How to Clean and Take Care for a Shaggy Rug

A shaggy rug is a great addition to any home. It’s luxurious, warm and comfortable. But the longer your shaggy rug has been around, the more likely it will need some care.

Despite how often you vacuum or dust your carpeting, if there are high traffic areas of your room where dirt accumulates quicker than others (e.g., by windows or near doorways), then you know that even with regular maintenance, it can be difficult to keep up with all of those spots on your shaggy rug without having to do extra work every few days.

So what should you do?

Read this blog post for tips on how to clean and care for a shaggy rug in order to make sure your rug has the best-looking appearance for years to come.

How to Care for a Shaggy Rug

  • Regularly vacuum your shaggy rug. It is best to do this when the fibers are dry, but if you have been walking around in damp shoes or socks, then it may be a good idea to rinse off any debris with a hose before brushing and vacuuming.
  • Use a hairbrush for tough stains on woven rugs. Using a stiff-bristled brush helps remove dirt, dust and other particles from between the fabric’s yarns by gently going over top of them without tearing them apart. Brushing also stimulates fiber production, which will make your rug look new again.
  • Spills need immediate attention as soon as they happen because once spilled liquids penetrate deep into the carpet, their work is done. Quick action prevents spills from sinking through to the backing and staining your carpet padding.
  • Use a high-quality product such as Woolite to clean shaggy rugs (only use it on dry rug fibers). Don’t rub too hard, but make sure you work it in well for several minutes before allowing time for the solution to soak into the fiber completely. Rinse thoroughly with fresh water until all residue is removed from fiber or fabric and then allow them to air dry.
  • When laundering any type of synthetic material, always check its label first because many fabrics tend not to lose their color when washed. Any good detergent will do fine provided that it does not contain bleach which can fade some types of synthetics over time.

Types of Shaggy Rugs

Cleaning depends on the type of shaggy rug.

A shaggy rug is also known as a “shag carpet” or simply just a “shag.”

Shag rugs are great for use in bedrooms, family rooms, dens, and even bathrooms. They’re especially good at hiding dirt so they can be used to cover up an unsightly area.


A Flokati Rug is a shaggy rug made from the wool of a rare breed of sheep called “flokatis,” native to Greece. These rugs typically have very short fibers and an extremely soft, plush texture.

If you own one, you will most likely want to replace it every couple years because they tend not to look new for too long (although they do add warmth and comfort in any room).

Sometimes referred to as “lamb’s wool,” these types of rugs can be vacuumed with good results but take care when vacuuming around nails or other sharp objects that may snag your flokati.


Wool Rugs are one of the most popular choices because they’re very easy to clean and maintain. They can be used anywhere from a bedroom, family room, basement or even your living area.

The only drawback is that wool rugs tend not to last as long as synthetic shaggy rug fibers do (they wear out faster).

Regular vacuuming along with occasional professional cleaning will increase their lifespan but make sure you use a reputable cleaner. Be aware of “cleaning scams” where companies offer dirt low prices for service, which includes adding harsh chemicals into your rug’s fiber… this may discolor it over time or completely ruin its quality.


A Leather shaggy rug is a great choice if you have kids or pets because it’s very durable and easy to clean.

If any areas start looking worn out, simply use an electric razor (which can be rented from most hardware stores) to give your carpet some fresh new life by shaving away the bad parts.

Regular vacuuming will also help extend its lifespan but avoid harsh chemicals on leather as they may ruin this material over time. Not only that, but they may actually increase wear and tear, so stick with just water. It is best not to expose these types of rugs in high humidity areas such as bathrooms unless they’re made specifically for those conditions.


Acrylic fibers are a type of synthetic material that has been around since the late 1940’s. This fiber is very strong and durable, but also comes with a price tag because it tends to be expensive as far as shaggy rugs go.

These types of rugs can be used anywhere in your home (including basements) however, they tend not to look new for too long… especially if you have pets or kids who like to play on them. Regular vacuuming along with some spot treatments, will help extend their lifespan considerably. Do not use harsh chemicals on these types of carpets; otherwise, over time, they may start looking worn out faster than usual due to color loss which could resale value down the road.

