Is Your Old Vacuum Ruining Your New Floors?

Written by Ralph Kuehn and Kristen Stensby of Champion Floor Company
Updated December 9, 2021
gray vacuum head on light carpet flooring
Katelin Kinney

Your new carpet or wood floors may also require buying new cleaning tools. Here's when to upgrade an old broom, mop or vacuum cleaner to prevent floor damage

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It seems like we spend so much time talking about new flooring itself, that it's easy to overlook antiquated cleaning tools that also need to be upgraded when installing new floors.

So we want to take a moment to talk about the vacuum cleaners, brooms and mops that fill our hall closets. Whether you’re attempting to salvage what you’ve got or you're ready to purchase new, use our shortlist to find the features to look for and what to avoid when buying floor cleaning tools.

Brooms

When to Throw a Broom Out

  • Disrepair: Split ends on the broom bristles aren’t good.

  • Dirty: Bristles that won’t come clean can lead to scratching.

What to Look For

  • Strength: Look for soft but sturdy bristles that won’t scratch your new floors.

Mops

When to Throw Mops Out

  • Smelly Mops: Mop heads are notorious for holding onto odors.

  • Disrepair: Watch for any sharp or hard plastic pieces pushing through the mop head.

What to Look For

  • Replaceable Heads: Look for mops with removable heads. Some can even be thrown in the washing machine to be cleaned and sanitized there.

  • Grimy: Avoid “spongy” mop tops that don’t allow you to properly control the amount of liquid you’re putting on the floor and can carry bacteria.

  • Just Say No: Don’t use steam mops for cleaning real hardwood floors.

Vacuums

When to Throw a Vacuum Out

  • Broken: Frayed or broken electrical cords are a fire hazard.

  • No Adjustments: If the beater bar on your vacuum is not adjustable, it’s time to upgrade.

  • Beater Bar: Bristles that are worn away won’t do their job.

What to Look For

  • Adjustable Beater Bars: Be sure to adjust the bar based on what you are vacuuming, whether it’s a high pile carpet or bare floors.

  • HEPA-Filters: You’re moving around a lot of dusty air, these filters will trap allergy-inducing particles inside.

  • Avoid Too Much Suction: Get a strong vacuum, but beware that some are so strong they can pull carpet fibers out of the backing.

Bottom line?

Don’t overlook a small change in your house cleaning arsenal to protect your investment. If you’re still unsure if your new floors require updated cleaning gear, ask your flooring contractor what’s the best way to clean your carpet or other flooring. Anyone worth hiring for the installation should be able to answer maintenance questions.

About this Experts Contributor: Kristen Stensby works at her family owned flooring company, Champion Floor Company in St. Louis. She grew up in the industry and has certifications from the National Wood Flooring Association, Mohawk, Mercier and more. She writes the Champion Floor blog and newsletters.

As of Feb. 21, 2016, this service provider was highly rated. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angi for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angi.

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