How To Clean Polyester Shaggy Rug (According To Expert)


Updated on April 4, 2022 by Brett
how to clean polyester shaggy rug

Polyester rugs are much stronger than natural fibers, but they have a negative static charge that attracts and holds dirt, so they get dirty fast. 

This man made fiber is less prone to stains, but it can be more difficult to get stains out after they dry, age or get heated by washing. Polyester rugs require less care more often than expensive natural fibers.

If you’re looking for the best ways of cleaning polyester shaggy rugs you’ve landed on the right spot. Read on to learn about our best cleaning methods.

How to Clean a Polyester Shaggy Rug? (The Best Ways)

Method 1: Daily Cleaning with a Vacuum Cleaner

  • Vacuum, with anything but a stick vacuum. They are too small and not strong enough.

Step 1: Taking care of polyester rugs requires a little work every day.

Step 2: Vacuum in one direction one day and the opposite the next.

Step 3: Vacuum under half the furniture one day and the rest the next.

Step 4: In this way you will get some of the dust every day, and prevent any buildup that can get pushed deeply into the fiber mesh.

Method 2: Powder, Beat and Vacuum once per month

how to beat rugs for cleaning
  • Corn starch or baking soda (baking soda if there is any odor)
  • Tennis racquet, pizza paddle, special rug beater of rattan or bamboo (metal not recommended) or other blunt object to use for beating

Step 1: First scatter corn starch or baking soda on the rug.

Step 2: Use a broom to beat it in. It will grab dirt and hold it. Wait 20 minutes.

Step 3: If you can hang the rug on a clothesline or fence, then beat the heck out of it with a blunt paddle, like a tennis racket or a pizza paddle.

Step 4: Use a mask so you don’t eat the dust.

Step 5: Once you see no more dust clouds, put the rug back and vacuum it with the beater brush off (they are a bit sharp if magnified).

Step 6: It you have no clothesline or fence then let the rug set for about twenty minutes and then vacuum in both directions.

Step 7: Do this once per month to every 90 days, depending upon your local environment and the traffic level.

Method 3: Wash the rug every six months, more often for small rugs

cleaning shaggy rug in washing machine
  • Washing Machine or bathtub for larger rugs
  • Gentle dish soap or shampoo (Laundry detergent does not cut grease as well.)
  • Clothes dryer or place to hang to air dry out of the sun.
  • Rugs up to single bed sheet size can go in the washer with mild detergent in cold to warm water. If food stuffs are in the carpet, warm water works better.
  • You can also soak them in a tub of soapy water, rinse and air dry.

For rugs up to a single bed sheet size you can put them in a clothes washer on gentle cold or warm cycle. For larger rugs use the bathtub.

Step 1: Layer the rug in loose folds into the tub and put in water to barely cover.

Step 2: Use your hands or a medium large sponge to spread the soap all over.

Step 3: Once you have made lots of suds, put two to four inches more water into the tub, and rotate the rug like on a roller several times so you pull the whole rug through the soapy water at least three times.

Step 4: Drain the tub and rinse using the same rolling two or three times until you see no lore soap bubbles.

Step 5: Air dry on a line or fence out of the sun.

Method 4: Wash your shaggy rugs with a dry shampoo

1. Homemade or commercial Dry shampoo

Here’s how to prepare the homemade dry cleaner:

  • One tablespoon herbs that you like ground to fine powder
  • Mix thoroughly all the ingredients

2. Some good commercial dry shampoos are here

3. Soft brush or broom to beat shampoo into fibers

Step 1: Sprinkle or spray the corn starch or dry shampoo liberally all over the carpet, following the directions with your commercial shampoo.

Step 2: Beat this into the carpet with a soft brush or a broom. There are special brushes and brooms sold for this purpose and they work on upholstery also.

Step 3: Let stand for 20-30 minutes

Step 4: Vacuum without a beater brush. You can check the vacuum bag or cup to see how much dirt came up.

Step 5: Corn starch is an excellent dry shampoo that use to be used in hospitals, so for low traffic areas it is quite enough.

Method 5: Deep Clean Your Polyester Rug With Steam

  • Rented steamer for carpets or purchased portable. Unless you have tons of rugs on several floors a portable machine should be fine. If you don’t have heavy traffic once per year is good.

Step 1: First sprinkle corn starch or homemade dry cleaner to easily eliminate loose dirt and dust.

Step 2: Next, hang your rug on a line or fence on a warm overcast day unless you rented a floor machine

Step 3: If you rented a floor machine follow the direction with your machine

Step 4: Treat any stains first as you do not want to steam them in.

Step 5: Steam your rug, either on the line with a portable or back on the floor with your portable according to the direction with the machine

Step 7: You might want to put padding, such as quilts or sheets, on the floor under the carpet that you can remove when you are done to protect very fine floors.

Step 8: Be sure the carpet is dry before allowing traffic

Stain Removal for Shag Polyester Carpets

shaggy rug spot removal
  • Clean stains in your shag polyester carpet as soon as they happen. They will come out easily before they set.
  • Do not apply heat to stains, as it will set them quickly.
  • Most stains can be removed if treated immediately with vinegar and baking soda, rubbing with a slice of lemon or blotting with mild dish soap or shampoo. Wine and other pink or red stains will usually come out with club soda or oxy clean.
  • Grease or oil stains in polyester require commercial stain remover. This includes lipstick and food.

When should you hire a professional to clean your Shag carpet?

hiring professional for rug cleaning

If you have one or more ultra large shaggy rugs, hiring a company that charges an hourly fee might be a better choice than doing it yourself. Since this is probably only needed every year or so, you have to think about your cost in both time and materials. 

Compute the cost of the materials and machine rental plus the value of your time if you were working and you may find that hiring professionals is a bargain.

It probably costs less to use a company that cleans in their facilities as they are set up to do it faster and the rug is dry when they finish. Delivery is one expense you might forego if you can, as it equals more than an hour on average.

Pro tips for cleaning and maintaining your shaggy rugs

  • One excellent way to keep a polyester carpet nice is to use a protective rinse or spray. It will repel stains and water. Remember to renew it after shampooing or steaming.
  • A good air cleaner in the room will collect dust and keep it out of your carpet. Also, keeping the air slightly humidified will help keep down the dust and also make your plants happy.
  • If you like fried food use an air fryer, and there will be less grease in the air to get into your carpet.
  • The latest shampoo machines suck up their water nicely , so check them out.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q1: Can I put a shaggy rug in the washing machine?

Yes, you can if it fits. Use cold or warm water on gentle cycle and no heat in the dryer or air dry. Detergent should be mild or use dish soap.

Q2: Can you vacuum a polyester shag rug?

Absolutely. Daily is good.

Q3: Is polyester a good material for rug?

Polyester is tough, stain resistant and less expensive. The dyes also do not fade unless in sunlight.

Q4: Can you use a carpet cleaner on a polyester rug?

Definitely. However, it is best to use one for synthetic fabric, and foaming ones will list more dirt.

Q5: Can you steam clean a polyester rug?

Yes, and it will also be less likely to shrink than natural fibers. Steam cleaning helps to lift out what gets between the fibers of this synthetic.



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