Can You Vacuum a Shag Rug?

can you vacuum a shag rug

Can you vacuum a shag rug? Yes, you can vacuum a shag rug. Shag rugs make your feet comfortable when placed on it.

Although a shag rug seems difficult to clean, if the right steps are taken, the job will be made easier, and you will find it enjoyable whenever you attempt to vacuum the shag rug.

Shag rugs are very delicate due to their unique design. The thick and long strands of fiber can easily become twisted in a vacuum cleaner; the vacuum cleaner will try to pull up these strands like they are debris or dirt.

This can damage the whole shag rug and also pose a risk to the vacuum cleaner. The best way around it is to avoid using a normal standup vacuum cleaner on a shag rug entirely.

You should know how to prepare your rug and the right vacuum for it. Before checking out how to clean and vacuum a shag rug, take a look at the best vacuum cleaners out there.

Shake The Shag Rug Out

This is an old-fashioned process that does not remove all of the debris, especially if your rug is too large to be shaken out by yourself. You will have to take the rug out and shake it all round to take out the large majority of debris and dirt.

Hang the shag rug on a laundry line, under direct sunlight to make any odors neutral. You can also use a rug beater so as to shake out even more other debris and dust.

Vacuum Clean The Shag Rug

Firstly, you need to know some characteristics which you are going to look out for in a vacuum cleaner. Hopefully, this guide will make the process easier and let you know the right vacuum cleaner to use.

Suction power

You have to make sure that the vacuum has adjustable suction power. This feature will make sure that the vacuum can clean your shag rug. A machine with concentrated sealed suction is the best for cleaning shag rugs as it will provide the exact power needed to make your rug clean.

Adjustable height

A vacuum with adjustable height makes the machine comfortable for use. The adjustable height will help the vacuum adapt to your rug type. Some models even come with automatic height adjustment for your convenience.

Available attachment

Most vacuums include an attachment that can increase the vacuum’s effectiveness. Another tool which is a very useful addition to your vacuum is a shag rug rake. It gets deep into the long fibers of your carpet or rug and ensures that it gets deep into the rug. Buy a shag rug rake if your vacuum does not have one.


Most people prefer lightweight vacuums. Make sure you check the weight of the vacuum you intend to buy and try to test it before purchase. Heavyweight vacuums are difficult to control and maneuver in homes. When you find a heavy vacuum hard to operate, the vacuum might not be utilized well, and your rug can end up in a mess.

Storage potential

This part of a vacuum is often neglected when people make purchases. Even if the vacuum is the best for cleaning shag rugs, it might not be the right one for you if it is too big to be stored in your home. Decide where the vacuum will be stored before you buy it. This will make you know the size that will fit in your closet, basement, or attic.


This is the last but not the least feature to consider. Most shag rugs are long and thick, so you will like to ensure the wheels are the ones that you can control around your shag rug. Check the wheel measurements carefully on the vacuum before you purchase.

How to Vacuum a Shag Rug

You will have to use one of the brush attachments other than the whole vacuum itself. A standup vacuum has a motorized roller underneath. A shag rug’s fibers can easily be tied to this roller. Use the adjustable knob to lift as high as you can.

This allows the vacuum to suction up the dirt so low that the rug’s fibers will not be caught in the brush spinner.

Using the brush attachment requires some effort, but it will suck up dirt and debris through a wide-mouthed hose that will not make the long fibers become entangled to it. The vacuum, on the other hand, will focus on the tiny particles.

How Often Should a Shag Rug Be Vacuumed?

A shag rug should be vacuumed at least twice a week. Ensure you vacuum your shag rug with a suction-only vacuum, and do not use any vacuum that has a beater bar. Using the right vacuum twice a week will make your shag rug stay clean.

If your shag rug is dry clean only, you can still vacuum it two times in a week. If you want to do deep cleaning, take the rug into a dry cleaning facility. You shouldn’t clean a dry-clean-only shag rug at home.


So back to our question, can you vacuum a shag rug? Yes, you can! Following the specifications and instructions above, you shouldn’t have any problem.

When you use the right approach and vacuum machine, vacuuming a shag rug should not be a difficult task.

Take care of your shag rug to maintain its durability. To maintain the quality of your shag rug, take it outside once in a week to shake it out; this will loosen up and remove stubborn dirt.

Turn your shag rug over when you are vacuuming it. Vacuum the underneath part of the rug as this will ensure that the rug is thoroughly clean. This should be done once a month.

Have you ever vacuumed a shag rug? Let us know about your experience.

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