A high pile shag rug is an excellent choice for any home. Its soft, beautiful appearance makes it a perfect addition to your living room or bedroom. Despite their durability, it’s essential to clean your shag rug often to maintain its beauty and softness. How to clean a high pile shag rug to keep it in good condition?

Shag rugs can be tough to clean and maintain because of the tightly woven fibers that make up the pile. If you’ve ever tried to tackle this problem yourself, you know that it can be a real challenge. Thankfully, there are many different ways to clean your high pile rug.

In this blog post, we’ll cover five alternative ways on How do you get the shag rug to look clean again.

5 Simple Methods- How To Clean A High Pile Shag Rug

In order to clean a high pile shag rug, you need to remove all the dirt from the rug first by shaking it. Then you can apply any of these methods depending on what method you like or seems simple and effective to you.

01. Use Steam Cleaner

Steam cleaners are good for rugs with deep grooves or small spaces between them and difficult-to-reach places. It is an easy way to make your shag rug look new again without having seen it cleaned professionally in decades! Though they aren’t cheap, they are worth every penny because of their role as a professional carpet cleaning system.

Cleaning Process:

First, take a water-filled steam cleaner. Next, set up a steamer basket in your high pile shag rug with a soft brush attached to the bottom of the steamer. With this steam cleaner, you can clean any dirt or debris under the shag rug.

Finally, move the steam cleaner over the surface of your rug slowly and let it run for about 10 minutes.

02. Use a Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum is excellent for large areas that are hard to reach with regular cleaning tools and tools like mops.

It can easily remove dust mites, pet hair, bacteria, and dirt from your high pile rug. Frequent vacuuming of your shag rug will make it more comfortable.

This cleaning process usually requires minimal effort involved by yourself. You should add it as a new one to your routine when you want that shag carpet to look at its maximum potential!

Cleaning Process:

The first thing you should do is put a rug pad on the rug to prevent it from slipping and bunching up.

Next, make sure that your vacuum cleaner has an upholstery brush attachment and turn it on before starting to vacuum. Set the vacuum cleaner at the highest setting. If you set it low, it may suck the high pile of the shag rug.

Keep the suction moving by moving the machine back and forth over the rug’s surface in small movements. Avoid sweeping large strokes. Run the vacuum cleaner over the same place at least two or three times for better results.

03. Use Shampoo

Shampooing is good for rugs with large patches or stains, which may be harder to remove using other methods.

First, check the level of the shag rug; if it’s moisture allowed, only then you can wash it with a shampoo solution. If it doesn’t support moisture, you have to clean it with dry shampoo.

Cleaning Process:

First, you need to shake the rug out as much as possible and then pour some shampoo into a bowl, add room temperature water, and dip the shag rug in it.

Let the rug soak in the shampoo solution for about fifteen minutes before rinsing it off under cold water.

And if you use dry shampoo, sprinkle it all over the rug, leave it for ten minutes and then vacuum it up.

04. Hand Wash

Everybody can easily mix the dish liquid or detergent and water to create a cleaning solution. Dip the shag rug into the solution, leave it for a few minutes to loosen the dirt.

Now use your hands and rub the shag rug very gently to remove the dirt. Scrubbing in this manner will loosen debris and help remove stains and spots from the fibers of the rug itself.

Repeat this process multiple times until you’ve cleaned as much as possible. Then rinse away with cold water.

05. Pressure Washing

Take a pressure washer and make sure it has enough water pressure. Fill the tank with clean water and a few drops of dish liquid along with one cup of distilled vinegar.

Run the machine for about 20 minutes or until you have reached the desired level of cleaning. 

Once you have reached your desired level of cleaning, rinse off the rug with cold, clean water over it for about 5 minutes or until there is no more soap residue left on the rug.

Finally, dry out your rug by laying it flat in a well-ventilated area, such as on top of an outdoor table or a lawn.

How to Care & Maintaining Polyester Rug

The proper care of a rug is an important factor in its life. Otherwise, it will end up looking and feeling tangled. You should be very careful in safeguarding your wonderful shag rug.

The best way to ensure that they won’t tangle or cause overlaps is by going over them with simple vacuum cleaners.

Below are a few more tips that will help you to know about the best practices for caring for and maintaining your polyester rug:

  • Use a lint roller or soft brush to remove any loose debris from the surface of the rug.
  • Vacuum thoroughly before placing your rug.
  • Do not pull or stretch polyester rugs. 
  • Avoid using fabric softeners; it can cause discoloration.
  • Rinse and wring out excess moisture after washing rather than rubbing.
  • Drying the rug after washing by hanging it on a towel rack, leaving it outside, or using a commercial dryer. 

How To Spot Clean Your Shag Rug

The first thing you have to do is act on the spot as soon as possible. Whenever a spill or accident happens, you have to treat it immediately. The sooner you will start cleaning the spot, the better it is! 

First, use hot water and dishwashing detergent solution on the affected area to moisten the spot. Next, take a clean, lint-free towel, apply a small amount of cleaning agent, blot it continuously until the spot is lightened.

Next, you have to use an “Edge” tool or old toothbrush in order to remove the remaining spot.

Sprinkle some baking soda, let it stay for ten minutes, and use the edger tool or old brush to scrub the shag rug.  Once you are done, use a vacuum cleaner and remove the baking soda. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Way to Clean a High Pile Rug?

The best way to clean a High Pile rug is to use a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. This will help you remove the dirt from the carpet and avoid scratching or damaging the rug’s fibers. To avoid damaging your high pile carpet, make sure that you use an upright vacuum cleaner.

Can You Use a Pressure Washer to Clean the Shag Rug?

Pressure washers can be used to clean shag rugs, but they will need to be cleaned thoroughly after completing the cleaning process. The water pressure will potentially leave behind residue that would need to be removed. 

How Can I Make My Rug Look New Again?

First, clean the rug using a vacuum cleaner. Then sprinkle the rug with white vinegar and place it in the sun for a few hours to dry. After this, use a vacuum cleaner to remove excess water from the rug’s surface.

How Do You Vacuum a Shag Rug?

Place a wet/dry vacuum cleaner on the carpet. Turn it on and move it in circles around the rug. When you have reached all rug areas, turn off the vacuum cleaner and use your hand to push out any remaining debris from under the machine.

How Often Should You Vacuum Shag Carpet?

There is no specific frequency of vacuum shag rug. However, you should do it at least once a week to prevent bacteria from growing in the fibers. In addition, if your carpet gets dirty and you cannot clean it yourself, hire a professional who can do it for you.


Cleaning a high pile shag rug is not as easy as it looks. If you don’t have the right tools, the job can be very difficult and time-consuming.

To make your life easier, we have listed some simple ways on how to clean a high pile shag rug so that you can get started immediately!

Let us know in the comments below if you need any help with this task.

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