How to vacuum your home: spring cleaning tips with an expert

By Patrick Avenell

MELBOURNE, VIC: With the football finals out of the way, Australians can now focus on their spring cleaning. With that in mind, Current.com.au asked Miele floorcare category manager Kris Ronsman how to most efficiently vacuum their abode. He gave us some good tips – which can be used when cleaning your own home or shared with curious floorcare customers in store.

Q: What are the basics that users should be aware of?

Kris Ronsman: Use a vacuum cleaner with adjustable power. This gives the user the ability to adjust the suction power and match it to the surface or floor to be cleaned. Check that the vacuum cleaner is supplied or fitted with a suitable floor head and make sure that the floor head is matched to the floor type. Multi-function floor heads with retractable bristles need to be adjusted when moving from carpet to hard floor.

Q: Where in the room should you start? The corners? The middle?

Kris Ronsman: For rugs, it is important that the suction power is adjusted correctly to ensure that smooth and effortless movement of the floor head is possible. Starting from the corner or one side of the rug ensures that the complete surface is cleaned thoroughly without forgetting any spots or areas. In a domestic room where pieces of furniture become obstacles during cleaning, a vacuum cleaner with an agile steering system and swivel wheels that allow quick and effortless movement on any domestic flooring type is a huge advantage.

Personal habit, room lay-out and furniture placement will most likely determine whether the vacuuming should start from a corner or the middle of the room.

Q: Should you go over and over the same spot?

Kris Ronsman:
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards specify that the best cleaning results are achieved by cleaning in a ‘zigzag’ pattern, which ensures that a certain spot is at least cleaned several times without unnecessarily spending too much on one particular spot. If a certain floor area appears dirtier than the rest of the room, spending some extra time here will really pay off and ensure that the floor and living environment is clean and healthy.

Q: Should you make tight turns or soft turns?

Kris Ronsman: The agility and turning ability of a vacuum cleaner’s floor head and the barrel will predominantly determine what the vacuum cleaner and the person using the appliance is capable of doing.

For example, the new Miele S7 Upright range includes the SwivelNeck, which allows for unprecedented steering.

Q: Are there differences in technique between how to vacuum hard floors and carpets?

Kris Ronsman: It is important to point out that hard floors include various types of flooring including tiles, vinyl, lino, parquetry, oiled/waxed boards, tropical hardwood floorboard and more. The various types of carpets, distinguished by the manufacturing process and pile height also need to taken into consideration.

For example, a hand-knotted, long pile Persian carpet/rug should only be vacuumed with a standard floor head with retracted bristles. Looped pile or short pile can be cleaned with a standard floor head or (air-powered) ‘Turbo brush’ floor head.

When carpet looks clean on top, it does not always mean that it is clean throughout. Using an electro-powered power brush occasionally will massage the carpet threads, open them up and remove dirt and grit that may have become embedded deep down.

A specific hard floor or parquetry tool is needed when cleaning specific types of hard flooring. It is best to obtain advice from your flooring installer, flooring retailer or to consult a Miele Floorcare brochure, which contains advice and compatibility on all floor heads and the most common floor types.

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