Carpets are a luxurious addition to every home – with the additional advantage of keeping the floors warm and clean. But to maintain their look and hygiene, it’s crucial to clean them. For effective cleaning, you must know how to vacuum your carpet properly.
It is not enough to use the same vac and settings as the rest of the house just to remove dust from the carpet’s surface. You must deep clean your carpet every 12-18 months. And in between these sessions, it needs extra effort to stop dirt and dust from setting.
Then how should you accomplish a specialized carpet cleaning task properly at home? Keep reading to find out!
Mistakes to Avoid While Vacuuming Carpet
You probably vacuum your carpet when it starts to look dirty – and give it a quick cleanup with your vac with a back-and-forth movement. But your cleaning routine probably has some mistakes that you need to avoid. Let’s take a quick look:
Vacuuming in One Direction
While you vacuum the carpet, you must move in all directions, i.e., front and back and towards the sides. This is required for thorough cleaning. Moving the vac in a single direction succeeds in removing only half of the dirt and dust stuck within the twisted fibers.
Vacuuming Too Quickly
If you don’t run the vacuum slowly on the carpet, you do not give it the chance to remove stubborn debris that might have settled beneath the surface or within the fibers. It’s possible that after a quick cleanup, the carpet looks clean, but it’s probably just the appearance.
Letting the Vacuum Bag Fill Up
When you wait too long to empty the vacuum bag, it gets filled up to its capability and loses efficiency. To experience the best cleaning, ensure that the bag is emptied when it is half-full. Otherwise, your vacuum cleaner will only operate at 50% of its capacity.
Waiting Too Long to Clean the Carpet
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to wait for your carpet to start looking dirty before pulling out the vac. The smallest dust particles may not be visible to the naked eye. But they keep piling up and get embedded in the carpet and settle in the carpet.
Using the Wrong Attachment
Every vac comes with a special set of attachments that can handle different surfaces, including upholstery or any kind of fabric. Make sure to use the right tools to loosen the dust and draw up all the allergens. We recommend crevice tools and dusting brushes.
Operating the Vac with the Wrong Settings
Some vacs come with different settings to adjust suction power, height, etc. For effective cleaning, you must operate the device with the right settings. Doing so will also maintain the vac’s longevity. One indicator of wrong vac settings would be the device making odd sounds.
Dusting After Vacuuming
The process of dusting makes dirt and dust particles fly around – and they eventually settle on the floor and in the carpet fibers. Vacuuming after dusting allows you the chance to keep the carpet completely clean. Going the other way round is just counterproductive.
How to Vacuum Your Carpet Properly?
A thoroughly cleaned carpet is essential to ensure that your interiors are safe and healthy for everyone. Here’s how to achieve that –
Pick the Right Vacuum Cleaner
There are many vacs available in the market – and it is essential that you choose a Vacuum Cleaner that offers the settings to handle carpet cleaning. There are different types of carpets, like cut-pile carpets, soft carpets, etc. A vac should come with features to handle them. Our researched guide to the best vacuum cleaner for carpet is ideal for you to make the best decision.
A good way to judge the cleaning ability of vac is to look for the CRI Seal of Approval. Under the CRI program, a cleaning device is evaluated based on its capability to remove soil, contain dust, and retain carpet texture. There are three CRI seal standards.
Prepare the Vacuum Area
Don’t just start cleaning the carpet right after pulling the vacuum cleaner out! Prepare the vacuum area first- whether you want to clean at home or hire a professional. Ensure that the floor is tidy, with no toys and other small obstacles lying around in the way.
You’ll also need to relocate furniture and other items. This is especially true when you want to vacuum the edges of the room. Making these small changes to the carpet area and its surroundings will ensure that the cleaning task is efficient and effective.
Use Beater Bars Correctly
Many vacs have a beater bar, which is a rotating brush designed to ruffle the fibers of the carpet and loosen the dust and debris stuck to them. Use this feature carefully as it may not be suitable for all carpet types like looped, small strand, or long frieze carpets.
