How To Vacuum Different Rug Types

BBE-2308 from Berber Shag by Surya

Pretty much every type of rug can benefit from frequent vacuuming. This is because vacuuming helps pick up dust, dirt, and other debris that would otherwise soak into the rug fibers if left alone. Now, keep in mind that vacuuming a rug is a bit different than vacuuming a carpet, as rug material is usually a bit more sensitive.

If you have a sensitive rug material, such as jute, wool, or sisal, you’ll want to use the attachment to vacuum. Be sure to turn the attachment to a low setting. Otherwise, you run the risk of pulling fibers from the rug and warping it.

Woven Rug

Hand Woven Eleonora from Natura Jute by NuLoom

If you have a woven rug, you’ll want to make sure you vacuum the rug in a perpendicular direction to the pile. If you vacuum in the direction of the pile, the fibers will mat down and cover the dirt and the debris that you are trying to remove. If you vacuum against the direction of the pile, you’ll cause unnecessary wear and tear on your rug.

In order to find out the direction of the pile, look at the direction in which the rug fibers naturally lay. If you can’t tell the pile direction just by looking at the rug, run your hand across the rug. If you are brushing against the rug pile, you will feel some resistance.

You’ll also want to make sure you avoid vacuuming the fringe of your woven rug. Doing so can cause unnecessary damage to your rug and your vacuum.

Tufted Rug

FH-02 from Farrah by Loloi

In order to vacuum a tufted rug, you’ll first want to check the underside of the rug to see if there is any peeling. If there is, this is a sign that the rug is no longer secure on the backside. This means that you need to take extra care when vacuuming. If you’re too aggressive, the fibers will fall out and there will be dry patches.

Just like woven rugs, you’ll want to find the pile direction of a tufted rug before vacuuming. If you aren’t sure about the pile direction of your tufted rug, you can use the same test as above to help you determine it. In addition to resistance, you’ll notice that the color is slightly darker when you brush against the direction of a tufted rug pile.

Vacuum in a perpendicular direction to the pile.

Flat Weave Rug

Flatweave Tribal Kendell from Orinoco by NuLoom

Flat weave rugs are made from extremely durable materials and have no pile. Due to their sturdy yet thin nature, flat weave rugs tend to appear dirty more often than other rugs. This is why we suggest you vacuum your flat weave rug on a frequent basis, at least once a week.

You’ll also want to be extremely careful with the fringe of a flat weave rug when vacuuming. This is because vacuuming the fringe area too roughly can cause damage to both the vacuum and the rug. We suggest that when vacuuming the edges of your flat weave rug, you temporarily turn off the beater bar.

With flat weave rugs, you’ll want to vacuum both sides of the rug. This is because both sides of flat weave rugs are susceptible to dirt and debris. Plus, vacuuming both sides of the rug can decrease shedding and increase the lifespan of the rug.

Shag Rugs

BBE-2308 from Berber Shag by Surya

Last but not least, let’s talk about vacuuming shag rugsTo vacuum a shag rug, you’ll want to flip the rug over and vacuum the underside. This will help dislodge any dirt and dust that’s clinging to the fibers of your shag rug.

When vacuuming, it’s best to use a beater bar and to stand on top of the rug to prevent the edges from flipping. After vacuuming the underside, vacuum the area in which you place the rug. This will help ensure you pick up any excess dirt and debris. Lastly, you’ll want to vacuum the top side of the rug. Avoid using the beater bar for this portion, as it can cause the fibers to warp.

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