Vacuuming is a super-efficient way to rid floors and upholstery of crumbs, dust, pet hair and debris.
But even if you’ve splurged on the fanciest vacuum cleaner on the market, your technique and approach
to vacuuming could be flawed. Here’s how to tackle the task effectively and get the best from your machine,
so your home is hygienic and beautifully dust-free.

Head for the Edge

Vacuum the edges of the room first using the crevice tool on your machine. The drafts and airflow

across a hard floor will blow light dust, hair, fluff and other debris into the corners and edges,

so failing to vacuum these spots allows muck to gather there.

If you have carpet, gathered dust can, in time, become hard to remove and even discolor the carpet.


Avoid Going Just One Direction

Simply running the vacuum cleaner up and down a carpet or rug, repeating the same direction,

won’t thoroughly clean. The machine won’t remove all of the dirt and dust because some of it will
hide amid the carpet fibers. Vacuuming in both directions solves this. So go north-south across
the whole space, then east-west to ensure a really deep clean.

Pay Attention to Pets

Hair from dogs and cats can quickly cover a carpet or roll into tumbleweed-style clumps at the

edge of a hard floor. The dander that pets produce — the tiny flecks of skin they shed —

can also cause allergies.

If you have pets, remember to vacuum the floor, but also any sofas or chairs they curl up on.

Most vacuum cleaners come with a special upholstery attachment that can be used for the task.

Plan Your Route

Approach vacuuming a room strategically. Don’t just start in the middle and go from there.

Instead, begin at the corner farthest from the door and vacuum your way out of the room,
leaving satisfying track marks in your carpet as you go.

Factor in Different Surfaces

Many homes have a combination of hard flooring, rugs and carpet, so be mindful of these

different surfaces as you vacuum. Be sure to adjust your cleaner’s height or the bristle depth
on its head as you move across different types of flooring. This makes a big difference in your
cleaner’s ability to suck up dirt.

Freshen Up Underfoot

Make your own “green” carpet freshener. Try a simple recipe of two cups of baking soda and

10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Mix them together in a container (ideally with a
perforated shaker lid), then sprinkle on your carpet and leave for 10 to 15 minutes so it can
absorb odors. Then just vacuum it up.

Slow Down

Zipping around at high speed with your vacuum cleaner may leave track marks

in your carpet as evidence that you’ve been busy, but you won’t really get a decent
cleaning this way. The trick is to slow down. This allows your machine to suck up more

dirt and dust, getting your rugs and carpets much cleaner.

Slow vacuuming allows the brush to really move and agitate the pile in the carpet

properly and suck up what emerges. On a hard floor, it gives time for even chunky
pieces of debris to be sucked up.

Sweeten Your Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum cleaners have a nasty habit of belching out slightly stale air as they work.

To help prevent this, put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a cotton ball and
drop it into the dust canister of the machine.

Empty Frequently

Your vacuum cleaner’s suction will be compromised if the canister or bag is full, so be sure to

regularly throw away all the dust and fluff you’ve sucked up. This helps your cleaner work

efficiently and reduces the risk of fluff being leaked back into the atmosphere.

Clean the filter frequently too, to cut down on odors and prevent dust being recycled.


Be Thorough But Less Frequent

If you follow all these tips, you can afford to vacuum just once a week. In between, remove

crumbs and debris with a dustpan and brush, then repeat your thorough vacuuming every seven days.