12 Tips for making vacuuming more effective than ever
“What’s to know? It’s self-explanatory! It’s just a vacuum cleaner!”
You couldn’t be blamed for saying these things if someone were to offer you tips for vacuuming your home. But the truth is there are a dozen ways to make the process easier and more effective. And who wouldn’t want that? Read on…
1. No Shoes
There’s a reason why taking your shoes off before entering one’s home has been a long-standing Asian custom. It’s about respect. And it makes sense. It also promotes cleanliness. You’re going to track dirt into your home otherwise. Taking your shoes off when you enter will keep the debris localized. If the no-shoe policy just isn’t going to fly, at least have mats on either side of your homes entrance so that everyone may wipe their shoes off prior to walking in.
2. Dust First
Before you start vacuuming ensure that you have dusted your entire home first. Some areas may need some serious rag and Windex treatment, but since you’re about to vacuum, a simple feather duster treatment will in fact suffice. Wait a few minutes to allow all the airborne dirt to scatter and settle on the floor, as it’s all about to get sucked up anyway.
Sure, you have your vacuuming routine that you perform once a week (or month), but I’m tellin’ ya, to really get all that dust and hair up you need to go over the same areas multiple times. It helps to repeat coming from different directions; otherwise you’re just getting the light surface stuff. And if you have a pet, this method is essential to keeping the rooms fresh. By repeating and criss-crossing, you maximize the effectiveness of the chore.
It’s important to establish and stick to a vacuuming schedule. Whether it’s once a week, or twice a month pick a certain day and adhere to it responsibly. Once every week or two is usually sufficient, but if you have a high traffic home – or certain areas that see more activity – you may need to put in a little extra maintenance to ensure the entire home is freshly vacuumed.
5. Spot Treatment
If you spill something on your carpet, you need to run and treat it immediately. Sometimes all you have available is hot water, but it can be effective. If you’re just noticing a stain for the first time during a vacuuming, your best bet is to apply a spot cleaner to treat it, before finishing with the vacuum. Maintaining your carpet with touches like this will prolong its quality and life.
Do a quick “sweep” of the perimeter and be certain that there are no small objects hidden in the threads of your carpet that can cause potential damage. Obviously, this could mean one of a number of possibilities, there could be little hard candies, pebbles, rocks or coins. You’ll know immediately if you accidentally sucked on of these up, and the results aren’t always harmless.
7. Clear the way
It’s so easy to just sort of push the vacuum around the furniture, but we know what this leads to, don’t we? When we finally pull out that bureau or sofa we expose an outrageously ignored layer of dust that would make a fly cough. It could be about an inch thick. This is why it’s not good to let dust collect under furniture. It becomes a clumpy source of grime that attracts insects.
8. The Correct Setting
If you’re one of those folks that don’t pay attention to the settings of your appliances you are most definitely not getting the most out of them. Obviously, if it’s locked into the setting intended for thick shag carpets, it will be adjusted too high and almost zero effective against short hair rugs or hardwood floors. Always adjust the vacuum to the appropriate setting before vacuuming.
9. Change the Bag
Sure, it’s obvious – you gotta switch the bag out before it’s overstuffed. Generally, when it’s about three quarters full it’s time for a change. If you procrastinate you could cause the hose to clog or adversely affect other parts as well. This will cause the vacuum to malfunction, and possibly even expel debris back out onto the floor.
10. Tough Spots
Areas such as the closet or stairs are much harder to vacuum. Sure, when you’re in the groove you just want to blaze through it all even if those hard-to-clean spaces are somewhat neglected. For the stairs, use the most suitable vacuum attachment. They allow you more access to the crevices that collect dirt due to their shape. Just pick the appropriate one and connect it to the hose and tackle those tough areas.
11. Deep Clean
AT LEAST once a year you should deep clean your carpet. This can be done either by shampooing it or having it steam cleaned. It’s relatively inexpensive and you can hire someone to do it (if you don’t want to rent or buy the gear/supplies). Pet owners especially need to follow this step faithfully, unless they like breathing musty dog air.
12. Carpet Freshener
Pet owners are also encouraged to use one of the many types of carpet freshener available. Particularly in the summer heat, carpets begin to emit a variety of odors, none too pleasant. Buy an eliminator powder and sprinkle it generously over the carpet. After letting it sit for about thirty minutes, vacuum the powder and bad smells away and create a new refreshing environment.