Get the most out of your vacuum
A vacuum cleaner is one of the most versatile tools in your housecleaning arsenal, but only if you take care of it and use it correctly. Avoid these mistakes, to clean faster, easier - and smarter, too!
1. Waiting until the bag or dust cup is full to empty it
Even though some vacuums have "check bag" indicator lights, it's best to check the bag yourself and change it when it's no more than three-quarters full or empty the dust cup after every two to three uses. This will keep your vacuum's suction strong and cleaning performance at its peak.
2. Cleaning with a dirty filter
You're not removing allergens as effectively if your filter is clogged with grime. You don't have to change the filter as often as the bag, but if the filter shows signs of wear, or is excessively dirty or torn, it's time to replace it. For HEPA filters, a good rule of thumb is every six months or every sixth bag change. Check the owner's manual or your brand's website for the recommendations for your model.
3. Not using the attachments
Dusting brushes and crevice tools are your best friends. Use them to help make above-the-floor cleaning easier, and pick up those hard-to-reach dust bunnies and allergens from upholstery, light fixtures, baseboards, lampshades, and more!
Related: How to Speed Clean for Guests
4. Rewinding the cord without guiding it
Merely stepping on the button and letting the cord snap in is a sure way to send it off its track, requiring a service repair. Instead, hold the cord in your hand as you step on the pedal to rewind it onto the reel.
5. Leaving the brush roll tangled with hair and strings
A brush roll that doesn't turn, doesn't clean - it's that simple. Worse, the stress of tangled hair and threads can burn out the motor and result in an expensive repair. To keep your vacuum in top form, unwind or snip away anything tangled in the brush roll. Most brush rolls can easily be removed for more thorough cleaning.
Now that you know how to keep your appliance in tip-top shape, check out our favorite lightweight vacuum cleaners to see which models performed best in our test.
-By Carolyn Forte
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