Vacuuming your carpet can be messy, but it’s necessary for a clean and healthy living space. Regular vacuuming removes visible dirt and debris and eliminates allergens. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to vacuum your carpets properly.

Table of Contents:

    ● Benefits of Vacuuming Carpets
    ● Tools Needed
    ● Steps to Vacuum Carpets
    ● How Often To Vacuum Carpets
    ● Common Mistakes To Avoid
    ● FAQs
    ● The Final Word


    Benefits of Vacuuming Carpets


    Vacuuming carpets has various benefits, such as:

    ●  Improved indoor air quality: Regular vacuuming helps remove allergens, dust mites, pet dander, and other debris from your carpet.

    Increased carpet life: Dirt and grit can wear down your carpet fibers. By removing them regularly, you can prevent premature wear.

    Enhanced appearance: Regular vacuuming helps maintain the carpet’s original color, improving the appearance of your living space.

    Odor control: Pet accidents or food spills can cause the carpet to smell. Vacuuming helps get rid of them.

    Prevent mold and moisture: Vacuuming helps remove moisture from your carpet and prevents mold and mildew growth.

    Prevent pest infestations: Regular vacuuming helps get rid of food crumbs that may attract pests.


    Tools Needed

    ● Mid-size upright vacuum cleaner (Shark Vertex Pro)

    ● Microfiber cloth (Amazon Basics Microfiber Cloth)

    ● Carpet stain remover (OxiClean Large Area Carpet Cleaner)

    Selecting the Right Vacuum Cleaner

    There are different types of vacuums, such as stick, canister, upright, and robotic. Among these, upright vacuums work best for carpets.

    The upright vacuum cleaner has a vertical design, and the motor, suction head, and canister are all contained in a single unit. It has a turbo brush (rotating brush) in the floor head to pick up debris from the carpet. It also comes with various attachments, such as a crevice tool, dusting brush, extension wand, pet hair tool, and edge cleaner.

    Upright vacuum cleaners come in small, medium, and large sizes. A mid-size vacuum will do the job for most homeowners unless you live in a mansion.

    Steps to Vacuum Carpets

    1. Prep Work Before vacuuming your carpet, here’s all you need to do:

    ● Move the furniture, toys, and other obstacles to ensure the vacuum can reach all areas. If the furniture is too heavy to move, use a vacuum cleaner attachment to clean around it.

    ● Empty the canister for optimal suction power.

    ● Adjust the height of the vacuum cleaner depending on your carpet’s length. A
    lower setting is ideal for dense carpets, while a higher setting is better for plush carpets.

    2. Use the Right Vacuum Head

    The rotating brush is the primary head of an upright vacuum cleaner. You can use it on most carpet textures except woven, frieze, and velvet pile. As for the material, you shouldn’t use a rotating brush on wool and acrylic.

    Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines to know whether you can use a rotating brush on your carpet. If they don’t suggest using it, turn it off to let the vacuum operate using suction only.

    3. Dust Before You Vacuum

    Dust the tile floors, wood, and other hard surfaces before vacuuming to prevent dust particles from being pushed onto the carpet during the vacuuming process.

    4. Start From the Corner

    Always begin vacuuming in the farthest corner from the doorway to avoid stepping on freshly cleaned areas.

    Note: Check your carpet before vacuuming for large items such as coins and paper clips. You should pick them up by hand as they can damage the vacuum.

    5. Overlap Strokes

    Slowly move the vacuum from side to side to pick up as much dirt and debris as possible. Two strokes are enough to remove the dirt, but multiple strokes may be necessary for high-traffic areas like hallways and doorways.

    The saying “slow and steady wins the race” is especially true for vacuuming. Rushing through the process can result in incomplete dirt removal and be hard on your vacuum cleaner.

    6. Use Attachments for Edges and Corners

    Edges and corners accumulate more dirt than the central area and are hard to reach with the main vacuum head. You can use vacuum cleaner attachments such as the crevice tool to clean these spaces.

    Use a hose attachment to vacuum the stairs because the main vacuum head might be too big to use on them.

    7. Treat Stains and Spills Quickly

    Treat stains and spills quickly to prevent them from penetrating deep into the carpet fibers. Here’s how you can remove them.

    ● Blot as much of the stain as possible with a microfiber cloth. Don’t rub because it can push the stain deeper into the carpet fiber.

    ● Spray carpet stain remover on the affected area and allow 10 minutes for it to work. Don’t spray too much solution to avoid damaging the padding below. Also, test the stain remover on a hidden spot to ensure it doesn’t fade the carpet color.

    ● Vacuum the affected area till the stain disappears.

    8. Empty the Canister When Necessary

    Empty your vacuum canister when it’s about two-thirds full for optimal suction. On average, you can cover 100 square feet with a mid-size upright vacuum cleaner before you empty the canister.

    Pro tip: Replace your vacuum filter every three months for optimal performance. You can check the instruction manual to know what filter to use and how often to replace it.

    How Often to Vacuum Carpets


    You should vacuum your carpet at least once a week. As for stains and spills, clean them immediately.

    While regular vacuuming is necessary, you should also deep clean your carpet at least once a year. Deep cleaning involves using a carpet shampoo and vacuum cleaner to remove dirt, stains, and allergens from the carpet. If you have kids and pets, do this twice a year.
    Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to deep clean carpets.

    Common Mistakes To Avoid


    ● Not emptying the canister

    ● Not replacing the vacuum filter at the correct time

    ● Moving too quickly

    ● Using too much cleaning solution

    ● Delaying stain treatment

    ● Ignoring corners and edges


    Can I vacuum too quickly?

    Moving too quickly can compromise cleaning effectiveness. Move the vacuum slowly to pick up as much dirt as possible.

    How long do carpets last?

    The life of carpets ranges from 10 to 15 years, depending on the material and foot traffic. Wool carpets usually last the longest.

    When should I replace my carpet?

    ● Visible wear and tear
    ● Stubborn stains
    ● Too old (more than 15 years)
    ● You’re bored with the design

    What’s an eco-friendly alternative to commercial carpet cleaners?

    Vinegar solution is an eco-friendly alternative to commercial carpet cleaners. You can prepare it by mixing a cup of white vinegar with three cups of water in a spray bottle.

    The Final Word

    Vacuuming your carpet enhances the appearance of your living space and contributes to a healthy living environment.

    If your carpet is damaged and you need help replacing it, get in touch with Family Interiors. We will send our pros for a free in-house estimate and help you choose the right carpet, depending on your needs.