How To Clean A Shag Rug

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Shag rugs have long, luxurious piles giving them their signature look. Their shaggy appearance looks great with almost all kinds of decor, and their soft feel makes them one of the most comfortable carpets available on the market. The quality and versatility of shag rugs make them as popular today as they were in the 80s. When it comes to cleaning, it is more difficult in the case of shag rugs as compared to others due to their long fibers. These fibers tend to hold dust and dirt particles deep inside the pile, taking more effort while cleaning. But, it gets easy once you establish a regular routine for self-cleaning or take it to any carpet cleaner service.

There are many different styles of rugs available, like Flokati, Wool, Leather, and Acrylic. But each one should be cared for and cleaned differently from another, depending on their materials. It is one of the reasons why professional cleaners charge more to clean shag rugs than any low-pile rugs.

How to clean a shag rug at home

If you are nervous about how to clean your shag rug at home, don't worry, it is possible, as long as you take good care. Just make sure you check the rug care tags first. Have a look at some of the best carpet cleaning methods at home.


If your rug has been looking dirty, but it isn't stained, then vacuuming the dust can bring the fluff back. Set your vacuum to the highest setting and stick to hand attachments or use a handheld vacuum. Vacuum the rug thoroughly to suck up all the dirt, and then flip over to clean the back. Before setting it back, shake out your shag rug.

Beat it

Shaking or beating is a pronounced method for regularly refreshing dingy rugs. For a smaller rug, all you need to do is to beat it against something solid; however, this might be difficult for a larger one. In case of large rugs, beat the broom against the rug repeatedly to loosen debris once you place the carpet against stable support.

Spot clean

This technique works best for spills. The key is to act fast, even before the stain sets. For this, you need to have a towel, water, some rug shampoo, and a soft bristle brush. To blot the spill, put a towel on immediately. Mix the shampoo with the water and make a soapy liquid. Then, dip the brush and gently rub the area using a circular motion. Repeat as necessary. Rinse with water and air dry.

Dry Bath

Occasionally, vacuuming is not enough, and your rug needs some extra pampering. Dry shampoo can bring your shag rug to life. After vacuuming, sprinkle the dry shampoo into the carpet and work it into the fibers using a bristle brush. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes, and then either vacuum or shake the shampoo out.

Steam Clean

This is preferable when the soil has deeply set in the pile. To steam clean a rug, you need a steam cleaner, and it's recommended cleaner. Always start with the freshly vacuumed rug; add the water and cleaner to the steam cleaner and run it over until all the stains and discoloration disappears. 

Hand Wash

If your rug is not dry clean only, then you can try to wash it by hand. Fill the tub with warm water and add a cupful of detergent. Submerge your vacuumed rug into the water and allow it to soak for about 10 minutes. Gently work the stains out of the fibers with the help of a brush and your hands. Wring out the water as much as possible and allow the rug to dry.
If your rug is dry clean only or you are unsure of cleaning, it is best to hand it over to professionals. Depending upon the type of your rug, the carpet cleaners will do either of the following:

Deep Cleaning in Pool

Firstly, a machine beats the soil out of the rug and shakes dry particles lose through vibrations, giving thorough dusting to your shaggy. Then, the professional submerges the carpet into a pool and applies the carpet shampoo. After lathering the soap, a roller is used to flush the water out and away from the rug. It pulls the deeply embedded dirt particles with it. This process is repeated until the water runs crystal clear. At last, through special drying equipment, professionals remove all the moisture from your shag rug very cautiously.

Hot Water Extraction

In this method, high-pressure tools are used to force a mixture of hot water and cleaning agents into your carpet. It loosens the dirt, debris, grime, and soil that crept into your rug. Afterward, a high-powered vacuum is used to remove all the loosened filth from your carpet.

DIY isn't the Same as the Professionals

Renting a machine to clean your carpets is a popular way for homeowners who want to have a DIY approach. While their efforts are to be praised, it is clear that the results cannot be as thorough as the professionals. Because rug cleaner NYC like PristineGreen have well-trained teams, high-power machines, non-toxic products, and most importantly, years of experience that nothing can beat.

We at PristineGreen, offer services from premier carpet cleaning to rug restoration to furniture steam cleaning, and more! Just give us a call or contact us⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠, and we will be happy to help!

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