What Should I Know About Cleaning Shag Carpets?

Any good detergent will do fine provided that it does not contain bleach which can fade some types of synthetics over time.

Make sure you pay attention to the specific instructions given by the manufacturer because these machines vary from one model to another, so always read ahead of time.

Remember, if professional cleaners charging a dirt low prices for service, which includes adding harsh chemicals into your rug’s fiber, then the chances are high that they may be intentionally trying to ruin it over time, or they may actually be inexperienced.

How Often Should I Clean Shag Carpets?

It is recommended that you clean your shag carpet every six months or so.

If you have kids, pets, or are simply the type of person who likes to eat on their furniture, then the chances are high that it’s best if you vacuum more frequently (at least once a week).

How to Clean a Shaggy Rug

For those who never had such rugs or don’t know much about them – here are some facts: they tend to be very durable and can last for many years if properly cared for; moreover, their unique look makes every room cozy and comfortable.

Shaggy rugs require special attention as well as an adequate amount of time during the cleaning process. However, this task shouldn’t seem that bad since there are several ways you could accomplish it without overworking yourself out.

The first method consists of gently brushing your rug according to its pile direction (from top-down). This technique helps remove any surface dirt and dust, which in turn makes it easier for the vacuum cleaner to operate.

The next method is when you wet clean your shaggy rug with a special solution (the one that doesn’t contain any bleach or detergents). The best option would be when you start cleaning from the bottom of your rug and work up towards its pile direction; this technique helps prevent further damage by pushing dirt back into the yarns rather than outwards.

Loosening Dirt

One of the most efficient ways to loosen dirt out of your shaggy rug is by using a carpet washer.

However, you should keep in mind that this method may cause problems if not done correctly since it can severely damage your flooring as well as create a soapy residue on top of the pile, which will be hard to remove later on.

The next step would consist in blotting away wetness from the rug with absorbent towels or mops until there are no more traces left. Allowing excess water to soak into pads underneath could lead to rot and mildew issues, therefore it’s best if they’re removed right after the cleaning process finishes up; for larger rugs – make sure you use several layers under them (it is advised to cover your rug with plastic, which will prevent soiling of the surface).

The final step is drying up your shaggy rug. It’s best if it gets dried on its own (by hanging) because too much heat can damage wool fibers; however, this method may take days or even weeks before completion depending on how moist the rugs are and what type of material they’re made from.

You could also speed things up by using a fan or heater but make sure that their temperature won’t be too high since it might cause melting issues as well as shrinking. Also – don’t forget about turning them over every now and then in order to allow uniformity among all sides/sections.

Vacuuming Your Rug

Vacuuming is a great way to clean your rug.

It’s a good idea to vacuum your shaggy rug at least once per month. It will help remove any dust accumulated into the pile over time, which may cause allergy problems and loss of shape/texture for the long run.

When done right – you can expect that your shaggy rug will look as good as new even after the first time using a vacuum cleaner. For more information about vacuums read my guide about the best vacuum cleaners for area rugs.

Dry Shampooing

If you want to cleanse your shaggy rug without having to use water (which can lead to potential damage issues) – it’s best if you go for dry shampooing instead. It is very affordable and easy-to-use, which means that even those who are new at this may be able to get the job done with just a few simple steps:


  1. Shake off excess dirt by hand or brush until there are no more traces left; then spray some of the product onto the affected area and leave it on for several minutes in order for it to absorb any grime or dust particles. Instruction
  2. Vacuum up all residue after allowing a drying time of around 20 minutes so as not to cause any damage to the fibers. Instruction
  3. Brush out the excess powder with a soft brush or shake the rug gently until it looks clean again.

Of course, dry shampooing should be used sparingly to prevent any potential issues that may arise due to excessive usage of this method (which will lead to deep cleaning).

Steam Cleaning

Steam carpet cleaning.

Another efficient way to cleanse your shaggy rug is by investing in a carpet steam cleaner. It will help get rid of dirt, stains, and bacteria present on the fibers without having to use any chemicals or detergents, which can easily damage their structure over time with too much exposure into them (of course – you should always start off slow with this type of product if you’re not familiar with it).

