Vacuum Basics

Most of us have a vacuum, but it’s a mistake to think that every rug should be vacuumed the same way. Follow these guidelines to keep your rugs looking and feeling their best.

Step 1.

Use the handheld attachment if you have one. If not, raise the brush roller as high as possible at first and vacuum carefully. After that, vacuum regularly as usual.

Step 2.

After vacuuming, check the canister or bag for rug fibers. If a large amount of fibers are filling your canister, try lowering your settings.

Step 3.

Avoid vacuuming fringes/tassels or bound edges on rugs to prevent fraying.

Cleaning Guidelines by Fiber

When you are shopping for your rug, take note of the rug’s fibers on its product page. Knowing whether it’s made from wool, polyester, polypropylene, leather, jute, or another fiber will help you keep it looking its best.

You'll find the information you need underneath the product photos, in the Specifications section:


Vacuum using a suction-only attachment. Vacuum with the grain (run your hand along the surface of the rug to determine what direction the fibers run in). You may also use an electric carpet sweeper. Spills are best cleaned using an acetic or citric acid rinse instead of water, to lessen the possibility of discoloration.

Natural Fibers

It’s common for loose fibers to break down and pool underneath the rug surface. In addition to regular surface vacuuming, clean the floor under the rug. Sprouting is also common, in which loose rug fibers poke up out of the rug surface. Do not pull these; snip down to the surface of the rug.


When first removed from its packaging, shag rugs may have a flattened or matted appearance. Simply fluff the surface using your fingers.

Due to the higher pile in comparison to other rug types, a high amount of shedding is normal and expected. This is especially true for wool shag items. Prior to vacuuming, turn the rug face down and gently shake it out to dislodge any dirt that may have gotten trapped deep within the fibers. Using a suction-only attachment, vacuum in-between individual rows on your rug.


Shake out the rug or use an electric carpet sweeper. Avoid using any chemical solvents on leather or cowhide. This will cause the material to break down and stain further.

More to Read

See our other rug care guides

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