Some cleaning professionals have been vacuuming carpets for so long they think they were born knowing how to do it. Not so. Vacuuming is a learned task and vital to proper cleaning. And, there are ways to make vacuuming faster, safer, and more effective ways.
This month’s Tornado Top Ten is all about proper vacuuming techniques using an upright vacuum cleaner, still the workhouse of our industry.
1. Always first inspect the area to be vacuumed. If a carpet is wet, for instance, the moisture can be vacuumed into the machine and potentially damage internal components. A quick inspection can prevent such damage from occurring.
2. Pick up coins, paper clips, and large debris before vacuuming. Do not assume the machine can safely “digest” these larger items.
3. Check the filter bag before each use, especially if the vacuum is used by other users. Change the bag when it is two-thirds full.
4. Check the bottom of the vacuum cleaner. Ensure that connections and connectors are tight and remove any debris.
5. Check the brush. If twine or debris is caught in the brush, use a comb or similar object to remove it.
6. Put greater time and effort vacuuming heavy trafficked areas and less time in periphery areas. This strategy can reduce vacuuming time.
7. Vacuum in a forward moving, overlapping direction.
8. Do not vacuum stairs/steps by picking up the machine. Instead, use the wand and proper wand attachment (if available).
9. Change vacuuming directions from time to time, which helps remove soils from fibers.
10. When done vacuuming, do not pull on the cord to unplug the machine. Reach for the plug to disconnect its base from the outlet.
“A final consideration is to simply notice how you feel after vacuuming,” says Jolynn Kennedy, marketing manager for Tornado Industries. “If your hand, arm, or shoulder hurts, that could be a sign that a more ergonomically designed machine is needed.”