How To Dust Rugs

How To Dust RugsDid you know that up to 80% of the soil in your rugs is dry dirt? A large portion of that dirt can and should be removed before cleaning them. 

Professionals use a specialized machine that loosens the dust particles from deep within. While you won’t be able to do quite the same job as someone with professional equipment, you can definitely dust your rugs at home and keep them much cleaner year-round. 

Why Do I Need to Dust My Rugs? 

You might think cleaning your rugs should be enough, but you would be missing something important. For example, consider your favorite jeans or sweatshirt. If you go out in the woods and get mud all over your clothes, you wouldn’t just throw them straight into the washing machine. Instead, you’d brush them off and remove the excess dirt first. In short, dusting your rugs essentially does the same thing before cleaning.

Dusting your rugs keeps dirt from building up. Of course, there’s all the dirt carried on feet, shoes, and slippers, but there are also particles that fall from the air, remnants of old spills, and even dead skin cells. Also, if you have pets, that’s just pet hair and more dirt getting buried in your rugs. 

On top of this, dusting your rugs also has other added benefits, including:

  • They’ll look better because dusting helps restore vibrancy
  • It makes your home smell fresher
  • Extends the rugs’ life
  • Fewer allergens in your home and better air quality
  • Prevents the growth of bacteria in and under the rug
  • Eliminates dust mites, moths, and other small insects

The Best Way to Dust Rugs at Home

Although you likely don’t have professional rug-cleaning equipment, there are still ways to dust them at home regularly, so you still get the great benefits of having cleaner carpets. 

Here’s the best way to dust your rugs at home:

Vacuum Your Rugs

Start by giving your rugs a good going over with your vacuum cleaner. This gives you a cleaner rug to start with and, therefore, a better chance of getting rid of more dirt.

Make sure that you vacuum both sides of the rug thoroughly. Then roll it up so that you can easily carry it outside. 

Hang the Rug

You must hang the rug over something sturdy enough to hold it. Some people use chairs, but you must be careful as many chairs aren’t sturdy enough to stay standing through the dusting process. 

You will likely have better luck hanging the rug over a strong, permanent clothesline, a pair of sawhorses, a metal or wooden fence, or an outside table like a picnic table. Also, don’t hang it on anything with barbs, points, or anything that could catch or cause a tear. 

Use a Rug Beater

A rug or carpet beater is a device made especially for dusting rugs, with a square or rectangular head attached to the end of a pole. The head may have pleats, knots, or other designs to make it more effective in loosening and removing dirt. 

To use a rug beater, you must firmly hold the handle and strike vigorously. Be careful not to be overly aggressive, though, as you don’t want to cause any damage!

Return the Rug Indoors

After dusting the rug, you may want to let it hang for a little while to air out, but this is entirely up to you. Then, when you are ready to return the rug indoors, simply roll it up, carry it in, and unroll it in its place. 

Depending on the size and lay of the rug, you may want to quickly run your vacuum over it again so that it lays perfectly. This process also ensures you remove as much loose dirt as possible beforehand. You’ll likely notice an immediate improvement in the look and smell of your rug when dusting. 

Traditional Rug Beater vs. Vacuum Beater Bar

A vacuum cleaner’s beater bar is meant to help a vacuum do a better job on high-pile carpets. By using this feature, many vacuums do a good job on high-pile carpets, but it is not the equivalent of dusting your rugs. A vacuum cleaner’s beater bar is not the best method for dusting most rugs. In general, you are best off going with the old-school option. 

It is worth noting that many people use the side of a broom head to beat their rugs. This can be effective but will take longer and more effort than using the correct tool. You will also need to have a dedicated broom just for this purpose. A used broom would only introduce more dirt into the situation, and used bristles could end up causing damage to the rug you are trying to dust. If you decide to buy a broom just for this purpose, try to find one with a larger square head and sturdy bristles that will stand up to the process. 

Check Out Comprehensive Rug Cleaning

I’ve made a great video detailing the process outlined above if visual aids are more of your thing:



Dusting your rugs is great for maintenance and helps to prevent build-up and damage between cleanings. You’ll likely want to do it once or twice every year, although you’ll still need to periodically clean your rugs cleaned even if you dust them regularly. By following the tips outlined above, you can keep your rugs clean and dust-free for years to come.


Spot On!

– Katie