Vacuuming is one of those chores you need to do. It becomes that much more important if you have children or pets. In order to keep your home as clean as possible, you’ll need to vacuum up all the dirt, debris, and contaminants that you possibly can. Although using even the deepest cleaning vacuums will not replace bringing in a professional for a deep carpet clean once a year or so, your technique and diligence truly matter. If you are looking to get the most out of your vacuuming, here are a few tips and tricks for how to vacuum the right way and make the most of your valuable time.

Are There Really Skills & Techniques for Better Vacuuming?

A person is holding a vacuum and she is cleaning the carpet with lots of confetti on it

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

You probably wouldn’t go out on a limb and say you need to have high-level skills for vacuuming. Maybe you view it as just something you must do once in a while to help keep your home clean. Now, with that said, there are techniques you should take advantage of to boost the overall level of cleanliness in the house. When taking a moment to consider seriously how to vacuum, you’ll find it’s not just about running the machine over the floor. It’s also about understanding how to get the most out of your vacuum and following a series of sensible steps.

All of this becomes that much more important if you have children and pets in your home. Your active children will track in dirt naturally, and many pets will shed a bit or scratch off dander that ends up buried in your carpeting. As you go through our guidelines and tips, we hope that you discover a few new techniques for cleaning your carpet properly and thoroughly. Some of these techniques may take you a few extra minutes a day, but if it means you can live in a cleaner house while reducing the volume of allergens floating around in the air. Following these basic suggestions can make a real difference!

Why Is Thorough, Deep Cleaning Important?

When considering how to vacuum, you may already know this: the better you vacuum, the more dirt you are going to pull from the carpet. You’ll also remove more pet hair and other debris. However, beyond all of this, what else is so important with cleaning the carpet and vacuuming the right way? Here are just a few specific reasons a thorough, deep cleaning, is important.

Removing Allergens

Over time, allergens will cling to the fiber of your carpet. Yes, this can come in the form of pet hair and skin flakes. Pollen from outdoors will make its way into your house by sticking to your shoes or by simply blowing in when the door is open. Beyond all of this though, dust will form within the fibers of the carpet. So the longer you go without a deep cleaning, the more risk you have that harmful dust will accumulate in your carpet, rugs, and corners of your home.

Having these kinds of allergens present in the floor of your house will reduce the air quality inside to an alarming degree. It’s amazing what a deep clean can do for the overall atmosphere in your home. By removing more of the allergens from the house you will wake up feeling better, perhaps you won’t be as congested, and you may even avoid illnesses and lessen the impact of seasonal allergy issues on you, your loved ones, and your guests.

Proper Vacuuming Extends the Life of Carpet

This might be something you don’t initially consider, but by taking care of the carpet and cleaning it often, you will extend the life of the carpet. Dust mites eat away at the fibers, and over time, this makes it brittle. A brittle carpet will begin to break apart, and before you know it, you’ll be forced to replace the carpet. This is an expensive process that you may have to repeat every few years if a healthy home is important to you. However, if you simply deep-clean the carpet and take care of it in a basic fashion, you may save hundreds or even thousands of dollars every few years.

Cleaner Carpet Simply Smells Better

You can almost always tell someone has a pet when you walk into their house. Why? This is because pet hair and dander linger stubbornly in carpet, rugs, and corners. It doesn’t matter how often someone gives the pet a bath or how often they brush the pet, there is an odor that clings inside the house. If you have a carpet, it sticks that much more. Knowing how to vacuum properly can change the game, enabling you to remove pet odor to an extent you might have previously thought required professional attention and effort.

However, this isn’t something you can achieve just by vacuuming carpet once in a great while. This is something you need to do on a consistent basis. The more often you do it, the more debris and odor you can pull out of the carpet. As you go through our tips on how to vacuum, keep in mind that you should follow as many of them, in concert, as often as you can.

​How to Vacuum the Right Way: Tips That Lead to Great Results

In order to help you understand how to vacuum the right way, we’ve collected and will present a few tips that you should keep in mind. Using these techniques will help improve the way you vacuum, which will improve the overall quality of your home environment.

Know Your Attachments

Your vacuum probably came with several attachments. But how often do you use them? You may not even know what some of them are. First, there is the crevice tool. This might be one of the few attachments you use regularly, but if not, recognize that it’s a critical one. It is a thin, long attachment that allows you to reach those narrow, hard-to-get-to areas.

