How to Make a Shaggy Rug Fluffy Again

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Shaggy rugs work really well in enhancing the aesthetics of a room, but at the same time, due to the material, it gets dirty easily. Moreover, with time they lose the fluffiness and comfort. So, although vacuuming it regularly can help keep it clean, it will most likely not help restore the fluffiness.

How To Make a Shaggy Run Fluffy Again

Shaggy rugs are incredible for their delicate and luxurious feel but washing them can be pretty daunting at first. We’ll give you some of the best ways to clean them well, but you need to ensure not to over wash or hamper the fiber of the rug in the process. 

Step 1: Clean The Shaggy Rug

The first step in carpet cleaning your shaggy rug properly and removing all dust particles from it.

  1. Take the rug outside and shake it properly. The shaggy rug can have dust in its various nook and corners, and you need to dust it properly.
  2. You can then use a vacuum cleaner and remove the dust particles inside the rug.
  3. You can dust it several times to ensure all the dirt is removed. Remember, the shag rug usually becomes fluffy because of the dirt that has accumulated inside it.
Close up of a shaggy rug

Step 2: Use Rug Beaters

Even after a gentle carpet cleaning and dusting, your shaggy rug may require a deeper cleaning as it might have accumulated a large amount of dirt.

  1. Since shaggy rugs tend to be thicker than standard rugs, it accumulates more dirt than the normal ones. Rug beaters help to loosen the dirt particles inside them.
  2. All the bacteria and germs that accumulate inside the rug can substantially be removed by using rug beaters.
  3. Rug beaters help to make a shaggy rug more fluffy quicker. In essence, it is more efficient.
  4. Beat the shag rug with the rug beater in a straight and uniform motion. The rug may tear or get damaged if you use sideways strokes to beat it.
  5. Be gentle while beating the shaggy rug. If you beat it very aggressively, the rug gets even more matte, and it becomes more difficult to make it fluffy.

Step 3: Use Baking Soda

The initial dusting should be followed by a baking soda, which further enhances the dusting effect and makes the vacuum cleaner’s work easier.

  1. Keep the rug outdoors and with the help of a brush with soft bristles, liberally apply baking soda on the surface of the shag rug.
  2. Then further sprinkle some baking soda on the surface of the rug. Let it set on the surface of the rug for some time.
  3. Let it stand for around 12 hours and then vacuum all of it up.
  4. Spray the carpet with a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water, scrubbing the fibers of the carpet with a clean towel.

The baking soda helps with light-colored rugs as they are more susceptible to accumulating dirt, while the white vinegar is great at pulling dirt out. Do not use brushes with hard bristles.

Step 4: Vacuum Regularly

To keep your shaggy rug fluffy for a long period, routine carpet cleaning is essential.

Vacuum your rug daily or at least once a week for clean rugs. If you don’t, the dirt accumulated in the rug becomes difficult to remove even by vacuuming.

Remove all furniture and clean the shaggy rug beneath it at least once in two weeks. If your vacuum cleaner has a hose attachment, then you will not need to remove the furniture.

  1. Set the vacuum cleaner at a fine pressure, which will not damage the rug. Apply it smoothly on the carpet and at a uniform process.
  2. Move the vacuum head away from you and begin to clean gently. Ensure the rug doesn’t move while cleaning and stand at one side to do so.
  3. Turn over the rug and apply the vacuum cleaner to remove any dust particles that might be stuck inside.
  4. Depending on the color of the rug, you need to apply the vacuum multiple times. Lighter rugs require vacuuming more times than darker ones.
  5. If you feel the pressure of the vacuum cleaner is damaging the rug, stop it immediately.
  6. After vacuuming, remove the rug and clean the floor area under the carpet with your vacuum cleaner.
Woman cleaning carpet

Step 5: Remove Any Stain Marks

Your rug may accumulate stain marks due to spilled over food.

To make a shaggy rug fluffy again, you need to ensure that these stain marks are removed.

  1. As soon as you see anything spill on the surface of the rug, put a clean towel on it to absorb as much of the liquid as possible.
  2. The faster you can do it, the better, as in this case, it prevents the liquid from reaching the inner parts of the fabric and is easier to remove.
  3. Use a white-colored clean towel to prevent any chances of color leaking into the rug.
  4. Baby wipes or any other cleaning agent can also be used for the cleaning process, but the cleaning agents should not have alcohol to prevent damage to the fabric.

