How Should You Vacuum Your Area Rugs?

Improper vacuuming can damage and devalue your rugs. Vacuums with beater bars and brushes can break the face yarns and distort the pile. When it comes to vacuuming, it’s important to know what to do, as well as what you should never do.

Let’s talk about how to vacuum 3 different types of rugs.

First, we’ll talk about sturdy, thick-foundation rugs:

It’s very important to turn your beater bar off! The aggressive, motorized brush can break the surface fibers of your rug. If you’re using a standard vacuum attachment, whether your rug has a pile or not, vacuum sideways across the width of the rug and across the direction of the pile. Regardless of the type of rug you have, don’t go near the fringe unless you can shut your beater bar off. Rotating brushes will quickly tare the fringe tassels. You can also use an upholstery attachment with these types of rugs, vacuuming with the direction of the pile, and picking the attachment up after each stroke so you’re never pushing the attachment against the direction of the pile.

Second, we’ll talk about thin-foundation rugs (with and without pile):

With pile – use an upholstery attachment and vacuum with the pile of the rug only. Again, you want to pick the attachment up and not push the attachment against the direction of the pile after each stroke. Without pile – use an upholstery attachment and vacuum across the width of the rug. Don’t be too aggressive or apply too much pressure with the upholstery attachment.

Third, we’ll talk about very delicate rugs (Silks, etc.):

Even upholstery attachments can cause very delicate rug fibers frizzy or damage very old fibers. For this reason, if the face fibers of your rug are delicate or very old, it might be best to not use a vacuum at all. Instead just brush the surface fibers by hand using a soft horse hair brush. With this type of rug, you want to go across the width of the rug when you’re brushing. This type of delicate rug will not usually be on the floor, they will often be hanging on the walls. And remember, the idea here is that you’re dusting off the dust and soil while it’s still on the tips of the yarns before it has a chance to penetrate to the deeper layers of the rug. You don’t need to be aggressive with this, but be thorough, and do it as often as you can.

Also, we’ll talk about fringe on all types of rugs.

You want to vacuum or brush fringe going with the direction of the fibers. To reduce the possibility of any damage, use an upholstery attachment to clean the fringe. If the fringe fibers are very delicate or old, use a soft brush and brush with the direction of the fibers.

If, for some reason, you damage your rug in any way from improper vacuuming, give us a call! We have a very skilled repair department that can take a look at your rug and contact you with different options to fix your rug.
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