7 Ways You're Vacuuming Wrong

While your vacuum cleaner is designed to do most of the work for you, understanding how to use it properly can make a huge difference in the cleanliness of your floors. Learn what you may be doing wrong when you're performing this common household chore so that you can be on your way to fresher, better-looking carpets and other flooring.

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  1. You Don't Regularly Empty the Bag


    Your vacuum may have a large bag or container to collect debris, but that doesn’t mean you should wait until it’s full before emptying it. Most vacuums start to lose steam once the bag is about two-thirds full, so you should check the filter bag before you get started and stop occasionally to empty the contents in order to keep your vacuum operating at maximum efficiency.

    Related: Editors' Picks - Today's Top 7 Vacuum Cleaners


  2. You Don't Vacuum in Both Directions


    If you spend your time vacuuming in only one direction, you’re not picking up all the dust and debris that you could be—especially when it comes to carpet. Vacuuming in all directions (north, east, south, and west) will ensure that you lift the dirt that's hiding out within fibers, especially in high-traffic areas. 

    Related: 21 Ways to Spring Clean Your Whole House—Naturally


  3. You Don't Use the Right Attachment


    Vacuums come with attachment tools for a reason: They have been specifically developed and designed to make your life easier. Don't avoid them simply because they seem a little cumbersome. The crevice tool, for example, does a much better job at sucking up dirt along the edges of the carpet than the standard push method does, resulting in cleaner baseboards, joints along the walls, and other awkward places in your rooms.

    Related: How to Clean Your Cleaning Tools


  4. You Don't Take Your Time


    If you perform a rushed vacuum job, your results simply won't be as satisfying. Do it right by first scanning the room to pick up anything that may get stuck in the machine, such as coins, paper clips, small toys, or other items that may be hiding in plain sight. Then, push the vacuum slowly so that the machine's brushes can properly agitate the carpet fibers and pick up the most dirt possible.

    Related: Control Kids' Clutter with 7 Creative DIYs


  5. You Don't Dust Beforehand


    Dusting—yet another important household task—should always be completed before you vacuum your floors. If you dust after vacuuming, you'll just sweep any surface dust that isn't caught by your cloth onto your freshly cleaned floors. Eliminate the aggravation by always dusting first and vacuuming after.

    Related: 15 Remarkably Easy Ways to Create a Dust-Free Home


  6. You Don't Move the Furniture


    If you've developed an out-of-sight, out-of-mind mantra when it comes to the crumbs, dirt, and other detritus that's lurking beneath your furniture, now is the time to mend your ways. Dirt can pile up quickly—especially if you have a pet—so a little extra work every now and then to vacuum beneath your beds, chairs, and other furniture will eliminate a possibly dusty (and gross!) experience later. 

    Related: The Dirty Dozen: 12 Places You Probably Never Clean But Definitely Should


  7. You Don't Maintain Your Machine


    Proper maintenance is imperative in keeping your machine working efficiently. Clean or replace filters according to the manufacturer’s instructions, especially HEPA filters. Remember not to store your vacuum near or below any sinks, as water can be damaging. And if you notice any unusual sounds, always check that the hoses are free of obstructions—a clogged vacuum will not work well!

    Related: The 9 Rules for Rugs That Everyone Should Know


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