Make sure you're vacuuming correctly!
Here are seven mistakes you might be making.
1. You don't vacuum in both directions
If you only vacuum in one direction, you're not removing all of the dirt and dust. Some of it can hide under carpet fibers, and vacuuming in both directions—north and south, and east and west—will ensure you get every last speck of dust out of your carpet.
2. You let your vacuum bag fill up completely
Bagged vacuums work best half-full, at most. The Vacuum & Sewing Dealer's Trade Association recommends always emptying your bags once they're halfway full—more than that, and they'll lose efficiency. On that note, never reuse your vacuum bags. That can cut efficiency by up to 50 percent.
3. You vacuum too quickly
Take your time. Vacuuming slowly will allow your machine to suck up more dirt and dust, and ultimately get your rugs and carpets much cleaner. Slow vacuuming allows the brush to agitate the carpet properly and suck up the unclean bits that emerge.
4. You don't use the crevice tool on the room's edges
At least twice a month, use the vacuum's crevice tool on the edges of the room—even if it's hardwood. This is I Dream Of Clean's number-one vacuuming tip—she says that failing to do so can make "dust and dirt accumulate over the years making it nearly impossible to clean the edges of your carpet."
5. You don't adjust the height
Make sure to adjust your vacuum's height as you move from carpet to rug to hardwood! Some vacuums do this automatically, but if yours doesn't, make sure to take the time to make the appropriate adjustments. It will make a huge difference in the cleanliness of your home's different surfaces.
6. You wait for your carpet to look dirty
Don't wait until you can see the dust to start cleaning. Dirt can pile up underneath the fibers at the bottom of the rug long before you notice it, causing sniffles and allergies to flare. Set a regular vacuuming schedule and stick to it—even if you don't think it's necessary.
7. You don't dust beforehand
Unsurprisingly, dusting causes... dust, and a lot of it misses your dusting rag and falls to the floor. If you dust after vacuuming, your carpets and rugs will be immediately be replenished with a thin layer of dust, making all of your hard work moot.