A shag pile carpet should look plush and luxurious. If yours is looking flat and discoloured, it’s time for a Rug Doctor clean. Our handy guide will help your carpets look as good as new! Cleaning longer, thicker pile carpets can be a tricky task. Vacuuming isn’t enough, and won’t reach build ups of dirt and food debris.

So, why not bring in the Rug Doctor?

Our specialist machine will give shag pile carpets a deep, powerful clean. We can revitalise tired carpets, double their lifetime, and save the cost of replacements.

How Does a Rug Doctor Work?

A Rug Doctor carpet cleaner uses our innovative vibrating cleaning brushes. The oscillating motion ensures your Rug Doctor machine does not become entangled when cleaning longer shag pile carpets. The constant motion of Rug Doctor machines will treat your carpets with the utmost care, without a tangle in sight.

If your shag pile carpet has spots and spills, these should be treated immediately. Remove solids with a kitchen towel, then gently blot and dab away the remaining moisture. We have a range of targeted products to treat anything from urine to red wine stains.

Advice for Use with Shag Pile Carpets

Please note – the Rug Doctor is a water extraction carpet cleaner. Shag pile carpets hold much more moisture than cut pile carpets, so it’s best to avoid over-wetting. To avoid drying problems, we recommend only one cleaning pass over longer pile carpets. Then, carry out a second, vacuum-only pass without pressing the red spray switch.

Make sure you don’t stay on one area for too long, to give your shag pile carpets the careful treatment they deserve.

Let the Rug Doctor transform your shag pile carpets

lifting table
rental chemicals


For optimal cleaning results, you’ll need to do a few things before you can start using your Rug Doctor cleaning machine.

machine diagram
lifting table

Remember to remove any furniture!

adjustable handle

Adjust the handle to a comfortable height, using the handle release lever. You only need to walk backwards when cleaning with a Rug Doctor.

running tap

Fill a clean bucket with nine litres of hand-hot tap water. Do not use water that is too hot. Top up the red base tank with the hot water until it reaches halfway up the mesh filter. 

white tank

Remove the white recovery tank by unclipping the black wire retaining handle.

filling the machine

Pour 150ml of Rug Doctor Carpet Detergent or Rug Doctor Pet Formula Detergent.

For Wide Track machines, pour a coffee mug and a half (250ml) of detergent.

filling red base tank

Do not put detergent in the white recovery tank.

rug doctor machine

Replace the white recovery tank. Make sure the black retaining wire snaps shut for a tight fit.

rug doctor control panel

Push the white rocker switch on top of the machine over to carpet cleaning mode.

rug doctor plug

Remember to plug in your machine!


You’ve fully prepared the cleaning solution, now you’re ready to clean!

rug doctor control panel

Press vacuum switch to the ON position.

hand and red spray button

Tilt the machine back slightly so the cleaning brush is not touching the carpet. Press the red spray button on the handle. Once you see the cleaning solution being sprayed out of the side of the machine, return the machine to the carpet and begin cleaning.

shag pile carpet clean

Start walking backwards slowlywith the machine, pressing the red spray button all the time.

red button

About one foot before the end of each cleaning run, release the red spray button but continue to pull the machine. This avoids wetting the last part of the carpet as you stop and prepare for the next run.

machine on shag carpet

Line the Rug Doctor so that it slightly overlaps the previous run – this ensures that every part of the carpet is cleaned.

white tank

Empty and refill your machine when the white recovery tank is full of dirty water, or you stop seeing dirty water entering the tank.

wire retainer

To empty the white recovery tank, turn the machine off, pull back the wire retaining handle from over the clear dome and remove the tank.

clean living room

When the job is done, simply allow the carpet to dry for two hours. Open any windows if possible for a faster drying time.

sponge on shag carpet

Remember to never over-wet a shag pile/high pile carpet. It is best to clean, then let the carpet dry completely, and then repeat if nessecary.