The main advantage of using steam cleaners would be the fact that its hot water vapor penetrates deep down inside the pile where other products wouldn’t be able to reach; thus allowing for the more thorough cleaning process and removing all traces leftover by dust mites and allergens. However – keep in mind that even though it is a good investment – this type of cleaning method isn’t recommended for everyone and every shaggy rug. It’s best to consult with your carpet manufacturer before deciding if you should try steam-cleaning on your own (or hire someone who can do that instead).

It’s important to note that the regular vacuum cleaner will help keep up with all those little particles that may stick over time, but also using some other products such as: stain removers, deodorizers and so on.

Hand Wash

If a steam cleaner cannot treat your shaggy rug – it’s best if you hand-wash them yourself. This way, the fibers will have the most gentle treatment possible, and there won’t be any unnecessary risks that might arise from using other methods.

Start off with a solution of lukewarm water, a mild detergent (non-bleach type) and hair conditioner to keep both hands as well as fibers soft during the entire process; then you’re free to either use an old toothbrush or any other product that can help dislodge dirt particles safely without causing potential damage due to too much force applied into cleaning process itself. Rinse thoroughly after allowing for proper time needed, so all soap residue is removed completely prior to air-drying.

It should be noted that shaggy rugs (especially those made from natural fibers such as wool) may experience some shedding over time; however, this is a normal process and will not cause any damage to the rug itself even if it’s left unattended for longer periods of time than recommended. If there are certain sections that you would like to avoid, then simply use masking tape, so nothing comes off onto your clothes while walking on them or sitting directly onto them without protection in between.

Professional Deep Cleaning

If the rug is soiled beyond repair or hand-cleaning methods didn’t help – it’s best if you contact a professional company that offers this type of service (and any other related issues) instead. They will be able to give you an estimate over phone/email and then choose whether or not to go ahead with that job based on your budget; however keep in mind that most companies might require at least a 50% deposit prior to starting off work itself.

This way – one can avoid unpleasant surprises when they come back home after spending half a day away only to find out that their rug wasn’t properly cared for due to some reasons. If everything goes well, make sure to pay attention to what types of cleaning agents are used; otherwise, you might end up with some serious chemical damage (such as discoloration or other issues) which may become irreversible over time.

Shake It Out

Shaggy rugs are extremely durable and long-lasting; however, this doesn’t mean that they don’t need proper care ever.

The best way to keep them looking great is by shaking them out every few days so all dust particles, dirt or other unwanted substances can fall off easily through air exposure. This also allows for removing any dead skin cells as well as hair from your pets that might have accumulated over time (especially if you own cats).

On top of that – it’s important to vacuum the rug on a regular basis using either an upright cleaner with a rotating brush head or some sort of handheld device such as cordless Dyson V series vacuums. No matter what kind of shaggy rug you’re dealing with – it won’t cause any damage to the fibers themselves, which means that regular vacuuming is necessary for keeping your rugs clean and looking great at all times.

This way – you will also be able to remove allergens (such as dust mites) which may end up causing potential health issues if left unattended without proper treatment in between. Make sure not to use too much force when moving back-and-forth; otherwise, even small areas of rug might get damaged due to the wrong application of a cleaning agent or other types of chemicals used instead. Please take note that shaggy rugs made from natural materials such as wool should never be exposed directly to sunlight since this can lead to fading over time (thus affecting their overall appearance.

Spot Clean

The best way to remove dirt and stains from your shaggy rug is to use water mixed with some household cleaner (such as dish soap) applied onto a damp cloth or sponge; then gently rub it into the stained area until it’s clean again.

Please keep in mind that applying too much pressure will only lead towards damage such as stretching, tearing, or even discoloration of fibers which can cause irreversible issues later on, so always go gentle when doing this type of work instead. If you notice that there are certain areas where color has been removed completely – try using hydrogen peroxide to fix these types of problems by pouring over small sections at a time and allowing for proper time needed before rinsing away all excess liquid inside out.

After removing stain or dirt – make sure to blot this area with a paper towel. Afterwards, you will need to use a small brush to get rid of any dirt that might have gotten stuck underneath fibers on top of your shaggy rug instead.

