Properly Using a Vacuum Cleaner

by Bonnie Roberts
(last updated April 15, 2013)

Without vacuum cleaners, we wouldn't have carpeting on our floors, except for a few rugs that we'd have to take outdoors and beat. The vacuum cleaner is a wonderful invention, especially today's lightweight and inexpensive models. Although using a vacuum cleaner seems straightforward, this article will provide you with some basic tips that will make your cleaning more efficient and effective. You'll need an upright machine with a hose and nozzle attachments.

  1. Prepare the room by removing items from the carpet, including small objects like coins or twine that could damage the vacuum. Roll up rugs and stash them out of the way.
  2. Check the dust bag or bin on the vacuum and empty it if necessary. When in doubt, clean it out. The vacuum is much more efficient when this depository is clean.
  3. Adjust your vacuum's height to be appropriate for your carpet. If it's set too high, it won't clean as well, and if it's too low, the air flow is limited and the vacuum will be harder to move.
  4. Unspool the cord, plug the machine in, and turn it on. I usually hold the spool of cord in one hand and release a little slack whenever I need it. This helps keeps the cord out of the way.
  5. Slowly push the vacuum forward and backward several times over one strip of carpet. If it's a low-traffic area, go over it twice. If it's a high-traffic area, go over it 4-6 times. The deep-down dirt and grime won't be lifted by a once-over. It sounds like a lot of work, but it's how to get your carpet really clean. If all this pushing and pulling is exhausting, consider purchasing a self-propelled machine.
  6. Angle the machine slightly and move to an adjacent strip of carpet. Repeat step 5. Continue in this manner until all the carpet in the room has been cleaned.
  7. Run the vacuum right underneath tables and chairs, if possible. If it won't fit, you'll have to move the furniture to vacuum the area.
  8. Attach a cleaning nozzle to your vacuum's hose and use it to clean the corners and edges of the carpet, which tend to collect dust which regular vacuuming cannot pick up. Also use these attachments to clean your furniture and carpeted stairs, starting at the top and working down.
  9. Unroll your rugs and vacuum them, adjusting vacuum cleaner height if necessary.
  10. Return the items you moved to their proper homes. Recoil the vacuum cord and store the machine away for the next use.

Author Bio

Bonnie Roberts

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