How to Vacuum

Dust bunnies sound cute, but they are made up of some icky stuff. Dust bunnies contain the corpses and feces of dust mites, body parts of insects such as cockroaches, beetles, ants and spiders, human and animal hair and skin cells, nicotine and tobacco smoke, bacteria, viruses and fungi. These can cause problems for sensitive individuals.

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Regular sweeping, dusting and vacuuming can improve symptoms for those with allergies. They are also important for extending the lives of all types of floors, carpets, and furniture. Daily vacuuming is recommended for keeping floors and carpets in tip-top shape. If you can’t vacuum daily, a complete vacuuming once a week is good, with an additional vacuuming just hitting the high spots. Sweeping and dust mopping are less effective than vacuuming.

Most vacuums come with two tools for vacuuming floors. The floor attachment is for vacuuming bare, hard surface floors and antique or oriental rugs. The power head with a beater bar is for all other rugs and carpets. A powerhead separates the fibers of the carpet as it rotates. This allows the airflow to reach in and pull out dust and dirt. The dirt is loosened and can be sucked up. The higher the pile, the more power you need. Powerheads with beater brushes are excellent for removing pet hair.

“On hard surface floors, repeated strokes back and forth in a zig-zag pattern with the floor attachment will ensure you have removed most of the dust and dirt on the floor.”

On hard surface floors, repeated strokes back and forth in a zig-zag pattern with the floor attachment will ensure you have removed most of the dust and dirt on the floor. Vacuum wood floors with the grain of the wood. On carpets, use slow, deliberate, overlapping strokes in a zig-zag pattern. Do not press down as you run your vacuum. This will impede airflow. Approach the fringes on carpets from the inside of the carpet out. Reduce vacuum suction to avoid damaging the fringes. The vacuum handle usually contains the suction control. Turn off the beater bar if that is an option.

The denser or harder the material you are vacuuming, the stronger the suction of your vacuum cleaner should be. Hard floors require the highest suction. Oriental carpets, with their dense piles and stiff backings, require the second highest suction. The third highest suction setting is required for wall-to-wall carpeting. Heirloom or antique rugs require the gentlest suction. High suction can bury the vacuum tool in the carpeting – like what happens when you vacuum drapes and the cloth is pulled into the vacuum, cutting off the airflow. This same advice goes for vacuuming upholstery – do not use downward pressure on the fabric of upholstery as it will block airflow. Using the wrong suction setting on your floors and upholstery results in a failure to clean your floors thoroughly. It also causes stress on the vacuum motor and belts. Since this can’t happen on hard surface floors, use the highest suction setting and let the suction pull dust from grooves, indents and seams of the floor.

Poorly designed vacuum cleaners will spew and leak dust out of gaskets, joints, and bags. Even vacuum motors create dust when running. The purpose of additional filters around the vacuum motor is to catch this dust. If you detect a strong odor when you turn on your vacuum, it may be time to get a new vacuum. It may mean the dust created by the motor is being recirculated in your vacuum.

Author: Janice Stewart

Source: Castle Keepers House Cleaning


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