Pro's Corner

Rug Dusting

Dry Soil Removal Options


Handmade rugs without depressed warps, tufted rugs, and most machine-made rugs can be readily vacuumed to remove most soil. Prior to wet cleaning, remove as much dry soil as possible from the rug by using a vacuum with a beater bar or a portable rug dusting unit.

 Handmade rugs with depressed warps and dense machine-made weaves like the Axminister can trap soil into the core of the rug. This necessitates more aggressive dusting with portable dusting machines, compressed air machines, and automated tumblers.


Both the face and back of the rug should be vacuumed.

 Vacuuming the back shakes or vibrates loose soil from deeper in the pile. Use a beater bar to help increase this vibration. Lay the rug across a grating, allowing the dirt to fall through the grating to the floor. After the back has been vacuumed, flip over the rug and vacuum the face again.

 The Brush Pro is very useful for dry soil removal. It kicks up dirt from the fibers into the renovators, particularly after dusting from the back of the rug.

Vacuum 2


Portable Dusting Machines

These machines use straps that beat the back of the rug to shake loose soil.

 Lay the rug across a grating allowing the dirt to fall through the grating to the floor. After the back has been dusted, flip over the rug and vacuum the face.

 Some delicate rugs may need to be protected from aggressive agitation. One advantage of doing this is that it does not put a lot of dust in the air. A layer of Tyvek between the rug and the dusting machine is often sufficient. Be sure does not to force the rug against sharp or rough grating edges the dusting process.

Portable Dusting Machines

Compressed Air Dusting

This method uses a significant volume of compressed air and the use of an air compressor and tools designed for this purpose.

 The most widely used compressed air dusting is part of the Auserehlian System. This proprietary system is available to those who have been trained in its use and paid a fee to license the system. One disadvantage is that it puts a lot of dust into the air and most do it outside.


Automated Tumblers 

Rugs are laid open, folded or rolled, depending upon the size, into the cage. This needs to be done into a room designed for the tumbler with a vertical wide door. While tumbling, the dust collects on the floor of the room for easy removal after the process is completed.

 Cleaning a rug with this method allows you to work on something else simultaneously. If you have enough volume and space, you save enough on the costs of labor with this level of automation to pay for the tumbler in about a year. because it can be completed while working on something else.


Automated Rug Duster

"The viewing windows permits the operator to examine the rugs as they pass under the straps and adjust the grid bed’s speed and progress according to the amount of the embedded soil.” This feature would also allow you to adjust the speed for dense rugs with depressed warps to loose rugs without depressed warps.

Don't Overlook Dusting

In my opinion, dusting is the most important part of rug cleaning. Thorough immersion techniques are superior in cleaning after properly dusting rugs used on a daily basis. If it is done appropriately then other methods of dirt removal like encapsulation and extraction are performed more efficaciously.

Other rugs are in rooms that are barely used and only need to have dust removed by the processes described above.

If a rug is abused by pets it requires the superior immersion cleaning to get back into usable condition.


By Tom Forsythe and Scott Warrington