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Yes, There's a Right Way to Vacuum!
A really good vacuuming job can draw in up to 99 percent of the dirt and dust in an area -- a boon to neatness as well as healthy living. Use these tips from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook" to perfect your vacuuming technique from start to finish.
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Clean StrategicallyWhen doing your thorough cleaning, dust the room before vacuuming so you can vacuum up the particles that float into the air as you work and settle on the floor.
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Clear the Way
Move furniture out of the way before you begin vacuuming (both so you don’t bump into it and so you do a thorough job of cleaning under and around it). Never vacuum between the legs of a chair, for example.
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Watch Your Base LineBe especially careful around baseboards to avoid marring them.
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Get a Grip
If you use a canister-style vacuum cleaner, you might find that it’s easier to control if you carry it rather than drag it behind you.
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Think Inside OutWhen vacuuming a floor, start inside a room and vacuum your way out of it.Photography: Thibault Jeanson
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Narrow Your Path
Push the vacuum forward and backward in long, slow, overlapping strokes.
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Sweat the Small Stuff
Bend down to pick or sweep up any small objects that lie in your path, such as pine needles, leaves of houseplants, paint chips, or cat litter, as they might present a danger to the vacuum’s motor.
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Remember, What's Inside CountsDon’t let the vacuum bag get too full. For maximum efficiency, always change it when it’s half to three-quarters full.
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Many vacuum cleaners come with standard attachments -- but all too often they're forgotten. Know which tool to use on which surface, and your vacuuming will be more effective.
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Set a CycleWhat’s better than a flawless vacuuming job? A consistent vacuuming habit. Your ideal frequency will vary based on kids, pets, and lifestyle -- twice a week is ideal for high-traffic areas -- but set a reminder ahead of time to effortlessly incorporate vacuuming into your routine.Photography: WILLIAM ABRANOWICZ