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How To Vacuum Carpet Like A Professional

23 June 2023

Carpets don't just help your room to retain heat and provide a comfortable place to sit or for children to play, they can also add bags of style. But this style can be compromised pretty quickly if your carpet gets full of dirt and dust. While vacuum cleaning isn't everyone's favourite chore, if you can get the hang of doing it like a professional then it can work wonders for maintaining your carpet.

If you would prefer to hire a professional cleaning company to make your carpets like new again, don't hesitate to get in touch with the Sparkle Gang. We use the latest in cleaning equipment and technology and our team of highly-trained cleaners know the best techniques for cleaning and maintaining all types of carpet.

Choose The Right Vacuum Cleaner

You're only as good as the tools you are using and if you are trying to get a clean carpet using the wrong type of vacuum cleaner then you are already fighting a losing battle.

All vacuum cleaners work on the same principle. They have a motor inside with a fan that sucks the air through a narrow tube to create a vacuum. This vacuum pulls loose materials in its range into the tube which are then deposited in the collection part of the cleaner. But different vacuum cleaners are better at some jobs than others.


The upright vacuum cleaner was the original model developed. You tilt and push the entire cleaner, including the canister or bag. These types of vacuum cleaners work best for large carpets but they can be heavy and difficult to manoeuvre. Although most will have a range of detachable attachments to help you vacuum difficult-to-reach areas.


The classic canister vacuum cleaner is the Henry. The main part of the cleaner with the motor and dust bag inside remains on the floor while you operate the wand that is attached via a pipe. This is a versatile vacuum cleaner that works well on a variety of floors but it is bulky and difficult to store. You can also check out our post "Home Remedies For Slippery Floors", for more additional insights.


Cordless vacuum cleaners have become very popular in recent years. You don't plug these into the wall. Instead, they are powered by a rechargeable battery. They are lightweight and easy to move around, without needing to worry about navigating the cord. They often don't have as powerful suction as other vacuum cleaners, however, and their batteries can often drain quite quickly.

Pet Hair

Some vacuum cleaners are specifically designed for dealing with pet hair. Pet hair is difficult to pick up because of how well it sticks to carpet fibres and how lightweight it is. It can also easily get tangled up inside the vacuum head and cause blockages. Vacuum cleaners designed for pet hair will often have a specific attachment that has a brush to help lift the hair from the carpet and that prevents them from getting tangled inside the machine.

Vacuum Bag VS No Bag

If you have an upright or canister vacuum cleaner it will either use vacuum bags or no bags at all. Bagless vacuum cleaners are more environmentally friendly and don't require you to keep buying vacuum bags. But bagged vacuum cleaners can be more powerful because the bags have an extra layer of protection against blockages.

Carpet And Rug Institute (CRI) Rating

If you are searching for a vacuum cleaner and aren't sure which models will work the best, you can look for their CRI Seal of Approval. The CRI rates vacuum cleaners based on three factors: soil removal, dust containment, and how well they retain the appearance of the carpet. A cleaner with a CRI seal will often be one that works well and cleans your carpet properly.

Proper Vacuuming Technique

To truly vacuum your carpet like a professional, you should follow the correct technique. It is very tempting to just run the vacuum over the area as quickly as possible so you can sit down and relax but, often, this won't fully remove the dust and dirt and you can easily miss spots.

Vacuum In Rows

The best way to ensure that you fully cover the entire carpet is to vacuum methodically in rows. Start the row at the edge of the wall and vacuum forwards until you reach the opposite wall. This forward motion will lift the nap (or fibres) of the carpet exposing the dirt and dust beneath.

You should then vacuum backward following the same row. This backward motion will collect any leftover dirt that was missed in the forward motion.

Start the next row so that it overlaps the first by between 25% and 50%. This overlap will counteract any lessened suction or brush at the edges of the vacuum head. Then follow the same forwards and backward method.

For proper deep cleaning, you should then start the process again at a 90-degree angle. So if you first vacuumed the carpet north to south, you should now vacuum it east to west. Carpet fibres are twisted, so this will ensure that you pick up the dirt from every angle.

You don't have to do both orientations every single time you vacuum your carpet but it is a good idea to do it fairly regularly, especially in high-traffic areas.

Work Slowly

You want to get vacuuming your carpet done quickly, understandably, but to do a thorough job you really should take your time over it. Working slowly allows time for the dirt between the fibres to get sucked into the pipe and can shift the deep-seated dirt that can be hard to pick up.

Do A Manual Pick-Up Before You Start

Before you pick up your vacuum cleaner, take some time to walk through the room picking up small objects that are too large to be vacuumed up or that might cause a clog if they do get into the machine. This can be items like coins, small toys, hair clips, or pen lids.

