• Bal Arisi

How to Properly Vacuum Oriental and Area Rugs

Updated: Mar 31


vacuum oriental rug
Photo by Liliana Drew from Pexels

Hand knotted area rugs such as Oriental and Persian rugs are truly works of art and can be quite expensive. Though the beauty and value it adds to your space so it is worth it. However, these rugs come with some challenges when it comes to upkeep. The number one challenge is vacuuming your rug without damaging it.


Before you set your Roomba® loose, there are some things to consider:

  1. The first thing to consider is the type of rug you have. If you have a rug with very low pile, then you will not want to use the vacuum head itself. Instead, use an upholstery attachment. If you have a rug with sturdy pile, then you can adjust the vacuum so that the rotary brush does not come into direct contact with the rug, and vacuum like you would any other flooring.

  2. The second thing to consider is the amount of soiling in and on your rug. If your rug has recently been professionally cleaned and is not in a high traffic area, then a thorough vacuuming will suffice However, if it’s been some time since your rug was deep cleaned, a more thorough service may be needed. If you’ve never had your rug professionally cleaned and it is heavily soiled, do not vacuum it – take it to a professional.

  3. The third consideration is the type of vacuum you use. For instance, if you have a high-powered vacuum cleaner, you may need to invest in a lower quality model for use on your rug specifically. Most Oriental rugs should be vacuumed with little suction, and never with the use of the brush. If you cannot adjust the level of suction or the position of the brush, use upholstery attachments only.

How to Vacuum

When vacuuming your rug, move the vacuum from side-to-side across the rug, rather than running up and down with the length of the rug. This allows you to vacuum horizontally across the pile instead of with or directly against the pile. One benefit of vacuuming in this direction is that it will loosen dust and dirt that normally would not be exposed to the suction. Additionally, vacuuming in a motion that goes directly with or against the pile direction weakens the fiber over time.


In addition to vacuuming the front of the rug, you’ll should also vacuum the back. This is particularly important with authentic hand-woven rugs like Oriental rugs that do not have backing material. Dirt under the rug will work its way into the pile of the rug as it is walked on.

Avoid the edges. Always vacuum with as much caution as possible, and make sure to avoid vacuuming the fringe on the edge of the rug. Allowing the vacuum to suck up the fringe can lead to fringe loss. Take care to also avoid vacuuming over bound or serged edges or a side cord. These parts of a rug a more vulnerable to vacuum damage.


When in doubt about the care of your area rug, call us. We will happily consult with you on the care and maintenance of your area rugs.


Watch our tutorial video

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