Cleaning (main) : Cleaning articles : Vacuum cleaning

Making the Most of your Vacuum Cleaner

The vacuum cleaner is a most useful cleaning tool, but how many of us use it properly and make the most of the convenience it offers?

The vacuum cleaner consists of four main parts and several specialised attachments.  The main parts are:


The Barrel

The body of the vac. The hose attaches to one end, the inlet, and the air comes out the other end, the outlet. Some vacuum cleaners let you reverse the hose to blow air instead of sucking.

The Hose

Attaches to the inlet end of the barrel, and is flexible to allow easy movement of the tube and attachments.

The Tube

This attaches to the hose and is often adjustable to suit your height, or for what you’re cleaning. Shorten it, to make vacuuming chairs and sofas easier.

vacuum cleaning 
The Bag

Goes inside the barrel. Many vacuum cleaners don’t have bags, but a removable container you empty as you would a reusable bag. Always empty the bag or container after each use.

The Main Head

Attaches to the other end of the tube and has a lever to adjust the bristles down or up. Put the bristles down for hard or shiny floors, and up for carpets. If you have pets that leave hairs everywhere, use the bristles down on the carpet, then comb the hair or fur out of the bristles.

Small Round Brush

Use instead of the main head for cleaning upholstery, curtains, the carpet on stairs (shorten the tube to make this easier) and for sucking up cobwebs.

Crevice Tool (Corner Nozzle)

This narrow tool with a diagonal opening is designed for narrow spaces, like the edges where skirting boards meet the floor, or where carpet meets tiles, the crevices in the sides and back of chairs and sofas. It’s also good for cleaning the grooves in sliding door tracks.

Cleaning the Vacuum Cleaner

Once in a while you’ll need to clean your vac. Use a microfibre duster to wipe out the inside of the barrel, the bag area or removable dust container, and around all the attachments.

Change the filters, or clean them if they are reusable, and replace. Wipe the outside of the barrel with a damp cloth. If the main head is very dirty, wash it in warm soapy water and rinse, then dry thoroughly in the sun before storing.



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