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How To Clean A Shag Rug

carpet 05 Sep 2017

Shag rugs are a beautiful addition to any home. They come in a range of different sizes, shapes and styles. But perhaps the best thing of all is how comfortable they are. I’m lucky enough to have a shag rug in my lounge room at home and there has been many a night where I’ve fallen asleep laying on it watching TV. As with any rug though they can get dirty. Follow our guide below to get your shag rug looking stylish and clean again.

Before we get started we should mention that you may not need a rug cleaning service if your shag rug is simply dirty. However, if you have a load of particularly stubborn stains adoring it it might be time for the experts. But rest assured, this guide doesn’t involve hiring anyone or using any heavy duty or hi-tech equipment.

Why It’s Important To Clean Your Shag Rug

Clean Shag Rug

All rugs get dirty and they are one of the most common places people sit and relax on. If you have kids or pets it’s especially important to keep them clean. A shag rug is particularly vulnerable because they tend to attract a lot of dirt. Failure to keep it clean can result is respiratory problems as well as hygiene issues around the home.

Shaking Out The Dirt

Much of the dirt in a shag run is unclean to the it’s plush nature. Dust and dirt particles simply disappear into the lovely shagginess of the carpet. That’s why the first thing to do is take the rug outside. Find a place to hang it either over a railing or on your hills hoist (a great Aussie classic). Then start beating the rug as if your life depended on it.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer a word of warning here. If you haven’t cleaned your shag rug in a while you might be disgusted by what comes out. The amount of dirt, hair, dust and otherwise will likely shock you. Use this as inspiration to keep giving it a good smash. You may even seen dust floating around in the air. Keep going until this has dissipated. Then turn the rug over and repeat the process. This will make sure you get dirt out of both ends equally. One done lay the rug flat out on the floor.

Use The Vacuum Cleaner

Now it’s time for the vacuum cleaner. You might think you’ve gotten rid of all the dirt but the vacuum will pick up the last few remaining pieces. Be as thorough as possible and even consider removing the vacuum head and just using the pipe. It will mean a better result. The added bonus is that it gives the carpet a nice fluffy feel again so it’ll be good as new.

Removing The Carpet Stains

At this stage any physical dirt in the carpet should be gone. If you had a particularly dirty rug or it’s been ages since you’ve cleaned it you might want to repeat those steps again. Just for piece of mind.

If the rug is looking good the give yourself a big congratulations. Your job is done! Take the rug back inside and start enjoying it until the next time it needs a clean. If there are marks or carpet stains in the carpet though you still have a bit of work to do.

If the rug is small enough to fit into a washing machine then this might be an option. Add some eco-friendly detergent and make sure you select a gentle wash cycle only. This part is important. If you use a regular wash you risk damaging the carpet.

A better option is to simply soak the rug. Find a large enough container, fill it with some soap and lukewarm water and let it sit for a few hours. Occasionally return to the container and mix things around. Afterwards hang the rug out to dry and inspect the results once the sun has done it’s work.

Advice For Large Shag Rugs

If your rug is too large for the washing machine and you don’t have a big enough container then you’ll have to manually clean it. There’s no need to go over the whole rug in this case just find the relevant stains and give them a scrub. You can use vinegar and a damp cloth to help. We won’t go into the specific stains and how to get rid of them. For that you might want to check out our cleaning infographic on how to remove common household stains.

With that you should be done no matter how messy or dirty your rug is. If you’ve tried the above and still aren’t happy with how it turned out then we may be able to help. Get in touch and we’ll offer a competitive quote on our carpet cleaning service.


  • Can't thank you guys enough for the work you did at our place last week. Our carpets have never looked better, all the stains are out and they smell beautiful again. I'll be recommending you to everyone I know!

    Michael Dawson
    Marayong, Sydney
  • We have had a lot of trade people at our house over the years but Carpet Cleaning Sydney were definitely the best. The job was done perfectly, punctually and in a professional manner. Its not easy finding reliable people but you'll be happy using these guys to clean your carpets.

    Amanda Lawrence
    Avalon, Sydney
  • My carpets have never looked better. The guys came on time, completed the work quickly and when they left my carpets were like new. Thanks!

    David McMenemy
    Clovelly, Sydney

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