How to Clean My Shag Pile Carpet

Updated February 21, 2017

A shag pile carpet can be a good statement piece for any room in your house because they come in many different colours and patterns. To maintain your carpet for years to come, you need to conduct regular cleaning using the appropriate methods. For most types of shag pile carpets, a combination of several common cleaning methods should suffice. Some shag carpets such as flokati rug or wool shag rug require more delicate methods, so check the cleaning instructions whenever available.

Remove any spills immediately using a spoon or a dull knife. Use a paper towel to blot any stain, moving the paper towel toward the centre of the stain so it does not spread.

Apply a stain remover to a clean cloth, then dab it on the carpet. You can use rubbing alcohol or a solution of equal parts ammonia and water to do this. You can also mix a half teaspoon of detergent and a tablespoon of vinegar in a quart of warm water, use the solution to soak the stain, then rinse with water. Otherwise, use a mixture of one part glycerine, one part dish-washing liquid and eight parts water.

Check the vacuuming instructions on the label or at the manufacturer and vacuum accordingly about once a week. Different types of shag pile carpets need different vacuuming techniques, and using the wrong one might damage the carpet.

If the carpet is movable, bring the shag pile carpet for professional carpet cleaning at least every year to restore the carpet's appearance. If it is not possible to move it, steam clean it at least once a year.


Do not vacuum a flokati rug or a leather shag rug. Instead, shake it or hang it and beat it with a broom handle.

Things You'll Need

  • Spoon or dull knife
  • Paper towel
  • Rubbing alcohol, ammonia, detergent and vinegar, or glycerine and dish-washing liquid
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Steam cleaner (optional)
  • Broom (for flokati carpet or leather shag carpet only)
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About the Author

Edriaan Koening began writing professionally in 2005, while studying toward her Bachelor of Arts in media and communications at the University of Melbourne. She has since written for several magazines and websites. Koening also holds a Master of Commerce in funds management and accounting from the University of New South Wales.