How to Vacuum Your Carpet: Quick Guide

By Gladys K. Connelly Updated October 14, 2021
How to Vacuum Your Carpet: Quick Guide

Vacuuming your carpet floor can sometimes feel like a never-ending task. Carpets and area rugs can attract a lot of crumbs, dust, and dirt. And this can make it hard to stay on top of your carpet care.

But, with the correct method, vacuuming your carpets can be a lot quicker! You can save a lot of time and energy if you vacuum your floors the right way.

In this article, we’ll show you the right way to vacuum. So you can give your carpets the best protection against everyday wear and tear. With these tips and tricks, your carpets and area rugs will feel cleaner than ever before.

The Right Way to Vacuum Your Carpet

  • Remove any obstacles. Make sure you choose a vacuum with attachments that are suitable for your carpet needs.
  • Push your vacuum forward in tight rows, starting slowly to lift the dirt.
  • Overlap your strokes slightly and go over each row carefully.
  • Repeat this process in the opposite direction.
Table of Contents

How to Vacuum Your Carpet

How Often Should You Vacuum Your Carpet?

You should vacuum your carpets regularly, at least once a week.

Regular vacuuming can remove soil and dirt before it becomes embedded in the fibers. This reduces damage and wear. And also maximizes the life of your carpets.

Vacuuming often improves the appearance of your carpets, especially in high traffic areas. It also extends the lifespan of your carpet, so you won’t have to replace it. Not only does this save you money, but it also helps the environment by keeping your carpet green. (1)


So it’s important to vacuum regularly, no matter what type of carpeting you have. Plus, the CRI (Carpet Rug Institute) recommends doing this more often if you have more foot traffic. For example, you should vacuum daily in high-traffic areas or if you have pets. And twice a week in moderate traffic areas.

How to Vacuum Your Carpet: Step by Step

Follow these steps to vacuum your carpets efficiently. This method works for any carpet type or height.

1. Clear The Surface

First, remove any obstacles from your carpets before you start cleaning. Also, make sure you pick up any clutter or large debris from your floors.

This will save you time cleaning, but it will also help prevent your vacuum from getting clogged. Small objects or large debris can get stuck in your vacuum bag or hose attachment and could damage your cleaner. It can also cause it to lose efficiency due to loss of suction while you clean

2. Use a Vacuum Cleaner for Carpet

There are several types of vacuum cleaners to consider for cleaning your carpets. You can choose from an upright, canister, or handheld model.

An upright model is an all-in-one machine. These vacuums are usually heavier and provide strong suction power. Whereas a canister machine has a wheeled body that’s lighter to pull and easier to maneuver.

However, the wheels on the canister can be hard to drag on high-pile carpets and may get caught in the fibers. So you should consider a vacuum cleaner model that will suit your carpet’s needs.

To help you choose, the Carpet and Rug Institute certifies vacuums through a Seal of Approval. This system can guide you to find the best vacuum based on performance capabilities for removing soil as well as containing dust. It also takes into consideration the appearance of the surface of your carpets after vacuuming.

Vacuums that are CRI certified can guarantee efficient cleaning potential. So CRI approval is something to consider when choosing the right vacuum for your carpets.

3. Select the Right Settings and Accessories for Carpet

Next, it’s important to select the right settings and attachments for your carpets.

Beater Brush Bar

Check if your vacuum cleaner comes with a beater bar. Beater bar brushes are designed to lift and loosen debris embedded in your carpet fibers.

These brushes work well on low to medium pile carpets. But, the bristles are stiff and can damage high pile carpets or cause tangles on shag carpets.

Adjustable Height

Beater bar brushes are incompatible with certain types of carpets, such as Berber or natural wool. So, consider a vacuum cleaner with a height-adjust vacuum head. This feature will allow you to raise the brush high to avoid tangling long fibers.

Having a vacuum head you can adjust will provide the best suction and efficiency across multiple carpet surfaces. Some beater brushes can also be switched off for vacuuming delicate carpets.

