Leaving dust on carpets and upholstery gives the dirt time to settle into the fibers and make small cuts that cause the carpet or furniture to age before its time
For many people, when they graduate from college or take that first adult job their living space is a small apartment where they can vacuum and mop in about 15 minutes. But as our careers and families grow, so do our homes and gone are the days of the fast Saturday morning cleanup.
But keeping our floors clean and free of dust and dirt is important for the health of our home and the lifespan of our floors and carpets. Dust – especially if there’s a little sand added to the mix – is hard on our tile, wood and marble floors. As we walk on dusty and dirty floors, we grind the dirt into the floor and dull the surface. Leaving dust on carpets and upholstery gives the dirt time to settle into the fibers and make small cuts that cause the carpet or furniture to age before its time.
Some cleaning experts may recommend vacuuming daily. OK, now that you’ve stopped laughing, we realize this is probably not even remotely feasible in your busy schedule. As a compromise, one suggestion is to regularly hit the high-traffic areas – entryways or maybe the family room – that will tend to have more dust and dirt. You might also consider implementing the “no shoes” rule to keep family members and guests from tracking in more dirt. (Read ourblog post on this topic.)
Another good suggestion is making sure you’ve selected a vacuum cleaner that will work for – not against – you. This means taking the time to find a vacuum cleaner that traps dirt, rather than spewing it out, which is simply counterproductive. In this instance, the cheapest vacuum probably isn’t the best choice.
Take a good look at the design of the vacuum too. The design has a large effect on the suction power wattage. For example, pay attention to the distance from the hose to the motor: the greater the distance, the weaker the suction.
The Housekeeping Channel has several reviews on vacuums, and the Carpet and Rug Institute has started grading vacuums and will be adding reviews.
Check out this review of the Eureka Enviro-Vac from Castle Keepers Vice President Janice Stewart.
Finally, make sure you change the bags or clean the filters regularly. If you have allergies, definitely invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter. But for all households the better the filtration, the cleaner your house. There’s nothing worse than spending an hour vacuuming just to find your vacuum cleaner spit out half the dirt you picked up. You certainly won’t be laughing about that.
— Information adapted from “Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House” by Cheryl Mendelson