vacuums: everything you need to knowMost people know that vacuuming is an important step in keeping your carpets and your home clean and healthy. However, there is a lot of options for many vacuum cleaners. Do you you know what each setting and and each attachment for your vacuum does? If not, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve put together this handy ultimate guide to your vacuum cleaner.

How Often Should I Vacuum?

At the very least, you should vacuum your carpets weekly to stay on top of dirt and other allergens and contaminants. But if you want a very clean and healthy home, you should vacuum the high-traffic areas of your home every day and the medium-traffic areas twice a week. Frequency is one of the most important aspects of proper vacuuming. Not vacuuming frequently enough is one of the worst things you can do for your carpets because dirt will accumulate and become much more difficult to remove.

How Should I Vacuum?

In order to get the most out of your vacuuming, you should use a top-down method when cleaning your home. First dust the blinds, furniture, and other surfaces, which will push some dust/dirt to the floor. Wipe down any flat surfaces like tables, which may also cause crumbs to land on the floor. Finally, vacuum the floors. When vacuuming, push and pull the vacuum, back and forth, in a slow, overlapping pattern, moving to the side approximately every four strokes. Spend more time vacuuming hard-to-reach areas like corners and edges next to baseboards.

What Does that Attachment Do?

vacuum cleaner radiator brushRadiator Brush – This bristled brush is ideal for vacuuming radiators and vents.

vacuum cleaner crevice toolCrevice Tool – This thin, long attachment is great for narrow areas and hard-to-reach corners and crevices.

vacuum cleaner upholstery attachmentUpholstery Nozzle – Like the name suggests, this tool is excellent for vacuuming upholstered furniture, drapes, and mattresses.

vacuum cleaner all purpose brushAll-Purpose Brush – This all-purpose brush is great for cleaning shelves and flat surfaces.

vacuum cleaner dusting brushDusting Brush – This gentle brush comes in handy for vacuuming more fragile surfaces.

What Setting Should I Use?

Most vacuums have a knob close to the front of the base that will adjust pile height (AKA height of the surface you are vacuuming), or another method to do the same thing. With this setting you can make sure that your vacuum makes contact with the carpet but still allows for the proper amount of airflow. The question is, when do you use each setting?

Low Pile Setting: For flat, commercial carpeting. The vacuum will have good floor contact as well as airflow for suction.

High Pile Setting: For wool or wool blend, high pile, or soft carpeting. This setting will essentially skim the top of the carpet, allowing enough airflow for effective suction.

Bare Floor Setting: For hardwood or other floors without carpet. If you set the pile height too low, you can scratch your floors with the powered brush. If your vacuum doesn’t have this setting, don’t use it on the bare floors!

Final Tips on Making Your Vacuum Last Longer

  • Clean out all the hair, dust, etc. from the brushes. If the brushes are old and worn out, replace them. You want your vacuum to clean up dirt, not spread it around.
  • Keep the vacuum’s instructions and use them when needed. If you’re ever unsure of something, consult the manual! don’t risk breaking your vacuum without consulting the instructions.
  • Occasionally check the bottom of the vacuum for bent metal or rough edges that might snag the carpet. Do this more frequently if you have delicate carpet or rugs.
  • Move the vacuum by the handle, not the hose. Vacuums can be damaged when gripped by the hose. On the same note, always unplug your vacuum by using the base of the plug, not by pulling on the cord.
  • As soon as your vacuum bag gets about ½ to ⅔ full, empty or replace it. If you let it get too full, you risk the contents exploding everyone when you finally do remove the bag. To be safe, open the vacuum outside or over a garbage can.
  • Check the hose and attachments for clogs occasionally. If you do find a clog, remove it before you vacuum.

Vacuuming like a pro will preserve your carpets longer but all carpets will gather dirt, stains, and bacteria. When it comes time for a semi-annual carpet cleaning, look to Chem-Dry Windy City! Our professional carpet cleaning helps eliminate bacteria and allergens from your home, keeping you and your family healthy and happy! It’s the perfect compliment to regular vacuuming.

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