Are You Vacuuming Your Carpets The Correct Way?

Most people know that vacuuming regularly eliminates everything from pet dander to dust mites, even those hiding deep within carpets and area rugs. But the trick to getting all those icky, dusty things out of your carpets and rugs is accomplishing the job correctly. That means vacuuming an entire room one way and then going over it again in the opposite direction. Skipping that second pass all but guarantees that you're only picking up a fraction of the dirt nestled way down in your carpets.

This helps not only with the general cleanliness of a home but gets rid of troublesome allergens that cause watery eyes, sneezing, and other annoying symptoms. It's especially important for people with asthma to keep these irritants at bay, the American Lung Association notes. Since household chores are bad enough, you want to make running the vacuum worth the effort, and this wall-to-wall vacuuming technique will get your carpets and rugs cleaner than ever. 

The correct way to vacuum your carpets and area rugs

Do you usually vacuum using concise, swift strokes? While that's better than doing nothing, giving your entire room or rug several complete passes with the vacuum is the key to getting it super clean. Some cleaning mavens describe it as vacuuming horizontally and then vertically. Another way of looking at it is going north and south and then east and west. No matter how you define the method, this is the proven way to get a carpet or area rug at its cleanest.

Cleaning professionals have a specific method for accomplishing the task more akin to mowing grass than what most people envision as proper vacuuming. Pros push the vacuum from one wall to another, going against the nap and then drag it back over the same area. The next row across the room will have a slight overlap with the first. When the entire room is done, they vacuum the carpet or rug again in the opposite direction using the same push and drag technique for maximum effectiveness.

Other tips for getting carpets and area rugs at their cleanest

Doing some prep before completely working a room with your vacuum will provide extra cleanliness. If you have small throw rugs that you need to remove to get down to the carpet, go over them with your vacuum before picking them up. More dirt will be drawn from them with the vacuum than simply shaking them over the carpet. After that, dust the baseboards, and then, if available, use your crevice attachment to clean all the edges of the room before thoroughly vacuuming wall to wall. 

Also, make sure that you're vacuuming as effectively as possible by emptying your unit regularly. Bags should be replaced when they're about two-thirds full. If you have a bagless vacuum with a dirt bin, emptying it after each use is a best practice to follow, but at the very least, when it reaches the max mark. Vacuuming might never be your favorite household chore, but following these guidelines for efficient cleaning can make your efforts more productive.