Vacuuming is a simple way to keep our homes free of dirt. The problem is, although we all know the basics, most units today are only used for basic cleaning when they can do so much more.
The first step is to buy the right vacuum cleaner with the right tools. Crevices, upholstery, ceiling fans, mattresses and pet grooming tools, plus dusting and turbo brushes and extension wands, are where the real fun begins.
What to choose ?
The very popular upright models are well suited to larger homes with carpeted or hardwood floors. The beater brush loosens dirt so it can be removed with powerful suction. They usually come with handy attachments to extend their versatility, with optional attachments available.
Pet vacuums, another type of upright vacuum, feature an easily detachable beater bar for convenient cleaning of accumulated pet hair. They also usually include accessories for upholstered furniture.
Canister vacuums are some of the most powerful on the market and come with a wide variety of tools that turn them into multiple machines in one. They are lighter and easier to use than upright models because the heavy canister is on wheels and dragged behind you, but they are bulky to store. They are an excellent choice for homes with hard floors and small to medium carpeted areas.
When it comes to immediately cleaning up spills when you don’t want to drag the big machine around, cordless handheld vacuums are the rule.
Sweepers or upright vacuums occupy a middle ground between upright and handheld devices, making them a quick cleaning choice for hardwood floors.
Robot vacuums provide consistent, if not precise or powerful, cleaning action between weekly vacuums.
The 5 rules of success
Vacuum pros know how to do it often, take their time, change it, set the machine to the right height and clean the vacuum.
Most people put off vacuuming, but the longer you go between cleanings, the harder it will be when you deal with it. Don’t wait until your floors are visibly dirty; commit to vacuuming once a week or more often in high traffic areas.
Resist the temptation to rush; by moving the vacuum slowly, you allow time for larger particles and deeper dirt to be removed from the carpet or floor. Do each stitch twice to grab dirt that was loosened but missed the first time.
Change direction as you work to get grain that may be stuck at a particular angle. It also fluffs the rug nicely to keep it looking its best.
Make sure you’re vacuuming at the correct height for hardwood floors and carpets. If in doubt, check the owner’s manual for recommended settings. If your surfaces vary widely, you might want to invest in a model that automatically adjusts the height.
Clean the collection compartment before each use. Most machines work best up to half full; going beyond this point reduces the suction. Replace vacuum bags when they are about two-thirds full. Check that the pipes are not clogged, damaged or have holes.
Periodically clean the entire machine, starting with the filter. A clogged filter will not only put a strain on the engine, but can also cause allergens to disperse into the air. This is also the time to check the machine’s beater brushes and remove long hairs, threads, pet hair, and other buildup. If it’s hard to remove, use a seam ripper to patiently cut through the mess.
Remove objects that are in your way before starting a room. This eliminates the need to stop and pick up objects or move them around, and prevents small objects from being sucked in and damaging the machine.
Dust before vacuuming. This way, any dust that falls on the floor will be sucked up. Yes, the vacuum agitates dust, so keep a cloth handy to remove any new dust, which should be minimal, once you’re done.
Although you don’t need to clean under heavy furniture every time, establish a regular schedule to treat these areas, as accumulated dust can make allergies worse.
The sweetness of the hearth
For a fresher smelling home, place lemon or orange peel, without any trace of pulp and pith, in the vacuum’s collection area. Alternatively, you can use cotton balls with a few drops of essential oil.
You have animals ? Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then vacuum. You can also sprinkle baking soda on your upholstery, work it in with a damp sponge, let it sit for an hour, then vacuum using the upholstery tool to reveal shinier, cleaner cushions. (thanks to the abrasive nature of baking soda) and deodorized. and pillows.
The upholstery cleaning attachment also works on hard-to-clean blinds, while a ceiling fan attachment makes quick work of the blades. Bring the crevice tool into the kitchen to clean refrigerator coils and condenser, crumbs from a toaster, and tight areas between cabinets and appliances.
For areas too narrow for even the crevice tool to reach, glue a paper towel roll to the end of the hose and bend the tip into the desired shape. Meanwhile, a soft brush takes care of curtains, lampshades, window screens, and just about anything that will last long enough.
You’ve cleaned the carpets, kicked up the dust, and freshened up the house, but aren’t putting away that wonderful device just yet.
Sherlock vacuum cleaner
Have you dropped a small object that you cannot find? Instead of getting on all fours, put a stocking on the crevice tool. The vacuum can now suck up the missing piece at the bottom for easy retrieval.
While some dogs and cats go crazy at the sound of the vacuum cleaner, many others enjoy having their fur cleaned. The bonus is that you’ll be removing their loose fur directly, resulting in a cleaner home.
An air mattress is wonderful when company comes to stay; that is, until it is time to expel all the air so it can be put away. Place the suction nozzle into the mattress air nozzle and let it do the work for you.