Posted by: rocknrev | October 23, 2009

Tips on Keeping Your Vacuum in Top Condition

Whether it’s at home or at the office, the vacuum cleaner is one of the most commonly used pieces of cleaning equipment.  A properly maintained vacuum will do a better job of removing floor debris, and is less likely to contribute to poor indoor air quality or cause damage to floors and carpets.  These tips apply to upright vacuums while some of them apply to the back-pack type vacuums used in schools and commercial buildings.

1)  CLEAN THE ROLLER BRUSH:  The stiff-bristled roller brush on most upright vacuums is designed to provide that all important “agitation” so dirt & debris are loosened from the carpet fibers and more easily picked up.  Over time, the roller brush can get covered with things like hair, small threads, rubber bands & other debris.  This will hamper the vacuums’ ability to do it’s job.  It’s good practice to do a visual inspection of the roller brush before you begin vacuuming, to make sure it is free of this debris so your efforts will pay off with a clean carpet once you are done.  Be sure to do this when the vacuum is unplugged for safety reasons.   A pair of scissors will sometimes help, especially if a lot of hair has wound itself around the roller brush.   Use the scissors to cut the hair into shorter lengths.  You’ll find it much easier then to remove the hair by hand.  You’ll see and feel the difference immediately as the vacuum is able to agitate better and remove more dirt.  The roller bar brushes also wear down over time, so at some point it may need to be replaced.  Your local vacuum repair shop can supply you with a replacement brush.

2)  CHECK THE DRIVE BELT:  The best time to check your drive belt is when you are cleaning the roller brush. This belt is connected to the vacuum motor and makes the roller brush turn, so dust and debris are thrown back into the machine.  The drive belt should be smooth with no cracks or partial breaks.  Most people can change the belt themselves and replacement belts can be purchased at most vacuum repair shops.

3) EMPTY THE COLLECTION BAG BEFORE IT GETS FULL: Although it is tempting to keep vacuuming until your collection bag is full, you’ll get better results if you change it when it’s only 3/4 of the way full.  If you use a “bagless” vacuum, it’s still a good idea to empty the chamber before it is full.  In both cases, this will help you have full suction so more dirt and debris is picked up.

4)  THE PROPER DISCONNECT:   it is common but dangerous to get in a hurry and unplug your vacuum by yanking on the cord instead of holding the plug and pulling it out correctly.  Yanking on the cord can easily damage the plug and can damage the electrical outlet.  Play it safe and take the time to walk to the electrical outlet and disconnect the cord by holding the plug.

Vacuum designs vary a lot in the marketplace but most of them incorporate basic shared components.  It’s a good idea to take a little time to get to know this important piece of equipment so it will serve you well.  When purchasing a new vacuum, I recommend you do a little research before buying one.  A great source for this information can be found on the Internet. I like Consumer Reports.  They test vacuums regularly and publish their findings on the Internet at


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