If you have high-pile carpets, make sure your vacuum cleaner has an adjustable beater brush. Or a feature that allows you to switch the beater brush off.

Special Carpet Attachments

You should also consider attachments that are designed specifically to clean carpeted areas.

For instance, a crevice tool like this crevice attachment can help you clean hard-to-reach areas around your room’s edges. Or, if you have high-pile or area rugs, a mini-motorized brush can remove dust embedded in the long carpet fibers.

Finally, an upholstery attachment can allow you to vacuum furniture without damaging the fabric.

4. Vacuum Your Carpet Properly

Now, it’s time to vacuum your carpet.

Start slowly and vacuum in strokes between three and four feet in length. Then, move sideways to begin the next pass.

Overlap your strokes slightly as you vacuum to ensure you don’t miss any debris on your carpet.

With a Stick Vacuum

If you’re using a stick vacuum cleaner, push your vacuum in tight rows under furniture. And use additional attachments to clean wall to wall edges or behind fixtures and tight spaces. For example, use a pet hair attachment to remove pet hair or embedded dirt. You can also remove the floor head to clean tight corners.

Continue vacuuming the room using two to four passes over each carpeted area. And maintain a slight overlap for each straight line.

If you have a cut-pile carpet, lay the pile flat when cleaning and use overlapping strokes in one direction. Make sure your final stroke is always in the same direction.

With an Upright Vacuum

When using an upright vacuum cleaner, it can be difficult to clean under furniture. Clean as much of the room as you can using two to four passes.

And clean difficult areas with a stick vacuum one to two times a week.

Repeat this cleaning process in the opposite direction to tackle stubborn or embedded dirt in your carpet. Continue with two to four passes until the entire room is vacuumed.

Proper Vacuuming Tips

Follow these vacuuming tips to keep on top of your carpet care.

Vacuum Slowly

Make sure you vacuum slowly to allow better airflow through your vacuum head. This allows the brush bar to better loosen dust and debris between your carpet fibers with each pass.

Plus, it helps you avoid missing tiny particles or allergens that may be hidden in your carpet.

Go Over The Same Spot – But Not Too Often

Going over each row carefully provides a more thorough clean for your carpets to get rid of all the dirt. This allows for better suction and a deep clean with each pass.

But, it’s important to note that going over a row more than two times can be inefficient.


According to Dyson’s research, too many strokes can cause wear on the surface of your floor coverings. So avoid vacuuming more than twice over one area during each clean.

Don’t Forget The Places You Can’t See

Often the places you can’t see can harbor more dirt and more dust, as well as lots of tiny particles and dust mites. So make sure you don’t forget to clean these areas in the room as well. This includes under furniture, behind curtains, and under sofa cushions.

It’s important to do this regularly to avoid airborne particles floating in the air. If inhaled, these particles can cause allergies. That’s why they need to be vacuumed frequently as part of your cleaning routine.

Related Topics

Clean And Green

Carpets can be magnets for dirt, bacteria, lint, and lots of tiny dust particles. So it’s important to clean them efficiently with the correct vacuuming method. You’ll be surprised how much easier it can be to keep your floors clean if you know how to vacuum the right way!

Use these methods to clean your carpets like a professional! Not only will you enjoy cleaner carpets, but they’ll last longer too which is great for the environment.

Remember to remove all obstacles and clutter before you begin vacuuming. And clean slowly in tight, overlapping rows.

Follow these tips for easy and efficient vacuuming. So you can enjoy carpets that are clean and green for the environment too!

If you enjoyed this article, leave a comment down below! We’d love to hear from you. Or, help out a friend and share these tips so they can enjoy clean carpets too!

About the Author

Gladys K. Connelly

As a HouseKeeping Technical Writer, Gladys actively enjoys writing guides and tips about housekeeping for Thehousewire's audience. She's a housekeeping specialist with just shy of 9 years' experience to boast. That, combined with seven years prior experience in teaching, helps her create content that is both captivating and insightful.

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