How to Vacuum Your Rug

How to Vacuum Your Rug

I’m sure you’ve heard before how important it is to regularly vacuum your carpet due to dirt, dust, and bugs making your carpet their new home. Well, the same applies to your rugs! The best thing you can do to protect your rugs is to vacuum your rug regularly.

However, not all rugs should be vacuumed in the same way. Three main types of rugs (woven, tufted, and shag) should all be treated differently.

First, do you know what type of rug you own? You can tell if you have a woven rug by looking at the backside — if you can see a mirrored design of the front on the back, then your rug is woven. A tufted rug will not show any type of design on the back — it will be covered and held together by a layer of latex. Lastly, a shag rug is a very popular style that has a long pile.

Woven Rug

If you own a woven rug, we suggest that you vacuum it regularly (weekly or every other week). With a woven rug that has a thinner pile or no pile, you’ll want to use an attachment on your vacuum. The upholstery attachment works great! First, start by petting your rug to determine which direction the pile lays. On a woven rug, you should be able to easily tell when you are pushing with the grain or against the grain. It’s important when you use the upholstery attachment to vacuum with the grain. Start at the top of the rug using short downward strokes moving from one side to the other. Continue this method until you have vacuumed your entire rug.

To help preserve your rug, we suggest vacuuming the backside of the rug at least once a month. It does not matter which direction you vacuum since there is no pile. This process will help prevent bugs from getting too comfortable in your rugs. Vacuuming your rug, flipping it from front to back, and moving it into direct sunlight will disrupt any bugs that may have begun making your rug their home.

If your woven rug has a sturdier, heavier pile, you’ll want to vacuum more frequently than a woven rug that has a thinner pile. When cleaning these types of woven rugs, we recommend using a powerhead vacuum and going side to side with the pile. However, if you own a tribal rug that had some buckling/wrinkles you’ll want to use the upholstery attachment just to be safe.

Tufted Wool Rug

A tufted rug tends to be a quickly-made rug that is a lower quality rug and often mass-produced in India or China. Because of this, you will often notice fuzz on the surface that sheds throughout the house. In order to stop the shedding, some rug owners will vacuum the rug. Unfortunately, these are not fibers leftover from the shaving process that need to be removed, but rather are broken wool fibers. Therefore, when cleaning these rugs, you need to find a vacuum with a power brush head that you can turn off, and move side to side. If you have a thinner wool rug, you can use the upholstery attachment and run it with the pile.

Shag Rug

If you own a shag rug you’ve probably thought to yourself, “how in the world do I clean this?!” Well, it’s quite simple. Due to their long pile, they are almost impossible to vacuum. The best way to clean your rug is to grab a few friends or family members, head outside, and shake! This will help release any dust or dirt that have gotten caught in the fibers. You’ll also get the added benefit of fluffing up your rug again. If you have a wet/dry vacuum on hand, you can use it and carefully run up and down the rug. Be aware that if too powerful, it can pull the fibers out. Also, never vacuum the back of a shag rug as you can pull fibers out this way.

If you ever find yourself unsure of how to properly care for your rug, give us a call and we’d be happy to help walk you through proper care tips to ensure they’re around for years to come!


About Woodard Cleaning & Restoration

Woodard Cleaning & Restoration was founded in 1946 by Earl and Nancy Woodard. Today, the company is run by 3rd generation, Justin Woodard. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, Woodard services the greater metro area (Illinois, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, St. Louis County, and many more). Woodard is proud to serve as the preferred provider for cleaning & restoration services. Our cleaning services include carpet, hard surface, furniture, and rug cleaning for both residential and commercial properties. We also provide water, fire, board-up, storm and smoke restoration services for residential and commercial clients. For information or questions submit a form online or call us at 314-227-3932.

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Updated 4/30/2020