How to Properly Use a Vacuum Cleaner

In today’s modern households, a vacuum cleaner can be a reliable and trusted friend. It can suction off dust and small debris from most surfaces. Some vacuum cleaners can be handy at removing liquid spills off upholstered sofas or car seats efficiently with the flick of a switch. Others can be used outdoors to blow away fallen leaves to a neat corner.

If you know how to handle the beast, you can tame it and facilitate doing chores around the house with ease. But stop and check yourself – do you actually know how to use a vacuum cleaner properly? Take note of these tips to get the best results when using your vacuum cleaner.

Use the Right Vacuum Cleaner for the Job at Hand

Vacuum cleaners collect dirt through a suctioning motion that is funneled through, often into a dust bag. This dust bag is disposed of when it is two-thirds full. There are different types of vacuum cleaners available on the market, and they include:

  • Upright vacuum cleaners reach up to a comfortable waist-level height. The dust bag is connected to a vertical shaft. This serves as the handle that tilts at an angle so that you can push and pull the machine easily when cleaning. The shaft is then connected to a flat roller brush through which dust is suctioned. They are good for general-purpose cleaning jobs. The stick vacuum is the modern slim version of the upright vacuum cleaner. These stick vacuum cleaners can move around furniture easily and are commonly used for quick or spot clean-ups.
  • Canister vacuum cleaners have a cylindrical tank with a long hose attachment.  Special tools attached to the hose can be changed according to the area that has to be worked on. The different attachments suction off the dirt and debris into the removable dust bin inside the cylindrical tank. These canister vacuum cleaners have variants that can even suction both dry and wet substances without affecting the device’s motor.
  • Handheld vacuum cleaners are small and portable vacuum cleaners for cleaning out small areas that are normally too difficult to reach using the bigger standard-sized vacuum cleaners. They are great for cleaning inside cars, reaching into tight furniture spots, or removing dust from computer keyboards. Handheld vacuum cleaners can run either on electric power or batteries.
  • Robotic vacuum cleaners bring in space-age technology into cleaning up. These are cordless low-profile discs that can be programmed to cover surface cleaning jobs. These machines can also be programmed to clean up even when you are away.

Use the Right Attachment Tool for the Right Job

Vacuum cleaners with a hose come with different attachments.  These attachments are suitable for various cleaning jobs:

  • Crevice tool – a nozzle that is long and narrow and then tapers off to a beveled angle so that it can suction off the dirt from tight spots like baseboard edges, corners, and vents. Cleaning off the dust that collects at the corners of the steps of a staircase is best done with the crevice tool attachment for vacuum cleaners.
  • Dust brush – a circular soft-bristled brush head attachment best used to cover wide areas like carpets, walls, ceilings, window sills, blinds, picture frames, bookcases, doors, and some light fixtures. The bristles on a dust brush do not scratch surfaces and can also be used on leather-upholstered furniture. Put the right pile adjustment on the dust brush according to the pile height of the carpet you will clean.
  • Upholstery tool – a flat-shaped head that even if it is small can suction off tough dirt from surfaces covered with fabric like couches, mattresses, and curtains. Do not use this tool for leather couches as they might tear or scratch the leather. The upholstery tool can remove pet fur and lint. Some vacuum cleaner units come with a specialized mattress attachment that is designed to have a more powerful ability to suction off dust mites and other allergens inside the mattress.
  • Floor attachment – similar to the dust brush except for the extra-soft bristles built in to prevent scratching wood flooring or ceramic tiles. Make sure to inspect the tool and clean off any debris on the bristles that can cause damage to the floors.

Prepare the Area to be Cleaned

If you can, sweep dust, dirt, and debris to a corner before you use the vacuum cleaner.

Then power on the vacuum and suction of this pile of dirt. For other surfaces, it is also recommended to do some manual dusting first to dislodge stubborn dirt. Then proceed with a thorough run-through of the surfaces with your vacuum cleaner for good measure. This way, you are able to cut your clean-up time in half.

Now that you have a working idea of how to match the appropriate attachment with the right type of vacuum cleaner, follow these steps on how to properly use a vacuum cleaner.

  1. Make an ocular of the area to be cleaned. Map out your exit plan. Connect your vacuum cleaner to the outlet nearest the door. The idea is not to dirty up cleaned floors and carpets after you have run it through your vacuum cleaner.
  2. For carpeted areas, consider sprinkling some baking soda before starting to vacuum. Let it set for about 15 minutes before cleaning it out with your vacuum cleaner. The baking soda serves as a deodorizer both for the carpet and the vacuum dust bag. It also loosens up carpet fibers and releases pet fur that can be stubbornly stuck to a carpet pile.
  3. Move the vacuum slowly in a vertical zigzag motion. Push the nozzle with the appropriate attachment away from you, then at a slight angle, pull it back. Repeat this zigzag cleaning motion slowly to make sure that the vacuum is able to suction off as much dust as possible. Also, make sure that the zigzag angle from the push-and-pull motion is not too wide that you miss out on cleaning some areas.

A vacuum cleaner is a mighty appliance that can make housecleaning light and easy.  Remember to also clean your vacuum cleaner regularly so that you can maximize its use.

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