The importance of a vacuum cleaner cannot be overstated especially when you consider that carpet can accumulate and hold up to twice its own yarn face-weight in soil.
Not only does vacuuming remove unsightly soils, but it also removes unseen soils and bio-contaminants that cause carpet and other soft floor coverings to wear prematurely.
Which Vacuum Cleaner is the Best?
You could ask 100 people and get 100 different answers, but in reality most vacuum cleaners are similar. The biggest difference is in the area of attachments.
The efficiency of the vacuum cleaner is based on air displacement. Beater bars, which aid in the air displacement also help to vibrate the fibers in the soft floor coverings, releasing soils that may have not otherwise become dislodged.
In addition to a beater bar, factors such as durability, serviceability and attachments are important features to look for. Attachments allow draperies, wall coverings and furnishings to be vacuumed on a regular basis.
How Often Should Vacuuming Be Done?
When and where to vacuum depends on the traffic flow. As an example, consider the hard floors in a home: entry from the garage, tile floor in the kitchen or a marble floor in the foyer.
Now consider that it takes six paces (three from each foot) to walk-off the majority of dry soils from shoes when walking from hard surfaces to soft surfaces. Visible or not, the soil is there and will need to be removed before it harms the soft surface. These high-traffic areas need to be vacuumed daily.
All exposed use areas beyond the six pace area should be vacuumed at least two times a week.
All other exposed soft floor coverings are constantly subjected to “fall out.” Hair, skin particles, dust, dust mites, spots and a host of other airborne contaminants eventually come to rest i the fibers of the soft floor coverings. A weekly vacuuming schedule can help control these problems.
The most effective way to vacuum soft surfaces is with repeated passes. A slow, forward and backward motion over the same area (three to eight passes) will significantly increase particulate removal.
Another way to increase effectiveness is to use the new micro-filter bags. Although they are more expensive, they clearly outperform paper and cloth bags. No longer will you be recycling many of the airborne contaminants that penetrate through the cloth and paper bag linings. Up to 25 times less leakage means less need for dusting and vacuuming.
Slow the Soil at the Source
When and wherever possible use walk-off mats. These mats can capture much of the traffic soils before they are tracked onto the soft surfaces.
Don’t forget to vacuum walk-off mats daily. If they become over-soiled, they will become ineffective and can actually add to the problem of soiling.
Make Your Vacuum Cleaner More Efficient By Protecting Your Soft Floor Coverings
Fiber-Seal brand products can increase the vacuumability of soft floor coverings. Soils simply cannot adhere to the fibers, allowing the vacuum to be more efficient.
Chinese Orientals, custom area rugs, wall-to-wall carpet and even stain resist carpets can benefit from fabric protection.