You turn it on and run it across your carpet and the job’s done, right?
Nope. Your floors are really, really dirty and using a vacuum cleaner properly is essential to keeping them as clean, and healthy, as possible.
You don’t have to go to school for it. There are actually schools for it, though. Yeah – I didn’t know that either. When they said education budgets were being cut I didn’t know they meant cut-a-rug! Ok, let me get my feet back on the floor…
All bad jokes aside, you need to take the vacuum cleaning process seriously to assure the best results. It’s not hard, but it’s important to do it right nonetheless.
“One Direction” Is a Boy Band, Not a Cleaning Technique
When you mow your lawn you follow a path and usually do so each time you’re out there. There are arguments on both sides of the proverbial fence that either say it doesn’t matter, or it matters a lot to the health of the grass. I’m on the side that “doesn’t care” because I have allergies and don’t cut grass. Vacuuming your carpets is another thing. Dirt and debris is small and can sink to the bottom of the carpet piles. Running your vacuum cleaner in one direction or on one path all the time just helps embed the that dirt and debris further into your floors. Vacuum in cross sections and always go back over what you just cleaned from a different direction. Each week you vacuum, start at a different spot as well. Your carpet will last longer, stay fresher and be easier to maintain if you don’t listen to “One Direction…” … I mean vacuum in several directions each time.
Are You a Half Empty or Half Full Person?
I remember being younger and more immature (emphasis on more) and being aggravated by all the older people who thought they knew more than I did. Ahem. It turns out it is better for your car to fill you gas tank up when the meter is at ¼ full. It turns out you really can run out of gas faster than you think. Vacuum cleaner bags need air to flow through them to work at maximum efficacy. Waiting until they are bursting full is a bad idea. Sure, it means you have to buy more bags, but that’s better than having to buy a new vacuum cleaner when the motor burns out from being overworked. Check your bags regularly and empty/replace them at ¾ full, max. Get the full picture about vacuum cleaners by reading reviews.
Don’t FilaBUSTer Your Filter
The other day a friend of mine asked me to look at her vacuum cleaner to see why it wasn’t picking up debris anymore. One look inside and I knew what had to be done. I put on my Hazmat suit and went to work. Filters need to be cleaned. And I don’t mean just to shake them off outside once in awhile. If they are not regularly and properly maintenance they will not do their jobs. Worse yet they will cause your vacuum cleaner to overwork, overheat, break down and spit dirt back into your rooms. Wear a dust mask (seriously) and shake or tap off as much loose dust and dirt from your filter as you can. Next, use a plastic spoon or knife and pry out all the gunk that’s stuck in the crevices of your filter. Use high water pressure and spray your filter with hot water repeatedly. You can also spray it with white vinegar mixed with water and an essential oil of your choice (Lavender is nice in vacuum cleaners) before and after hosing it down. Please: you must let the filter dry out thoroughly before re-installing it in your machine. Give it at least 24 hours and use a blow dryer on gentle heat is you must to be sure.
Sometimes It’s Good To Be Attached
In the esoteric world not binge attached to anything is a widely taught lesson. The concept of impermanence is a focal point. In the tangible world occupied by vacuum cleaners, you need to be attached to your attachments. The crevice tool is great for corners and between cushions. The brush tool is good for blinds and around box springs. The upholstery tool is good for, well…upholstery. You don’t really need to buy the .net or .mirror or .club domain for your mememe.com website. It’s fun, though, so no judgment. You also don’t need that extra warranty plan on your new purchase. But you do need to take advantage to the attachments that come with your vacuum cleaner to do the best job you can on your home.
A SNIP-pet of Good Advice
Pet owners know what this is about. But chances are, all of you do. Hair, string and other long, dangly things get wrapped around your roller brush and jam up you vacuum cleaner. Don’t pull on them. Get a scissors and snip them until they come free easily.
Guide Me Home, Scotty!
Retractable cords are great. But don’t let them just zip back in place unguided. It’s bad for the machine and worse, can cause injury. Hold on to them and guide them back in, slowly.
What Do You Mean You Didn’t Bring The Map?
It’s a road trip with a specific destination. You plan out a route so you get there the safest, fastest or most scenic. GPS’s have replaced most maps and are programmed to guide you around construction delays and accidents. You have to be the GPS for your vacuum cleaner. Clutter on the floor is annoying and time- consuming when you’re all set to start cleaning. Always pick things up off the floor and move furniture appropriately before you start vacuum cleaning.