and then a wet rag. As long as you take care of dirty areas, or stains, right away, you will be able to keep your shag rug clean.

Always make sure to check the label, to make sure you can clean the rug with water. Some shag rugs must be cleaned with dry towels, vacuums, or dry shampoo. You can still spot clean these rugs, by blotting with dry shampoo or vacuuming up the dirt.

Can you Put a Shaggy Rug in the Washing Machine?

Not every shag rug is machine washable. The tag, or label, should say if it is machine washable, or not. The rug may not be able to be cleaned with water. If your tag says machine washable, you should be able to spot clean it, dust it off, and wash it in the machine.

Use a mild detergent, when washing, and set the machine on delicates. Shag rugs can be sensitive to rough treatment. Fibers can become loose, and you could damage your rug, by being too aggressive with it. Always double-check the label, just to make sure that it is washing machine safe. Some materials, just aren’t made to be washed in a washing machine.

Best Methods for Cleaning a Shag Rug

There is more than one method for cleaning a shag rug. Your label should say what type of method should be used for cleaning. There are three main ways to clean a shag rug.

Method 1 – Hand Wash with soap and water. This way takes a little bit of elbow grease, but not every shag rug is machine washable.

Method 2 – Clean using a washing machine. If your label says machine washable, then you should be able to clean your shag rug in the washing machine, with a mild detergent.

Method 3 – Clean using a dry shampoo, made from powder. Some shag rugs cannot get wet, because of the material they are made of. For these rugs use the dry shampoo method.

These methods should make it easy to clean your shag rug. Once you know what method to use, it should only take 30 mins, to an hour, to get the job done.

Best Cleaners for a Shag Rug

There are many products out there that can be used to clean a shag rug. Chances are, if you have kept your rug in good condition, with routine cleanings, you can just clean your rug with dish soap and warm water.

Best cleaning solutions:

  • Dish soap and warm water
  • Carpet cleaner solution
  • Mild laundry detergent
  • Dry shampoo

For shag rugs that need more than just soap and water, you may try using a carpet cleaner. Only use the carpet cleaner and solution, if your shag rug can handle moisture. If your rug is more delicate, you may want to hand wash it, with mild laundry detergent. This can help keep it soft.

Some shag rugs cannot be cleaned using water. For these, you must use a vacuum, to clean up dirt, or dry shampoo, to help with the odor. The dry shampoo is a powder that helps freshen up the rug, removing dirt, and leaving a fresh smell.

Method 1 & 2: Washing

First, you will want to dust out the rug. Don’t bang it around too much, if it is made from delicate materials. Next, you will need to vacuum up any fibers or dirt that you can, before washing.

You can either wash it by hand or if it says machine washable, you can wash it in a washing machine. Make sure to use mild soaps and detergents, when washing your shag rug. Harsh chemicals can damage certain materials.

After you have washed it, hang it out to dry. Put it somewhere that has a lot of airflow, you do not want the rug to get mildew. If you can, dry it outside on a sunny day. If you have to dry it inside, consider using a fan in the room.

Method 3: Dry Rug Shampoo

The third method is for shag rugs that cannot be cleaned using water. These rugs are made from materials that can be damaged, by water. To clean these, you will need to either dust them off, and vacuum them, or use a dry shampoo.

Start by dusting them off. Be gentle with the rug, but make sure all the dirt and fiber, is loose enough to fall out. Next, use a vacuum, to pick up all of the dirt and fibers. This may be all you can do to clean your shag rug if it cannot be cleaned with water.

Your rug may allow you to use a dry shampoo. After you have dusted and vacuumed the rug, use the dry shampoo powder, sparingly, to blot the rug. The dry shampoo helps reduce odor and keeps the rug looking, and smelling, fresh.

How To Make a Shaggy Rug Fluffy Again

The best part about shag rugs is that they are super fluffy! To get your shag rug back to that original fluffy feel, try these tips.

You can start, by cleaning your rug regularly. Start a routine, where you dust off and clean your rug, every couple of weeks. This will keep the dirt out and will extend the life of the rug.

If your rug is durable enough, beat the dust, and dirt, out of the rug with a rug beater. This should help most of the dirt, fall out of the rug. A shag rug, full of dirt, is uncomfortable. You can either wash or steam clean, your rug, depending on what the tag says.

To get that brand new fluffy feel, you may even consider letting a professional clean the rug for you. Many carpet cleaners have commercial products to clean shag rugs and can make them look and feel amazing.

You can also use soft brushes, to brush out the fibers. This can make a shag carpet even more fluffy and can help get rid of dirt, stuck to the fibers. Don’t use anything that will damage the material.

Deep Cleaning a Shag Rug

Now and then, you may need to deep clean your shag rug. While spot cleaning it, and vacuuming it, may be good enough, most of the time, a deep clean could be needed to get rid of odors and dirt.

We suggest deep cleaning your shag rug once, or twice, a year. As long as you keep up with regular cleaning, the deep clean should make it good as new. To deep clean, your shag rug, make sure you beat the dust out and vacuum it first.

Then, if it can be washed, soak it in mild detergent and water, for around 20 mins. This should help break up any deep-down dirt and release some of the odor. Next hand wash it or wash it in the washing machine. Give it plenty of time to dry out. The shag rug needs to dry completely, to avoid mildew and more bad odors. One or two deep cleans per year will keep your rug in top condition.

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Related Questions

How to clean a white rug?

To clean a white rug, spot clean it right after it gets dirty. This will help get any kind of stain out of it. After that, if your rug allows it, wash it by hand, or in the washing machine. Use a mild detergent, or dish soap, with warm water.

Can shag rugs be ruined by pet urine?

Pet urine is one of the hardest things to get out of a shag rug. Shag rugs are usually very thick, and the urine can soak into it. The best action to take is to spot clean it right away, and then use a carpet cleaner, to clean it out.

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Chad Kilpatrick
Chad Kilpatrick

I'm a writer that is passionate about home improvements, remodeling, and renovating. I enjoy learning new skills and techniques and sharing them with others.

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