Many people have all hardwood floors these days, but some of us still have the majority of our floors carpeted. We’ve all been vacuuming since we were young and we don’t think much about how we are doing it. Here are a few tips to increase your proficiency, make your rugs stay cleaner, and last longer.
First, try to decrease the amount of dirt coming into the home. You can do this by asking everyone to remove their shoes upon entering. I can’t always ask guests to remove their shoes, so I have good mats at all the doors. Of course, family can always shed their shoes when entering or change to shoes only worn inside.
Make a schedule! This is a good idea for all your cleaning. Vacuum regularly, whether it looks needed or not. For most homes, every other week is sufficient. But if you have pets, weekly or even bi-weekly may be necessary.
For the best suction, make sure to choose the proper height setting. You’ll have to change the height of the vacuum several times while going through the house. From the lowest on a tile or hardwood floor to your thickest carpet, the proper height will ensure the best cleaning and suction.
Do a quick check of the floor you’re vacuuming. Make sure to pick up any small objects (like paperclips). Vacuums are not meant to pick up hard objects, no matter how small, as they can damage the motor. Also periodically check the roller. Hair and string can get wound around and diminish the efficiency of the vacuum, not to mention burning up the motor. Spot clean any obvious stains.
Whether your vacuum is bagged or bagless, check the dirt level. Bagless vacs don’t need to be emptied every time, but it’s so easy you might as well for maximum efficiency. With bagged vacuums, do not let the bags get more than ¾ full or you will lose suction.
Always vacuum last. Do all the other dusting like furniture, tables, and blinds first. Much of that dust will fall to the floor and then you can vacuum it. Depending on how dirty the rugs are, you may have to go over the same spot several times. Go from all directions. I like to start at the doorway, make my way back and forth to the other side, then turn around, and make myway back.
Carpets always benefit from a deep clean, whether just a steam or both steam and shampoo. Vacuum thoroughly first. Do this yearly; twice a year may be better if you have pets or a lot of foot traffic.
Keep to a schedule and vacuum well to keep your carpets looking good for many years to come.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH & DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO