Vacuum Cleaning Tips and Hacks

General Vacuum Cleaning Tips

  1. Vacuum carpet several times from different directions. This removes much more dirt, especially in high traffic areas and in homes with pets.
  2. Vacuum your matress with the carpet power nozzle.
  3. Put your pillow in a plastic bag. Wrap the bag end tightly around the vac hose nozzle and suck out the dust and mites.
  4. Dust the tops of drapes and window treatments with your vacuum. Use the low suction setting.
  5. Vacuum the clothes dryer lint filter. Use the crevice tool to get down into the filter cavity of the dryer to remove excess lint.
  6. Wet a cotton ball with an essential oil and put it in your vacuum cleaner bag. Your house will fill with the scent while you vacuum.
  7. It is said that vacuum cleaners are very effective at killing fleas in your carpet.
  8. Especially if you have allergies, use your vacuum cleaner as your primary dusting tool.  This puts less dust in the air than a cloth.
  9. Slow down when cleaning carpet. Move the power head at half the speed or slower than you generally would. Let the power head brush do it’s job and give the suction more time to lift the dirt.
  10. Many upholstery tools have a removable brush. Take the brush off for upholstery. Put the brush on for things like drapes. The brush will help prevent the vac from sucking in the drape.
  11. Check and see if your canister vacuum manufacturer makes a pet hair grooming tool. If so, try it out. Provided your pet complies, this will save you lots of time and work brushing your shedding pet. In a pinch try using the upholstery tool with the brush on.

Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner Tips

The following tips are specific to Rainbow and other brands of water filter vacuum cleaners.
  1. Change the Rainbow water often. Don’t let it get sludgy.
  2. With it’s water filtration the Rainbow makes a great dusting machine. Use the extra long non-electric hose. You can kinda just let the Rainbow sit in middle of room as you go around and dust and you don’t have to reposition it as often.  The long hose also lets you get up high to ceiling fans and curtain tops.
  3. Put a few drops of PineSol in the water. Smells great. Dirt knocks out any foam.
  4. Some people put essential oils in the water. Lemon oil, peppermint, pine, eucalyptus oil etc., to make the house smell great while vacuuming.


You can turn your clothes dryer into a vacuum cleaner of sorts: if you have blankets and throws that you don’t want to wash you can freshen them up. Put them in the dryer on the “Air Fluff” (no heat) setting and the dryer will suck out a lot of the dust and stuff from the item and into the lint trap.

See also our: Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide for more details.

More Than One Vac

  • A vacuum for each floor of your house. So you don’t have to lug your vac up and down stairs.
  • You may want different types of vacuums for different areas of the house. (Example: A canister works better in crowded rooms like bedrooms and for getting under beds. While an upright works best on big open expanses or wall to wall carpet like hallways and minimally furnished living rooms. So even if you have a ranch home, you might want to have different vac types available.
  • Basements and workshops are good areas to have a dedicated vac, generally a canister. Retire your old but still working canisters there.
  • The garage is a great place to keep an old or a new canister, ready to clean out the interior of your car at a moments notice.

Bags and Filters and more

  • Change your vacuum cleaner bag when it is full. Do Not get cheap and try to save money by overfilling the bags, because most vacuums rely on the airflow that goes through the bags and your dirt to cool the motor. If you overfill you will reduce the life of the motor due to overheating. Bags are way cheaper than a new vacuum. Also, if your bag is overly full your vacuum will not clean as well.
  • Filters - The same advice holds true for other filters on your machine including the bagless ones. There may be a final filter right before the motor and maybe a HEPA filter before the exhaust. If washable clean those at the intervals specified in your manual or if disposable replace those filters as per the manual. Again it’s about air flow for cooling the motor. Plus your vacuum will clean better with good airflow.
  • Do Not sprinkle baking soda or powdered carpet freshener onto your carpet. These clog the pores of your bags and filters causing the same overheating problem. If your carpet has picked up smells then shampoo or steam clean it.
Brad Enslen @bradenslen



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