How to Vacuum a Shag Rug (The Right Way)

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how to vacuum a shag rugA shag rug looks beautiful and is comfortable underneath your feet, but they can be difficult to clean.

The reason for this is the long, thick strands of fiber.

Improper or rushed cleaning can damage these strands and even the entire shag rug.

Fortunately, it’s easy to clean and vacuum a shag rug with a little know-how.

Understand Shag Rugs Are Delicate

Shag rugs and shag carpets are extremely delicate thanks to their unique design.

The long, thick strands of fiber can easily become entangled in a vacuum cleaner.

Chances are that your vacuum will try to suction up these strands like they were dirt or debris.

Not only does this pose a risk to the actual vacuum cleaner, but it can also damage the entire shag rug as a whole.

Because of their delicate construction, it’s best to avoid using an upright vacuum cleaner on a shag rug altogether.

Miele Complete C3 Vacuum for Soft Carpet
Best Choice for Cleaning Shag:

  • 5 level height adjustment to glide over the shag
  • 6 suction power settings
  • Electrobrush specifically designed for soft and thick carpet

Shake the Shag Rug Out

A good way to clean a shag rug is to  simply shake it out. 

Take the rug outside and shake it around to remove the vast majority of dirt and debris. Hang the shag rug from a laundry line to neutralize odors.

Another option is to use a rug beater to shake out even more dust and other debris.

Vacuum Clean the Shag Carpet

using a vacuum attachment to clean shag rugSometimes the old-fashioned method of shaking out a rug doesn’t remove all of the debris. Or maybe your shag rug is too large to shake out by yourself.

If you decide to vacuum your shag rug, it’s essential that you use one of the brush attachments rather than the actual vacuum itself, or that you use a vacuum specialized on shag carpets.

Miele Complete C3 Vacuum for Soft Carpet
Best Choice for Cleaning Shag:

  • 5 level height adjustment to glide over the shag
  • 6 suction power settings
  • Electrobrush specifically designed for soft and thick carpet

Many vacuums has motorized rollers on the underside. A shag rug can easily become entangled in this roller.

The brush attachment, on the other hand, doesn’t contain these rollers. Instead, it just picks up debris through suction.

Pass the brush attachment over the carpet to pick up any debris left behind after shaking the rug out.

Consider Hiring a Professional Cleaner

Depending on the value of your shag rug,  it might be a better idea to hire a professional cleaning service to clean your rug. 

These services have the special tools, equipment, and experience required to expertly clean a shag run without causing damage.

Also consider buying a carpet shampooer. It is a one time investment that will extend the life of your carpet and keep it looking fresh. Here are our carpet shampooer reviews for 2021.

Sure, it might cost more upfront, but if you have a valuable shag rag, investing in a professional cleaning service or buying a carpet shampooer will greatly extend the overall life of your rug.

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AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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