Only a few people bother reading instruction manuals. Take time to do so and you will find that the vacuum cleaner becomes one of the most useful tools in the house.
If your vacuum has adjustable suction, make use of the variable settings on the cleaners. Do not just set it to maximum. Maximum power is likely to weaken the fibers of a fitted carpet and do serious damage to old or valuable rugs, especially fringes. The heavy suction will also make vacuuming harder work. In general, the best advice is t use medium power on fitted carpets, low power on rugs, and maximum power on hard floors.
Do not make work for yourself. To clean a carpet, use medium power and do not press down hard. Float the head across the floor and let the machine do the work.
If you have them, use the different heads. The standard head is fine for carpets, but can rub grit into hard floors. For those, use the large brush head.
Use the vacuum cleaner to help with your other cleaning. For example, on something that cannot be vacuumed direct, brush the dust off and into the vacuum cleaner, on low power. This way, you are taking the dust out of the house, instead of whisking it up in the air, ready to settle over everything again.
Keep the vacuum cleaner clean. The wheels can pick up dirt, which marks carpets, and grit, which damages wooden floors. Wipe the wheels occasionally with a damp cloth. Check the heads and attachments for trapped fibers. Pull away trapped fibers from carpet heads and beater bars. Use the vacuum cleaner and the crevice tool to get out any other dust and dirt. Empty the bag or lift-off canister and change filters regularly.
Use all the attachments. They can do many of the jobs that require a duster or a brush in half the time. They include:
- Crevice Tool – Probably the most useful of all the attachments, especially if the cleaner has a long tube attachment. Use it to clean the edge of carpets – no cleaner can reach right to the edge – as well as behind radiators, along the tops of baseboards and to remove cobwebs. It can also be used to get dust out of intricate plaster molding, but go easy if the plaster is old or crumbling.
- Upholstery Brush – This looks like a smaller version of the large brush attachment. Use it for stair, also for upholstery. It is amazing how crumbs and other particles accumulate down the back of the sofa. Vacuum upholstery once a week and occasionally use the crevice tool to get into all the nooks and crannies. Also use this attachment to vacuum the mattress once a month.
- Dusting Brush – The best way to clean venetian blinds. Also use this soft brush to clean dusty shelves and, on minimum power, the television screen, lampshades the top of books, and even ornaments.