How to Clean a Polyester Shaggy Rug

How to clean a polyester shaggy rug

Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

Shaggy rugs are comfortable, fluffy, stylish, and soft. But, the long fabric strands make it challenging to clean.

Fortunately,  there are things that you can do to keep shag rugs clean and looking new, and we’ll look at several of them in this article.

These tips range from shaking the rug to using a steam cleaner.

The goal of this is to educate you on different options on how to clean a shaggy polyester rug.

Related: How to Take Care of Different Types of Rugs

1: Shaking Method

This old school method of cleaning rugs works best on dirty but not stained rugs. However, this method might be challenging for larger area rugs.

Also, prolonged sun rays can make the rug fade its colors.

It will work on smaller rugs that you can hang on a couple of chairs or a porch rail.

Shaking method is fantastic for such cleaning since it’s easy, and it sends dust and debris flying. Besides, letting your carpet soak up UV rays kills mites and bacteria.

However, this method might be challenging for large rugs. Also, prolonged sun rays can make the carpet fade its colors.

Tools you’ll need:

  1. Mask (so you don’t inhale the dust particles)
  2. Goggles (to protect the eyes from small rock projectile)
  3. Something substantial to hang the rug on and beat against
  4. A beating tool or a broom

Steps to Clean the rug:

  1. Wear a mask and goggles to protect the eyes, nose, and mouth from dust and debris.
  2. Take the carpet outside and hang it over a porch rail or another stable place.
  3. Use a beating tool like a broom to beat the rug repeatedly to loosen trapped dust, debris, and dirt.
  4. Let the carpet remain in the sun for a couple of hours to deodorize it and kill germs or lingering bacteria.

Do this method once a week, if possible, as part of its upkeep.

2: Vacuum Cleaning Method

Using a vacuum is a straightforward method of cleaning your shaggy polyester rug. This tool will remove debris, thus refreshing the carpet and bringing back its fluff.

For this method, you’ll need a good vacuum cleaner with an upholstery extension or something with a beater bar to thoroughly clean the carpet strands.

Tools you’ll need:

  1. A vacuum cleaning machine

Steps to clean the rug:

  1. Set the vacuum in the right power setting strong enough to agitate and still push forward.
  2. Use slow forward and backward movements to thoroughly clean the carpet and remove dirt. If the rug has tassels, avoid it as it will tangle on the brush roll.
  3. Flip your shaggy polyester rug to vacuum its back. If you are afraid of breaking off the fibers or sucking them up, clean the backside only.
  4. Check the rug if there are any visible debris. If so, please repeat steps 1 to 3.

Do these steps once or twice a week, depending on the placement of the carpet. Rugs in high traffic areas will need more frequent cleaning.

3: Spot Cleaning Method

This method works perfectly for cleaning spills. But, you need to act quickly before the stain dries. The process is convenient since you don’t have to treat the entire rug. However, it might not be useful if the spill settles.

Tools you’ll need:

  1. A white cloth or paper towel (for wet stains)
  2. Water
  3. Spray bottle
  4. Detergent or mild dish soap
  5. Soft bristle brush

Steps to clean the rug:

  1. Blot the spill immediately using a clean paper or cloth towel. A paper towel may be a better option for hard to clean stains because it is disposable.
  2. Add water into a spray bottle with a drop or two of liquid soap.
  3. Mist the spot that needs cleaning with the soap/water solution.
  4. Use a brush to scrub the area gently using a circular motion. Repeat this process until the stain is no longer visible.
  5. Use water (preferably in a spray bottle) to rinse excess soap residue then stack the area with a dry towel to absorb the excess water. Let the rug to air dry.

Use this method whenever there is a spill on the shaggy rug.

4: Dry Shampoo Cleaning Method

This method is a great and fast way of removing stains, cleaning, and deodorizing shaggy rugs without having to use a carpet cleaner.

Tools you’ll need:

  1. Dry shampoo for carpet
  2. A vacuum cleaner or a brush with soft bristles

Steps to clean the rug:

  1. Vacuum the rug to remove loose and embedded dirt.
  2. Sprinkle the rug with absorbent, which is the carpet-shampoo granules. This absorbent is vital for occasional freshening.
  3. Using the brush (some shampoos come with a brush) to agitate the surface. Then, allow the granules to sit for the time allocated on the label. This period varies depending on the shampoo brand.
  4. Vacuum up the granules thoroughly once the allocated time lapses.

You should use this method once a week.

5: Steam Cleaning Method

A steam cleaner is an excellent tool for removing odor and stains as well as disinfecting carpet.

So, it is a good option for cleaning the shaggy rug. Also, this method is essential in killing dust mites and lurking allergens.

Make sure that the steam cleaner you purchase is compatible with cleaning carpets. Most of these machines will only require water and nothing else. So buying a cleaning agent will not be a necessity.

Tools you’ll need

  1. A steam cleaning machine for carpet
  2. Clean water

Steps to clean the rug:

  1. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove loose dirt on the carpet fibers.
  2. Pour water on the steam cleaner wait for it to heat up (this will vary depending on the brand, so read the manual carefully).
  3. Slowly move the steam cleaner over the rug in a straight back and forth motion until you cover the whole area.
  4. Repeat if necessary.
  5. Let the rug dry in a properly ventilated area so that it can air dry.

Do this method once or twice a year as part of its maintenance.

Can you put a shaggy rug in the washing machine?

It would depend on the material of the rug and what the manufacturer says.

For instance, shaggy rugs with a rubber backing plate may not be suitable for machine washing, but that would depend on the brand. If the rug is machine washable, please follow the instructions to ensure the best results.

Steps to clean a shaggy rug in a washer

Step 1:

Read the care label on the rug to confirm if it is suitable for machine washing.

Step 2:

Remove loose dirt by doing the shake method or vacuuming it.

Step 3:

If there are stains, pre-treat it using a carpet detergent and lightly agitate with a soft-bristled brush. This step will significantly help in removing stains.

Step 4:

Carefully place the rug inside the washer.

If the machine is a front load washer, add a towel or another rug for the best results.

If it’s a top-load washer, ensure the rug is even on all sides. It should be evenly distributed around the center agitator. Put in a few towels to attain the necessary load balance.

Step 5:

Select the delicate setting, use cold water, and add detergent. Avoid using chlorine bleach as it can damage the rubber components inside the machine if you must opt for an oxygen-based bleach to clean the rug without damaging it.

Step 6:

Lastly, air-dry your shaggy rug in a well-ventilated area. However, avoid keeping it in direct sunlight to prevent some of its colors from fading.

Don’t throw the rug inside a dryer as the heat can damage carpet fibers and even shrink it!

Additional tips

There are challenges when cleaning shag rugs. So, please do your due diligence to avoid frequent cleaning.

Here are some additional tips to keep your shag rugs looking new.

  1. Avoid placing it on high traffic areas as it would accumulate dirt and grime at a much faster rate.
  2. Instruct the family members not to eat or throw trash on the carpet.
  3. Avoid walking on the rug with shoes.
  4. Make sure that the floor beneath it is clean and dust-free to prevent grit from rubbing on the rug’s backing plate.

About the author: Garrick, the visionary behind Cordless Vacuum Guide, brings over a decade of hands-on expertise in cordless vacuum testing to his insightful reviews showcased on this platform. Beyond his passion for empowering consumers with informed choices, he cherishes precious moments with his family, exploring global cuisines and exploring different horizons with his beloved wife and son. Follow him on Youtube, Tiktok, Facebook, and Instagram.