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Vacuuming your floors is a classic chore, and according to experts, you might need to do it more frequently than you think. “It is recommended to vacuum at least twice a week for most homes, especially if you have rugs or carpets,” Derek Chiu and Leslie Tam, Co-Founders and Directors of UrbanMop, say.
Twice a week might sound like a lot, but there are good reasons to keep your floors in tip-top shape. Over time, gunk—like dust, dirt, allergens, and pests—can build up on your floors, making them dirty and potentially irritating.
“Vacuuming regularly is important because it means you stay on top of dirt, allergens, and dust that accumulates in your home,” Will Cotter, COO of HappyCleans, says. Plus, there’s something delightful about stepping foot on just-vacuumed carpets—or freshly cleaned hardwood floors.
Of course, this twice-a-week rule of thumb isn’t without caveats. Some floors need to be vacuumed more often than that, and others can handle getting vacuumed less frequently. Ahead, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of how often to vacuum—and we’ll share some tips for getting the best results every time you do.
Meet the Expert
How Often Should You Vacuum Your Floors?
Most cleaning experts will tell you to vacuum your floors once or twice a week depending on how much foot traffic those floors are getting.
“High-traffic areas should be vacuumed twice weekly,” Cotter says. “This is because high-traffic areas have a higher level of dirt, and vacuuming this frequently will prevent matting.”
According to Cotter, you can get away with vacuuming low-traffic areas a little less frequently. “On average, you should vacuum once a week to keep the floor clean and reduce dirt in your home,” he says.
Chiu and Tam agree. “If you don't have as much time to vacuum as recommended, it is better to prioritize the high-traffic areas over the low-traffic areas,” they say. “It would be best if you tried to vacuum the high-traffic areas at least once or twice a week, and low-traffic areas once a week or once every other week.”
When determining how often to vacuum, you should also consider how many people—and pets—live in your home. “If you have pets, it is recommended to vacuum daily, as pet fur can easily collect on upholstery furniture, rugs, and floors,” Chiu and Tam say.
And the same logic applies to family members and houseguests. “You would probably want to consider vacuuming your home more often if you have more individuals in the home,” Chiu and Tam say. “This is because higher traffic means more mess and dirt that ends up on the floor.”
How to Vacuum Your Floors to Get the Best Results
The bad news is you probably need to vacuum more than you currently do. But, the good news is that vacuuming is pretty easy—and by following a few simple steps, you can ensure you’re getting great results every time you vacuum.
Step 1: Dust the Room Before Your Vacuum
Take a moment to dust your home before you start vacuuming. This should keep dust from flying around as you vacuum, and it’ll ensure you get a deeper clean.
“Dust the room before you vacuum,” Cotter says. “Vacuuming should always be the last thing you do.”
Step 2: Clean Off Your Vacuum Before Using It
Make sure your vacuum is actually clean before using it to clean your home. Start by emptying the bin of your vacuum. Then, remove any dust, grime, or hair from the vacuum itself.
“Before even vacuuming, be sure to empty the dust bin in your vacuum to ensure a better clean,” Chiu and Tam say. “It would help if you also tried to cut off any tangled hair on the roller to ensure that all dirt and dust can easily enter the vacuum.”
Step 3: Vacuum in a Criss-Cross Pattern
Instead of vacuuming in a series of straight lines, try vacuuming in a series of overlapping diagonal lines.
“A crisscross pattern is best, as this way, you are less likely to miss parts of the floor,” Cotter says. “Also, the movement of the fibers with this technique will help lift dust out of your carpets.”
Step 4: Use a Brush to Target Hard-to-Reach Areas
If you encounter any hard-to-clean areas—like nooks, corners, and trim—target them with your vacuum’s brush extension. “Use a smaller brush to target edges and corners,” Chiu and Tam say.
Step 5: Finish Things Off With a Sweep
Once you’re done vacuuming, take a moment to sweep your space.
“For any remaining dirt, be sure to use a broom to sweep away any remaining dirt and hair,” Chiu and Tam. This will ensure you’ve cleaned up all the gunk in your space—not just the stuff your vacuum could easily suck up.