Last updated: November 10th, 2022

Vacuuming your rug may seem like a no-brainer concept. It’s what we’re told to do in order to keep it clean and looking great for years to come. But something we’re not always told: different materials require different vacuuming techniques. Some rugs should never even be vacuumed at all!

Between the selection of materials available, it can be confusing to keep up with what to do for your particular rug. So here are some tips to help you out when it comes to vacuuming.

Shag Rugs

When it comes to vacuuming shag carpets, the fact is that it should probably be avoided all together. Shag rugs are not meant to endure that suction. Since the fibres are longer than most, they can easily get tangled in the vacuum and end up being snagged. This can end up ruining the fibres entirely. Cleaning them should be left to professional cleaners or simply shaken out frequently to get rid of any dust and debris. Take measures to keep your shag rugs clean by not wearing shoes on them and keeping food and drink far away.

Woven Rugs

Woven rugs can also be quite delicate. Therefore, aggressive vacuuming should be avoided. You can use a regular vacuum, but it’s important to have the level of the beater bar set to the highest position so it doesn’t snag any of those fibres. Go over it slowly and gently.

Tufted Rugs

Tufted rugs are generally comprised of lower grade wool. And since wool sheds and damages easily, these rugs must also be cleaned in a gentle manner. Tufted rugs should not be vacuumed with a normal upright vacuum as they can pose a higher risk for breaking and pulling those fibres. Use a handheld attachment to glide over the surface and avoid any damage.


Tapestries and wall-hanging rugs can easily collect dust over time. So giving them a good cleaning every so often is a good idea for maintaining them. But vacuuming is not recommended for tapestries. Instead, use a microfiber cloth and carefully wipe away dust or dander from the surface.

Rugs are a central focal point of a room and keeping them clean is important to help them look great for years to come. But vacuuming isn’t always the best solution. In fact, it can often do more damage than good. So the best way to maintain your rug is to learn what material it is and then tailor your cleaning efforts accordingly. Or better yet, let the professionals take care of the cleaning process for you! In addition to area rug cleaning, look for a company that offers rug repair and restoration in Ottawa.