For more difficult stains – try using some sort of spot cleaner (such as Shout spray) and then gently rub into the stained areas until it’s clean again without being too rough at all times since even minor damage can lead towards permanent issues later on.

If there are still visible signs left over after doing this type of work – simply vacuum the whole section afterward in order to remove residue particles caused by chemical cleaners used between treatments instead. Do not forget that wool rugs should be treated delicately by hand instead of using excessive pressure when moving back and forth to prevent any unwanted issues from happening.

How to Clean an Area Rug with Pet Urine

How to clean your shaggy rug from pet stains.

If you have an area rug with pet urine stains on it, there are several ways to clean these types of rugs and ensure they smell fresh again. The first thing I recommend is using a paper towel to soak up any excess liquid/urine in the area where the stain was located before attempting anything else because if you don’t do this step, then whatever product you decide to use might discolor your carpeting or no matter what solution you choose it won’t be able to remove all traces of the odor.

Dog Pee Stain Removal

If you look at this guide, you will notice that there are several different solutions for removing dog pee stains and odor from shaggy rugs.

For “new” stains (those that are still wet)

If you are dealing with a new stain on your rug, the absolute best thing to do would be to blot it up using paper towels or something similar to absorb as much of the liquid/urine from the carpeting before anything else is attempted.

After that, if there’s still some residue left, then I suggest mixing water and baking soda together until it has an oatmeal-like consistency (similar to what was described earlier) which can be applied directly onto these types of stains for about 20 minutes at least before being rinsed away with clean water afterward. Utilizing enzyme cleaners might help get rid of dog pee stains and odor as well.

Also check out my guid on the best pet-friendly rugs. 🙂

For stains that have already set

If there is a stain on your rug that has already set in, the absolute best thing to do would be mixing water with either hydrogen peroxide or baking soda and then applying this directly onto these types of stains for about 20 minutes before being rinsed away.

Afterward, I recommend using an enzyme cleaner if possible because it will help get rid of dog pee stains and odor much faster, so you don’t have to wait as long for things to dry out afterward, which is important when you’re dealing with wet shaggy carpeting since they can become damp rather quickly during any type of rainfall event.

How to Get Dog Pee Smell Out of Shaggy Rug

The absolute best way to accomplish this would be blotting up any accidents that occur right away, followed by either using hydrogen peroxide or baking soda mixed with water if there’s a fresh stain on it (one which has not yet set in). After allowing this mixture enough time to soak into the carpeting and remove all traces of pet urine from shaggy rugs, apply some enzyme cleaner onto these stains so they can go away faster. This will make sure that your rug always looks beautiful after each use.

Products and tools you’ll need to get pet waste out of shaggy carpet

Enzyme cleaners are the absolute best type of products to use in terms of getting rid of pet urine stains and odor on the shaggy rug because they will work faster than any other product out there while also making sure that your carpeting dries up much quicker afterward, which is important when you’re dealing with wet rugs due to the fact that water can seep into them really quickly.

I would recommend investing in a good vacuum cleaner as well which can be used on all types of rug surfaces such as shaggy carpeting because it will allow you to get deep down into the fibers, lifting out any dirt that might have been missed by other tools like mops or steam cleaners. By using these three products together (a black light, enzyme cleaner and great vacuum), one should be able to make their carpets look beautiful after each accident.

Don’t want to use chemicals? Here’s how to clean pet urine stains naturally

Cleaning shaggy rug without chemicals.

Luckily, there are other ways to clean shaggy rugs without using any chemicals whatsoever.

One of the absolute best ways would be using a steam cleaner with distilled water inside of it since it will kill off all types of germs that might have collected on your carpeting over time due to pet accidents.

I would recommend investing in some rubber gloves as well so you don’t burn yourself while doing this process because sometimes these machines can get extremely hot after multiple uses. Once finished, make sure to vacuum up anything left behind thoroughly. If needed, use baking soda mixed with hydrogen peroxide (per instructions) onto any remaining stains for about 15 minutes before allowing everything to dry up.

