How do You Vacuum a Shag Rug to Make it Fluffy

How to Vacuum A Shag Rug

Although cleaning a shag rug with a vacuum is a tough job but “do not vacuum them” is an “unhealthy” rather “dangerous suggestion.” The reason is that these thick pile rugs are more prone to dust than any other carpet. However, shag rugs are prohibited from cleaning with traditional vacuums. So, it is need of the time to learn: how to vacuum a shag rug?

Get a professional for shag carpet vacuuming, or do it at home with appropriate precautions. But remember to keep the beater bar away from these fluffy floors.

And also, don’t trust those who motivate you to give them a bathtub wash.

However, giving a professional cleaning to your shags is expensive, so you would discourage from choosing this option. Thus, go for the other way.

Things to Remember before You Vacuum a Shag Rug

To avoid damaging your shag, don’t forget to bother the following points before vacuuming.

Material of the Rug

Generally, shag rugs are made of wool or silk. Where wool absorbs more dirt than the latter, it takes more time and effort to get de-dusts. Conversely, you have to be more gentle with silk rugs.

Also, flip and check the lower side because the rubber bottom does not let the dirt pass to the floor.

Traffic level

Sometimes it is sufficient to flip and shake the rug. But, if it is placed in a high-traffic area like a TV lounge or an open area like a balcony, it requires deeper cleaning.

Thickness of Pile

Similarly, how deep you have to clean or how many rounds you have to give to the vacuum heads also depends on the thickness of the shaggy rug.

Cleaning Frequency

If the rugs get too much dust and debris, you must clean them more frequently. And thus, frequent cleaning does take less time and effort. In such a case, one round of vacuum nozzles cleans all.

Do not use an Upright Vacuum

To vacuum a shaggy rug, always use any handheld or a canister vacuum. The reason is upright vacuums are heavy and their all weight is on their cleaning head.

This weight and dragging will ruin the rug.

On the other hand, the weight of the machine is in your control and you exert a limited pressure to save the pile.

Seven Steps to Clean a Big Shag Rug with a Vacuum

Empty the Dirt Bag

Many vacuum cleaners lose their suction as they start getting filled. So, better to empty it first, even if it still needs to be filled. After that, it can quickly pull out all dirt particles with full power.

Shake the Rug Outside

Please pick up your rug slowly, take it outside in the lawn or yard, and then shake it to remove large debris. In this way, your rug will lose the bigger particles, and if you vacuum after many days, it will break the dust cakes.

Vacuum and Mop the Floor

When you uncover the floor, it is full of dust. So, before putting your rug back, clean it with your vacuum and mop it to revive the shine.

It would be best if you get a steam vacuum cleaner to kill the germs accumulated under the rug.

Flip the Rug

Now take the rug and place it upside down. It is time to clean the lower side of the rug.

Engage the Beater Bar

Assemble the cleaning head and vacuum the rug’s backside with a beater bar. It will also loosen the dirt stuck deep into the fibers.

Sprinkle the Carpet Shampoo

Turn the upside and sprinkle the specialized carpet shampoo all over the rug. Be careful while choosing the shampoo. It should be suitable for the material of your rug.

When you have sprinkled the shampoo, spread it gently all over the rug

Shampooing your rug will remove the stains and make it as fluffy and shiny as it is new.

Install the Carpet Rake on the Cleaning Head

Let the shampoo sit for some minutes, so it completely neutralizes the stain. Then remove the beater bar and fix the carpet rake.

Be sure to take a spot test on a corner of the rug with appropriate pressure, so it does not catch the rug.

With this carpet rake, the vacuum pulls the dust and combs the piles that, as a result, give a fresher look to it.

Precautions to Keep Your Shag Rug as Fresh as New

While these rugs are wonderful for styling your room and getting warmth in winter, it is also important to maintain hygiene and take good care of them.

Excessive vacuuming may loosen the pile twist, and your rugs may lose their shine. So, to keep them fluffy and shiny, take these precautions to avoid frequent vacuuming.

  1. Select Low traffic area where they are least exposed to dust; the best place is Bedroom and study.
  2. Choose a place where shoes are not allowed. Because shoes flatten the pile of the rug.
  3. The other way is to keep the floor clean and advise all members to remove their dirty shoes outside the living area.
  4. The area should be pet-prohibited because they have the most stubborn hair to pull out.
  5. Blot away the stains and spills as soon as they happen.
  6. Lastly, avoid munching on them while watching a movie.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to wash a shaggy rug in a washing machine?

No, the professional carpet cleaners strongly discourage the rugs washing in a machine. It will not only harden the furs, but also your rug will lose its shape. In addition, spinning in the washing machine will ruin your fluffy floor covers.

Can you shampoo a shag rug?

You can sprinkle the dry shampoo on the furs and gently rub them to avoid tangling. Let the shampoo stay for some minutes and then take the rug outside and shake it to remove the shampoo granules completely.

It is recommended to pre-confirm whether this product is suitable for your rug material.

Why can I not deep clean my shag rug?

Deep cleaning requires a lot of water, shampoo, or detergent and scrubbing. Because shampoo is hard to remove if rinsed with water, using too much water will destroy the rug’s softness.

Similarly, it also requires a lot of scrubbing, which will result in untwisting fibers and flattening and tangling of the pile.

How to vacuum a polyester shaggy rug?

You can clean your polyester rug, as we told you above. But surely, it will be easier to clean this material. Moreover, this method will result in better polyester piles.

Why should we avoid using a beater bar to vacuum a thick rug?

The beater bar is located in the cleaning head of any vacuum. It structures like a roll-shape brush. When the bristles encounter the rug’s fiber, they untwist the pile and cause shedding.

So, keep the beater bar on high settings, so the brush does not touch the rug. Removing the floor head and using the crevice nozzle instead is better.


After going through the above article, you will keep your rugs dust free in the way we guided you. Thus, you can better maintain your fluffy rugs with proper hygiene.

By vacuuming in this way, you will get back the coziness of your shag rugs.