5 Mistakes not to make when you want to vacuum properly

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Are you sure you’re vacuuming correctly?

What if we told you that most people either don’t know or don’t use proper vacuuming techniques? Sure, you might shrug it off thinking "what's the big deal, it’s just vacuuming, not rocket science!" But contrary to what you might think, vacuuming isn’t just about moving your machine back and forth though. If despite your efforts your home is continuously dusty, then chances are you are not vacuuming properly.

The after effects of not using proper vacuuming techniques

Aside from the obvious, here are some signs you’re not vacuuming properly or the right way:

  • Dark lines might start to appear on the base of your walls where your carpet ends due to an accumulation of dust.
  • A dusty feeling when you go barefooted at home.
  • Indoor allergies that flare up easily and can’t seem to go away.
  • Discolouration and musty carpet smells.

Proper vacuuming techniques - Top 5 mistakes

1. Not vacuuming in all directions

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When you only vacuum in one direction, you are more likely to miss out on all the dirt and dust that are hiding between your carpet fibres. This is a total magnet for dust mites and allergies.

The good thing is that most vacuums are equipped with a rotating brush, known as a beater bar. This rotating brush is designed to agitate the carpet fibres to help loosen up all the dirt that’s trapped deep in the pile.

Proper vacuuming techniques require you to vacuum in all directions— going back forth a couple of times— to ensure you get every last speck of dust out of your carpet. However, you do need to be careful when vacuuming looped style carpets. Going back and forth over them with a rotating brush might damage or cause them to get all fuzzy over time.

2. Letting your vacuum bag fill up completely

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For those of you with vacuum cleaners that use bags, you need to know that the bag actually works best when it is half full. Any more than that would affect your vacuum cleaner’s efficiency.

It is recommended that you empty them once they hit halfway full. Now, to many of us, that might seem very wasteful to throw them out when it is only half full. They are not cheap by the way, and you’re not encouraged to reuse your vacuum bags. However, if you choose to use them until they bursting full, this can cut your vacuum cleaner’s efficiency by up to 50 %!

Don’t forget that you really do need strong suction power for your carpets and floors to be clean.

3. Vacuuming too quickly

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While we understand this is probably one of the chores people hate the most especially when you need to do the unpacking, then lugging them around, plugging and unplugging when switching rooms. Despite some models being really noisy and bulky, you really do need to take your time and not rush through it.

Proper vacuuming techniques involve you moving your machine slowly and allow it to suck up more dirt and dust. Ultimately, you want your rugs, carpets and floors to be much cleaner. A cleaner floor also makes it easier for you to mop later (link to how to mop). Slow vacuuming will also allow the rotating brush to agitate the carpet more thoroughly and expose all the yucky bits.

4. Not using the attachment tools

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Bear in mind that when you only depend on the flat floor brush nozzle to do all the vacuuming, you will not be able to get to all the dust that has settled into the corners as well as other nooks and crannies.

At least twice a month, use the other vacuum attachment tools to get to all the edges of the room, between furniture as well as tight and hard to reach spaces. The dust is not going to anywhere until you clean it. If left over the years, the dust will only accumulate and make it so much harder to clean especially the edges of your carpet.

5. Not picking up bigger debris and other items on the floor

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Among all the proper vacuuming techniques listed above, this is the most crucial step. Even before you start vacuuming, you need to walk around and give your floor a once-over. Look out for small objects or rubbish on the carpet/floor that is too big to be vacuumed up.

You would be surprised by the amount of stuff that can be found scattered all over the place. Small toy pieces, coins, paper clips, you name it. Be sure to pick up all these items so that they do not get caught in the vacuum, which may impair suction, or causing damage to your vacuum.

Don’t put off vacuuming for too long

Don't wait for the dust to accumulate before you start cleaning. Dirt can pile up where you cannot see and cause all sorts of allergies to flare. You might think it is unnecessary but setting a regular vacuuming schedule would greatly reduce the chance of this happening.

Set a regular vacuuming schedule and stick to it—even if you don't think it's necessary. Being stuck at home with runny eyes, nose and hives is no fun either.

Vacuuming is an integral part of housekeeping that should be prioritised. If you think it's a hassle, you'll make it so much easier if you know the basics!

Read also: 5 tips on how to mop the floor