Vacuuming regularly might be the most important thing you do to prolong the life and beauty of your carpets and rugs.
Carpet fibers are designed to hide soil and reflect light. Consequently, the soil in carpet is not as visible as it is on smooth flooring where soil remains on the surface and is easily seen. The ability of today’s carpet fibers to hide soiling is a positive feature for most consumers. However, the lack of apparent soiling does not eliminate the need for regular cleaning. Soil can damage the fibers permanently if allowed to remain in the pile. Even with the carpet’s ability to resist soiling and stains, a regular maintenance program extends the life and appearance of your carpet.
Why Vacuuming is Important
Whether you’re cleaning out the spare bedroom or just tidying up around the house, it is important that dirt and dust are removed, not simply moved around or thrown back into the breathing zone. Properly vacuuming carpet is the easiest and most effective way to keep your carpet clean. It may be surprising, but something as simple as regular vacuuming can also have the largest impact on the cleanliness of your home and the air you breathe. The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) recommends vacuuming areas often that receive the most traffic, such as hallways, stairs, and exterior entryways in the home. Ideally, vacuum all the floor coverings a minimum of once a week, and the high-traffic areas more often, based on the usage. If you have pets, you may need to vacuum some areas daily. Removing loose soil while it remains on the carpet’s surface is important so that it is not walked into the carpet pile.
Vacuum Cleaner Selection
Use a vacuum cleaner that effectively removes soil and minimizes generating dust from the filter and around the machine while keeping the carpet looking good. To help consumers select an effective vacuum, CRI initiated the Vacuum Cleaner Indoor Air Quality Testing Program. Vacuum cleaner models evaluated by an independent testing laboratory are tested for removing soil adequately, containing the dust in the machine and in the filter bag, and carpet appearance retention. Those that achieve the carpet industry’s standard are identified by the CRI as “Green Label.” Because of the impact of vacuum cleaners on indoor air, cleaning efficiency can vary significantly, it is important to identify models that clean well and protect the indoor environment. Vacuum cleaners that have met the CRI Green Label Standards are listed on CRI’s website: www. carpet-rug.com. For maximum effectiveness, use a vacuum cleaner with:
- Adjustable and rotating brushes that can loosen ground-in soil
- A strong enough airflow to penetrate to the backing, removing all particles.
- An enclosed, high filtration bag that limits particles re-circulating into the air.
Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance
Regularly using a CRI Green Label vacuum cleaner will maintain a cleaner indoor environment. For the best cleaning results, no matter what type of vacuum cleaner you purchase, inspect it periodically to be sure it is functioning properly:
- Keep brushes clean and replace them when worn.
- Keep vacuum hoses and attachments free of obstructions that restrict airflow.
- Inspect the vacuum head for rough edges or bent metal that may damage your carpet.
- Inspect belts frequently to make certain they are working properly.
- Always keep a spare belt for replacement as needed.
- Follow the vacuum cleaner manufacturer’s instructions, and change the filter bag when it reaches the “full line.”