Wool Carpet Vacuuming
When it comes to picking a vacuum, people have a lot of opinions. One Google search for this topic yields more than 9 million results, and it can be difficult to wade through the noise and know what’s actually the best choice for your home.
Today for Good to Know, we’re bringing you some advice from our friend BJan Djahanbani, of Artifacts, on picking the best vacuum for wool rugs. With over 30 years of experience in high-end rugs and carpets, BJan has a ton of knowledge on wool rugs and their care, and we wanted to share it with you!
When purchasing any carpet or rug always ask if there are any special care instructions to ensure you get the longest life from your purchase.
02 Jun 2023
Why Do Wool Rugs Need a Particular Vacuum?
The most important thing to keep in mind for wool rugs is that you want to have a vacuum that doesn’t have too much suction but can still get to dirt and grime between the wool loop fibers because with too much suction you can damage the fibers and decrease the lifetime of your carpet. That balance can be difficult to achieve, especially with the larger vacuum brands. For example, Dyson and Shark vacuums are very popular, but both of these brands tend to have too much suction for wool products.
In addition to suction, it’s important to consider whether or not your vacuum has an adjustable beater bar as well as soft bristles. An adjustable beater bar allows for different carpet thicknesses, and soft bristles allow the vacuum to get in between the fibers and thoroughly clean, without causing any damage. While some people suggest to turn off the beater bar for vacuuming on wool carpet, having the beater bar on allows the vacuum to get down between the fibers and thoroughly clean. You just want to make sure that the height is adjustable, and that the bristles are soft. Although wool carpet shedding is typical and expected with a new purchase, this should subside over time, especially with the right vacuum choice.
Things to Consider When Picking Your Wool Carpet Vacuum
- Vibration can help loosen dirt and other particles, without having to be rough on the fabric. This is a great alternative to a hard beater brush or a vacuum with more suction. Although this is not a widely available feature, it is available on some models, one of which we’ll highlight later on
- As we mentioned above, suction is extremely important to consider when picking a vacuum for wool carpets. Balance is key here, as you want something that can suck up dirt and grime, but not something so powerful that it will end up damaging the wool fibers. It is ideal to have a vacuum with several suction levels, so you can use a more powerful suction on other carpet, and lighter suction on wool and other soft carpet types.
Type of Brush
- For wool carpets, always choose soft brushes over hard. This will help preserve the quality of the fibers while still being able to clean them.
- As with any home appliance, vacuums for wool carpet are available at a range of cost and quality. Consider how much you are able to spend, along with the level of need. Although the best vacuums for wool carpeting are typically on the higher end, price-wise, there are definitely more affordable options.
- This is primarily a matter of personal preference. You should consider the size of your home, as well as the number of stairs, before choosing a heavy vacuum.
Type of Vacuum
- There are good vacuums for wool carpets in all of the primary vacuum varieties, upright, cordless, and canister.
- Upright is the most common type, and generally the most popular. The main downside to these is cleaning under furniture, but with attachments, this problem is easily resolved.
- For cordless vacuums, it is nice to be able to be free from a cord, but be mindful that you are now reliant on battery life, which can be limiting.
- Canister vacuums can be very powerful for a variety of surfaces but can be difficult to maneuver on stairs.
- Make sure to choose an appliance with a great filter system. This will help keep your carpet cleaner, and will also protect the vacuum’s motor. For homes with allergies, HEPA filters are highly recommended.
- Consider how many floor types you have in your home, and whether you would benefit from a vacuum with adjustable suction, or a variety of attachments. This helps ensure that you only need one appliance for all of your home’s needs.
SONICLEAN SOFT CARPET UPRIGHT VACUUM CLEANER - $$
With a soft nylon brush roll and an adjustable vent system, this vacuum is recommended by many for houses with wool carpets and rugs. It utilizes patented advanced technology to use sonic vibrations (200 per second) to shake loose all of the particles from your carpet, allowing the vacuum to capture even the smallest pieces. This helps ensure a thorough clean, and the hospital-grade HEPA filter bags can capture up to 99.97% of debris. For areas of your home that might benefit from a little more suction, this vacuum also has a Deep Cleaning mode. This adjustable suction power, along with an energy-efficient design makes the Soniclean an ideal vacuum for all areas of your home, without compromising the care of your wool rugs. While it’s less than ideal to use a bag system, we think that the benefits really outweigh the cons here.
MIELE COMPLETE C3 CALIMA VACUUM - $$$ (MY FAVORITE)
Although the Miele is the most expensive of the vacuums that we recommend, I personally own this vacuum and feel it was money well spent. There is a lot to love about the Miele Complete C3. First of all, this canister style vacuum is good for all types of flooring. With five separate height adjustments and seven different suction levels, it is one of the most customizable vacuums on the market. It is also equipped with the SoftCarpet Electrobrush, so it is specialized for wool and other soft fabrics. This feature has been designed specifically to gently clean wool flooring. Additionally, wheels on the canister can swivel 360-degrees, and the long hose makes this vacuum incredibly versatile. This vacuum is also equipped with a HEPA filter, which captures 99.99% of debris.
SANITAIRE SC888K COMMERCIAL UPRIGHT VACUUM CLEANER - $$ (BJAN’S RECOMMENDATION)
This vacuum, according to BJan, is the best for caring for wool carpets and rugs. It comes with 6 separate height levels, so it’s very customizable, and every part of it can be replaced or repaired. This allows the vacuum to last far longer than a traditional appliance, which is both eco-friendly and economical. The only cons for this vacuum are that it is on the heavier side (15.8 pounds), and it is not the most flexible. Homes with lots of stairs or small corners would do well to get a second vacuum that is easier to carry and has more attachments, for all of those hard to reach areas.
Other Wool Carpet Care Tips
Vacuum slowly and in both directions. This ensures that all of the dirt is captured, and going in both directions will help fluff up the carpet.
Vacuum often. Vacuuming twice a week will prevent dirt from piling up in the fibers, which will make it easier to keep the carpet truly clean.
Clean out your vacuum consistently. Empty the vacuum bag or canister regularly, and keep the beater bar clean for optimal wool carpet care.
If sprouting occurs on your wool rug, trim it instead of pulling at it. Sprouting is expected, but pulling on it will damage the rest of the carpet.