When it comes to cleaning your home, vacuuming is an essential practice. These fantastic cleaning devices help keep our floors free of more than just dust and pet dander. They pick up microscopic mites and debris.
But did you know there is a right and a wrong way to vacuum?
The truth is this cleaning practice is more than just rolling your vacuum across the carpet. There are certain methods, settings, and even models to keep in mind. That’s why we’ve put together this all-encompassing guide you never knew you needed.
Read on and take note as we cover the do’s and don’ts of this common household chore.
The 10 Commandments of Vacuuming
When it comes to vacuuming, are you properly equipped? Before you even begin cleaning, you want to make sure you’re using the right vacuum. There are plenty of models on the market, each with its own strengths.
For example, did you know there are differences between a backpack and upright vacuum? You can read more here, but this is just one example of why it’s important to know what you’re buying.
For a truly clean home, you’ll want to purchase a vacuum suited for your floor type and has attachments to help you with all the hard to reach places. Review and compare what’s on the market and make your decision based on your house’s specific needs.
Then follow our 10 commandments for vacuuming properly.
1. Thou Shall Always Dust Prior to Vacuuming
Dust accumulates on just about every surface of your home. From the surfaces of your furniture to baseboards, blinds, and fans, it’s important that you dust before you vacuum.
Why? Because no matter what you use to dust your home, some of that debris is going to be swept onto the floor. In order to avoid having to vacuum multiple times, you’ll want to dust and clean all surfaces first.
It’s a matter of working smarter, not harder. When you save your vacuuming for the end of your cleaning routine, you are able to clean up both the remaining dust and whatever else has collected on your floor or beneath the fibers of your carpet.
2. Thou Shall Be Thorough When Vacuuming
No matter how strong or high-quality your vacuum is, it isn’t going to pick up everything in a single pass. That’s why it’s important to be thorough.
Make it a point to run your vacuum over the same area multiple times. As you do this, approach the area from different angles. This will help churn up and suck up the dust, hair, and debris that has worked its way into your carpet.
This is especially important if you have pets. Animals shed a lot. In order to capture as much of it as possible, you may need to vacuum over the same area as much as 10 times!
Pet owners should also vacuum more often. It will help cut back on allergens and dander.
3. Thou Must Make Vacuuming Part of Thy’s Regular Routine
Vacuuming isn’t, and should never be, an annual cleaning habit. Like sweeping and cleaning appliances, it should be part of your regular routine. On average, most homeowners should make it a point to vacuum once every week or two.
However, if you have pets or certain areas that experience high foot traffic, you may need to increase how frequently you vacuum. As people pass through a certain area often, they leave behind debris.
This is especially true if they wear shoes into your house. A great way to cut back on the mess is to have family members and guests take off their shoes by the door. This will help isolate dirt and other messes instead of tracking them throughout the house.
4. Thou Shall Not Let the Bag or Canister Overflow
While it may seem like common sense, many people tend not to clean out their vacuum bag or canister until it’s practically overflowing. This is a major “don’t” in the realm of vacuuming.
When you don’t empty your vacuum cleaner, you impede on its ability to perform well. Think of it like not changing the air filters in your home. When you let dust and debris build up, you force the machine to work harder.
This can lead to serious problems, such as overheating or severe loss in efficiency.
In order to prevent this problem, empty your bag or canister after every vacuuming session. If you are in the midst of vacuuming and start to notice your vacuum isn’t sucking up dirt and dust very well, check to see if it’s full.
When you’re doing a lot of vacuuming or covering a dirty area, your bag or canister may fill up before you even finish the job.
5. Thou Must Be Mindful of Stains Before Vacuuming
Stains happen. Sometimes we don’t even notice them until we’re already in the midst of vacuuming the carpet. However, if this happens, don’t ignore it.
While it may be tempting to finish vacuuming and deal with the carpet stain later, this can make it more difficult to clean. After all, vacuums don’t clean stains. In fact, they can make them worse if you don’t treat the area first.
Start by spot cleaning the moment you notice one. If you spot clean and then vacuum over the area, you may find that you have better results.
However, in some cases, you may need to do some deep cleaning. This is especially true for old or stubborn stains. A steam cleaner can help with this and they’re good for refreshing and maintaining your carpet, too.
6. Thou Shall Avoid Running Over Small Objects
Before you start vacuuming, make it a point to do a walkthrough of the area you plan to clean. Pick up any small objects you find on the ground or hiding under furniture. Even if you think that object will be hard to miss, you won’t want to take the risk.
When a vacuum accidentally picks up small objects, they can end up getting stuck inside of your equipment. This can lead to all kinds of frustrating problems, from clogging your vacuum to breaking essential parts.
The last thing you want is to have to pay for a repair or worse, an entirely new vacuum. Err on the side of caution and clean up the area first.
7. Thou Must Move Thy Furniture From Time-to-Time
Moving furniture isn’t always easy. However, even the narrow spaces under your couch, chairs, and other items can build up their share of dust bunnies. While you don’t have to shift your furniture around every time you vacuum, you’ll still want to make sure you maintain these areas from time-to-time.
We recommend covering these areas at least once every three to six months. If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, you may need to do this more often.
If you have trouble moving certain furniture, try using one of your vacuum’s attachments in order to cover narrow or hard-to-reach places.
8. Thou Shall Use the Appropriate Settings
Most vacuum cleaners come with several setting options. This is because different surfaces require different levels of strength in order to clean them.
However, not everyone pays attention to these settings. As a result, they may find their vacuum really isn’t picking up everything it should. This is because your vacuum’s settings adjust to the height of the surface.
For example, carpet offers a higher surface than hardwood floors. If you use a carpet setting on those hardwood floors, your vacuum won’t offer high suction to the low surface.
Be attentive to your vacuum’s settings and make sure you use the appropriate one.
9. Thou Shall Treat Thy Carpet to an Annual Deep Clean
While vacuuming is an essential cleaning habit when maintaining your floors, it shouldn’t be the only one. Just like most people do an annual spring clean within their home, your carpets should undergo a deep clean at least once a year.
This includes steam cleaning and perhaps even shampooing your floor. It will allow you to get any dirt or debris that has become embedded within the fibers of your carpet over time.
You can do this yourself or hire a company to do it for you.
10. Thou Shall Not Neglect Hard to Clean Areas
Not every home offers an easy-to-clean surface. That’s why so many vacuums come with various hoses and attachments. Make sure you cover all of the awkward or hard-to-reach surfaces, including stairs, corners, and upholstery.
The great thing about these attachments is they are designed to be thorough. This includes brush attachments that help you uproot dirt and debris. Make full use of them and your home will be spotless in no time!
Go Now and Learn More About Cleaning
While vacuuming is an essential part of your cleaning routine, it should be far from the only task on your agenda. Keep your home and belongings pristine with our other cleaning hacks.
We offer pages of articles on cleaning tips, tricks, and best practices. From how to improve your air quality through cleaning your air ducts to other deep cleaning processes, you’ll find new and efficient ways to maintain your space.