How to Vacuum a Shag Rug the Best Way

Shag rugs are nice, comfortable and soft. Unfortunately they’re also like magnets to any type of dust, hair, crumbs, dirt, you name it. This makes it an ideal breeding ground to all kinds of unwanted things, and if you suffer from allergy you’d definitely want to keep your shag rugs clean.

So how do you keep a nice fluffy shag rug spotlessly clean? How do you pick up all the dust, hair, crumbs, and everything else nestles in between the deep piles?

We’ve researched and tested some of the most popular methods of cleaning a shag rug, and here’s our guide on how to vacuum a shag rug the best and easiest way possible.

Vacuuming the Shag Rug – Here’s How to Do It

Vacuuming a shag rug is actually not a cumbersome, as you may think. It takes a bit of time, and depending on its size, it can be a bit of workout too. But with proper equipment, it’s an easy task.

Here’s what you need:

  • A powerful vacuum with a detachable hose – e.g. a canister vacuum or upright vacuum
  • A powerhead or beater bar (optional)
  • A small brush attachment (large one might work too)

Before getting started:

This is a universal method, which applies to most types of shag rugs. Shag rugs come in different sizes and qualities, so it’s always recommended to read the directions that came with your shag rug, before vacuuming it. Some shag rugs might need special care, and sometimes it’s better to contact a professional rather than trying your luck with a method you don’t know the result of.

If you decide to go on with it, you should do it carefully the first time, so you don’t run the risk of ruining your shag rug in the process. Afterwards you can evaluate the result, and perhaps give it another go.

1. Flip the rug over

First off, you need to flip your shag rug over. Depending on its dimensions, a second person might be needed for this task. Now your rug should be upside down.

2. Vacuum the back to loosen dirt and debris

We picked this method up from Clean My Space, and the idea is particularly good if there’s a lot of dirt, debris, crumbs, etc. nestled in between the piles. The idea is to beat the backside of the carpet, using the powerhead or beater bar, in order to loosen everything that’s been nestled in between the piles. Pay extra attention when going along the edges of the carpet, so you won’t catch any of the rug piles in your vacuum.

Another option:

You could bring your shag rug outside and hang it from a fence or clothesline. That way you’ll be able to beat the rug with a rug beater, or broom handle. This method might not work with any shag rug, but if you don’t have a powerhead or beater bar for your vacuum, it could perhaps be a feasible alternative.

3. Roll the shag rug op and place it aside

After you’ve beaten the backside of the rug, you’d want to roll it and place it somewhere else. You should now see a lot of fine dust, dirt, crumbs, debris,  etc., where your carpet was laying beforehand. You can now easily pick it all up, using the vacuum.

4. Put the shag rug back on the floor

Again, depending on its size, this might be a two-person task. Unroll the shag rug and put it back in its place.

5. Vacuum the shag rug using a brush attachment

You’d want a brush tool with a brush length of at least 0.5 inches, to be able to get in between the fibres and vacuum the rug properly. You’ll have to be a bit systematic here, going back and forth in short motions, before doing it over again in the opposite direction. That way the fibres are pushed to every side, and the brush is able to pick up hair, dust, dirt, and everything else nestled in between.

How Often Should You Vacuum a Shag Rug?

It’s hard work getting a shag rug clean, but it’s not as cumbersome as most people think. If you do it regularly, the shag rug will stay nice and clean, and it will be much easier to vacuum it from time to time.

You’d have to vacuum your shag rug using the above method at least once every month, and in between you could just vacuum it normally using a brush attachment, during regular vacuuming of the entire house.