A Complete Guide on How to Clean a Shaggy Rug


Soft, fluffy and stylish, it’s no wonder that our shaggy rugs are so popular. However, this design can also make them difficult to clean. The pile of a shaggy rug is longer than most other rug types, and their fibres are cut longer for their desired “fluffy effect”. This can make it much easier for dust and dirt to get trapped. In order to help you keep your fluffy home addition looking its best, we have put together some of our favourite sheepskin and shaggy rug cleaning methods, including those best for a light clean and a deep clean.

Tummy Time

Simple Ways to Maintain Your Rug

Regular rug maintenance can help to reduce the number of deep cleans that your rug will need, and it can also be a relatively quick process to complete. We would normally recommend that you perform your rug maintenance weekly, regardless of which method you use, however this can vary depending on the amount of traffic that your rug must contend with.

1. Remove Excess Dirt

Removing any loose dirt is an important part of the care process, and involves beating your rug to dislodge any dirt particles which are caught in its fibres. This method is always best completed outdoors and we recommend beating the rug with the end of a broom or mop, in order to get as much dirt off as possible.

When you’re finished, hang the rug in a sunny location for a couple of hours, not only will the sun dry the rug quicker, it will also kill types of bacteria that thrive in soft fabrics such as bed linen and rugs.

2. Vacuuming

Vacuuming is a quick and simple way to clean your rug. We would always recommend that you use an upholstery extension that comes with the main machine, otherwise the long fibres of your shaggy rug can get caught or pulled, damaging them and the rug’s overall appearance.

Once you have thoroughly cleaned the top, it’s time to flip over and clean the underside of the rug too. However, this side of rug does not need to be cleaned as frequently, around once a month should be enough depending on how much footfall your rug receives. If you have a smaller rug, to keep it from being sucked into a power head, stand on one edge of the rug and push the vacuum head away from you.

3. Dry Shampoo (optional)

Rugs and carpets can also be cleaned with a special dry shampoo. This is a common method for quickly cleaning your rug, as you don’t have to worry about drying it or damaging any fibres.

Simply apply a small amount of the shampoo and brush them into the carpet with the vacuum’s cleaning-head bristles, with the machine remaining switched off throughout the process. Then just leave the shampoo to dry for the allocated time shown on the instructions, once the time has passed all you do is vacuum up the remaining granules and voilà!


The Deep Clean

Occasionally, you may feel that your rug needs a more thorough clean. To prolong the lifespan of your shaggy rug, there are two main cleaning methods you can use in order to give your rug the deep spring clean it needs, every now and again.  

1. Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning a shaggy rug can either be done by a professional, or you can purchase or hire a machine yourself. It is a relatively quick and simple process and offers excellent results. We do need to mention however that steam cleaning a rug can cause damage to the rugs fibres, so please think carefully before using a steam cleaner.

Overall, you shouldn’t expect steam cleaning to extract dirt- this should be done beforehand using the methods above. Instead, it will rejuvenate and freshen it by killing any lurking allergens and dust mites.

Your rug will be damp after cleaning, so you should gently squeeze it to remove any water before leaving it to air dry. Please note that shaggy rugs can absorb a lot of water so this may take a while, but you can always use a fan to speed things up a little if needed.

2. Hand Washing

For this method all you need to do is fill your bath with cold water and some sensitive, bleach-free and non-scented laundry liquid (please note that fabric softener should not be used!)

Now, place your shaggy rug in the solution, and gently move it around to wash. Leave your rug to soak for half an hour before rinsing out any remaining suds with cold water. Carefully squeeze away any excess water and leave to air dry, it’s as simple as that!

How Do I Get Out Spills and Stains?

The fibres of our shaggy rugs are naturally stain-resistant, making them more durable overall. However, stains can still be difficult to remove due to the length of the fibres. Removing any excess liquid from the rug will prevent the stain from spreading when you begin to clean it.

Use a white kitchen towel or cloth to gently dab the affected area, using a white or light colour is essential, as it reduces the risk of transferring any colour from the towel to the rug. Once you have removed any remaining liquid, we would recommend that you use a spot cleaning method.

This is a fast and effective method of rug cleaning, and requires you to use the appropriate cleaner for each type of stain. Our guide on how to care for your rug has more information on this method, as well as a whole section dedicated to how best to clean different types of stains, including those dreaded red wine and coffee stains!

Please feel free to browse our own range of luxury shaggy rugs, now available online. Alternatively, you can always visit our blog for more informative articles on rug care and interior design.

Leave a Reply