How to Vacuum
Dust bunnies sound cute, but they are made up of some icky stuff. Besides the dirt tracked in off your shoes, dust bunnies contain the corpses and feces of dust mites, body parts of insects such as cockroaches, beetles, ants and spiders, human and animal hair and skin cells, nicotine and tobacco smoke (if you have a smoker in the house), and bacteria, viruses and fungi. Dust bunnies can cause problems for sensitive individuals.
Regular sweeping, dusting and vacuuming can not only improve symptoms for those with allergies but are also important for prolonging the lives of all types of floors, carpets, and furniture. Dare I say it: daily vacuuming is recommended for keeping floors and carpets in tip-top shape. Even I heard the collective, “Yeah, right!” as I typed that sentence. So, if you can’t vacuum daily, a complete vacuuming once a week is good, with an additional vacuuming just hitting the high spots. Sweeping and dust mopping are less effective than vacuuming, so avoid them unless vacuuming is not an option. You know your schedule and your house best, however, so do what you can do.
If the best advice for floors is to vacuum as often as possible, the best option is to learn how to do it efficiently and effectively, so you can get it done quickly with the best results. Most vacuums come with two tools for vacuuming floors – the floor attachment for vacuuming bare, hard surface floors and antique or oriental rugs, and the powerhead with a beater bar for use on all other rugs and carpets. Powerheads are designed to separate the fibers of the carpet’s pile as it rotates so the airflow can reach in and pull out dust and dirt. It beats the pile, so the dirt is loosened and can be sucked up. The higher the pile, the more power you need to move the carpet fibers apart and beat loose the dirt. Powerheads with beater brushes are excellent for removing pet hair.
On hard surface floors, repeated strokes back and forth in a zig-zag pattern with the floor attachment will ensure you have removed most of the dust and dirt on the floor.
On hard surface floors, repeated strokes back and forth in a zig-zag pattern with the floor attachment will ensure you have removed most of the dust and dirt on the floor. Vacuum wood floors in the same manner except with the grain of the wood. On carpets, use slow, deliberate, overlapping strokes also in a zig-zag pattern, but do not press down as you run your vacuum, as this will impede airflow. Approach the fringes on carpets from the inside of the carpet out; reduce vacuum suction to avoid damaging the fringes (the vacuum handle usually contains the suction control). Turn off the beater bar if that is an option.
All other things being equal, the denser or harder the material you are vacuuming, the stronger the suction of your vacuum cleaner should be. Hard floors require the highest suction. Oriental carpets, with their dense piles and stiff backings, require the second highest suction. The third highest suction setting is required for wall-to-wall carpeting, and heirloom or antique rugs require the gentlest suction. High suction can bury the vacuum tool in the carpeting – like what happens when you vacuum drapes and the cloth is pulled into the vacuum, cutting off the airflow. This same advice goes for vacuuming upholstery – do not use downward pressure on the fabric of upholstery as it will block airflow and inhibit suctioning of dust and debris. Using the wrong suction setting on your floors and upholstery results in a failure to clean your floors thoroughly and causes undue stress on the motor and belts of the vacuum cleaner. Since this can’t happen on hard surface floors, use the highest suction setting and let the suction pull dust from grooves, indents and seams of the floor.
Poorly designed vacuum cleaners will spew and leak dust out of gaskets, joints, and bags. Even vacuum motors create dust when running, and the purpose of those additional filters around the vacuum motor is to catch this dust. If you detect a strong odor when you turn on your vacuum that is not relieved by changing the bag and cleaning the filters, it may be time to get a new vacuum, as this may mean the dust created by the motor is being recirculated in your vacuum.
About Castle Keepers House Cleaning
Castle Keepers House Cleaning has been at the forefront of innovation and leadership among house cleaning professionals for years. The company pioneered environmentally friendly and sustainable cleaning methods in residential cleaning. Castle Keepers is independently owned, not a franchise, with branches in Atlanta, GA, Charleston,, SC, Greenville, SC, Portland, OR, and Dayton, OH. To find out more about us, click here.