Step 6: Use A Rug Rake

A rake for rugs helps to make a shaggy rug clean and helps to remove mattes to a great extent. In addition, it is excellent for fluffing the fibers.

  1. You need not use a rake like the Roberts Carpet Rake & Groomer before your daily vacuuming. Use it once a week before you begin to vacuum the carpet.
  2. Make a back and forth motion with the rake along the length of the carpet and avoid sidewise motions as they can cause damage to the shaggy rug.
  3. Do not push the rake deep into the carpet and apply high pressure as it can damage the rug. The pressure should be mild enough to allow free movement of the rake.
  4. When applied to the shaggy rug, the rake loosens its fibers, and the vacuuming becomes easier and more effective.
  5. After vacuuming the shaggy rug, use the rake again to remove any mattes that might have fallen because of the vacuuming.

Step 7: Groom The Carpet

After you have used the rake on the carpet, you need to groom it properly to restore its proper texture. 

  1. The rake you use for grooming the carpet must have strong and flexible teeth. Opt for rakes with a long handle so that you don’t have to bend much while cleaning.
  2. This grooming process is even more helpful when you have pets at home. The pets may shed into the rag, and when vacuuming, it may cause the vacuum cleaner to get blocked.

Applying a rake helps remove all animal hair from the shaggy rag and makes cleaning much easier.

Step 8: Use A Steam Cleaner

Even after all the above-mentioned cleaning steps, your rugs can get so dirty that you might have to use a stronger cleaning method to make them fluffy again.

  1. Some dirt particles may enter into the shaggy rug and is extremely difficult to remove. These stubborn dirt particles can be removed by using a steam cleaner.
  2. Steam cleaners force hot water into the shaggy rug and help to deep clean the rug to its core. All deep, loose debris and dust particles shall be forced out after steam cleaning.
  3. Steam cleaners also help to remove any stain or odor that may come out of it due to usage over some time.
Fluffy carpet

Hire A Professional

All the steps mentioned above are practical and will help you restore your shaggy rug’s fluffy nature.

  1. However, you may not be confident enough to move forward with the process if you are doing it for the first time. In this kind of situation, it is good to hire a professional cleaning service for carpet cleaning.
  2. Your shaggy rug may also become matte due to the lack of maintenance, and then you won’t be able to fluff it up yourself.
  3. Professional cleaning uses machinery for carpet cleaning, which might not be available to you, and thus it is easier for them to complete the process.
  4. If you don’t wish to take professional cleaning, you may also consider renting a steam cleaner machine for your shaggy rug. If you use this machine correctly, your cleaning will be as effective as a professional cleaner.

Using a white vinegar-based shaggy rug cleaner can also be a suitable alternative that helps to make your shaggy rug fluffy again. This video on keeping a shaggy rug fluffy will help you to understand the process better.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Expensive To Maintain A Shaggy Rug Fluffy?

No, if they are cleaned regularly, maintaining shaggy rugs is not expensive. A shaggy rug loses its fluffy nature primarily because of accumulating dirt. Therefore, it can be prevented from getting matte by simple regular cleaning. It can be cleaned easily using a vacuum cleaner. However, if you don’t clean it regularly, you will need expensive professional help. Thus, to minimize cost, clean the rug periodically.

Can Normal Carpet Cleaner Be Used For Cleaning A Shaggy Rug?

No, you cannot use the same carpet cleaner for shaggy rugs. That’s because the fiber used to make a shaggy rug is much more delicate than the fabric with which carpets are made. Therefore, carpet cleaner chemicals can potentially damage your shaggy rug and cause it to get matte permanently. Do not use chemical cleaners unless necessary, and carefully check if it is compatible with your rug before proceeding.


Shaggy rugs accumulate dirt over time and get matte. This makes them lose their beauty and makes it less appealing. By regular cleaning, you can prevent the shaggy rug from getting matte. Also, if you follow the steps mentioned above and are patient throughout the process, you can make the shaggy rug fluffy again.

Lauren Moldvay is a freelance writer from Virginia and the mother of one (not always) sweet little girl. She specializes in trying to help others find easier ways to clean, manage the home and save money with DIY projects.