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Does Vacuuming Damage Carpet?

Vacuuming is the quickest way to clean the carpet in your home. Because of that, it is tempting to vacuum often to keep your house fresh and your carpet clean. But can the process of vacuuming damage carpet at all? We researched all of the vacuum types and their potential effects on different carpet types to give you the answer here in this post.  

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Most affordable vacuums have a part called a beater bar or brush roll. If you have a wool or woven carpet, then a vacuum with a beater bar can damage the fibers that make up the carpet. 

So, yes, a vacuum can damage a carpet, but that doesn't mean you should never use a vacuum. Please continue reading to find out some recommendations for how to vacuum your carpet without damaging it. We will also discuss how often you should vacuum your carpet, the consequences of not vacuuming, and the methods for making your carpet last as long as possible. 

Wireless vacuum cleaner used on carpet in room. Housework with new upright hoover. Person holds modern white vacuum cleaner by sofa, Does Vacuuming Damage Carpet?

Does Vacuuming Damage Carpet?

Vacuuming is inherently a good activity that every carpet owner should engage in regularly so that they can keep their home looking clean and smelling fresh. But, some vacuums types don't mix well with certain carpet types. Premium carpets like those typically made from woven wool are only held together by the weave that binds the fibers.

On the contrary, synthetic carpets often have an adhesive layer that holds the yarn or carpet material in place. So for woven carpets, vacuums with a brush roll or beater bar are very problematic. 

The beater bar is a long tube that crosses the length of the underside of the vacuum cleaner. This tube is covered in thick bristles that help displace dirt from deep within the carpet fibers. Additionally, the beater bar picks up hair which is then sucked up into the main part of the vacuum with the dirt and other debris. The beater bar is a great feature to have on your vacuum if you have only synthetic carpets that are built tough or if you have shedding pets in your home. 

So, when a brush roll vacuum comes into contact with a fragile woven carpet, the carpet usually comes out worse than before. The bristles on the beater bar penetrate the weaving of the fibers in the carpet and pull them apart, permanently damaging the carpet. 

Tips and Recommendations for Vacuuming 

Vacuuming seems like a simple task that needs to just be completed without thinking, but there are some steps you can take to ensure that you are vacuuming safely and effectively. First, ensure that your vacuum bag or canister is empty before you begin. This will improve the suction power that your vacuum is capable of.

Next, take a peek under the vacuum and make sure no hair or debris is clogging any rollers (if you have them) or entry points. Lastly, the overall best way to achieve quality vacuuming without damaging your carpet is to choose the correct vacuum. 

Choosing the Correct Vacuum

Depending on your carpet situation, you could pick a vacuum with a removable or retractable beater bar. This type of vacuum is best if you have multiple types of carpets in your home, some sensitive and some not. The example below is the Shark Navigator, whose prime feature is a brush roll shutoff switch, making delicate cleaning easy to access. It is perfect for switching between rooms that have different carpet styles. 

Click here to see the Shark Navigator NV360 on Amazon. 

The other situation merits purchasing a vacuum that does not have a beater bar; it is the best way to avoid damage altogether. This option is best if you only have a premium type of carpet in your home. These vacuums are also known as suction-only vacuums, and they are perfect for woven and wool carpets that are sensitive to too much friction and disturbance. You can find them online or at local appliance stores. Here is an example from Amazon:

Click here to see the Makita compact cordless vacuum on Amazon. 

Overall, pay attention to how your carpet reacts to vacuuming. If you see some visible damage, consider buying a different type of vacuum altogether. Additionally, certain areas of your carpet may need vacuuming more frequently than others. Ensure that high-traffic areas get the vacuuming attention that they need. 

How Often Should You  Vacuum Your Carpet?

How often you vacuum your carpet really depends on the traffic it endures daily. If you have a busy house with multiple children and shedding pets, you might want to vacuum every two or three days. If your home only has one or two occupants with no pets and you're away at work most of the time, you can probably get away with vacuuming once every one to two weeks. The build-up of dirt and grime can also result in bad smells and bacteria or mold growth. 

Once you have mold or too much debris in your carpet, it will be irreversibly damaged. So, eventually, long periods of time of not vacuuming your carpet will ruin it. After that, the only option is to tear it all out and replace it

What Happens if You Don't Vacuum Carpet?

If you don't ever vacuum your carpet, then dirt, dust, and hair will slowly build up between the fibers. This will happen to the point that if someone steps on it barefoot, they will feel nothing but dirt, crumbs, and hair sticking to their feet. Even worse, the dirt in the rug will start to show up more clearly in the high traffic areas. This will result in darker streaks throughout your carpeted rooms that don't look good in any context. 

Does Vacuuming Make Your Carpet Last Longer?

Wireless vacuum cleaner used on carpet in room. Housework with new upright hoover. Person holds modern white vacuum cleaner by sofa, Does Vacuuming Damage Carpet?

Yes, vacuuming will make your carpet last longer. You should pay attention to the type of carpet you have and choose the right vacuum for it. Then maintain a vacuuming schedule that keeps your carpet clean more than it is dirty. Doing so will prevent excess dirt build-up and mold growth, making your carpet last for years to come. 

How Can You Extend The Life of Your Carpet?

There several ways that you can extend the life of the carpet in your home. First, try to avoid wearing shoes too much on your carpet or dragging heavy furniture across it. And if you do need to drag your furniture across it, you should utilize furniture sliders.

Next, to keep your carpet smelling fresh, powder it with baking soda a few minutes before you vacuum. The baking soda will absorb orders just as it does in your refrigerator before you suck it all back up with your vacuum. 

Lastly, if you want to keep your carpet in "like new" condition for the longest time possible, you should pay for routine professional cleanings. High-quality professional cleanings yearly are a good investment when it comes to extending the life span of your carpet. 

In Closing

One of the easiest ways to keep your home feeling clean and smelling fresh is to vacuum your carpet. Choose the type of vacuum that will perform best on your carpet without damaging it. You can extend the life of your carpet by preventing dirt build-up, routine vacuuming, and yearly professional deep cleans. If you take care of your carpet, your family and guests will all thank you for it. 

If you found the information in this post useful, please check out some of our others:

How Long Do Bissell Vacuums Last?

How Do You Make Carpet Or A Rug Fluffy Again?