8 Tips to Learn How to Vacuum the Right Way

Laura Hennigan
Written by Laura Hennigan
Updated March 11, 2022
A man cleaning house with wireless vacuum cleaner
Photo: enigma_images / E+ / Getty Images

Yes, there’s a right way to vacuum

Get quotes from up to 3 pros!
Enter a zip below and get matched to top-rated pros near you.

Between foot traffic, dirt, dust, and debris, your floors see quite a lot of use every day. Thankfully your trusty vacuum is here to help you whip your floors and carpet back into shape.

But even if you make it a point to vacuum every single Sunday after your morning coffee, you may not know that there are actually some best practices to follow for vacuuming success. Follow these six tips to learn how to vacuum the right way and improve your floor and carpet maintenance.

1. Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner

When choosing the best vacuum cleaner, you’ll want to consider how you’ll be using it. Do you have a full-carpeted home, or mainly hardwood floors? Any pets? It’s also a good idea to consider vacuums that offer extra-long cords for reaching under furniture, along with ones that have HEPA filters to remove allergens. You’ll also want to think about noise levels, as some vacuum cleaners are much louder than others.

Consider all of these in your search and do plenty of research before swiping your card on your new favorite home cleaning tool. 

2. Use the Right Attachments

Crevice tools, dusting brushes, and extension wands are just some of the attachments that can come with a new vacuum. Don’t throw them all in a drawer and forget about them! Those attachments will help keep your carpet looking brand new. Grab them when it’s time to remove dust from a ceiling fan or get into the deep corners in a set of stairs.

3. Maintain Your Machine

Just like most appliances, vacuum cleaners also need routine maintenance. Air suction can reduce over time, making your vacuum cleaner work harder and be less efficient. Pay attention to any noticeable changes, such as obvious pieces of dirt that aren’t being sucked up or changes in the noise your vacuum makes. 

Be sure to clean your vacuum out regularly, and take it in to be professionally serviced when its cleaning quality starts to deteriorate. If it’s too far gone, it may be time to swap it out for a new model.

4. Declutter Before Vacuuming

A woman vacuuming at home
Photo: South_agency / E+ / Getty Images

A quick walk-through of your spaces before you start vacuuming will make the process go much more quickly and smoothly. Pick up any throw pillows or other items on the floor, move lighter furniture out of the way, and don’t even think about trying to suck up smaller items like socks or crayons.

5. Pay Attention to Settings

The level you choose to set your vacuum at can make a big difference in cleaning effectiveness. Using the carpet setting on a vinyl floor will end up leaving a good deal of debris behind, causing more work for you. Setting your vacuum to the right height for each surface will help to maximize efficiency.

6. Vacuum From the Outside In

The secret to professional-looking carpet cleaning is all about the approach. Begin by vacuuming the perimeter of the room with the edging tool. Then, starting at the far corner and moving backward, vacuum yourself out of the room. This ensures you’ll end up with clean vacuum lines and no footprints. 

7. Know Some Rooms Need Extra Attention

The spare guest room that’s only used twice a year likely won’t need weekly vacuuming. But your high-traffic areas will need more frequent cleaning, especially areas like the kitchen where crumbs tend to fly everywhere. Be sure not to rush through the vacuuming process in these rooms, either. Going slowly gives the machine enough time to thoroughly suck up all the dirt and debris.

8. Cleaning Frequency 

On average, vacuuming once per week is a good frequency. To help you feel more organized and less overwhelmed, consider creating a cleaning schedule to stay on track with each space. For larger homes or those with families trying to juggle work, school, and activities, hiring a regular cleaning service may be worth the expense. If outsourcing this task means more time and less stress for you, definitely consider reaching out to some home cleaning services in your area.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.