Title: How to Clean Your Shag Rug and Keep It Groovy: A Funky Guide

Clean a shag rug
Clean a shag rug


What do you get when you combine a cozy, plush shag rug with the reality of everyday spills, dirt, and pet hair? A groovy cleaning challenge! Fear not, shag rug aficionados, for we’ve got you covered with an entertaining and comprehensive guide on how to clean your beloved shag rug. Get ready to dance your way through the maintenance tips and tricks that will keep your rug looking spectacular and oh-so-soft underfoot.

Shag Rug Revival

  1. The Shag Rug Comeback: Shag rugs are back, baby! These plushy, stylish floor coverings have made a triumphant return since their 1970s heyday. Modern shag rugs come in various materials, from wool to leather, and every color you can imagine.
  2. Why Shag Rugs Rock: The long pile of shag rugs adds a designer touch to your living space, while also providing warmth and coziness underfoot. It’s a decorating win-win that brings a touch of retro charm to your home.
  3. The Maintenance Challenge: With great shagginess comes great responsibility. The long fibers of shag rugs tend to trap more dust and dirt than flatter weaves, requiring extra care to keep them looking fresh and fluffy.

Regular Shag Rug Cleaning

  1. Frequency Matters: To maintain your shag rug’s beauty, it’s best to vacuum it daily, especially if you have pets or heavy foot traffic. However, vacuuming a couple of times a week should suffice for most situations. Aim for a thorough deep cleaning at least once a month or as needed.
  2. Shake It Off: If your rug is small enough, take it outside and give it a good shake. Alternatively, drape it over a railing or sturdy clothesline and beat it with a broom or old tennis racket. Channel your inner disco diva as you release that trapped dirt and dust!
  3. Vacuuming Tips: Vacuum your shag rug with care, using a canister vacuum with a hose and upholstery attachment. If you only have an upright vacuum, set the cleaning head to the highest pile setting and disengage the beater bar. Avoid harsh suction that could damage the rug’s fibers.

Dealing with Stains

  1. Inspect for Trouble Spots: After vacuuming, flip the rug back over and check for stains. Treat each spot according to specific stain removal guidelines.
  2. DIY Stain Remedy: Most stains can be tackled with a mixture of dishwashing liquid and warm water. Using a soft-bristled brush or microfiber towel, gently rub the stain. Rinse the area with plain water and blot it dry with a clean towel.
  3. Drying Time: Hang the rug to dry, or elevate the cleaned section to allow airflow and expedite the drying process.

Fluffing the Pile

  1. Lifting the Pile: If your shag rug’s pile isn’t as fluffy as you’d like, use your hands, a carpet rake, or a child’s plastic garden rake to gently lift and revive the fibers. Remember, no tugging!
  2. Brushing Out: For a more thorough fluffing, use a horsehair upholstery brush instead of a regular brush, which can be too rough on the fibers.

Deep Cleaning Your Shag Rug

  1. Proceed with Caution: Professional carpet cleaners generally advise against deep cleaning a shag rug yourself. Excess moisture or scrubbing could damage the fibers and ruin the rug’s appearance. Avoid using rented carpet shampooers or steamers, as they’re too harsh for shag rugs.
  2. Deep Cleaning Steps: If you decide to deep clean your rug, follow these steps: shake and vacuum the rug, brighten and deodorize with baking soda, and apply dry carpet shampoo granules. Always read the label to ensure the product is appropriate for your rug’s fibers.

Lifting the Pile After Deep Cleaning

  1. Finish with a Fluff: After deep cleaning, use a carpet rake or your hands to lift the rug’s pile and restore its fluffiness.

Section 7: Machine-Washable Shag Rugs

  1. A Time-Saving Option: If your small shag rug has no rubber backing and is designated as machine-washable, go ahead and clean it in the washing machine to save time.

Section 8: Preventing Damage and Dirt

  1. Act Fast: Blot spills and stains as soon as they occur to minimize damage to your shag rug.
  2. No Shoes, No Problem: Enforce a no-shoes rule around your shag rug. Shoes can quickly flatten the rug’s fibers and introduce hard-to-reach grime.


  1. Best Homemade Carpet Cleaner: Mix water, white vinegar, and dishwashing liquid in a spray bottle. For added cleaning power, include oxygen bleach (unless your rug is made of wool fibers). This solution works best for spot-cleaning shag rugs.
  2. Drying a Rug After Washing: Air-dry your rug outdoors, if possible. Avoid using a dryer and opt for hanging it up instead.
  3. Carpet Shampooers for Area Rugs: It’s not recommended to use a carpet shampooer on an area rug, particularly a shag rug, as it may damage the rug’s layers.


With our funky guide at your side, you’re now equipped to clean your shag rug like a pro. Go ahead and boogie on down with your groovy, clean, and fluffy rug, knowing you’ve mastered the art of shag rug maintenance!

Tom Whitford
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