How Clean Are My Carpets?

by Bob 27. August 2012 03:50

Most any vacuum does a reasonable job of pulling dirt off the floor if used properly.  There are definitely machines that clean faster and better than others but the general principle is based on how a vacuum cleaner is used and maintained.  If a vacuum cleaner that is rated excellently by expert opinions and users isn’t used or maintained properly then the machine will not be able to achieve results anywhere near to what it is capable of!!  

There are many vacuum designs on the market.  Some have narrow openings for dirt with small agitators, and some have wide openings.  Bristle arrangements can be straight, chevron, or articulated.  Some vacuums have dirt sensors.  All of these features constitute the efficiency of a machine but become meaningless if not able to perform as manufactured and tested.

A dirt sensor feature on a vacuum informs the user whether or not dirt is passing into the machine as a helpful indicator of whether to continue vacuuming the same spot or move on.  Although helpful a dirt sensor merely means, that particular vacuum cleaner is no longer capable of sucking in dirt.  It does not necessarily mean the carpet is clean.  However, if your machine is equipped with this feature you should definitely continue to move it over the surface until the indicator changes color to indicate clean—usually green. 

When a vacuum’s spinning agitator brush touches the surface there is a significant change in noise and tone from the machine.  This is a good thing.  If your machine states automatic carpet height adjustment, then your machine is pre-set from factory to clean most any carpet and no further adjustment is necessary. If your machine has a manual carpet height adjustment then the setting can be different for any carpet in your home.  Many manual height machines have 4 or 7 settings.  On many medium pile carpets with a 4 setting dial, the lowest setting is the best.  Leaving a higher setting for area rugs, and shags.   One of the best ways to set height on a manual machine to start at the very highest.  Give a pass with machine, then readjust.  Find the setting where the vacuum tone just changes and go 1 setting lower, and that is usually a good spot for the machine to be.  The goal is clean, groomed carpets while not restricting air flow to get in, and allowing the brush roll to rotate at proper RPM.  If the height is too low, the brush roll, slows dramatically.  This greatly impedes carpet cleanliness.  

If you push a block of wood through a table saw too quick, the machine kicks back causing wood to break also usually causing injury.  If you mow lawn too quick, the cut is very uneven, and tends to leave several blades uncut, potentially damaging the lawn as well.  If you turn a stove burner on too high, the food will burn and not taste right.  If you iron a garment too quick and and on high, the iron will put in more wrinkles than it removes and can completely ruin the clothing. Many dishwasher and washing machine cycles are around one hour.  When a cleaning a shower, you spray the chemicals and allow time for them to work before scrubbing.  This similar theory can be applied to vacuum cleaners.  When dirt falls on floor or comes in from the outside and then we walk on it, the dirt becomes embedded into the surface.  Hard foods, sand, stones and other objects actually cut up and shred carpet fibers when they become embedded.  This is why we often see some carpet fibers cleaned up with vacuum cleaners.  In many cases it’s not the vacuum destroying carpet but instead it’s just cleaning up the already cut up and shredded fiber caused by dirt.  In-order for the machine to completely ensure that carpets are clean and the suction can pull in all of the harmful carpet destroying material the machine NEEDS TIME & PATIENCE.  Use steady, even strokes ensuring the front of the nozzle is touching the floor the entire time with any suction and/or height adjusters set properly.  The absolute minimum recommended passes is 6.   Forward and back over the same spot counting as 2.  For heavy traffic areas it’s recommended to vacuum ever 2-3 days, other areas about once a week.  


What Vacuum Type is Best Suited for My Household?

by Bob 23. August 2012 03:03

 

Current home design trends are breaking away from a household full of wall to wall carpets in every room. Now a mixture is in play with many consisting of laminate or hard wood floor surfaces, lightweight area rugs, and oriental rugs, a few rooms with wall to wall carpet and steps wooded or carpet. With all these types of floor surfaces to clean along with upholstered furniture and curtains, the question of the best vacuum for a household arises.

Carpets and Rugs

A vacuum with an electric motor powered revolving agitator brush roll is the best choice. This could be any upright vacuum, a canister vacuum with a power nozzle or central vacuum with electric power nozzle. Agitation on a carpet not only removes dog hair easily and leaves a gorgeous groomed appearance but it also separates the carpet fibers allowing the suction stream and bristles to sweep and suck out damaging gritty objects such as sand, small stones, dust mites and other foreign objects all the way down to the base of the carpet pile. The electric powered brush roll is much better than air powered for allowing higher more consistent RPMs of the brushroll. Generally a faster spinning brush roll provides the best cleaning performance.

Hard Floor Surfaces

Suction only cleaning is the only recommended method. A bare floor brush with soft, stationary bristles or felt padding type material that dusts the floor and sweeps any fine matter into the suction stream. These tools are generally extremely low profile, very gentle, lightweight and highly maneuverable allowing the user to easily clean floors behind toilets, around chair legs, under refrigerator doors and of course large open areas to immediately suck in dirt along baseboards or wherever it hides. They also are great for dusting walls and removing cobwebs from ceilings.

Gentle is the key word for cleaning hard floors. Cleaning is just that as the purpose is to help restore and preserve a surface to look its best without damaging it. A spinning agitator brush is terrific for carpets but for hard floor surfaces the marks of the spinning brush roll are quite unappealing, and ruins any waxed or polished finished including scratching the surface of the floor and chipping grout. On linoleum flooring, rubber mats and some other delicate floors a vacuums spinning brushes can actually burn through the surface all the way to the bottom leaving permanent damage. A spinning brush also causes many fine particles to just be kicked out the back of the machine instead of sucked away. This is counterproductive for cleaning a house and causes more dust on furniture and elsewhere.

