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.
Rugs with a sturdy thick foundation should be vacuumed sideways across the width of the rug and across the direction of the pile. If your vacuum ha a beater bar or rotating brush, be careful not let the vacuum close to the fringe as rotating parts will quickly tear the fringe tassels.
When vacuuming rugs that have thin foundations with a pile, use an upholstery attachment and vacuum with the direction of the pile only. Pick the attachment up and make sure not to push against the direction of the pile on the return strokes. If your thin foundation rug does not have a pile, use the upholstery attachment but vacuum across the width of the rug.
For very delicate rugs with older fibers, you may not want to use a vacuum at all and instead use a horsehair fiber brush. Brush gently across the width of the rug to dust off the dirt and soil while it’s still on the tips of the yarns.
If it has been a long time since your rug has been brushed or vacuumed, you will likely want to have your rugs washed before starting a new routine of regular vacuuming or brushing. If you have had your rug washed recently, you should not have dust and dirt embedded in the foundation. Now the goal is to keep that buildup of dust and grit as low as possible until your next washing.