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How to Vacuum a Carpet

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Updated March 22, 2022

Learning how to vacuum a carpet properly is a vastly underrated life skill. The process of learning starts with using the best vacuum cleaner you can afford. You’ll find that different types of rugs and carpets have different needs. Acknowledging those differences and catering to them will extend the longevity of both.


  • Specific techniques make vacuuming more effective for carpets and rugs, and cleaning incorrectly can cause damage.
  • Cleaning products should always be cleared with the brand of vacuum cleaner you own since some models might only handle brand-specific products.
  • Different carpets require different types of vacuum cleaners, and this should always be kept in mind to extend the lifetime of your carpet.

Vacuuming Your Carpeted Surfaces Properly

Understanding the proper techniques will help you know how to vacuum a carpet the right way. There are also other things to consider, like the type of vacuum used, how many floor types it’s compatible with, and whether it’s for vacuuming water (in which case you need to know how to use wet dry vacuum).

Insider Tip

Most people think that back-and-forth vacuuming is superior, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

What You Should Consider

There’s a lot to look at when figuring out the best way to perform routine carpet cleaning, especially if you’re vacuuming stairs, which can be tricky. You’ll encounter a similar thing when you are trying to figure out how to vacuum your car. With a few cleaning hacks, you’ll feel like a professional cleaning expert in no time. Paying attention to things like technique and vacuum type will be a huge help.

The Best Types of Vacuums For Carpets

Without a doubt, an affordable, easy-to-use bagless upright vacuum is a great choice to keep carpets fresh. However, any upright vacuum, as you’ll see in our review of the Soniclean soft carpet upright vacuum cleaner, will provide more than enough suction power to keep your carpets fresh. Pet vacuums can have more power, but it’s up to you to decide if a pet vacuum is worth it. Your budget will best determine what type of vacuum you should be looking into. Looking for adjustment settings that account for carpet pile is essential.

Using Additional Cleaning Solutions

Cleaning solutions can help you extend the life of your carpets and provide a much cleaner environment for you. Using carpet cleaner is one of the best cleaning hacks you can put into play. Just make sure the cleaner you choose is compatible with both your carpet and vacuum.

Explaining Proper Vacuuming Technique

Most people think that back-and-forth vacuuming is superior, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. As it turns out, you’re not getting the right amount of suction power when you do this. Instead, you should always start at one end of the room and slowly go back-and-forth across the entire place. This gives your vacuum a chance to use the suction power it has. Going over the room twice is helpful, as well.


Allergens from mattresses can cause serious symptoms.


Do vacuums scratch hardwood floors?

It is unlikely that a vacuum would scratch a hardwood floor. However, this can be the case based on a variety of factors. A malfunctioning vacuum cleaner could do some damage, for example.

How to Choose a Carpet Cleaner?

First, always take into consideration the types of rugs or carpets in your household. Make sure that the carpet cleaner of choice is compatible and won’t cause damage. You should aim to use commercial cleaning products that are the same brand as your vacuum cleaner.

Why is back-and-forth the wrong way to vacuum?

Short, little back-and-forth bursts won’t get nearly enough debris out of your carpet. You aren’t giving the suction time to work.

How Often Should You Vacuum?

The answer depends greatly on your lifestyle, like whether you have pets and how many high-traffic areas you have in your house. You should generally vacuum lightly once a week and do your deep cleanings once a month.

STAT: On average this robotic cleaner picked up a greater amount of sand (36%) across low-pile carpet and rugs than the Roomba did. (source)