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5 vacuuming mistakes to avoid

Vacuuming mistakes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There is ample advice out there on how to vacuum effectively, but have you ever considered what not to do? We've rounded up five vacuuming mistakes to make you aware of the things you could be doing (or not doing), that are hindering your cleaning routine. 

From techniques to technical maintenance, there are many aspects to vacuuming that go further than a speedy every day clean. Many people think that using one of the best vacuum cleaners (opens in new tab) is a simple task that can be completed quickly. However, if you want to get the most out of your time spent on chores, there are many common mistakes to make sure you avoid so that you know how to clean a carpet (opens in new tab) effectively. 

1. Using the wrong type of vacuum

One of the biggest mistakes people often make is choosing the wrong vacuum for their floors. This is something to consider in the research process, as it's important to be spending your money wisely on an appliance that works for your home.

Whether it's an upright, stick, or robot vacuum (opens in new tab), there are specially designed options out there for different floor types and lifestyle requirements. For example, upright and canister vacuums are best used for high-pile carpets and often come with dedicated attachments for upholstery and crevices. 

Using a smaller, stick option designed for light cleaning on a heavily soiled carpet will take longer to reach the desired level of cleanliness. This will result in much harder work for less than perfect results. 

So, to optimize your vacuuming technique and time spent completing cleaning tasks, make sure that the device you choose to invest in has the sufficient power and attachments for your floors. 

2. Not cleaning the hair out of the suction

A common mistake to make in many households is not cleaning the hair out of the suction. Whether you have lots of pets running around your home or simply shed hair yourself, it can quickly become bound within carpet fibers. 

Pablo Montero, CEO of Lupe Technology (opens in new tab), advises on the best way to combat this: "To make sure there isn't too much hair build-up around the brush roller, take it out periodically and clean the hairs off with scissors. How frequently to do this would depend on how "hairy" your household is, but it will make your machine perform much better."

3. Not moving furniture around 

How many times have you actually considered moving your heavy bed or sofa to clean underneath it? While this is a time-consuming task (and furniture is often too heavy to move on your own), it will be entirely worthwhile when your carpets are evenly cleaned and free of discoloration. 

Rotating furniture periodically, including area rugs, will prevent any indentations from becoming permanent as well as discoloration from the sun. It also makes sure you get into every crack and crevice, so that no areas become thick with dust and damaged in the long-term. 

4. Vacuuming too quickly

Pablo Montero advises that "the slower you go, and the more forwards and backward movements you make, the cleaner it will be." And we couldn't agree more. 

Vacuuming too quickly is a tempting habit as it gets the dreaded everyday chores done much quicker, but slow and steady wins the race. Taking the time to vacuum thoroughly, with repeated motions over the same spots, will give you the best chance of combating dirt. So, next time you want to rush through the task, remember how much better the outcome will be with a bit more care and attention.

5. Avoiding regular vacuum maintenance

What the expert says...

Pablo Montero, CEO of Lupe Technology (opens in new tab), says, "some machines have safety protections to alert you of issues but not all machines do. If you ever find that the exhaust/outlet air is running really hot it's definitely something you should attend to straight away by checking the manual or calling customer service of your vacuum cleaner manufacturer."

It's important to protect your investments, which is why avoiding regular machine maintenance is one of the biggest vacuuming mistakes. 

Luckily, Pablo Montero has said that "with vacuum cleaners, it's fortunate that no failure is really going to be catastrophic, so you don't need to worry too much if you're not maintenance minded."

However, "periodic checks of the pipework for blockages and splits would be advisable." This offers peace of mind that your vacuum cleaner is working efficiently before any further issues occur. 

To keep your machine in top condition, it's also worth understanding how to clean a vacuum cleaner filter (opens in new tab), as this will remove any dust enabling your vacuum to suction much more effectively.

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Holly is the Features Editor at Top Ten Reviews where she focuses on creating informative, how-to advice. She has a degree in English Literature and previously worked as a copywriter at Howdens, specializing in kitchens and trend-led interiors. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her exploring the best London bars and brunch spots, or planning the next budget-friendly city break.