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Lesson 17 - Vacuuming the Carpets

The purpose of vacuuming is to regularly remove light soils from rugs and carpets. The vacuum picks up loose dirt and dust deposited daily, and lays the nap of the rug to present a uniform appearance.

A powerful vacuum cleaner should be used to draw up and remove dust and dirt from between tufts.

The quantity of soil removed is proportional to how long the vacuum is in contact with the rug. If soil is light, a fast spot vacuuming to clean traffic lanes, lay nap, and pick up litter, is very often all that is required. It frequently is NOT necessary to vacuum the entire floor. Spot vacuuming traffic areas and lanes is sufficient on a daily basis with a thorough vacuuming once a week.


Vacuuming rugs and carpets keeps them looking neat and clean. Regular vacuuming also increase the rugs life by removing sharp gritty particles that grind the fibers and also reduces the need for shampooing


Vacuuming is done everyday. If an industrial upright vacuum machine is available, it should be alternated with the wand vacuum. The wand vacuum is faster and more versatile as it can reach areas inaccessible to the upright. But the upright does provide better pick up. IF possible, therefore, complete vacuuming with the upright should be scheduled on a bi-weekly frequency and complete vacuuming with the wand type scheduled for the interim weeks (it is also recommended for daily spot vacuuming).

The standard times are:
Furnished areas 45 sq. ft. per minute
Open areas
61 sq. ft. per minute
Spot vacuuming 65 sq. ft. per minute


  1. Tank type vacuum with hose, wand, crevice tool and rug cleaning tool.
  2. Optional: Industrial upright vacuum
  3. Optional: Strap-a-Vac
  4. Optional: Pile Lifter


The pattern: The vacuuming pattern varies depending upon the type of machine as well as upon whether spot vacuuming or complete vacuuming is being performed. In spot vacuuming traffic lanes and usage areas, use strokes about three to four feet long. The operator steps sideways about ten inches into position for next pass. Operator overlaps strokes slightly and repeats the two pas procedures until reaching the edge of the area being vacuumed.

When using wand type vacuums for complete vacuuming, the operator includes vacuuming under chairs, tables, and other equipment. To clean under ledges, radiators and between pipes, the hose and accessory tools are used. Two to four passes over each area (determined by amount of soil or usage) are recommended for complete vacuuming.

If using an upright for complete vacuuming, it is difficult to get under most furniture with this type machine. The operator makes two to four passes over all unobstructed areas, moves light equipment out of the way and leaves the inaccessible areas for vacuuming with the wand type machine on a bi-weekly frequency when doing daily spot vacuuming.


  1. Follow same procedures as previous section
  2. Use two to four strokes passes depending upon the amount of soil
  3. As work progresses, clean hard-to-get spots with accessory tools. Corners can be cleaned by removing floor tool and using hose only.
  4. Continue vacuuming around the room, vacuuming thoroughly under and around legs of furniture. If furniture must be moved in order to get under it, replace in the original position after vacuuming has been performed.
  5. With cut-pile carpet, lay the pile while vacuuming. The final stroke should always be in the same direction. A slight overlap of strokes is desirable.


  1. Collect tools and go to work area. Carry assembled wand and floor tool in one hand and push vacuum with the other.
  2. Upon reaching the area, plug in machine near end of area or entrance to office. Place vacuum in central location. To move vacuum short distances, pull by hose, for long distances, push vacuum.
  3. Stand in a comfortable position half-facing the floor tool. With one hand, grasp the wand near hose end. This hand propels the tool. Guide tool with the other hand, letting it slip up and down the wand as it moves back and forth. Lean slightly forward, bending at the hips. Work arms forward and backward, rhythmically shifting weight of body.
  4. Use push-pull strokes as described above. When changing direction, reverse position of hand and body. Be sure to keep the floor tool flat to the surface of the carpet.

Note: Make sure the vacuum tank and filters are clean and the gasket is fitted securely and properly. Otherwise, the machine loses its effectiveness.