I’ve already wrote an in-depth guide on how to clean your carpets with baking soda. Check it out, you’ll find interesting methods 🙂

Alternatively, one might want to consider investing in a steam mop instead of the traditional steamer since it will allow you to clean shaggy carpets without having to bend over as much, which is important if you have back problems. Simply plug both products into an electrical outlet, and once heated up enough, use them on your carpeting just like normal so that all traces of pet urine stains are removed afterward. Make sure the area has dried out completely before walking onto it again though because wet rugs can easily become slippery, leading to serious accidents for those who aren’t careful. I hope these tips will help you.


Can I make my shaggy rug as soft as the first day I purchased it?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to make your shaggy rug as soft and luxurious as it was right after purchase.

However, if the fibers are still in good condition over time from use, one might want to consider investing in a floor steamer which will allow all types of dirt and grime to be lifted away with ease.

This is especially important for those who have pets since these machines work absolutely incredible on both carpeting and hardwood floors alike. I would recommend using them every three months or so just to keep everything looking nice even though don’t expect any miracles when trying that same type of feeling again.

Lastly, make sure to invest in a high-quality shaggy rug pad that can be purchased online through many different retailers that carry all types of rugs. This will provide your floor with extra cushioning so it feels just as soft and luxurious when you walk on top of it. It’s also important to remember that these pads are designed for both carpeted surfaces and hardwood floors alike because they have much thicker fibers than traditional ones found inside the actual rug itself.

Is it possible to make my shaggy rug fluffy again?

No, there is no way to make it fluffy again since the fibers themselves have worn down over time.

However, if you want to keep your shag carpeting as perfect as possible for years while maintaining its softness and luxurious feel, one will need to invest in a floor steamer.

These tools are absolutely incredible at getting rid of all types of dirt which might be embedded into the rug itself without using any chemicals whatsoever. If used correctly every three months or so, these products can help maintain that same type of feeling over an extended period of time without much issue.

How can I get a stain out of a white shag pile rug?

One of the best ways to get a stain out is by using hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda for about 15 minutes before allowing everything to dry up completely.

This will allow you to have an easier time vacuuming up any remaining particles afterward while also helping lift away stains that might be stuck on top of your carpeting.

Remember that it’s important to keep your hands off these rugs too, since they can easily become slippery if wet, especially when used in areas where people are walking around barefooted all the time, like inside their homes. If done correctly over time, one should notice significant improvement in terms of carpet cleanliness and overall appearance too.

Is a shaggy wool rug easy to clean?

A shaggy wool rug is easy to clean, especially if you have a steam machine designed for these types of products.

All one needs to do to get rid of dirt and stains embedded into the carpet itself is simply use their hands or feet when moving around on top of it, which will allow all particles inside the fibers themselves to fall out eventually over time.

Remember that they are often used inside homes where pets might be roaming around too, so because this special type of product can become slippery, it’s important that people don’t try getting up from laying down while resting on them either since falls could easily happen.

However, if done correctly every few months, these rugs should be able to maintain their appearance and overall luxury feeling for quite a long time.

What Else Can I Do to Protect My Shag Carpeting?

In addition to using a floor steamer, it’s also important that one takes proper care of their shag carpeting by vacuuming every single week.

This will help maintain the cleanliness and appearance over an extended period of time without much trouble as long as they don’t let any dirt settle into these fibers beforehand. Remember that if done correctly, all carpets made from this material should be able to look just like new again within no time at all while still maintaining their softness and luxurious feel.

Is There Any Way to Use A Vacuum On My Shag Carpet?

Of course, there is a way to use a vacuum on shag carpeting.

All you need to do in order to forget one of these machines set up correctly and ready to go is place the hose attachment against your rug itself and turn it on using its lowest setting first, which will help lift any particles embedded deep within the fibers themselves while also allowing them to fall out over time.

author Hello, I'm Christine and I am the rug critic! My husband and I used to run a local rug cleaning business for 9 years but recently we had to sell out of the business due to the ill health of my husband. I have now decided to start the as a blog to share my tips, tricks and how to's when it comes to buying rugs, rug cleaning and care tips and ensuring you buy the right rug for you, your house, your family and your pets.

Categories Rug Cleaning & Care

Leave a Comment