How To Clean Hay Out Of Carpet

How to Clean Hay Out of Carpet – 2 Methods That Will Save Your Vac

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More like a vacuum cleaner destroyer!

I have clogged and burnt off a couple of vacuum cleaners trying to clean hay out of the carpet. Only to find out there are breezier ways you can get that carpet hay-free! So, how to clean hay out of carpet?

There are two tried-and-tested methods of cleaning hay out of the carpet. Each of them has a tiny “make-sure-you-do-this” step, so follow them carefully if you want to get rid of that grassy mess.

How to Clean Hay Out of Carpet – All You Need to Know

My kids have a tiny, adorable guinea pig as a pet. But when freed to play, he enjoys spreading hay all over the carpet, on the couch, on my hair. 


It’s like a fuzzy fur ball that wreaks havoc all over the house. 

And the easiest way to clean hay out of the carpet after those kinds of pets? 

I’d be happiest if I could just mow it! The mower would shred it. Then, you could swiftly sweep it with your broom, right? 

The Girl Is Sitting Next To The Hay

Jokes aside, the first thing the intuition tells you to do is turn on your vac.

That’s a deadly step! For your vac, I mean. 

Vacuuming all that hay right off the bat will clog your vac before you say: “Honey, the vac is starting to smoke!”

The most tireless way to clean hay out of the carpet is to sweep it with a slicker brush before vacuuming.  

Hay straws are like thick, long pieces of hair. And what better tool to use to collect long hair than a large slicker brush like this one! Those large brush pins pick up the hay better than you would ever vacuum them. 

Once you’ve brushed longer hay pieces, you can vacuum the smaller ones.

But, be watchful even then! When hay touches the carpet, it acts like VELCRO. So, you’ll have to break some sweat vacuuming those little pieces. 

If your vacuum cleaner has a bristles pad, then that task is even easier. Those little bristles will pick up the tiniest of hay pieces. With a little catch.

Hay likes to get stuck inside those little bristles, so eventually you’ll end up with a clogged bristles pad. Then, instead of cleaning hay, you’ll be adding MORE hay on your carpet.

But what if you have a shag rug threaded with those fluffy, long wool threads? How do you even clean hay out of those kinds of carpets? 

A Man Is Vacuuming A Carpet 2

How to Clean Hay Out of Shag Rugs?

That leads us to the second method – bringing out the big guns called Shop vacuum cleaners a.k.a. Shop vacs.

Shop vacs are like regular vacs but on steroids. It’s like a regular vac has gone to the gym to get buffed and suck in even the most demanding things, like screws and hay. 

They have an enormous storage bag, so clogging the shop vac with hay will almost be mission impossible. 

Well, almost!

Hay clogs inside the vac’s hose always happen unless the hose is really wide. They are inevitable when cleaning after your guinea pig or rabbit pets. 

So, what do you do when that hay clog happens, and your vac starts to scream from under-vacuum?

How to Get Rid of Clogged Hay Inside Vacuum Hose?

Hay straws aren’t that flexible when passing through a vacuum hose. Their favorite place to get clogged is at the curved parts of the hose. Usually, that’s the part that goes into the vacuum cleaner, right before the hose clicks into the vac.

So, how do you remove clogged hay out of the vacuum hose? 

Vacuuming A Carpet

Disconnect the hose from the vac, go somewhere safe outside and just shake the hose like you mean it. (The last thing you would want is hay pouring out of the hose again into your carpet.) 

Hay isn’t like hair. Cleaning hair out of the carpet is well nigh impossible. With hay, it’s a bit different. 

Hay does NOT get curled into a hair pile that’s hard to break apart. Sure, it forms like a small ball, but nimbly you can tear it into smaller pieces. 

What hay does differently is getting electric!

Vacuum cleaners have that magical power of creating static electricity on objects they suck in! That’s the case with hay. Especially with the longer hay straws!

When being sucked through the hose, hay gains static electricity and sticks to the plastic walls inside the hose. And it gets stuck there for quite a while. 

So, how to remove those statically glued hay clogs out of the vacuum clogs? 

Here you have to think out of the box. Seriously!

When you think about it, a vacuum hose is nothing but a long, plastic bottle without a bottom. And what better way to clean a bottle than with a bottle brush? 

Using a bottle brush, you can reach areas of the vacuum hose never discovered by a human and remove those statically clogged pieces of hay! It’s a neat trick I learned from my mom when she first dipped her toes into the hay cleaning process.

But, before you even start to tackle the grassy mess on your carpet, there’s something you should know first. 

Woman Is Using A Bottle Brush

Stuff They Don’t Tell You About Hay on Carpets

Hay is a byproduct of grass. The green stuff that all those cute rabbits and guinea pigs love to eat and play in. 

True, hay fever isn’t called that because it comes from actual hay. But like any grass, hay (especially your bunny’s favorite timothy hay) also contains different allergens! That is, the invisible particles that will turn your kid’s nose into a water fountain. A perfect mix of pollen, little pieces of hay and dander, dust, and god-knows-what-else!

Cleaning pollen out of carpet is a procedure in its own right. Requires another set of tools and cleaning methods, besides vacuuming. 

Another reason to think twice before jumping in and vacuuming hay out of the carpet.

The Girl Has An Allergy

Here is what I do to lower the spread of hay fever and pollen when cleaning my carpet:

  • Check and clean your front and rear filters on your vac (Having HEPA filters in your vac is an enormous benefit!)
  • See if there is any hay or dust beside the vac’s bag, inside the bag compartment
  • Open as many windows as you can and pick up the larger pieces of hay as much as possible (The last you want is creating an in-door cloud of that super-allergic stuff)

Staying Strong

Cleaning hay out of the carpet is a messy process. If you have a small household vacuum cleaner, that process often ends up in smoke. 

There are great vacuum cleaners built for tackling the hay problem. Most of which are shop vacs. 

And I have to be honest. 

If you have guinea pigs, rabbits, or any other hay-loving pets, a shop vac is your best investment!

However, if getting a quality shop vac will burn your cleaning budget, then your best friends are a slicker brush and your regular vacuum cleaner. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Haystacks On The Background Of Sunset

Can you vacuum up the hay?

A question many guinea-pig-owners love to ask. And the shorter answer is YES!

The longer one? 

Sure, you can easily vacuum up the hay, but it’s of the essence you follow certain steps when cleaning it from your carpet. Of course, if you want your vacuum cleaner to live another day or two. 

So, you should either give your carpet a going-over with a slicker brush and then vacuum it, or use a powerful shop vac to begin with. If you don’t do that, your vac will clog up and could even break.

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