We here at Sooner Carpet Cleaning have a love/hate relationship with vacuums.
Spend more, spend less? Simple or Bells & Whistles? What is the right answer? I want to give you one person’s opinion on residential vacuums and vacuuming.
First, how often should we be vacuuming? I don’t want to make everyone feel inadequate but according to Shaw Flooring, “For rooms with light traffic, vacuum the carpet traffic lanes twice weekly and the entire area once weekly. In areas with heavy traffic, vacuum the carpet traffic lanes daily and the entire area twice weekly. Up to three passes of the machine will suffice for light soiling, but five to seven passes are necessary for heavily soiled areas. Change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and reduce matting.” Wow!
So that extra 15 minutes you have daily should be used for floor care! Don’t give up just yet. Just wanted to get the expert opinion out there. I say do what you can and include family members if possible. Even if a kid isn’t changing direction and going over the same area seven times at least some dust and dirt was removed when you didn’t have time to give it the expert vacuuming. But it is true that frequent vacuuming keeps all sorts of things removed from our homes and accounts for over 80% of the soil removal from our carpet.
One tip I want to share is flipping over area rugs. If possible, take a high-use rug and flip it over onto a hard surface (tile). Vacuum the back side slowly and make 6-10 passes. Now lift it away and see what remains on the floor. It is usually shocking. Make sure you vacuum the top side really well afterwards because there is still some clinging to the top of the fibers.
Now let’s talk about which vacuum is best. We suggest making a list of your needs (dog hair, dirt from kids, hard surfaces, shags or thick carpet). Once you know your needs you can hone in on the vacuum that suits you. One of our favorites, that won’t break the bank is the Shark Navigator series. Around $200 will get you one of these. Some great attachments come with it and you can go from hard surface to carpet with the push of one button. Another bonus is many Shark vacuums come with a Shark steamer which we also like. The Shark Rotator series is a little more expensive but still a great value. The key to these vacuums is to empty the canister pretty often. By doing this you keep your suction at its peak level.
The other great things is your ability to access a clog. These vacuums are not difficult to get open, and you can easily remove a clump of hair or a toy that accidentally made its way past the beater bar. The attachments are designed for many applications. Cleaning car mats with the hand held rotator or getting between auto seats with a skinny extension wand makes the job easier and more thorough. The vacuum is also on the light side so no excuses why someone can’t push it around. Just make sure the beater bar is engaged before you send kids off to do the job because they will never notice if they are vacuuming without it.