Everyone loves a clean house, but actually making it happen can sometimes feel like more trouble than it’s worth. Vacuuming is one such household chore – you may be hesitant to begin, but by the time it’s done you thank yourself for having pushed through. That said, what if you’ve been vacuuming the wrong way all this time? Or, more to the point, if you weren’t using your vacuum cleaner as effectively as you could? We have some simple tips to help you perfect the art form – yes, really – of vacuuming, and make keeping your home tidy that little bit easier.
Keep Shoes Out
When guests come over, let them know they need to take off their shoes before they step onto the carpet or hardwood floor. Having a “no shoes” policy indoors will go a long way towards preventing dirt from getting brought into the home (and tracked all over), not to mention make the task of vacuuming the aftermath rather more straightforward.
You could also consider having separate indoor and outdoor shoes (particularly useful for a family with kids), as well as keeping a doormat outside the entrance to the home so that residents and visitors alike have somewhere to wipe their shoes.
Change the Bag
Although it may sound somewhat obvious, you should be changing your vacuum’s bag or canister on a regular basis. Indeed, given that after several uses, the bag will clog up, impact its airflow and force the motor to work harder, reusing the same bag can reduce your vacuuming efficiency by as much as 50 percent.
You may also be accustomed to a slightly musty smell emanating from the vacuum during each use – often a result of old food, pet hair and everything in between having been kept within it over time. In addition to changing the bag, it’s always a good idea to look for and remove any such blockages, while you can also improve its scent by placing a tumble dryer sheet, orange peel or a cotton wool ball infused with essential oil into the bag or canister.
Use the Different Attachments
While the main roller attachment of your vacuum is useful for carpets and flat surfaces, getting into the corners of each room is usually a different story. For those, the crevice tool is your best friend, as its skinny, angled frame reaches into those tight spots, helping keep the edges of both carpeted and hard floors free of soil build-up. It’s also handy between sofa cushions, for picking up lint or excess powder in your washing machine, or even cleaning your car!
Other helpful attachments worth taking advantage of include the dusting brush – its long, soft bristles being particularly effective when it comes to cleaning things like blinds, windowsills and bookcases; the wide upholstery tool – great for capturing dust from furniture; and the extension wand – giving you added reach as well as helping you grab dust from high ceilings or behind appliances.
Try adjusting the height of the vacuum-based on what surface you’re cleaning – for example, vacuuming your hardwood floor with a vacuum that’s not adjusted for low-pile surfaces will scratch and damage the surface, while using an attachment designed for high pile carpets on bare floors can leave behind dirt and debris.
Or, you could skip doing the work and go for a robot mop instead.
Taking Care of Pet Hair
When it comes to pet hair, Dyson vacuum cleaners – which come equipped with powerful suction and a motorized brush – allow you to remove pet hair that is deeply embedded in furniture without creating any swirls or scratches on your upholstery.
To groom your pet’s fur with your vacuum cleaner, just take off the attachment and use it as an air-powered pet grooming brush. You can vacuum your pet’s fur directly into the vacuum cleaner, or use it to blow away loosened hair.
For any lingering pet smells, try sprinkling some baking soda over the affected area before vacuuming over it, and to help prevent future odours, place a throw or blanket over your pet’s favourite sofa.
Ease the Pains of Stains
Spillages can be particularly tricky to manage, and require immediate attention if you want to avoid them turning into a long-term stain.
Before breaking out your Dyson, it’s a good idea to pre-treat a new carpet stain as soon as you notice it, treating it with a spot cleaner before going over it with a vacuum.
Otherwise, steam cleaning is a solid alternative, helping break down the stain, minimising the risk of prolonged damage and keeping the carpet fresh.
Keep a Vacuuming Schedule
Last but not least, consider creating a schedule for your vacuuming. Even though everyone’s cleaning needs will be different (depending on your home and lifestyle), having a vacuuming routine and sticking to it will go a long way to keeping your home tidy – not to mention keeping it free of pests.
For many people, you can get by vacuuming every week or two, whereas those with kids or pets (and the trail of crumbs and hair they leave in their wake) will likely need to vacuum on a slightly more regular basis.