How to Vacuum Area Rugs by Type

Have you ever given much thought to how you vacuum carpet?

Learning techniques for your specific style of area rug will help it last longer.

Check out Tufenkian’s how-to guide on vacuuming rugs by type.

Wool Rugs

Wool is a robust and natural fiber that stands up to pressure and makes vacuuming easy. If your vacuum has a beater bar setting, be sure to turn it off. Suction-only vacuums lessen the possibility of fringe damage. You should vacuum a wool rug in the direction of the pile no more than two to four times a month.

Silk Rugs

Silk is a delicate fiber, so always check the rug’s label before vacuuming. Use the upholstery attachment of the vacuum in the direction of the pile, especially if you’re working with a thin or low pile rug. If you’re not able to vacuum the rug, use a horsehair brush to remove the dirt. Don’t vacuum silk more than twice a month.

Shag Rugs

For a shag rug, it’s best to use a wet/dry vacuum. Gentle suction will keep the high pile from being pulled too hard. Start vacuuming at the top corner, go straight down, then return to the top and repeat across the rug. Don’t vacuum the back, or you will damage the fibers. You can vacuum a shag rug once a week.

Flatweave Rugs

​​Flatweave rugs are sturdy, but because they have no pile, there’s no place for the dirt to hide. Vacuum both sides to remove all debris, decrease shedding, and make the rug last longer. Don’t use a beater bar on the edges because you could damage the vacuum and the carpet. Frequent vacuuming, at least once a week, is recommended.

General Cleaning Tips

  • If you have pets, brush out your rug before you vacuum to keep the fur from clogging up the cleaner
  • Rotate your rug every few months to keep debris from gathering in the same place and wearing out the area
  • Move the furniture every so often to prevent permanent impressions on the carpet

Techniques for Vacuuming Area Rugs

The next time you’re ready to vacuum your area rug, you’ll know the best techniques.

Tufenkian has more tips on how to care for our carpets. Learn best practices for maintaining our hand-knotted rugs, and shop our wool rugs, floral area rugs, and silk rugs online.