Best Choice

The all around best of both worlds is a canister vacuum with electric power nozzle. Many canister vacuums have electric power heads that provide excellent carpet cleaning results. The power nozzles are lightweight and low profile for easy cleaning under beds, low furniture or even automotive interior. The power nozzles detach very easily with a step on quick release button to attach a most likely included separate bare floor tool. Otherwise for about $15 it’s a very easy to get accessory from your preferred vacuum repair shop, which they can help you find the best one to fit your needs and machine.

If you’re a Die Hard Upright fan you can do one of two things. 1) Pick out an excellent deep cleaning upright vacuum for your carpets. Buy a separate canister vacuum for your bare floor needs and any attachment work that you have. There are many sizes of suction only or included power nozzle canisters on the market to fit your needs and desires. 2) Find an upright vacuum with a brush roll shut off switch. You can try doing your hard floors this way with the brush roll shut off or better yet, ask your vacuum shop for an extension hose, bare floor tool and some extension wands to fit with your upright vacuum that has included on board tool storage. Evacuumstore.com can help you outfit your vacuum with adapters, wands, bare floor brushes, etc. to turn your upright vac into an easy to use attachment ready machine at a very reasonable price.

 

How to Unclog a Central Vacuum System

by Bob 27. June 2012 10:09

Have you been noticing a reduced amount of suction in your central vacuum system? Does your power unit’s motor sound strained? Does one cleaning inlet provide more suction than another? If you answered yes to any of these questions, your central vacuum system may be clogged. Thankfully, it is a simple task to find where most clogs are located. There are three different types of clogs to look for: 

*Bag/Filter Clog: If you have neglected to maintain your motor unit, or have recently vacuumed up fine particles, the motor unit’s bag or filter might be clogged. If this were the case, you would experience low suction from every inlet, including the inlet located on the unit itself. If you own a bagless unit, washing or replacing the filter will solve this problem. In a bagged unit, replacing the bag will do the same. A dirty pre-motor filter should be replaced as well. 

*Hose Clog:  If you are experiencing low suction at each of your inlets, and you have made sure your motor unit’s bag or filter is not clogged, your hose may be the problem. An easy way to check for a hose clog is to turn on the motor unit manually, opening an inlet without the hose, and feeling the suction there. To turn on the unit manually, refer to your owner’s manual, although most units will have a switch on the side marked AUTO and ON, or something similar.  You want to turn the switch to ON. If good suction is coming from the inlets, your hose is clogged. This can be solved by running a  plumber's snake through the hose. 

*Inlet or Piping Clog: If just one or a few inlets experience reduced suction, then the clog is located within the walls. There are a few ways to solve this. The easiest way is to insert a shopvac or canister vacuum hose into the inlet and try to suction out the clog.   A product called TornadoPower Maintenance Cloths might be able to remove the clog. You could also try to run a plumber’s snake through the inlet. If all fails and you can’t remove the clog yourself, call your local central vacuum dealer for help. 

Keeping your system free of clogs will not only allow you to clean better, but will also prolong the life of your motor.  Happy Cleaning! 

STEAM CLEAN YOUR RUG

by Bob 19. April 2011 05:19

Oreck Steam ITPart of owning a carpet is keeping it clean. Regular carpet cleaning can reduce stains and odors found in your rug. The best way to keep a rug clean is to vacuum often. Between cleanings address stains and spills as soon as they occur. A little protective maintenance will help your carpets last longer and keep the carpets looking good as new. Door mats at every entry to your home will eliminate much dirt.

Steam cleaning is the latest technology that deep cleans without chemical additives. An environmentally friendly floor cleaner is the New Oreck Steam It. Oreck Steam It, uses the power of steam instead of harsh chemicals. It attacks many germs and bacteria using ordinary tap water. Pressurized super dry steam heats in 30 seconds. Dry steam means no damp mess. The Oreck Steam It works upside down without spillage for above floor cleaning. The 25 ft. cord makes it easy to use. It can be used on most flooring surfaces, stone, vinyl, sealed hardwood, and carpets. Reusable machine washable microfiber pads mean no expensive replacement pads to buy. Before steam cleaning your carpet it is important that you vacuum.

The NEW ORECK STEAM IT has 1 year warranty and free shipping.

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Oreck | Steamers

HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR VACUUM

by Bob 5. April 2011 10:00

Your vacuum cleaner doesn’t need much attention. Simple maintenance will keep it working and cleaning efficiently. This can head off more costly repairs. The main function of your machine is to pick up dust and dirt. Dust build up can damage your motor. The motor works harder as a result. Read your manual to determine the maintenance needs of your machine. Using your manual can save you a great deal of time and money.

The first thing to do is to unplug your vacuum. Keep the cord untangled. Check the bag regularly. Make sure you change the bag when it is half filled. A full vacuum cleaner bag means that the machine must work harder. Use the correct size and type for your machine. Keep replacement bags on hand. You never want to be caught with out a vacuum bag when you have company coming over.

Replace or clean periodically any filters on the vacuum. Clogged filters reduce the cleaning efficiency of your cleaner.

When vacuuming remove large objects such as paper clips, coins, nails, paper. Items like these can clog up your hose. If you have lost suction use a broomstick gently through the hose to dislodge any debris that is stuck. Check the hose for clogs and obstructions. Check to see if hose needs to be replaced.

Keep brush roll clean. Make sure the brush roll spins freely. Clean the brush roll also called beater bar. If it is full of hair, thread or other items it is time to clean it. Check the belt. Remove bottom plate or top cover, which may have screws. Don’t lose screws. Check the vacuum belt for signs of cracks, melted or worn spots. If these are found replace with a new belt. A worn belt will not propel the brush roll.

Regularly checking your vacuum and its parts will help it last longer.

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