How to vacuum like a pro

Living a good life is about balancing dream chasing and unsung labors. These labors include cooking, looking after your kids, and of course, vacuuming. Floor care is a drag, there’s no doubt about it. However, if you’re not doing it right, then what should be a weekly chore becomes an insurmountable obstacle towards getting a clean house.

These are the most common vacuuming mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Try dusting beforehand

Dusting
If you don’t dust before your vacuum, your floors may become dirty again.

Have you ever vacuumed the floor only to have it become filthy the next day? This often happens when you don’t dust before you vacuum, and grime on window sills and furniture drift down to dirty your floors again.

2. Don’t ignore the attachments

Attachments

Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

Ignoring the attachments is like disregarding half of what your vacuum can do.

If you’re not using any of the attachments, you’re not getting the full value out of your vacuum. For example, your couch requires the crevice tool to get in between the cushions and the upholstery tool for the rest of it. No idea what those are? We do! Read our guide on how to use all of your vacuum’s attachments.

3. Adjust the height

Height Adjustments

Credit: Reviewed / Kori Perten

Using the right height means using your vacuum to its fullest potential.

Did you know your vacuum has height adjustments? If you roll your vacuum across a carpet and feel no resistance, then your heigh adjustment is probably off. Consult the manual for best practices. However, my rule of thumb is to start low and go higher until there is moderate resistance pulling back.

4. Empty the bag

Bag

Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

You should empty the bag by the time it’s half full.

If you smell an odor coming from your vacuum, it’s time to empty the bag or dust bin. Those of you using a bagged vacuum should empty them when they’re about half full.

5. Vacuum in multiple directions, not just back and forth

Angles

Credit: Shark

You should vacuum your carpets from at least two directions.

Carpet is made up of a mass of looped fibers. Vacuuming from only one direction will result in only half of the fibers getting clean. Based on our extensive testing, we find that most vacuums need at least three passes to get a surface clean.

6. Different vacuums for different needs

Handheld

Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

You need more than just your full-sized vacuum.

Yes, your full-sized vacuum has plenty of attachments but it’s not optimum for every situation. For cleaning your car or very tight spaces, we’d recommend a handheld unit. We’ve tested well over 100 vacuums in our labs and we’re sure you can find a model that fits your budget and style.

Read more: The Best Canister Vacuums

Read more: The Best Cordless Stick Vacuums

Read more: The Best Robot Vacuums

7. Replace the filter

Filter

Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

You should replace the filter every six months.

A HEPA or washable filter is a nice feature to have. However, once the filter gets clogged, it starts to work against you. You should replace your filter once every six months. If your vacuum is overly noisy, spewing dirt, or not picking anything up, that’s a sign that the filter needs to be replaced.

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