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How Often Should You Vacuum Your Home?

Keeping the home clean, tidy, and safe for living is not an easy task, which also requires time, effort, and in the end, some money.

Knowing how often some area should be vacuumed can be of great help, just as knowing how to improve vacuuming efficiency, saving both time and effort.

Published: December 14, 2022.

living room

Home Vacuuming

Vacuuming frequency greatly depends on the floor types, the number of people, their jobs and habits, if there are pets or not, vacuum cleaners being used, and similar.

Also, areas with high traffic, like living areas, kitchens, entryways, and similar, should be vacuumed more often than, for example, rooms with no or very little use, like guest rooms, for example.

So, generally, one should vacuum:

  • Carpets and Area Rugs should be vacuumed twice per week. Carpets and area rugs collect and capture dirt surprisingly efficiently, and they must be thoroughly vacuumed using vacuum cleaners with spinning brushrolls.
  • Hard Floors should be vacuumed once per week. Hard floors don't collect, and they don't capture dirt, as well as carpets and area rugs, but the dirt can accumulate in corners, crevices, and similar. So, when cleaning bare floors, be sure to pay special attention to corners and other similar hard-to-reach areas.
  • Elevated Surfaces should be dusted once per week or when vacuuming the area. However, it is highly recommended to dust first and only then to vacuum - this allows the dust from elevated surfaces that wasn't captured to settle down on the floor (or at least near the floor), after which the dust is collected by vacuuming.
  • Guest Rooms and similar areas that are not used often should be vacuumed biweekly and before use.

However, there are a few additional recommendations.

  • Furry Pets: if You have furry pets like dogs and cats, consider vacuuming on a daily basis, especially if You have pets that shed a lot. In that case, a good vacuum cleaner with a tangle-free main cleaner head is highly recommended, combined with additional cleaning tools for vacuuming elevated surfaces like sofas, beds, stairs, pet beds, and similar.

dog at home playing

Note: Homes with pets, especially large dogs that shed a lot, should not only vacuum floors and pet beds but should also consider vacuuming their - pets. Dogs generally don't like the sound of vacuum cleaners, but over time they can easily get used to it. And when they do, using a good pet vacuuming attachment, the pet owner can remove the pet hair from the dog even before they actually fall off the dog, greatly saving time and effort. And dogs? Well, most of them will appreciate additional cuddling time with their owners.

  • High Traffic Areas and Dirty Jobs: homes with high-traffic areas exposed to outside dirt heavily should consider vacuuming those areas once per day, combined with mopping/washing, depending on the exact floor type and dirt type being brought indoors.
  • Allergy Season: If your household has members that suffer from asthma and allergies, consider vacuuming all surfaces at least twice per week and high-traffic areas exposed to outside dirt on a daily basis. Homes with large tile floors should also consider steam cleaning such areas.

How To Choose The Right Vacuum Cleaner

In order to clean the home thoroughly, most homes have at least two different vacuum cleaners, including one main, full-size, corded vacuum cleaner or high-end cordless 2-in-1 convertible cordless vacuum cleaner.

Regardless of the vacuum cleaner type, the main vacuum cleaner must have good suction, HEPA air filtration, the main cleaner head that allows the user to clean all floors at home thoroughly, cleaning attachments that allow the user to vacuum elevated surfaces, etc.

Such vacuums are not cheap, but they don't have to cost a small fortune. After all, such vacuums should come with a warranty period of at least 3-5 years and should actually last for at least 4-6 years. So, spending a little extra for such a cleaning aid should not be a problem.

Most homes feature upright vacuum cleaners with additional cleaning hoses and cleaning tools as their main vacuum cleaners, but other types are used as well.

The second vacuum cleaner is usually a cordless or corded handheld or convertible stick/handheld vacuum cleaner intended for quick cleanups and cleaning in emergencies.

Amazon Search:

- Cordless Stick Vacuum

Note: Amazon link opens in the new window, feel free to check it for the most up-to-date offers and prices.

Robot Vacuums

Robot vacuums can't replace the main vacuum cleaner but can be of great help when keeping large, open areas as clean as possible.

Modern advanced robot vacuums feature advanced navigation systems, WiFi connectivity, and support Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant, voice prompts and commands, reporting, mapping, recharge and resume, and many other features.

Also, perhaps the best improvements in modern robot vacuums are self-cleaning brushrolls and self-emptying dust bins, allowing these units to be almost independent.

Amazon Search:

- Robot Vacuum

Note: Amazon link opens in the new window, feel free to check it for the most up-to-date offers and prices.

HEPA Air Purifiers

True HEPA air purifiers are able to capture at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger airborne particles, including dust, pet dander, pollen, and other potential allergens.

Also, air purifiers with activated carbon layers can capture even smells, odors, tobacco smoke, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), etc.

Additionally, air purifiers with UV lamps combined with Titanium Dioxide and/or air ionizers can even disinfect the air and/or remove/capture particles that are even smaller than 0.3 micrometers.

Steam Mops

Steam mops are excellent cleaning tools for tiles and similar surfaces that tolerate such type of cleaning.

When used as recommended, steam mops kill at least 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and other germs found on floors.

Steam mops can also be used on sealed hardwood floors, laminate, and similar sensitive floors, IF and ONLY IF allowed by the manufacturer of that floor - heat from steam can damage really sensitive floors!

hardwood floors

How To Maintain Vacuum Cleaners

Whenever You get a new vacuum cleaner, be sure to read the Owner's Guide thoroughly - every vacuum cleaner may have some specific maintenance requirements.

But, generally, one should:

  • Empty the dirt bin after each use,
  • Clean and/or replace air filters as recommended by the manufacturer,
  • Check and, if required, clean the main brushroll(s),
  • Check and, if required, clean the additional cleaning tools and attachments.

Also, if the vacuum:

  • Lose suction or stop vacuuming: unplug the vacuum, empty the dirt bin, check/clean the air filters, and check for clogs and blockages. If the vacuum stops vacuuming, let it cool down for at least 30-60 minutes and only then start to vacuum again (the thermal protection system may turn off the suction motor),
  • Main brushroll stop spinning: stop vacuuming, unplug the vacuum, check the brushroll for blockages, hair, lint, and similar,
  • Start to smell bad: empty and wash the dirt bin (if allowed), clean and wash (if allowed) air filters, and check the air pathways for dirt that may cause the smell.

Again, if required, read the manual for exact maintenance procedures, just in case.

air purifier maintenance 1

If You have air purifiers, be sure to clean the air filters on a biweekly basis - vacuum them using a gentle dusting brush and decreased suction.

Note: One can be surprised how much dust and other airborne dirt air purifiers can collect on their air filters, blocking the normal airflow.

Also, replace the air filters after 6-12 months, depending on the air purifier model.

If you have steam mops, be sure to machine wash their steam mop pads and replace them whenever the old ones get worn out.

Also, if You live in an area with really hard water, it is highly recommended to steam mop using distilled or at least demineralized water - such water leaves no marks or streaks on the floors, leaving them clean and shiny. Such water also prevents the buildup of lime and other solids within the steam mop, prolonging its lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some general Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about vacuuming and cleaning:

Is vacuuming every day too much?

It depends. High traffic and heavily soiled areas should be vacuumed on a daily basis.

Also, really high-traffic areas, if possible, vacuum such areas using a robot vacuum at night and using the main vacuum cleaner during the day.

Is vacuuming once a week enough?

Floors that don't collect dirt much (bare floors, for example) can be vacuumed once per week, just be sure to vacuum corners, crevices, and other hard-to-clean areas thoroughly.

Carpets in rooms that are not used often should be vacuumed once per week.

How often should you vacuum if you live alone?

This depends on the floor types, air pollution, your living habits, and similar, but generally, once or twice per week should be enough.

If You have pet(s) that shed a lot, You should vacuum on a daily basis.

Is it better to vacuum or dust first?

One should dust first and only then vacuum - this allows the dust that wasn't captured by dusting to settle down on the floor (or at least near the floor) and to be vacuumed.

how often to vacuum mLong Story Short: Vacuuming is not a fun time, but it has to be done properly in order to keep the homes clean and pleasant to live in.

Knowing when and how to vacuum surfaces found at home can save plenty of time and effort...

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