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What do I need to know about vacuuming?

Vacuuming Guidelines and Information


What is a Beater Bar?

A beater bar is a smoothly contoured metal agitator bar on a rotating brush roller. See below image. It works in conjunction with bristle brushes to gently beat the fibers, when the beater bar rotates, to loosen soil and allow the brushes to comb away the soil into the suction ports of the vacuum. It was invented in the 1920’s. The beater bar is a thing of the past. These days there are very few, if any, vacuums that still feature this bar on the brush roller. The beater bar feature on brush rollers have been replaced by stiffer brush strips that provide agitation as well as brushing the carpet fibers.

Beater Bar

Why are Brush Rollers so bad for fine carpet and rugs?

Most upright vacuum cleaners use a drive belt powered by the vacuum’s motor to turn the brush roller. The brush roller is capable of making 6500 revolutions per minute. Modern day brush rollers generally have four sets of very stiff brush strips fixed to them. The combination of revolutions per minute and the stiff brush strips will destroy weave structure and fine fibers. Fibers will start to disengage from the pile causing structural failure. If the weave is strong enough to withstand the aggressive agitation, the fiber itself will start to slip and pull apart resulting in a fuzzy or bearded appearance on the surface.



Why we recommend Suction Only vacuuming.

Its pretty clear after seeing what a brush roller can do to a carpet or rug why we recommend suction only. Just about every upright vacuum or rotating brush roller attachment will be detrimental to our carpets and rugs. Some manufacturers have addressed this and designed softer bristle brush strips but the potential risk of damage is still very high. Unfortunately suction only is not good enough!! Carpet and rug fibers need some agitation to help break free soil and excess cut fiber imbedded in the pile. Suction only offers no agitation. Vacuuming will be marginally effective by only removing topical soil and excess cut fibers. Over time particulate soil will embed itself in the pile and eventually damage fibers at the base inside the pile.


What is the proper method to vacuum fine carpet and rugs?

Most vacuums come with a fixed bristle floor brush. See below image. The fixed bristles offer just enough agitation to break soil and loose fibers free from the surface so they can be easily removed by the vacuum’s suction. Gently brush the pile in up and down stokes and then do the same area from side to side. In doing so the soil will break free and the fibers will be combed and aligned. It is also recommended that the underside of a rug and the pad be vacuumed periodically, maybe once a year depending on soil conditions.

Floor Brush