ITHACA/ELMIRA carpet cleaners

Vacuum Correctly

Vacuum Correctly, Vacuum Often and Vacuum Efficiently & Effectively

When you vacuum correctly and vacuum often, you will be able to properly maintain your area rugs and carpet, upholstered furniture, and draperies. Soiling is the worst enemy of these items.

It is your vacuum's job to remove that soiling, in the form of ground-in dust, dirt, sand or grit. But did you know an excessively soiled carpet can hold up to one pound of soil in each square yard? This can occur especially at entrance ways and in heavily trafficked areas that are seldom vacuumed. The job of vacuuming correctly and vacuuming often can be made so much easier if we can learn to vacuum these items efficiently and effectively.

 TIPS to Help You
Vacuum Efficiently & Effectively

Few people really know how to vacuum efficiently with minimum effort. Most of the damaging soils and oily or gritty particles collect wherever there is most usage or foot traffic. These are the areas which require most of the vacuuming.

As far as vacuuming efficiently goes, one of the best overall tips is the following: It is far better to vacuum ONLY the heavy traffic areas much more frequently or repeatedly than it is to cover everything or everywhere with a once-over-light vacuuming!

Below are some more tips to help you vacuum efficiently and effectively:

TIP #1 -You Cannot Vacuum Correctly Unless You Maintain Your Vacuuming Equipment

Well-maintained vacuuming equipment helps both in overall soil removal and better long-term appearance.

Do not allow the dirt collection bags to become more than 1/2 full. This greatly reduces suction power and vacuuming efficiency in most machines. If your vacuum has a cloth bag, make sure to turn the bag inside out at least every third emptying and sweep it off. This allows for better breathing of the bag and greater soil pick up. 

Periodically check and replace belts and brush rolls for optimum performance.

TIP #2 -To Vacuum Correctly,
Remove Soil by Vacuuming Against the Nap

The best way to remove ground-in soil from a carpet or area rug is to vacuum against the nap.  Another method is to use a Carpet Grooming Rake (we sell them) to lift the carpet pile. This will remove soil and helps to improve the carpet or rug’s appearance. 

TIP #3 -Which Type of Vacuum to Use
on Rugs and Carpets?

Canister or backpack vacuums are versatile and convenient, but they may not have a beater bar, thus requiring more effort (passes or strokes) than upright vacuums to achieve similar soil removal. Canister vacuums used on carpet should preferably have a separate motor- driven beater bar.

We recommend the use of an upright vacuum with a beater bar for rugs and carpet and canister type vacuums for upholstery, draperies, blinds, light dusting, etc. Rugs brought to our plant are pile lifted to remove as much of the particulate soil as possible before cleaning. For rugs with excessive particulate matter, we use special equipment for extra dusting.

Some vacuums require they be adjusted to match the pile heights of the carpet. Higher pile and loosely textured rugs and carpet may show shading marks where the vacuum last passed over. For the most even surface appearance after vacuuming, keep the final vacuuming strokes all in the same direction. You may also purchase a Grooming Rake from us for that purpose.

TIP #4 - How Often Should
Residential and Commercial Rugs Be Vacuumed?

Residential carpet and rugs should be vacuumed according to the amount of traffic and abuse they receive. Vacuuming should be done at least once every 2 weeks, preferably once each week and even twice per week if heavily trafficked or soiled.

Contract or commercial carpet needs to be vacuumed thoroughly at least 3 to 5 times per week. In high traffic areas, i.e., traffic lanes and entrance ways, commercial carpet should be vacuumed nightly.

A light vacuuming could be defined as covering the same carpet or upholstery areas with three or four overlapping strokes. A more thorough vacuuming could be 6 or even 8 strokes over the same, heavily soiled areas.

TIP #5 - Proper Vacuuming of Rugs with Fringes

When vacuuming oriental rugs and other area rugs with fringes, vacuum from side to side (opposite the fringes). This will save the fringes from being pulled up into the vacuum which can damage the fringes and even the vacuum. If you are using a use a vacuum tool to vacuum fringes, cover it with an old nylon stocking to prevent damage to the fringe as well as the vacuum.

We have Fringe Rakes for sale in our plant which can be used to remove soil specifically from the fringes and also to straighten them with the added advantage that you don't have to bend over!

TIP #6 - Vacuum Upholstery and Draperies Regularly

It is equally important to vacuum correctly when cleaning your upholstered furniture and draperies. There are special accessories and hand tools to vacuum these fabrics. Some machines come with suction lowering adjustments to keep the fabric from binding or being drawn up into the nozzle during vacuuming.

Do not let the dust and soil build up. In higher soiling conditions or where there is heavy usage, vacuum every few weeks or more, if needed.

In Summary

You usually cannot vacuum too much and it is more likely your furnishings are suffering from insufficient vacuuming. It's the ground-in soil that dulls, discolors, and damages your valuable textile furnishings, never the vacuuming. The loose fibers that are vacuumed out of new carpet are normal, and no reason for concern. Remember to vacuum often, vacuum correctly and well. It's worth the effort.

If you are interested in purchasing a Carpet Rake or a Fringe Rake, just give us a call at (607) 272-1566 or you can contact us here.

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ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.
130 Cecil Malone Drive Ithaca, NY 14850


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