I must admit that I was surprised as anyone to learn that vacuuming a room requires more than just pushing the machine back and forth a couple of times over the floor and sneaking it under the furniture for a second or two. There’s a way to vacuum that results in maximum cleanliness and minimum work. Here they are:
Dust from top to bottom. Whether using a feather duster or a lambswool duster, knock the dust to the floor by tapping the duster against your heel. Much of the rest of the dust will simply settle on the floor to be picked up by the vacuum cleaner.
Move the Furniture Out of the Way
While it seems easier to just angle the floor attachment under that chair or table, it’s best to move the furniture out of the path of the vacuum to do a more thorough job of getting up the dust and dirt beneath and around it. Moving the furniture also keeps the vacuum cleaner from bumping into it and damaging it.
Vacuum Inside Out
Start in a far corner of the room, and vacuum your way to the door.
Make Several Passes
As I came to learn, you need to make several passes to get carpeting really clean. The number of passes depends on the area. You should make as many as a dozen passes by the front door, a few less in areas that get lots of traffic and about four passes in places where the traffic is low. Overlap passes and make sure they are long and slow. As you work, pick up any debris that’s in the path that might damage the machine, such as fallen houseplant leaves.
Don’t Let the Bag Fill Up
Professionals empty or replace vacuum bags when they’re about half to three quarters full. A bag that’s too full prevents the machine from working optimally.
Fun Tip: For a quick room freshener (and a little aromatherapy),suck up a cotton ball with a few drops of your favorite essential oil as you begin to vacuum.
How to Vacuum Curtains and Upholstery
Vacuum curtains with the upholstery tool. If possible, lower the strength of the suction so the fabric doesn’t get sucked in, and work from top to bottom. Vacuum every month.
Vacuuming fabric is best done with the upholstery and the crevice tools. The first tool is good for broad areas, while the crevice tool can be used to get into cracks and tight spaces like those found on mattresses. If the fabric is delicate, reduce the suction. Furniture upholstered in leather should be vacuumed with the dust-brush tool. Vacuum every week.
Use the Beater Bar on Wall to Wall Carpets
Though wall-to-wall rugs and those with tough pile can be vacuumed with the beater bar running, other types of rugs should be cleaned with the vacuum on floor setting. These include those woven of grasses, fringe, silk rugs and carpeting with a heavy loop pile made of wool or wool blended with other fibers.