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Shag rugs have been trendy and versatile since they came into the market in the ’80s. They add a flattering look to your living room, family room, bedroom, and even to a luxurious bathroom.  No doubt, putting your feet over a soft and cushy surface is comforting and welcoming. It gives you a homely feeling. However, unlike traditional rugs, the thick and long fibers of a shaggy rug are challenging to clean and maintain.

And if you’re struggling with this problem, no worries! You’ve landed at the right place. Here’s how you can clean and maintain a shag rug.

Cleaning Methods

Smack The Rug To Lose The Debris

Since shag rugs have long and thick fibers, the dirt sometimes gets embedded at the base. And it is difficult to clean the shag rugs deeply. Therefore, before going for any cleaning method, you need to loosen the dirt and debris.

For this purpose, hang the rug over the railing or some rope and beat it hard. You can use a broom or handle of the mop for the beating purpose. Furthermore, let the rug rest in the sun for enough time. The sunlight will kill the dust mites and bacteria.


This method is used quite often for carpet and rug cleaning. It is quick and easy. And you can vacuum your rug regularly if it is under heavy foot traffic. Otherwise, on average, vacuum your rug once a week. Also, for a thorough cleaning, vacuum the base of your area rug at least once a month.

Moreover, for shag rugs, specific vacuum cleaners are used. If you don’t have one buy it, or either rent it from your nearest departmental store. The one with the options of either high pile or low pile. Set the cleaning head to the high pile for thorough cleaning.

Steam Cleaning

The thick and cushy texture of your shag rug won’t let it dry that easily. Therefore, you should only steam clean your rug once or twice a year. Rent a steam cleaning machine if you don’t have one. And also, make use of hot tap water and carpet detergent. It’ll help you regain the fluff and remove the dirt. Also, steam cleaning thoroughly cleans the spills.

After the steam bath, use a fan to dry your rug. And as the fibers are long, it’ll take longer than usual to dry. Most importantly, always use a cool air dryer, as the hot air dryer can destroy your shaggy rug with heat.


As said before, steam cleaning or using water to clean is a difficult method. Also, you cannot do it quite often, or your rug will lose its fluff. Therefore, professionals suggest dry-bathing for occasional freshening.

Sprinkle the carpet-shampoo granules over the rug, and let them sit for the given time. Then, brush the granules with some wide-tooth brush or the bristles of your vacuum’s cleaning head. Let it sit for almost an hour and then vacuum the rug thoroughly.

Cleaning The Spills

Cleaning spills over a shaggy rug is the same as cleaning the carpet. The stain will get harder to remove the more you delay it. Therefore, it is better to immediately soak up the spill with a soft fabric rag or some paper towel.

And if the stain is greasy, dip the rag into the soapy water and rub over the stain until it’s gone. Also, it is better to use white or some light color rag. So, no color from the rag transfer over the rug.

Moreover, to get rid of stains, you can use lukewarm water and vinegar as well. Rub this combo over the stain and let it dry for a considerable amount of time.

Maintaining The Fluff Of Your Shag Rug

Cleaning and maintaining the shaggy rug is more difficult than cleaning a typical area rug. The thick, long, and twisted fibers won’t let the dust come out that easily. Moreover, some shag rugs are just too heavy to clean. Adding to the difficulty, different types of rugs need different cleaning methods, which you should be aware of.

And to maintain the fluff of your rug, there’s no better way than vacuuming it. Other than that, you can use a rug beater to gain back the soft and fluffy texture of your rug. However, if your rug is old, you should head to rug stores Alexandria for a new area rug.

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