How to Vacuum a Room

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How to Vacuum a Room

Regular vacuuming makes your home look lovely, extends the life of flooring materials, and can help mitigate allergens in your house as well as improving the air quality inside your home. Vacuuming may not be your favorite task, but why not make it as efficient, thorough, and painless as possible?

Frequency and timing come into play here. For instance, if you have an allergy sufferer in your family you may find cleaning the bedrooms early in the day will allow plenty of time for any allergens stirred up in the process to settle before bedtime.

Although it varies by household, a good vacuuming once a week with a high quality vacuum will usually do the trick. High traffic areas or areas used by pets may need a daily vacuuming, while some medium traffic areas may need to be done twice a week.

Start off by checking your vacuum (we can help get you started off on the right foot by servicing your machine). Be sure the bag isn’t over filled. A vacuum bag should be replaced when it is 33% – 50% full. No, this isn’t a trick propagated by the manufacturers to get you to buy more bags! A bag over 50% full can cause your machine to lose 80% of its cleaning efficiency. The bag is not only a receptacle for the dirt you pick up, but it is also a filter. Air must flow through the walls of the bag freely for the vacuum to function properly and a bag packed full of dirt prevents this. You don’t want to do all that work and leave a bunch of dirt behind, do you?

Dust BagAlso check the filters on your machine. If they are damaged or dirty, replace them. You will also want to check that the beater bar (roller) is adjusted properly for your carpet. Check the owner’s manual to see how this adjustment is made on your machine (some machines do this automatically). Set the brushes so they just skim the tips of the carpet fibers. The brush’s job is to gently vibrate the carpet yarns to loosen dirt and make it available for the suction in the vacuum to whisk it away. The air flow across the carpet surface is what actually does the cleaning. Many people make the mistake of setting the brush roll too low, thinking “I’m going to clean the living daylights out of this carpet.” But, just the opposite occurs. The too-low setting causes you to work harder and the vacuum will be far less effective because the air flow is actually cut off due to the incorrect height setting.

Remove any hair or threads that may be wrapped around your brush roll. The seam ripper from your sewing room makes short order of this task. Just cut the threads by running the seam ripper across the surface of the brush roll and then pull off the pieces of hair and thread.

Check out the belt on your machine, as well. Most of us don’t think about this until the belt breaks, but by the time that happens the belt has become stretched and weakened. Once the belt gets stretched the efficiency of your machine drops, so don’t wait until it breaks to change this inexpensive item. We recommend changing your vacuum belts quarterly.

Inspect the floor and pick up any coins, paper clips, or other small objects that could get sucked up by your vacuum. String, thread, and paper should also be picked up. These little objects can clog hoses and seriously damage your vacuum cleaner.

Crevice ToolBegin your cleaning from the top down, using the appropriate tools on your vacuum, dusting the ceiling fan, blinds, and furniture first. Then attach the crevice tool to hit the sliding door and window tracks. Doing these things first will let you vacuum away any fallen dust when you do the floor. Run around the edge of the carpet with the crevice tool, as well. This will prevent that dark line that forms near the baseboard. This makes a huge difference in the longevity of your carpet, and only takes a few minutes each week.

Flat Floor ToolTo save your back, vacuum under heavy furniture using a flat attachment and/or the crevice tool. Hunt down and exterminate all those dust bunnies!


I’m going to clean the living daylights out of this carpet.

Now you’re ready to begin vacuuming the actual carpet. Start on the side of the room opposite the door so when finished you’ll have those coveted vacuum lines in your carpet. Take special care to pull the vacuum back toward you slowly to allow the brush roll to do its job properly. This will make sure your machine captures all the dust mites, dander, and other funky stuff caught in your carpet. Overlap each pass by about 50%; no vacuum has suction all the way to the sides, so this makes sure you clean every single spot.

Ideally, you should vacuum the room in both horizontal and vertical directions. But, who has time for that? You will get nearly the same results if you vacuum one direction one week and the other direction the next time.

Now, step back and admire your work!