How To Wash A Shag Rug

Shag rugs are a popular choice for many homeowners as they add a cozy and luxurious feel to any room. However, cleaning them can be a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where to start. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of how to wash a shag rug, step-by-step.

Step 1: Vacuum the Rug Thoroughly

Before washing your shag rug, vacuum it thoroughly to remove any loose dirt and debris. Use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or a brush attachment to loosen the dirt and dust from the fibers. This will make the washing process much easier and more effective.

Step 2: Check the Care Label

Before washing your shag rug, check the care label to see if there are any specific instructions or precautions you need to take. Some shag rugs may be machine washable, while others may require professional cleaning. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging the rug.

Step 3: Spot Clean Stains

If there are any stains on your shag rug, spot clean them before washing. Use a mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub the stain. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach as they can damage the fibers of the rug.

Step 4: Prepare the Washing Solution

Fill a large bucket or bathtub with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Mix the solution well to create suds.

Step 5: Wash the Rug

Submerge the shag rug in the washing solution and use your hands to gently agitate the fibers. Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the rug too hard as this can damage the fibers. Let the rug soak for 10-15 minutes.

Step 6: Rinse the Rug

After the rug has soaked, drain the washing solution and rinse the rug thoroughly with clean water. Make sure to remove all the soap suds as they can attract dirt and dust.

Step 7: Remove Excess Water

Gently squeeze the excess water from the rug, but avoid twisting or wringing it as this can damage the fibers. You can also use a clean towel to absorb the excess water.

Step 8: Hang the Rug to Dry

Hang the shag rug over a clothesline or a sturdy railing to dry. Make sure it is hung evenly to avoid stretching or distorting the shape of the rug. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat sources as this can cause fading or shrinkage.


How often should I wash my shag rug?

It depends on the amount of foot traffic in the room. If the rug is in a high-traffic area, it is recommended to wash it every 6-12 months. For low-traffic areas, washing it once a year is sufficient.

Can I use a steam cleaner to clean my shag rug?

It is not recommended to use a steam cleaner on shag rugs as the high temperature and moisture can damage the fibers.

Can I dry my shag rug in the dryer?

No, it is not recommended to dry shag rugs in the dryer as the heat can damage the fibers and cause shrinkage.


Cleaning a shag rug may seem like a daunting task, but it is not impossible. By following these simple steps, you can keep your shag rug looking clean and fresh for years to come. Remember to check the care label and avoid using harsh chemicals or high temperatures as they can damage the fibers. Happy cleaning!