  1. Push machine to area on rear wheels
  2. Plug in machine, release handle and turn on machine
  3. Use two to four stroke passes to vacuum all exposed area. Move light equipment out of the way and vacuum underneath it.
  4. Continue until area is completed. Lay the pile with each fourth pass and slightly overlap the final strokes.


A pile life vacuum serves a dual function:
  1. To remove deep down soil and debris
  2. To lift pile fibers upright

Pile lifting should be done on a once a month basis for most areas. High traffic areas may require pile lifting weekly. When shampooing or cleaning carpets always pile lift the carpet from both directions to remove all loose sand, soil and debris prior to cleaning. After cleaning is complete and the carpet is dry, always be pile lifted from both directions to remove all soil and debris that is being held in suspension by the shampoo crystals.

NOTE: Constant daily use should be avoided as the stiff pile brush tends to wear excessively on some pile fabric after extended daily use!

Never leave a pile vacuum sitting on the pile lifting brush as it will become flat from the downward weight of the machine!

Anti-stats, soil retardants and other chemical applications are sometimes applied with a spray attachment mounted on the pile lifting vacuum.

For efficient trouble free use always clean your equipment thoroughly after each use. This included dumping and cleaning the vacuum bag


Strap-a-Vac are available in many models form various vacuum manufacturers. All are designed for use in restricted areas and where light weight, highly mobile vacuum is needed. They are extremely good for spot vacuuming stairs, Venetian blinds, furniture, and draperies. Most tools and attachment are interchangeable and available.


The wet-dry vacuum is designed to pick up water as well as dry material. Usually a large barrel type canister is used with a by pass motor of approximately two horsepower. These units are heavy and not easy to handle so their use should be avoided except to pick up excess foam or water when shampooing or cleaning carpets. Always use a filter bag - wet or dry.

These units require special care and preventive maintenance to avoid damage due to corrosion and rust.

When you are done using the wet-dry vacuum, take the motor off the barrel, set it on the floor and let it run for several seconds (20-40) to dry the windings or any moisture that may have accumulated within the motor.

The barrel should be washed and scrubbed, rinsed and dried with a rag.

Do not seal the vacuum when in storage


  1. Empty bag or tank. Clean brush and/or filter. Check gasket fitting. Check plug and cord. Scrub, scour and polish exterior as needed.
  2. Wipe off vacuum hose, cord and attachments.
  3. Follow special directions for wet-dry vacuums.
  4. Take pressure off pile lifting brush.


THE CEILING/WALL BRUSH is used primarily for cleaning all kinds of ceilings, walls and stair carpeting. It's handy, too, for fabric wall coverings. For best results on walls, either painted or paneled, always dust from baseboard to ceiling. Be sure to clean the brush afterwards.

THE UPHOLSTERY NOZZLE loosens and removes accumulated dirt on upholstered furniture. It's particularly effective in getting rid of lint and animal hair. A good practice is to go over all upholstery once a week, using short strokes.

You can also use the upholstery nozzle to clean curtains and draperies. Attach the tool to a long extension wand to reach ruffled or pleated headings. Heavy fabrics such as velour and velvet also benefit from periodic cleaning.

THE DUSTING BRUSH is probably used more often than any specific cleaning tool. It's recommended for carved furniture, tabletops, lamps, lampshades, light fixtures, picture frames, Venetian blinds, baseboards, shutters, hot air registers, window screens, electric fans, etc. Everything that you can dust with a cloth can be cleaned more easily and efficiently with a dusting brush.

THE CREVICE ATTACHMENT is a long, slim instrument specifically designed to whisk away dirt from hard to reach crannies and corners. Attach to a vacuum hose or wand to reach deep crevices in upholstered furniture, radiators, interiors or cabinets and drawers and hard to reach areas.

Always clean your vacuum cleaner attachments after using. Remove accumulations of lint and hair from brush bristles with the crevice tool or open end of vacuum hose. Wash tools in warm water with a detergent; rinse and let dry before storing.

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