How To Use A Vacuum Cleaner – You’ve Been Doing It Wrong!

Using a vacuum cleaner may seem simple enough, many vacuums even have the same ways to use them. But did you know you’ve been vacuuming all wrong?

Let me guess; you grab the vacuum cleaner and start to vacuum right away? Well, that is incorrect.

The first thing you should do before vacuuming especially if you have pets or long hair is to use a carpet rake like this one here* to loosen up the carpet first. A carpet rake will help to lift up the pet hair and other crumbs that get stuck in the matted carpet. Then when you go to vacuum, it’s more effective.

To cover all bases let’s talk about how to use a vacuum cleaner.

Step 1 – Carpet Rake

Like we mentioned above the first thing you should do is use a carpet rake on the carpet before you vacuum. This will free all the trapped hair and debris in the carpet so that your vacuum cleaner can clean more effectively.

Step 2 – Check Hoses

Before you do anything you should check all the hoses on the vacuum cleaner are nice and tight. A loose hose will cause the vacuum cleaner to lose suction. You need the most amount of suction if you want to get the best cleaning possible with your vacuum.

Step 3 – Power Cord

Unwrap the power cord and plug in your vacuum cleaner.

Warning: When plugging in the power cord into a wall outlet it should feel tight and firm. If the outlet feels loose, then that is a serious problem and an electrician needs to be called. A loose plug could start a fire or even damage the vacuum cleaner.

Only plug into the correct outlet, never force the plug into the wall or use adaptors. It’s also recommended that you never use extension cords with any vacuum cleaner.

Step 4 – Tilt Release

Press the release button that allows the upright vacuum cleaner to fall and to engage the beater brushes.

Some vacuum cleaners don’t have a button but instead ask you to put your foot down on the machine and pull the handle back. Look for writings on the vacuum cleaner to let you know how to release it.

Step 5 – Turn On The Vacuum

Locate the red power button and turn on your vacuum cleaner. Once on you need to keep the vacuum cleaner moving, never keep it in one spot for too long as the brushes can damage carpet if left in the same place for extended periods of time.

Make sure to vacuum in a forward and backward motion overlapping spots you already cleaned. The way you can tell you have vacuumed a spot is that the vacuum cleaner leaves a “trail” letting you know where you have passed over.

It’s important to vacuum all the carpet you can reach with the vacuum cleaner.

Step 6 – Accessories

If your vacuum cleaner has hose accessories then please feel free to use them to clean your home. With the hose attachments, you can clean furniture, the spider webs on the wall, and even your car if you wanted to.

When done with the accessories make sure to restore them back to where they came from and to plug the hose back into its correct location. Often people forget to make it a snug fit, and that is why we make it step 2 before we vacuum, a loose hose doesn’t suck as much.

Turn Vacuum Cleaner off when done vacuuming by pressing the power button again or pushing it to the off position. 

Step 7 – Empty Canister

Once you have vacuumed your home, it’s time to empty the canister of the vacuum cleaner. If you have a bagged model sometimes, they don’t need to be replaced until a couple of cleanings.

Some people like to keep the dirt in the canister until the next time they clean and empty it before vacuuming. I find it best to empty the canister after you’re done so that dust didn’t settle in the vacuum cleaner and clogged it over the time you don’t vacuum.

Step 8 – Clear Out Hose

You don’t always need to do this, but for good measure, I like to take the hose off my vacuum cleaner and use a broom or the carpet rake’s handle to push through the tube. If anything is trapped, it gets pushed out the other side. This way I always know I have a good working hose free of debris.

Step 9 – Carpet Rake Again

Once again grab the carpet rake and rake the floor. This makes the carpet look new and raises the fibers of the carpet straight up too.

Just like how you brush your hair you should brush your carpet to keep it looking good.

How Often Should You Vacuum?

You should vacuum your home once a week. If you have bad allergies, you should vacuum twice a week and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.

I Live Alone, Do I Really Need To Vacuum Often?

Yes, even if you live by yourself you still need to vacuum regularly. With the amount of skin and debris one human gives off is justified by vacuuming once a week.

What If I Hate Vacuuming?

If you hate vacuuming, you still need to do it. The good news is that you can buy a Robot Vacuum Cleaners that will do most of the work for you. Some of them you can even program to run when you’re away, but I recommend watching them to make sure they don’t damage anything.

What Vacuum Should I Buy?

It’s not which ONE you should buy, but what TWO you should buy. I honestly think that every home, especially if you have kids or pets, needs to have a regular vacuum cleaner and a shop vacuum.

The regular vacuum cleaner you can get anywhere, but the shop vacuum is used to clean all the tough and odd messes. From pet hair to spilled wine glass – a shop vacuum is a super flexible machine for cleaning. I go into more detail about using a shop vacuum here.

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