How to Vacuum Shaggy Rug

how to vacuum shaggy rug
Articles on Vacuums

Shag rugs are back in style and much more magnificent than their 1970s counterparts. Shag rugs provide a designer edge while also being warm and comforting underfoot — a decoration win-win. Keep in mind that shag rugs and carpets need more upkeep than flatter, thinner rugs due to their long, plushy texture.

Compared to flat weaves, long fibers attract more dust and debris. Fortunately, you can clean shag rugs easily — a little extra time is all that they demand.

For this article, we’ve gathered some of our favorite sheepskin and shaggy rug cleaning solutions to keep your fluffy decor addition looking its best. By the end, you should no longer wonder how to vacuum shaggy rug.

Is It Hard To Clean a Shag Rug?

Shag rugs require slightly more maintenance than normal rugs. That being said, after establishing a proper cleaning schedule, you’ll eventually discover that cleaning a thick shag rug is actually pretty simple.

What makes cleaning a shag rug tricky is its high pile. The deep holes between the threads make it nearly impossible to reach dust and dirt with a basic dusting brush or cloth. Large shag carpets can also be rather heavy, which makes cleaning them even more challenging.

If your shag rug is only used occasionally, you can get away with vacuuming it once a month. The majority of shag rugs require weekly vacuuming.

However, a shag rug that gets a lot of use from kids and pets may require daily vacuuming. You should schedule a deep cleaning for your rug once or twice a year.

How to Vacuum Shaggy Rug

Vacuum cleaner on shaggy carpet


Here are five simple steps to quickly and safely vacuum your shag rug without harming the material or damaging your vacuum.

1. Loosen the Dirt

To vacuum your shag rug, begin with a traditional rug-cleaning technique. Take the rug outdoors and thoroughly shake it to remove the dirt and dust while holding it gently by two corners. If your shaggy rug is too big to shake properly, hang it from a clothesline or fence.

Then beat the rug with a stick or broom handle and leave it in the sunlight. This will blow away debris and dust and allow your rug to air out. Expose your rug to sunlight for a short time, as this helps eliminate bacteria and mites. Be careful not to overdo it.

2. Adjust the Settings

Adjust your vacuum head for a high pile. A shag rug requires extra space between the vacuum and the rug. Remove the vacuum beater bar or powerhead as well. The whirling motion will rip or pull at the shag, causing damage.

3. Empty the Canister

Ensure that the canister or bag is empty and ready to use. If not, your vacuum won’t work properly since the debris inside will hinder the suction power. Additionally, this could damage the motor by overheating it.

4. Flip Your Rug

Turn the rug over so the shag is on the ground. Flip the rug face down on a firm surface to expose the backside. Never use a regular powerhead vacuum on the shag area of the rug since it can harm the rug’s fibers.

Plan to vacuum your rug before cleaning the floor beneath it so that any particles it picks up will land on the surface that will be cleaned later.

5. Vacuum the Underside

Vacuum the rug from underneath — vacuum in straight lines over the breadth of the carpeting. The vacuum’s suction technology will pull a large amount of dirt, while the beater bar will strike more debris loose onto the floor.

Now, flip the shag rug and then vacuum the floor. You will notice dirt, soil, and dust on the bottom since you beat it out while cleaning the part underneath.

6. Vacuum the Top

Flip the rug so that the top is once more on top. Here, you have to remove the beater bar. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner that allows you to do this, utilize the extension brush. Sure, an extension will make it more difficult, but it’ll protect the rug’s fibers.

The next thing is the distance you can maintain from the rug and the vacuum to still clean it. Since most vacuums include a height adjustment feature, you should preferably keep it as high as you can. Of course, having a carpet-specific vacuum helps.

Do’s and Don’ts

Since long pile rugs are more fragile than short piles, many people hesitate to use a vacuum cleaner on shaggy rugs. This is quite right if they’re made of soft fibers, but you can vacuum a shag rug as long as you follow these standards:

  • Use upholstery attachments only.
  • Set the suction power to medium or low.
  • Avoid using a beater bar or powerhead on shag rugs.
  • Before vacuuming with an upright vacuum, switch it to “high pile.”

Ways To Clean Spills

You must clean any spills, stains, or other dirt immediately. The longer the liquid or debris remains on the fibers, the more difficult it’ll be to remove later. Fortunately, you can quickly spot, clean, and locate the proper cleaning products in a timely manner.

Using Vinegar

Combine equal parts warm water and white vinegar and apply a small amount to the affected area. Use a microfiber cloth to rub the mixture into the rug’s fibers, and then let the entire thing air dry in a well-ventilated space. To reduce the odor, dab some lemon juice on before drying.

Using Dishwasher

Combine dishwashing liquid and warm water, and rub into the stain to remove it. To completely remove the stain, gently rub it using a soft brush.

Blot the Stain

If the stain is light, simply blotting it with a mop may work. Blot off as much of the stain as possible with a white cloth or paper towel. Scrub gently, or else you risk rubbing the stain deeper into the fibers.

Deep Cleaning

If your shaggy rugs require more than just basic cleaning, you can also try deep cleaning.

You can do this in a tub or other suitable open area. Never use cold water on a rug. Instead, use warm or lukewarm water. Soak it in a safe detergent or cleaning solution. Brush the stains out or use a cleaning head to clean them thoroughly.

Use Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoos are excellent if you need more than a spot cleaning but don’t want to get as messy as deep cleaning. For this, you’ll need a brush and quality dry shampoo. Shampoo the rug, brush it, and let the shampoo soak in for 15 minutes and vacuum after. Read the label carefully to confirm that the item is suitable for the type of carpet fibers in your home (wool or acrylic).

How to Care for a Shaggy Rug

Floor Rug

Prevention is better than cure, and this is especially true with shaggy rugs. Why allow things to get out of control when you could follow some of these tips on keeping your shaggy rug shining:

Keep Up With Spills

Accidents are inevitable, but by closely monitoring spills, you may extend the life of your shag rugs. To avoid stains, clean up with a mild cleaner or if needed, use a shampooer as soon as possible. Allow the area to dry naturally.

Vacuum Regularly

Regular vacuuming can help the carpet last longer and will help remove dirt and debris before they become lodged deeply in the carpet. Try not to use beater brushes on rugs.

Heavy Furniture Indentations

Your carpets may develop indentations if they’re put under a table. To help the carpet pile bounce again, you might place cups under the legs of heavy furniture and move the carpet frequently. You can also use steam to revive flattened piles.

Expose the Rug to the Sun

A little sunlight may be all that your rug requires to look new. Allow the rug to rest in the sunlight for no more than a few hours at a time to eliminate odors. Just be careful not to do this too frequently or for too long, as prolonged exposure to sunlight may fade the rug.

Pay Attention to Shedding

You may see shedding if you have a wool or fur rug. Unfortunately, all fur or wool area rugs will ultimately shed, regardless of quality. To that end, frequently vacuuming your rug can speed up the process. You can prevent shedding by vacuuming carefully.

Seek Professional Assistance

The methods suggested above are effective for routine maintenance of your carpet. However, it’s heavily advised that you hire a professional carpet cleaner at least once a year — it’ll help you retain the original condition of your carpet.


We hope this post has provided you with some helpful tips on how to vacuum shaggy rug at home. Vacuuming your shag rug regularly is an excellent way to maintain a fresh space that’s gorgeous and bacteria-free.

With the proper tools, removing any stains or dirt is a breeze, but to avoid damage to the rug, ensure the brushes you use are soft. Keep in mind that your rug still requires expert cleaning every few years.

Read about Life Before a Vacuum Cleaner

(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *