How Often Should You Vacuum?
A common question about house cleaning is how often should the carpets be vacuumed? You may know someone who seems obsessed with vacuuming every day, or even multiple times each day. Others have a hard time finding the vacuum cleaner. So, what, you may wonder, is the ideal amount of vacuuming you should do? Lets look at several factors.
Are there pets in your house?
Pets contribute greatly to dirty carpets. Most pets shed fur and dander – the bane of those of us with allergies. They also bring in dirt and plant matter from outside. They also contribute to dirty floors with sneezes, coughs, and drooling. Do they eat snacks on the carpet? If so, theyre contributing plenty of crumbs to the mix.
Homes with pets should try to vacuum daily or at least every other day to keep carpets their cleanest.
Are there kids in the house?
Young kids who crawl around and play on the carpet are much closer to the dirt, dust, dander, mites, and other carpet crud than adults are. It is exposure to germs that help our kids build important antibodies against illnesses, but its still a good idea to vacuum often with kids around. Again, try for every day or at least every other day.
Does anyone eat in carpeted areas?
If you regularly eat over a carpeted area, or even walk through a carpeted room with a snack, you can be dropping tiny crumbs. Youd be surprised how many crumbs make it to the floor, even when youre nestled in your easy chair, eating on a TV tray. Take a look sometime between couch cushions or at the floor under the couch. Ants, roaches and other pests are attracted to and feed off the crumbs down in the carpet fibers. Vacuuming often eliminates a vital food source for bugs and other pests.
Do you have heavy traffic areas?
If lots of shoes, feet and paws tread over your carpet, these areas should be cleaned more often, preferably every couple days, if not daily. Light colored carpet shows surface dirt on heavy traffic areas easily, but what you dont see is all the dirt that falls down into the fibers and gets ground in when people walk on it, reducing the life of your carpet. This constant grinding of dirt against fibers weakens your carpet and wears it out much sooner.
Heavy traffic areas should also be vacuumed daily, or at least every other day. And be sure to go over the area several times slowly to get as much stuff up as you can. Five to six passes over entryway carpet will get it much cleaner than a quick once-over.
Consider adding an inexpensive throw rug or runner over heavy traffic areas. Much of the dirt and grime that wears down your expensive carpet fibers will be caught by the throw rugs.
Keep in mind, too, that removing shoes at the door greatly reduces dirt and carpet wear.
Is your carpet dark or light, patterned or not?
Dark carpets show more surface stuff, like lint, pet hair, and other odd things that end up on the floor. Light colored carpet and patterned carpet usually shows less surface stuff like pet hair, but light carpets show wear patterns more quickly.
Dont let a clean looking light colored carpet fool you – there is still a lot of dirt, dander, and other carpet goobers down in the fibers.
It can be hard to remember to vacuum every day, so you might try leaving the vacuum out where youll see it, instead of having to dig into a closet for it.
For daily vacuuming, it isnt necessary to move furniture out of the way. Daily vacuuming is to get at the dirt and junk from every day living. Save the furniture moving for a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly deeper cleaning.
Vacuuming daily shouldnt take more than 10 minutes or so, unless you have a large house or carpeted stairs, too.
If you have children, let them help. Give them certain days that they are responsible for vacuuming. If you have more than one child, perhaps one can vacuum while the other sets the table or does the dinner dishes. Mommys little kids often enjoy vacuuming. Take advantage of that and get them in the cleaning habit while they still like it.
Mostly, how often to vacuum comes down to your own preference. If you want clean carpet that lasts and looks good for years, try to vacuum daily or at least every other day.
Dave Roth owns and operates Vacuum Cleaner Talk, a website devoted to reviews
about vacuum cleaners, including
Dyson, Rainbow, and central