How to Clean and Maintain a Shaggy Rug

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Rugs can get filthy and tired over time, especially if they are placed in high-traffic spots around your home. Shaggy rugs in particular are very susceptible to trapping dust and dirt due to the nature of their fluffy, shaggy weave.

If you’ve noticed your rug is looking a little worse for wear and could do with a refresh, follow our expert advice below on how to clean a shaggy rug.

Don’t have a shaggy rug? Read our completeguidetocleaningrugs for advice on your rug type.


  1. How to clean a shaggy rug
    1. Gather your cleaning supplies
    2. Shake off loose dirt
    3. Vacuum thoroughly
    4. Freshen it up with shampoo
  2. Deep cleaning your rug
  3. Can you wash a shaggy rug in a washing machine?


How to clean a shaggy rug

Follow the steps below to get your shaggyrug smelling fresh and looking clean.

How often should you clean your rug? We recommend following this process once every month or so to prevent dirt working its way deep into the weave of the rug and stopping any smells developing.

1. Gather your cleaning supplies

Before you get started, you’ll want to make sure you have the following to hand:

  • Vacuum with upholstery brush accessory
  • Dry rug shampoo ● Rug/carpet brush

2. Shake off loose dirt

Head outside and give your rug a good shake. If it’s too big to handle this, hang it over a washing line or similar and beat the loose sediment out of it.

3. Vacuum thoroughly

If your vacuum has a setting for deep pile carpets, flick this on and give your rug a once over. Switch to your upholstery attachment after, and take some time to run it over the rug in more detail.

4. Freshen it up with shampoo

This step is optional, but will leave your rug smelling nice and fresh. Get a good quality dry rug shampoo, and following the instructions on the packaging, spray it generously over your rug and work it in with an upholstery brush or the upholstery attachment of your vacuum (with it turned off, of course).

After leaving it to work its magic, give your shaggy rug another thorough vacuum and shake it out to restoreitsfluffylooks.


Deep cleaning your rug

If your rug has never been cleaned, or you’ve bought a second-hand shaggy rug, you might want to clean it more thoroughly.

How often should you deep clean your rug? We would recommend deep cleaning your rug once a year, or when you feel it needs it.

  1. Loosen up dust and dirt - following the same steps as above, shake out any loose debris from the rug
  2. Vacuum - get your vacuum out and thoroughly go over the rug once or twice, getting into any nooks and crannies
  3. Steam clean - take your rug outside and steam clean it. You can rent a steam cleaner, or purchase an inexpensive upholstery steam cleaner if you have a lot of rugs and furniture that need freshening up on a regular basis.
  4. Dry it - make sure you steam clean your rug on a sunny, dry day so you can hang it outside and get it dried as quickly as possible. A dehumidifier or a fan can help to speed up the process

Please note: steam cleaning can damage a rug, make sure you refer to the manufacturer notes of your particular shag rug before proceeding.

Can you wash a shaggy rug in a washing machine?

Unless your shaggy rug is specifically sold as machine-washable, we would advise against it. Washing machines are tough on rug fibres so could cause more damage than good, and being submerged in hot water could cause the rugs fibres to shrink and become matted.


Get your shaggy rug sparkling clean

Cleaning your shaggy rug isn’t as hard as you think it might be, and staying on top of cleaning it (alongside any other rugs in your home) will keep your home feeling and smelling nice and fresh.

To recap, here’s what you need to keep in mind when it’s time to clean your shag rug:

  • Give your rug a surface clean once a month, shaking off and vacuuming up any dirt before applying a dry shampoo
  • Deep clean your rug at least once a year with a steam cleaner or by hand to remove any set-in dirt and stains
  • Don’t wash your shaggy rug in a washing machine
  • Always check the manufacturer notes for your specific rug before applying any cleaning supplies or using something like a steam cleaner, as they could cause damage

If your rug is beyond saving, or you fancy a shaggy rug for another room in your home, pop along to your closestFrithRugsstore and chat to our expert staff who can help you make the perfect choice.


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