Empty The Bag Or Canister Regularly

Your vacuum bag or canister will get full of dust, dirt, and hair before you know it. So it is a good idea to get into the habit of emptying the canister or changing the bag regularly. Once it gets too full it will reduce the suction power of the cleaner so it won't work as well at cleaning your carpet. It is a good rule of thumb to aim for emptying once it gets to around 75% full.

Use The Attachments

Vacuum cleaners come with a wide range of attachments and you shouldn't be afraid to use them. They can be invaluable in helping your carpet cleaning process be a success.

The nozzle attachment or crevice tool, for example, will help you to remove dirt from places where the normal vacuum head won't reach. This can be along the edges of the carpet, the skirting boards, door frame bases, under the sofa, and between pieces of furniture. And if you have pets, you should definitely be whipping out the pet hair attachment regularly.

Dust Before Vacuuming Your Carpet

Before you go ahead and vacuum the entire room, you should do any dusting. When you remove dust from furniture, blinds, and other areas, a lot of it will end up on your carpet so if you vacuum first then you will just be undoing all of your hard work.

Vacuum Regularly

Frequent vacuuming is the best way of maintaining your wall-to-wall carpets. The more dirt, dust, and hair you let build up, the less likely it will be that you will be able to pick it all up the next time you vacuum.

But how often should you be doing it? Well, that all depends. The rule of thumb is that you should vacuum once a week per person in the house. So if there are two of you, you should vacuum twice a week.

When it comes to pets, 20 lbs worth of pets is equivalent to one person. So if you have a 60lb dog, then you should vacuum three times a week.

Then comes the question of small children. Many parents will say that they end up vacuuming every day because of the mess left behind by their kids. If they are dead set on leaving crumbs everywhere, you could do a spot vacuum on those high-traffic areas of carpet every day and then a more thorough vacuum a few times a week.

Carpet Cleaning

Sometimes vacuuming just isn't enough to bring your carpet back to its best condition. Using a carpet cleaner can do wonders for restoring the look of your carpet and ensuring that it is properly clean. You should aim for regular carpet cleanings once or twice a year and spot cleaning whenever it is needed.

Spot Cleaning A Carpet

As soon as you spot a stain on your carpet, you should try to remove it as quickly as possible. If there are any solids on top of the stain, use a dull knife to scrape them off. This will avoid rubbing more of the material into the carpet.

Next, press a clean white cloth onto the stain to absorb as much of the spill as possible. Often the stain itself can be removed with just tap water. Put some in a spray bottle, and spray the area liberally. You want a wet carpet that has water soaked into it as deeply as possible.

For more stubborn or problematic stains such as wine, coffee, or blood, it can be a good idea to remove the stain immediately using a cleaning solution. White vinegar and/or baking soda will often work well to lift the stain but it can be a good idea to search for your specific stain type and the cleaning solution that is most recommended for it. If you want to know some apple cider vinegar cleaning hacks, you can check out our post.

Deep Clean

You can hire or buy a carpet cleaner yourself. These often use steam cleaning technology which uses water jets and suction to force the water and carpet shampoo into the carpet and then lift the water back out (hopefully) carrying all of the dirt with it.

It can be better to hire a machine rather than buy one as hired machines tend to be more expensive models that have more powerful jets and suction capabilities. And for a deep cleaning job that you are going to be doing once or twice a year, it may not make sense to have a less powerful model sitting in your cupboard.

Of course, a professional carpet cleaning company will have access to even more powerful machines and cleaning agents again so this can be an even better option if you want truly clean carpets. Along with the industrial-grade steam cleaning equipment, you will also be hiring the expertise of a professional who understands the carpet cleaning process and how to tackle different types of stains. So you are much more likely to have a successful result. If you're interested in learning more, feel free to check our article "How To Steam Clean Carpets".

The Bottom Line

Everyone wants a clean carpet. And you might think that this can be difficult to achieve, especially if you have pets or small children at home. But it doesn't have to be. Regularly vacuuming using the proper technique and attachments can help to remove dirt before it gets ingrained, spot-cleaning stains immediately can stop them from becoming permanent, and carpet cleaning a few times a year will remove the deeper and harder-to-reach dirt.

If you need your carpets vacuumed or are looking for carpet cleaning services, we are happy to help. We are a highly-rated and trusted professional cleaning company with years of experience dealing with carpets of all kinds. Our highly trained team uses advanced cleaning equipment to ensure the deepest of cleans and has the knowledge and experience under their belts to deal with a wide variety of stains effectively.

Whether you need a one-off deep clean or regular carpet cleaning and vacuuming services, we can develop a schedule that suits you and will work closely with you to achieve the results that you are looking for. And our pricing system is transparent so you will never be surprised with an unexpected bill.

Get a free quote for your project!

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