Are you vacuuming correctly?

Why is Vacuuming Necessary?

You probably vacuum the carpets as part of your regular cleaning routine without much thought, but do you know why it is so crucial? Of course, vacuuming picks up dirt and other messes on your carpets but does much more for your home. Your carpets can trap dust and allergens from the air, making a large impact on the quality of the air you breathe. However, if your carpets get too dirty, they’ll begin to release dirt and allergens with every step instead of trapping them. Thus, vacuuming your carpets regularly will actually improve the air quality in your home. Vacuuming is so important to the health of your home, so it’s important to do it correctly.

How to Vacuum Correctly

woman vacuuming her carpetFortunately, vacuuming correctly is not difficult. Just follow these easy tips and you’ll have clean carpets in no time.

On the carpet, use slow, repetitive forward and back motions in an overlapping pattern. Going too quickly or only going over an area once won’t pick up dirt and allergens. On the other hand, be careful not to press down too hard or make too many passes over the same spot, because this leaves you at risk of damaging your carpet. The best method is to move slightly to the left or right about every four strokes. To get the most out of your vacuuming regime, follow these quick and easy tips:

  • Don’t forget the corners and crevices. Dust tends to accumulate here, where it’s hard for the vacuum to reach. Most vacuums come with attachments that help you vacuum hard to reach crevices, so be sure to use them.
  • “Top-down” cleaning saves you time and energy. Start at the top (ceilings, shelves, furniture, etc.) when you are cleaning, so that you vacuum up any fallen dust or crumbs last.
  • Get in the habit of checking and emptying your vacuum bags or containers frequently. Don’t risk your vacuum getting too full and leaking all over the carpets you just cleaned.

Using the Different Attachments

Most vacuums come with attachments that help you get the most out of your cleaning routine. Your particular vacuum may feature some of the following attachments, which serve the following purpose:

  • The all-purpose or universal brush works well on books and shelves.
  • The crevice tool (long and thin) reaches into narrow slots and corners.
  • The dusting brush can clean items that need a softer touch.
  • The radiator brush cleans radiators and narrow spaces.
  • The upholstery nozzle is good for vacuuming chairs, sofas, cushions, drapes, mattresses, and fabric furniture covers.

How Often to Vacuum

As a rule of thumb, you should vacuum at least once a week with a CRI Seal of Approval/Green Label vacuum cleaner. However, the more foot traffic over your carpet, the more you need to vacuum. The general formula is:

  • Vacuum daily in high-traffic areas such as entrances, or pet areas.
  • Vacuum twice weekly in medium-traffic areas such as hallways or in front of furniture.
  • Vacuum weekly in light-traffic areas, including carpet edges (use attachments to get the best results).

Vacuum Care Tips

For best cleaning results, your vacuum needs to be in good shape. Inspect your vacuum using the following tips to make sure it works correctly:

  • Keep the instructions that came with your vacuum and refer to them periodically in order to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
  • Keep hoses and attachments free from obstructions. Most vacuums that are “broken” often are only clogged somewhere. Read the instructions to find out where your vacuum is most likely to clog and be sure to clean them out regularly.
  • When vacuuming, grip the handle, not the hose. Hoses can easily break, so be careful with them.
  • Keep brushes clean (for example, remove tangled hair) and replace them when worn. Worn brushes become stiff and can damage carpet fibers.
  • Empty containers or replace bags when half full to prevent spills.
  • Look for rough edges or bent metal on your machine that can snag carpet.

Don’t Forget the Experts

Following these tips to vacuuming properly will go along way to keeping your carpets in good condition. However, vacuuming isn’t the only thing your carpets need. You should call in a professional cleaner like North American Chem-Dry about every 6-12 months for best results!



We provide superior residential and commercial carpet and upholstery cleaning services throughout Sonoma County, CA including: Sonoma, Petaluma, Santa Rosa, Cotati, Rohnert Park, Glen Ellen, Kenwood, Sebastapol, Windsor, Healdsburg, and the surrounding areas.


North American

19558 8th St E
Sonoma CA 95476
Sonoma: (707) 938-9614
Petaluma: (707) 762-9999
Santa Rosa: (707) 578-2001
Hours: Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm
Sat: 10am-2pm

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*Based on results of studies conducted by independent laboratories of Chem-Dry’s Hot Carbonating Extraction process. Allergens tested were dog and cat dander and dust mite allergen. All bacteria results include use of sanitizer. Figures are an average across multiple homes. Hard surface bacteria tests were based on independent lab testing associated with EPA registration #s 84683-3-74771 and 70385-6; sealed stone and VCT surfaces were evaluated and bacteria tested include salmonella, influenza and E. coli.