Does it feel like your floors aren’t really clean even after you’ve vacuumed? You may be using the wrong tool for the job. There are actually several different types of vacuums that have been designed with a particular type of flooring in mind. To make sure you get a clean sweep every time, be sure to use the best type of vacuum for your floor according to this handy guide.
Wood Flooring Vacuum
Hardwood floors are making a big comeback these days. According to Floor Covering News, an industry trade publication, installation of hardwood flooring grew by almost 6 percent in 2016. Most of that installation took place primarily in new construction and renovated homes, showing that hardwood is here to stay for quite some time.
When it comes to cleaning hardwood floors, picking out the best tools can be tricky. You want to treat the floors with care, since they could be potentially scratched or scraped. However, you also want powerful suction that picks up every last speck of dirt and dust.
The solution is to look for a vacuum that’s been designed specifically for hardwood floors. One must-have for your hardwood flooring vacuum is the option to turn the brush off. The swirling bristles on the beater bar only disperse dirt and other particles if you run them on a bare floor. Harder bristles could even cause tiny scratches and nicks to develop on the wood.
There are many upright and stick vacuums available these days, but those are best used for a quick cleanup of scattered food or dirt on the floor. For a deeper clean, choose a canister vacuum that efficiently sucks up debris and keeps it contained until you’re done sweeping.
Vinyl and Laminate Vacuum
In addition to being stylish and affordable, vinyl and laminate floors are also easy to care for. These floors are durable as well, so there are fewer worries about damage to the flooring from vacuum use. As with hardwood floors, you’ll want a vacuum that has the option to turn the brush off, so the bristles don’t push the dirt around while you’re trying to sweep it up. Excellent suction is also a must, especially if your flooring has tiny crevices where the pieces of vinyl or laminate meet.
If you want a vacuum that performs double duty on your floors, you may want to consider a two-in-one machine that combines a vacuum and a mop. These options are especially helpful for vinyl and laminate, since these types of flooring are typically used in kitchens, mud rooms, and other spaces that are prone to getting a bit messier.
While vinyl, laminate, and hardwood don’t need brush action, this feature should be your main priority when picking the best vacuum for carpets. The fibers need to be pushed around by the bristles to help lift out dirt and debris, so you need a brush that will put in the work without being too tough on your carpet.
Dust and other allergens trapped in carpet and rug fibers often get dispersed into the air when vacuuming with a sub-par machine. To minimize this effect, choose a vacuum with a HEPA filter that will keep these allergens contained as you clean.
If your home contains carpets and rugs with various pile heights, look for a vacuum that allows more control over the brush height. There are several models which offer settings for low-, medium-, and high-pile carpeting, so you get the best results without damaging the carpet fibers.
Want a hands-off approach to this cleaning task? A robot vacuum can take over most of your vacuuming duties, so you can kick back and relax. The quality of robo-vacuums has come a long way in recent years, and today you can find several varieties that offer excellent suction and durability along with the convenience of automated cleaning. Many also have cool features such as HEPA filters, advanced scheduling options, and the ability to control the vacuum from a smartphone app.
But is a robot vacuum right for you? First, you’ll need to consider the cost. Most models cost significantly more than a standard vacuum, though you will have a lot less work to do in exchange for choosing an automated cleaning tool over a manual one.
Next, think about what types of floors you have. Most people are very satisfied with the ability of robot vacuums to clean hardwood, vinyl, and laminate floors. However, some people are less satisfied with its performance on higher-pile carpets and rugs. Be sure to read many reviews to learn how each model performs on various flooring types.
Finally, consider whether you have pets at home and their potential to make a mess. There have been some horror stories of robo-vacuums running over a pet’s “accident” and tracking it through the house.
How to Keep Your Floors Clean
Regardless of which type of vacuum you choose, there a few things you can do to cut back on the amount of work it will take to keep your floors clean. Here are some key tips for cleaning various types of floors:
- Hardwood: Use floormats near each entryway to keep dirt from tracking inside. When it’s time to clean, sweep with a broom or a dry mop before busting out the vacuum. If your floors are sealed, you can also use a gentle soap and hot water to damp mop in the direction of the wood grain.
- Vinyl and laminate: As with hardwood, you should sweep or dry mop before vacuuming vinyl or laminate floors. You can use a mild detergent and hot water to wet mop afterwards. Wet mop again with clean water to rinse away soapy residue; then use a towel to dry the floors.
- Carpet: Vacuum regularly to keep your carpets clean. You can spot clean with paper towels and a mild detergent. Have your carpets professionally cleaned about once a year.
A vacuum is one of the most important tools in your cleaning arsenal, so make sure you get the best one for your home. Take your flooring into consideration and choose a vacuum model according to its various designs, features, and styles that will help ensure the quality and care of your floor.