Do Vacuums Damage Your Carpet?

Do Vacuums Damage Your Carpet?It is not a secret that routine vacuuming is the best way to keep your carpets their best possible clean. Some say that vacuums can actually be detrimental to the carpet, that the use of a beater bar with rotating brushes actually pulls, stretches and wears down the fibers. So if a vacuum is the best way to keep a carpet clean, but it causes damage then how is one supposed to care for their carpet? Is this actually true?  

The answer is, yes, a beater bar can cause damage to a carpet, but only as a result of vacuum use or overuse. The damage that dirt and grime sitting on your carpet and grinding away at the fibers like fine-grit sandpaper causes is much worse. If you are using your vacuum properly and routinely vacuuming is GOOD for your carpet, not detrimental.  

Let’s look at the proper way to vacuum your floors, how often to vacuum, and some carpet care best practices.  

Proper Vacuuming 

Most Vacuums today are made to care for more than one type of floor and have different settings to use depending on what type of flooring you are cleaning. For instance, the bare floor setting is for hard surface floors. This setting typically lowers the vacuum while shutting off the beater bar to allow for better care of tile, hardwoods, laminate, etc. Naturally, you would not get a very good clean of your carpets using the bare floor setting. When caring for carpet make sure you are using the carpet setting and if your vacuum also has extra height adjustments make sure you have the vacuum set to the right height for your carpet pile. A vacuum set too low can damage the carpet fibers as well as the vacuum itself. To be sure you have the right height set the vacuum as high as possible and then lower it until the suction just gently tugs on the carpet.  

When cleaning the floor the speed and motion of the vacuum matter greatly. Many people make the mistake of just running the vacuum in several different directions as fast as they can until they feel they have run the machine over every spot. This is the worst possible way to get your carpets clean. There is much room for missing areas and not giving the machine enough time to properly suck everything up it could. Instead, use a technique similar to how you would mow the lawn. Vacuum in rows overlapping the rows to ensure nothing is missed, and go SLOWLY to allow the vacuum enough time to suck up as much yuck as possible. Go slower when pulling the vacuum back toward your body as this is when most of the suction action happens. Vacuum in the opposite direction the next time you clean.  

How Often to Vacuum 

Some people who enjoy a super clean home like to vacuum their carpet daily. While this seems like a great strategy to ensure your carpet is super clean this is overkill and can wear down your floors. Unless you live in a home with as much foot traffic as an office building you really only need to be vacuuming about twice a week for high traffic areas like the entry, stairs, and hallway. Vacuum once weekly on all low traffic areas like the bedrooms.  

Carpet and Vacuum Care Best Practices 

  • If you have installed new carpet and have access to the owner’s manual and manufacturer’s care instructions, make sure you actually read them. You can void the carpet warranty by not following the care guidelines which usually include vacuuming instructions and professional cleaning expectations.  
  • Don’t wait until the carpet looks dirty to the naked eye to vacuum it, trust us its dirty way before you can tell so stay on top of those twice weekly routine vacuumings.  
  • Be kind to your vacuum: don’t run it with a full bag or canister (ideally it should be emptied with every use or at least at half full for better operation), don’t vacuum up large debris, get or give your vacuum a cleaning and tune up every three to six months depending upon usage.  
  • Try not to run over the vacuum cord or vacuum over it, this weakens the cord. 
  • Don’t vacuum up water in any amount unless you are using a wet/dry vac which should not be used as your regular carpet vacuum.  

The proper and regular use of your vacuum actually helps your carpet instead of bringing harm to it. The most harm you can bring to your carpet is to rarely and infrequently clean it.  

For the best professional carpet cleaning in Snohomish and surrounding areas make an appointment online with All Kleen or give us a call!  


  1. Linda on November 15, 2019 at 1:59 am

    I’m having a problem finding the right vacuum for a viscose area rug … it says not to use one with a beater bar … I have a Dyson and when I turn off the beater bar, the suction is so strong I can’t move the vacuum. HELP!! What do you recommend? I only need it for this particular rug and prefer not to spend a fortune … was considering a stick vacuum but not having any luck finding one without a beater bar and one where the suction isn’t too strong.

  2. Rick on December 2, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    This doesn’t help you now that you have a Dyson(which you spent a lot of money for, I bet). But we just bought a SHARK Rotator for $129 ($250 regular) and it has a suction control where you can reduce the amount of suction for things like thick rugs. Dyson is overrated.

  3. AnnGWhite on March 30, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    What is the best carpet sweeper for a discourse rug? What is it electrostatic as a post to a turbo can I use souls on my viscose rug please reply