The vacuum cleaner that you use is purely a matter of personal choice, but there are 5 main types from which to select, as described below. If you are buying a new cleaner, the layout of your home, the number of stairs, accessibility and so on, will probably determine your choice.
This type of vacuum cleaner is useful for cleaning curtains, drapes, rugs and floor coverings. Look for a compact but powerful suction rating (usually around1000 watts). The flexible hose is useful for vacuuming stairs and narrow, awkward-to-reach areas such as under beds and pieces of furniture. The only disadvantage is that a cylinder cleaner has a tendency to tip over on uneven surfaces, or to knock into furniture when dragged behind you.
Look for heater bars that are good on fitted carpets and for removing embedded dirt and pet hairs. An upright cleaner is difficult to use on stairs and, unless it is used with attachments, may not lie flat enough to reach under furniture.
This tends to be heavier and bulkier than a cylinder model, as it is designed to roll along – even when filled with water. It will also require inure storage space. Most models vacuum, shampoo and suck up water. The hoses tend to be wider than average, which means that they can cope with bulky debris.
This is best used for light-weight cleaning jobs, as its suction is not very strong. It can reach awkward areas and is useful for areas in which there are no sockets (receptacles), but it will only work for up to 15 minutes.
Built-in central system
With this cleaning system, outlets in each room enable a light hose to be attached. When switched on, the dirt is carried to the outlet and then carried through hidden suction pipes to a central bin. The system is quiet to use and easy to operate but is also expensive to install, so it is not recommended if you move house regularly.
If you drop a fine screw or even a contact lens, locate it with a vacuum nozzle covered with a piece cut from stockings (pantyhose) secured with an elastic band. Anything that the vacuum sucks up will he held against the stocking until you remove it.
Use the flat, rectangular floor and carpet nozzle of a vacuum cleaner for cleaning carpets and hard floors.
The narrow, angled crevice nozzle also works well on stairs, curtains and drapes, and will remove dust from around the buttoning on mattresses and along skirtings (baseboards). Use it to clean refrigerator grilles.
The store powerful ‘wet-and-dry’ cleaners can unblock it drain by sticking up the blockage. You can also use them to suck out leaves from drain covers.
Vacuum Cleaning Tips
- Cheek the bag and empty it if necessary, and clean the filter before you put the vacuum cleaner away so that it works efficiently every time.
- If you run out of disposable dust bags, cut neatly along the base of the old one and shake out the contents. Fold the cut end over twice and staple securely before re-using.
- If you vacuum hard floors regularly, you will find that dirt is easier to remove, as it will not have time to build up into a sticky layer of grime.
- Fine ash from fires tends to blow about very easily. Wait until it is cold before vacuuming away, and clean the nozzle afterwards.
- Never attempt to suck up water or spills with an ordinary vacuum cleaner. The results of doing so could literally be electrifying.
- For textured wall coverings or decorative finishes use a brush attachment.