A Cleaning Expert Weighs in on the Best, Most Efficient Ways to Vacuum Any Room

published Jun 18, 2019
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Credit: Minette Hand

There’s not necessarily a right or wrong way to vacuum. Sometimes, you just have to get the job done.

But if you’re looking to take your vacuum cleaner game to the next level—and save a little time—you can certainly employ some strategy. Jamie Wilcox, brand director at BISSELL, weighed in to provide some tips for an extra efficient (and satisfying) vacuuming experience. Here’s what she had to say:

Start in the far corner of the room

To avoid stepping on the carpet you already cleaned, Wilcox recommends the corner of a room as a starting point. “Plug in as central of a location as you can if you’re using a corded vacuum so you can unplug as little as possible,” she says. “Nobody wants footprints on their fresh vacuum lines!”

Vacuum in rows

It may take a smidge longer, but systematically vacuuming will also prevent the need to re-do your work. “Vacuuming in rows ensures you cover the whole area. Plus, a lot of people experience ‘cleaning nirvana’ with the nice, organized rows as they clean,” Wilcox says.

Start with messier surfaces

If you’ve ever burned out halfway through your cleaning regimen, leaving the worst rooms messy, this one is for you. Wilcox recommends vacuuming rooms with the dirtiest surfaces first, so when you’re sick of cleaning, there’s less work to do.

The same rule applies to difficult-to-clean surfaces: Before doing the relatively easy work of vacuuming carpeted rooms, tackle area rugs and hard surfaces in your home.

Clean top to bottom

If you’re planning to go to town vacuuming your baseboards and upholstery along with your carpets, start with higher surfaces first—that way, the airborne particles (read: dust) that don’t get captured by the vacuum won’t end up on a clean floor.

Vacuum forward and backward

For a deeper clean, Wilcox recommends vacuuming forward and backward over each area. “If you want a crazy good clean, go over the carpet in all directions so your brush hits the carpet fibers on all sides,” she says.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Make it easy on yourself

Depending on your home setup (and if you have kids and/or pets), it might be worthwhile to invest in a few different vacuums. “If you want the easiest way to clean, use a full-sized vac for deep-down dirt in carpeted areas, a hand vac or stick vac that’s easy to grab to clean up little messes, and a robotic vacuum to run during the week,” Wilcox suggests.

Clean or change your filter

“The number one thing to remember as a vacuum owner is to clean or change your filter every few uses,” Wilcox says. “That’s the biggest thing you can do (other than emptying your vacuum) to keep it operating at peak performance.”

Know when it’s time to replace or repair

“Usually, you know you need a new vacuum when suction power decreases,” Wilcox says. But before spending money on an entirely new vacuum, make sure to check the filter. “Usually, cleaning or replacing the filter leads to a huge improvement in vacuum performance.”