Here's How to Get the Most out of Your Vacuum

If you think there's no wrong way to vacuum, then think again! Like any tool, your vacuum cleaner will only perform its job most effectively when used in the proper manner. Yes, this means that there is a certain amount of technique involved with the simple task of pushing the appliance back and forth across the floor. Even if you hate vacuuming, taking a little extra time to follow this advice will result in a cleaner house and a longer-lasting floor, making the effort well worth your while.

Vacuum often

If you dislike vacuuming, then you probably put it off for weeks at a time. Unfortunately, the longer your floor goes between cleanings, the less clean it will be once you finally do get around to it. Dirt will naturally sink into carpeting over time, damaging the material and making it harder for the vacuum to suck out the particles. Rather than waiting until the floor is visibly dirty, establish a set schedule of vacuuming at least once per week (or more in high-traffic areas).

Take your time

It might seem like the goal of vacuuming is to simply go over the entire floor as quickly as possible, but this is actually the worst strategy for effective cleaning. Instead, slowly run the machine over each area. This allows time for larger/deeper particles to be pulled out of the carpet. Also, it's a good idea to go over each spot at least twice; repeated sweeps of an area will collect dirt that was loosened, but not removed, by the first pass. 

Change it up

Between individual passes or cleanings, change the direction from which you go over a particular area. This will help collect debris that might have been stuck from one angle, but easily lifted from another. It will also help keep your carpet fibers from becoming matted down.

Clean the cleaner

It might not occur to you to clean something that is itself used to clean, but this is a key step to keeping the vacuum working and efficient. First, always empty the bag or compartment between each use. It might seem pointless to do so before the machine is full, but vacuums suck most efficiently when they are at most half-full. As they begin to reach capacity, suction is reduced and more strain is put on the motor. Second, remember to regularly wash the machine's air filter. If it is disposable, simply replace it according to the unit's directions. A clogged filter will reduce suction, increase motor strain, and cause more allergens to be released back into the air. Finally, use scissors or a box cutter to periodically remove long hair and thread that have become wound around the brushes. If you neglect this step, the brushes will not turn as easily and could eventually become jammed.

This might seem like a lot of advice about something as simple as vacuuming, but following these tips will keep both your floor and vacuum clean and well-maintained for years to come!