Cut pile carpets, and those with natural fibers can be cleaned with it. It is usually equipped with an adjustable head height. So make sure that the beater bar is set at a height that allows the bristles to graze the fibers for optimum carpet cleaning gently.
Don’t Rush – Take Your Time
Rushing through the whole cleaning process is not good enough for a thorough cleaning, especially if you are not a frequent cleaner. So take your time and allow the vac to do its job properly as it suctions the stubborn debris without harming the carpet’s surface.
Run the vac on the surface gently and slowly in a back-and-forth motion. Take your time to push it forward and pull it back. Do the same on the sides, as well. Divide the entire carpet into small overlapping sections and clean each area one by one thoroughly.
Make Use of Attachments
Vacuum cleaners have a wide range of attachments, from the crevice tool to the beater bar to a wide assortment of brushes and suction heads. Use them according to the style and material of the carpet – be it area rugs, wall carpets, or treads or pads for stairs.
Such tools also help you reach tight spaces, curves, and corners. For instance, a long hose will help you handle places that are hard to reach. On the other hand, crevice tools that come with the vacuum cleaner remove build-ups on the edges.
Give High-Traffic Areas Extra Attention
Some areas in the interiors have a higher number of footfalls compared to others. Accordingly, the carpets in these areas have more mess. It’s essential to take care of such high-traffic areas with more attention, especially when it comes to floor carpets.
Don’t make the mistake of not vacuuming enough for fear of damaging the fabric. When you do not remove dust and debris properly, especially in areas like the living room or stairs, the damage caused to the carpets is more. Clean the edges properly, as well.
Keep Your Vacuum Clean
You have gotten the hang of cleaning carpets by now – but forget to clean the cleaner itself! Once your vac bag is filled up to 50%, you must empty it to ensure that it works effectively. So, keep checking the bag after every cleaning to check if it is there yet.
There are other steps for cleaning the vac, like washing or replacing the filter, washing the dirtbag, and wiping down the vac and the power cord. Don’t forget to remove the tangles from the beater bar, crushes, and other vacuum cleaner attachments.
Have a Vacuum Routine
Cleaning the carpet once in a while when your mood permits or when the carpet starts to look dirty is not enough. You need to clean the carpet frequently. To make sure that you don’t fail, set a proper schedule for cleaning the carpet – and take the necessary steps.
You should deep clean the carpet at a gap of 1-1.5 years. And in between, vacuum the carpet at least once every week. Homes with pets and areas with high traffic will need to be cleaned more often. You should do it twice or thrice a week to keep allergens away.
Taking good care of your carpet is key to maintaining its plush look. It is also a requirement so that the carpet doesn’t end up trapping allergens and bacteria. It is also essential to know how to vacuum your carpet properly so that your prized possession is always at its best.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the First Things to do Before Vacuuming a Carpet?
Before vacuuming the carpet, you need to prep the area. Clean out the vac’s dirtbag and choose the right attachments and settings. If you’re planning on dusting, do it before vacuuming so that the device can remove all the loose dust settled in the carpet fibers.
Do you use the Brush When Vacuuming the Carpet?
The type of attachments you should use depends on the type of carpet. A roller brush is a great tool to lift the fibers and loosen the mess in them. This allows the vac’s suction function to perform more effectively. Adjust the height to make it graze the carpet surface.
How do I Stop Vacuum marks on the Carpet?
Unless your carpet is hand-women or has patterns and multiple colors, you will likely face the trouble of vacuum trails all over the surface after cleaning. To reduce that, you can move the vac in all four directions. Don’t forget to move the vac at an angle, too.
How Often Should I Vacuum My Carpet?
How often you vacuum your carpet depends on how heavy the traffic is in a particular part of the house. Areas like bedrooms need to be vacuumed at least once a week. High-traffic areas like the living room or stairs must be handled 2-3 times a week.
Is My Vacuum Ruining My Carpet?
A vac can only ruin a carpet if your vacuuming action, settings, accessories, and suction power are wrong. You need to make changes in these according to the carpet type. To be fair, not vacuuming the carpet does more harm as the dirt and mess find the time to settle.