How Often Should You Vacuum Your House?
Chores might become a little less tedious if you know exactly when to expect them and have peace of mind at all other times. Here’s how to figure out your vacuuming schedule for maximum cleanliness and minimum hassle.
Hard floors: weekly
A weekly vacuum is enough for hard surfaces, unless your area is very dusty or sandy. Don’t neglect it for longer than a week, though. Otherwise dirt, allergens, dander, hair etc. will get between the boards or tiles and become more difficult to remove.
Hard floors include ceramic, hardwood, vinyl, laminate, parquet, and stone. Some of these surfaces can get permanent scratches from loose dirt, especially if outside soil is brought into the home.
When you vacuum your hard floors, pay special attention to joints, corners, crevices, grout lines, etc. They are hard to reach, but easy to ignore, which makes them prime dirt traps.
Carpets need more vacuuming than any kind of uncovered floor. The frequency depends on a few factors. First, consider the material your carpet is made of. Is it synthetic? Wool? Cotton weave? Mixed?
Some materials collect dust, hairs, etc. more quickly and retain them more stubbornly. Check the manufacturer’s label and research how your particular carpet material behaves.
Next, consider the carpet’s location and use. High-traffic areas like living rooms or entryways need daily vacuuming for the “walking lanes” and an overall vacuum twice per week. Light-traffic places like guest rooms should be vacuumed twice a week in the “lanes” and once weekly overall.
In the rooms you use rarely or almost never, vacuum the carpets twice a month, i.e. once every two weeks. For most materials, remember to pass the vacuum in different directions a few times.
This way, you lift the dirt from the deeper layers of the fabric. It prevents matting, and discourages allergens and mites from gathering in the bottom.
To get the most benefit from your vacuuming routine, get the right tool for the job. It mostly comes down to your floor type and your available space.
For example, a stick vacuum cleaner is easier for storage in small apartments. A large house might benefit from a vacuum with built-in wheels that’s easier to transport around all the different rooms.
Thickly woven carpets might want a steam cleaning treatment. A home with hard floors only might prefer an added water collector, to trap the dry dirt and prevent it from falling back around as the vacuum passes.
Take stock of the environment you’re working with. Then list the most important features you want in a vacuum and start exploring the best models for your needs.
Pet owners: daily
Households with pets are the exception to our previous points. If you own any kind of pet (but especially a shedding kind) you need to vacuum daily. It doesn’t matter whether your floors are hard or carpeted. Vacuum every day.
Don’t forget the furniture! Even if you don’t let your pet climb the couch, the stuff they drop doesn’t land only on the floor. Vacuum all surfaces, and wash your curtains regularly, too. You may want to redecorate with shorter curtains that won’t brush the floor.
If you don’t have the time and/or energy, focus on high-traffic areas and bedrooms. They are the most vulnerable to fleas, ticks, and outside dirt. Fur, dander, feather molt, and scales molt are also a problem. They can carry diseases, trigger allergies, or make pre-existing conditions worse.
To wrap up, we have some extra efficiency tips for you. If you have area rugs, remember to remove them and vacuum the floor underneath too. Also, use the upholstery attachment on the rugs’ backing.
If your home features different types of flooring, choose the vacuum type that’s the best for the majority material. You can usually handle the rest well enough by utilizing the vacuum’s attachments and other features.
Look for a vacuum with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter. HEPA vacuums capture much more dirt and bacteria than regular models.
Whatever type of vacuum you have, clean it regularly. This will keep it working at full capacity and prolong its overall lifespan.