5 AMAZING Vacuuming Life Hacks

Don’t Make these 5 Common Vacuuming Mistakes

Few people enjoy cleaning their homes, it’s a chore that needs to be done and for many people, the quicker the better. However, if you are going to spend the time and effort cleaning your home then it makes sense to do a proper job, at least that way you won’t have to do it so often. If it’s worth doing then it’s worth doing properly and this motto applies to vacuuming as well.

oldladyFor this post I went to an expert, Mrs Anne Richmond, who has had an extensive career managing the cleaning of some of the top hotel rooms in the country. With over 30 years of professional cleaning experience I can think of few better people who know how to clean efficiently and well. These are her recommendations.

1. Tidy Up

For efficient vacuuming you need to tidy up first. Objects scattered around on the floor will only hinder your progress and having to stop half way is time consuming, after all, we’re trying to make this a quick, efficient process right?

Go around your living area and pick up any stray objects off the floor, old socks and pieces of string are some of the worst offenders for clogging your vacuum and possibly even damaging the motorised cleaning head, or at least blocking the suction. Which means you have to stop, clean, sort out the problem and then continue. Without proper preparation a simple job can escalate into a maintenance nightmare. So do it right, first step, tidy up.

2. Clean Above First


Modern Cordless Vacuums can work on wet and dry substances

This is simple when you think about it, but dust falls downwards. So clean things that are high first, before vacuuming. That means dusting bookshelves, wiping the top of windowsills and picture frames and dusting ornaments. Any dirt or dust that you fail to pick up on the duster will fall to the floor, no problem; you can hoover it up later.

3. Clean up stairs first

Cleaning Stairs Properly

Lightweight Vacuuming

Following on from the last point, you should always clean upstairs rooms first. When you start vacuuming start with the upstairs floors and then move to the stairs. Not only will this efficiently clean any dust that is falling down from above but also the vacuum will be at the top of the stairs and is much easier to moved down a step at a time than having to lift it upwards. Any dust that is knocked off the top step will be caught and hovered up when you vacuum the next lower step. Easy!


4. Efficient Cleaning Pattern

Many people vacuum by using many short back and forth movements, this is terribly inefficient and you are likely to miss spots too. The best way to vacuum is to do so in straight lines up and down the room. Imagine you are mowing a lawn in stripes, gardeners know that not only does this look smart, it is also the quickest and most efficient way to mow a lawn. You should do the same thing when vacuuming a room.

Still not convinced? Just look at search and rescue patterns, they are designed to cover every part of a specific area; you can apply the same method to your rooms. Some areas might need going over twice, although this is possibly down to your vacuum cleaner. Modern cordless vacuums and powerful house vacuums such as those made by Dyson or Morphy Richards Vacuums are excellent and you almost never need to double back over an area.

efficient vacuuming

5. Watch those Corners

Dust and debris tends to accumulate in the corners of rooms. This is especially so for rooms with wood floors or tiles. You should use the crevice tool on your vacuum to get right into the corners and along the edges of walls and other fixed objects.


Hoover in tight corners

A real pro cleaning trick is to only clean the edges of things. People tend to notice when there are strong contrasts between say a wall and a clean carpet, or a really clean edge to a mirror. Why do you think everything always looks so good when freshly painted? It’s the bright, even, clean colour contrast. So pay attention to the corners and edges and your cleaning will be noticed by all.

6. BONUS! Total Cleaning Life Hack!

If you have ever worked as a professional cleaner in hotels, then one of the first things they teach you is how to clean a room properly. A great tip, especially if you are pressed for time is to open the curtains wide and make the bed first. The room will immediately be transformed and well on its way to being totally neat and tidy. People are suckers for first impressions, if someone walks into a bright room and sees a neatly made bed then they will often overlook the fact that the carpet has not been vacuumed, or the other jobs. It sets people in a good frame of mind and they are less likely to see other faults.


Cordless Vacuums can easily reach under furniture

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Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Terms Explained (pt. 2)

This is a continuation of Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Terms – Explained for everyone. You may be interested in reading part one too.

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8. Vacuum Power Ratings

This is a much confused subject. Power is measured in Watts and refers to how much power the motor uses. This is a rough indication of how powerful suction will be but does have some caveats. Firstly, different vacuums use different motors, and some will be more efficient than others. For example, Dyson have incredible electric motors that are very efficient, where as other manufacturers might have a much poorer quality motor which will produce less suck for the same power input.


Dyson DC34

Secondly, a higher power rating (W) means that the battery life will quite often be shorter, or that the vacuum will need a bigger and heavier battery to achieve the same run time as a less powerful motor. So hight power vacuums are almost always going to be heavier and larger, and do not always provide more suction power.

Some people confuse volts with the power rating of a vacuum. Volts is related to the battery being used and does not affect the suction ability of the vacuum. Although, saying that, generally a higher voltage battery will be required by a higher power motor that draws more power so has a high wattage.

9. Docking station

Many handheld cordless vacuums come with a docking station. This is where you can place the vacuum when it is not in use and the docking station will charge it. Therefore the docking station needs to be plugged into the mains somewhere.

Black and Decker Lithimum Flexi Vacuum Cleaner

Black and Decker Lithium Flexi Vacuum Cleaner

Docking stations can be wall mounted and offer a convenient place to store your vacuum, especially since it will always be charged and ready to go.

