How to Vacuum a Shag Pile Rug – Cleaning tips for high pile carpets

How To Vacuum a Shag Pile Rug

Can you vacuum a shag pile rug?  Isn’t it harmful to the long piles?  Well, yes, you can clean them; you just need to know the right way to do it safely without causing any harm.

Deeper pile carpets are usually hard to clean. Cleaning this type of carpet can take a lot longer than any other type. The main problem is that your carpet threads can get tangled in the brush of the vacuum cleaner.  In the worst-case scenario, you may need to cut off the tangle and completely ruin the rug. If you are lucky, then the knot may come out by pulling some of the threads, often leaving a bad mark on the loosened fibers.

Under regular use, a shag rug needs to be washed & cleaned at least once a year properly.  If you vacuum it regularly, you can extend that up to three years without involving heavy cleaning.  Besides that, vacuuming a deep pile carpet is a comparatively easy job as opposed to other ways of cleaning.  Overall, you’ll save a lot of time, effort, and money if you vacuum your rug regularly.

Shag pile rugs can grab more dirt than you can think.  It catches small amounts of dirt and germs every time there is foot traffic, not to mention if you have pets.  Pet hair can be hiding in between the threads of fibers, making it impossible to clean.  Even if you can’t see all of the dirt, it can be very unhealthy to use.  So, regular cleaning of a shag pile rug is a must.

Before cleaning a shag rug, just take some time to read how to do it properly.  It will help you prevent causing any harm to your carpet and, more importantly, to your vacuum cleaner.

How to Vacuum a Shag Pile Rug?

I’ve been cleaning my living room rug for the last two and a half years.  I don’t think it would have such a lovely color without my regular cleaning.  Yes, I vacuum my shag pile rug, but I do it very carefully!

Flip the Carpet, Then Clean It: First of all, if your rug is big and contains a lot of weight, ask someone for help. Flip the whole carpet upside down. If you are doing it alone, roll the carpet over.  Now vacuum the carpet thoroughly. In that way, you’ll clean the back of the rug and help loosen the dust hidden between piles on the other side.

I’ve seen many people clean a shag pile carpet by hitting it with a broomstick.  It is useful if you are doing it outside your house.  I prefer not to do it that way because the airborne particles will go everywhere. Ultimately you will end up releasing lots of dust onto your other furniture.

Flip the carpet again. Now we are going to vacuum the other side.

Adjust Suction Power to Optimum Level: If you are going to vacuum your shag carpet, you must have a vacuum with suction control. Too much suction power may not help with cleaning a carpet. The suction will ultimately pull up the carpet material and will be stuck. Adjust the suction power to an optimum level so that you can push the beater head above the carpet without it getting stuck.

Height Adjustment: Many vacuums come with manual height adjustment options. If your carpet has high piles, adjust it to the top pile height. Adjusting the height is very important if you want to prevent any brush marks on your carpet.

Never Use a Regular Beater Bar with Brush Roll: Never go with an ordinary beater bar with a brush roll that you usually use for bare floor or small pile carpets. The best way to clean a shag carpet is by vacuuming without a brush roll.  The brush roll can get tangled with the threads of the shag pile. You could simply detach your beater bar from the vacuum cleaner hose and vacuum only with the hose pipe.  Otherwise, just use the beater bar without the brush roll, so you get a broader mouth to clean the whole carpet more quickly and without the tangles.

Clean with a Crevice Tool: If your vacuum comes with a crevice tool, use that to clean your carpet.  Crevice tools are best for grabbing dust and dirt from the corners of your house.  Attach your crevice tool with the vacuum cleaner and clean it thoroughly from one place to another. It is time-consuming, but by using the attachment, you can get the dirt, dust, and hair from your shag carpet. If you do this regularly, then the lifespan of your carpet will increase significantly.

Take Time to Clean in Between the Rows: If you haven’t cleaned your carpet for a while, then it must have dirt hidden between the rows.  Take the time to clean it properly.  Crevice tools are great for this type of detailed cleaning.  Besides that, the side rows of the carpet capture the right amount of dust and dirt most of the time. Use the crevice tool to clean that part too.

Regularly cleaning can make your shag pile carpet look as good as new all the time.  Always bear in mind that regular vacuuming can cause harm to the carpet unless you choose a good vacuum cleaner for shag carpets and you know how to clean it properly, don’t do it yourself.  You may end up ruining your favorite shag pile carpet by vacuuming it the wrong way!