How to Clean Shag Carpeting

Shag carpeting.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 100-150
What You'll Need
Floor steamer
Shag rake or regular garden rake
Manufacturer recommended vacuum cleaner

Making a comeback from the 70s, shag carpeting is big in the decorating front today. Shag creates a new adventure for those who have never experienced its uniqueness before. The way you vacuum and clean shag is a little different from your normal carpet due to the, well, shagginess.

Step 1 - Get Ready to Clean

The depth of the pile in shag carpet makes it beautiful but at the same time a bit difficult to keep clean. A beater bar vacuum cleaner may damage the pile. A regular suction may pull the fibers out of the rug itself. It is best to ask what the recommended vacuum is for your carpet. Once you know that, vacuum the carpet in short repetitive motions to get the dirt out as much as possible. Run the vacuum over the floor until you are satisfied that it is clean.

Step 2 - Clean the Carpet

When you spill or stain this carpet it is important to blot up as much as possible of the spill as you can. Do not scrub, just blot. Using a floor steamer with a carpet attachment you can periodically clean all the dirt and grime out of your carpet. You can have this done professionally if you prefer, but if you have the steam cleaner you can easily do it yourself.

Step 3 - Use a Steamer

Just as you vacuumed the carpet, use the steam cleaner with the carpet attachment on it and glide back and forth in different directions so that you get the fibers in all directions. This will take you a little time and you need to do it slowly to allow the steam to penetrate through the thickness of the fiber. Do not go in circles, this can mat the fibers together. Make forward and back or side to side strokes. It will dry almost immediately.

Step 4 - Rake the Rug

Once it is dry you need to take the shag rake, this is a special rake made specifically for shag carpets, and rake the carpet in one direction so that it stands up in the manner it is supposed to. If you don't have or cannot find a shag rake, you can use a common garden rake metal or plastic. Just make sure it is clean.

If you are using the metal rake, make sure it has no rough edges that will pull or tear the fibers on the carpet. Once you have raked it you will be able to see your footprints as you walk again. Raking is good for the carpet after vacuuming. After you vacuum, rake the carpet at least once over to make the rug look as beautiful as it should. After all, that is why you bought it.