10. Charge Indicators

Some cordless vacuums include some sort of charge indicator on the device. This is a really useful feature as you can easily see how much battery life is remaining and can therefore judge whether to start on the next project or put the vacuum on charge first. There’s nothing worse than only getting half a job done!

11. Attachments

Most cordless vacuums come with a selection of attachments. these attachments go on the suction end of the vacuum allowing the appliance more versatility. for example, a crevice attachment for getting into small corners, or a brush attachment for soft furnishings. When buying a vacuum always check what is included, you may find that the attachments are some of the most useful things that come with you vacuum.

12. Pet Specific Vacuums

Some cordless vacuums come with attachments specifically for pet hair removal. These pet hair vacuums usually consist of a special attachment that is designed to pick up pet hair from a variety of surfaces. Some attachments are designed so that the pet hair does not clog the nozzle and are easy to clean.

If you have a hairy pet or partner, then the pet hair removal tool can be an essential part of your cordless vacuum. If you intent on using your vacuum for mainly pet hair removal then you may want to choose a more powerful model that has the capability to suck up stubborn hair from around your home.

13. Wet and Dry Vacuums

A wet and dry use cordless vacuum is a real bonus. You can use these vacuums to suck up spills, such as coffee or water around your home. They work equally well for normal vacuuming and the dirt and water is collected in a removable collection bin. You may find that you have to rinse out the collection bin when you empty it as the dampness will have caused the dust to encrust itself on the inside. This isnt a very fun job but the ability to suck up spilt cereal and milk for example is pretty handy.


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Cordless Vacuum Terms Explained

Why Choose a Cordless handheld vacuum?

A cordless handheld vacuum won’t replace your main house vacuum but it will give you the ultimate convenience for small areas. These small, lightweight cordless vacuums are ideal for everyday spills, for example in your kitchen or even your car. As you are not restricted by a cumbersome power cord you have the freedom to clean everywhere unrestricted. This can make those previously hard to reach areas so much more accessible


Next we will discuss some of the common terms used to describe these handheld vacuums.

1. Battery Run Time

This is one of the most important features of any cordless appliance as they run on battery power alone. How long the appliance runs for on battery power is stated by the manufacturer in ideal circumstances and in the real world many consumers have noted that the run time is significantly less than advertised. The only manufacturer that does provide accurate battery life data is Dyson, for all others you could take off between 10% and 30% for real world values.

Handheld Cordless Vacuums have relatively short run times, typically between 10 minutes and 30 minutes. As previously mentioned, they are not designed to vacuum your entire house, but to be on hand for emergencies and for those hard to reach areas. As with most things, there is a compromise and handheld vacuums cut weight and size by having smaller batteries, and as a result, shorter run times.

2. Charge Time

Charge time refers to how long it takes for a flat battery to be fully charged. Cordless vacuums use one of two battery types. Cheaper models use Nickle Cadmium (Ni-Cal) batteries and more expensive models use Lithium Ion (Li-ion). The latter is far superior but is only found in the more expensive vacuums. Li-Ion batteries require far shorter charging times, typically around 3 to 4 hours compared to Ni-Cal batteries that require upwards of 8 hours. When buying a cordless vacuum you have to consider how often you want to use it, for handheld vacuums the run time is quite often short so opting for a fast charging Li-Ion model is often a good choice that will avoid the frustration of waiting for you appliance to charge.

3. Weight

Handheld vacuums are supported entirely by your arm so you need to be able to easily lift and manoeuvre the vacuum. Weight therefore is an important consideration, especially if you are planning to vacuum hard to reach areas such as book shelves, curtains or other hanging furnishings.

Upright vacuums are supported by the floor and pushed along by the user, therefore weight is a consideration but perhaps not as critical as for handheld vacuums. However, you may still need to carry the vacuum up stairs and to wherever you store it so being able to lift it will still play a part in your decision process.

4. Dirt Collection Capacity

Sometimes referred to as just “capacity” or “bin volume”. This is how much the vacuum can pick up and store without the need for emptying. Handheld cordless vacuums typically have small collection bins of about 0.3 litres volume where as upright and stick type cordless vacuums have larger capacities, up to 1.6 litres.

Most cordless vacuums are designed to be small and light and as a result have small collection bin capacity. This is one of the trade off with having a smaller machine but does mean that you may have to empty the bin after almost every use.

5. Bagless

Modern cordless vacuums are almost all bagless, that is, the collection of dirt is not held in a bag but in a plastic container that you remove from the vacuum and empty into your household refuse. Some people prefer bagged vacuums are the dust is neatly contained and this option can be better for people who suffer from allergies. However, for most people the convenience and simplicity of bagless collection is a major plus point.

6. No Loss of Suction / Cyclone Technology

Some manufacturers advertise that their vacuums do not lose suction power whilst vacuuming. This was invented by Dyson and is what made them the market leaders. Other manufacturers also offer cyclone technology vacuums these days and generally they are just as good. Many bagged vacuums will lose suction power as the collection bag fills during cleaning, this is another reason why most manufacturers now use bagless technology.

7. Boost Mode / Turbo Mode

Some vacuums offer a boost mode.This is an option to increase the suction power but at the expense of battery life, shortening the run time of the appliance. Sometimes you may find the manufacturer has listed the cordless vacuum’s run time with 2 numbers, for example 8/15 minutes. This refers to how long the vacuum will last at either high suction mode or regular.

Continue to PART 2

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