Also, there may be a radiator brush, which is incredibly useful if you have any radiators in the house. It also works well for cleaning vents. The upholstery nozzle is excellent not only for going over furniture but also curtains and drapes. These fabrics collect dust and dirt just as much as your carpeting. So, if you’re not washing the drapes (many can be put in a gentle cycle of your washing machine), you certainly must vacuum them.

Finally, your dusting brush looks like a wider duster, and your machine may also have come equipped with an all-purpose brush that is designed for cleaning shelves and stairways.

Use the Optimum Settings

When you vacuum, do you move the vacuum from one area to the next without adjusting the setting? Perhaps you go over different area rugs or even move from the carpet to the floor. When learning how to vacuum, you need to focus on adjusting your vacuum to the correct settings.

If you vacuum over wool, a wool blend, soft carpeting, or a tall fiber, you will want to set the vacuum to its topmost height setting. This will help clean the carpet more thoroughly and improve airflow without the risk of your vacuum clinging to carpet or “hanging up” noisily.

If you have a thinner, low profile carpet (which is common in commercial properties), you will want the vacuum to be set at the low setting. This typically the setting directly above the one intended for bare floors.

Go Both Ways

One of the biggest mistakes you’re likely making when you vacuum is just going over the floor once. Yes, this leaves those nice vacuum track marks, but it isn’t cleaning to the extent it should. Instead, go back and forth slowly over the carpet and then, when you’re done, go the opposite way. Like that dedicated, lawn obsessed neighbor who mows his line going vertically, and then switches and goes again horizontally, you will be thorough. As with a mower, your vacuum will pull up what you missed on the previous path if you give it a second pass.

The All-Important Top-Down Approach

Clean the blinds, the top of furniture, and ceiling fans first. Save vacuuming floors and carpeting for last. This way you pick up the dust and other debris you knocked off.

​How Often Should You Vacuum?

When it comes to how to vacuum, you need to know how often you should vacuum. If you have pets and children and want to be truly diligent, you should vacuum all carpeted areas once a day. For medium- and low-traffic areas, you should vacuum twice a week. Make sure to vacuum the corners and edges of rooms once a week at a minimum.

​Take Proper Care of Your Vacuum

Here’s something you need to make sure and do when it comes to how to vacuum. It isn’t just about frequency or technique, but also about how you take care of the cleaning appliance itself. A dirty vacuum isn’t going to perform well, and it will leave you with inferior results now matter how frequently you use it.

First, make sure you empty the vacuum before it is full. If you don’t, dirt and hair will start to back up, which can cause problems with the internal mechanisms of the vacuum. You should also check the roller on the underside of the vacuum. If you have pets, these areas will collect hair, which can cling to the roller brushes (and reduce the quality of the clean). You’ll want to clear free hair as it collects, rather than waiting until your vacuum does not work properly anymore.

Avoid vacuuming over areas without moving wires or cables. You also should be mindful of fabric from drapes or pull-cords from blinds. If a vacuum pulls in such an item, it not only can damage a valuable item, but it may damage the motor of the vacuum as well.

You need to clean out the vacuum completely from time to time. Don’t just clear out the hair that clings to the roller brush, but instead, completely remove any dirt that is stuck inside hoses and everywhere else inside the vacuum. This will not only improve the overall level of cleaning performance, but it will also improve the smell it gives off. If, when you vacuum, you notice an odor reminiscent of a dusty carpet or a dog that needs a bath, this is because your machine is pulling in the aroma and pushing it out through the opposite end of the vacuum. Keeping your vacuum cleaner, inside and out, will help immensely with this issue.


vacuum on carpet

Photo via pxhere

While there is no absolute right or wrong prescription for how to vacuum and how often (other than not doing it at all), there are tips that will help you improve the overall quality of your vacuuming and the time you spend doing it. After all, if you’re going to put the time and energy into vacuuming, you might as well do it right. By following these tips and tricks on how to vacuum you’ll extend the life of your vacuum while also reducing the amount of dirt, pet dander, and hair on the floors of your house. It doesn’t take much, but by taking advantage of these suggestions you’ll have a cleaner home in no time!

Featured Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay