Make Daily Vacuuming Part of Your Routine

Set up a vacuuming protocol using answers to these commonly asked questions

Make Daily Vacuuming Part of Your Routine

Implementing a vacuuming routine in your facility will keep the carpet clean and help extend its lifespan. Are you wondering if your facilities’ vacuuming protocols are adequate? Michael Seaman, vice president of commercial and dealer sales with TTI Floor Care North America collaborated with his colleagues to answer some frequently asked questions about vacuuming best practices.

How often should carpet be vacuumed in a public facility?

It’s a good idea to vacuum daily or more often if needed. If you notice the carpet has become dirty after its daily vacuuming, don’t wait until the next day to vacuum again. Remember, you only have one chance to make a first impression when people enter your facility. And if you are cleaning a medical facility, more than your reputation is at stake. Ensure you use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.

Should you increase vacuuming frequencies in high-traffic areas?

Again, vacuum as often as needed. Sometimes vacuuming may be required multiple times per day in areas with heavy foot traffic. But if the area is occupied, watch out for that cord: It is a trip hazard. Having a small unit for touch ups is key for high traffic areas when you do not have time to clean the entire floor.

What is the best time for vacuuming in a facility that is open around the clock, like a casino or hotel?

Choose hours when there is less traffic. For a casino, that would be around 6 a.m.; for a hotel, it would be around 8 p.m. Quiet, cordless units are well-suited for these times.

What are some tips for vacuuming more efficiently/quickly?

Our trainers recommend a system in which you vacuum in a fishbone pattern. The system is patented and was created for backpack vacuum users. It’s called the WOW Productivity System, which stands for wear right, operate right, and work right. The premise is that if you are wearing a correctly and comfortably adjusted machine, using the correct posture, and following a methodical plan for both detail and spot cleaning, you’ll finish your work with less fatigue, without sore shoulders and an aching back. This system can result in cleaner carpets, save time, and make vacuuming more efficient and easier on the operator.

Wear right:

  • Always read the vacuum manual and carefully follow instructions on how to wear a backpack unit properly.
  • Don’t take any shortcuts when putting it on.

Operate right:

  • Stand upright with the handle grip section of the wand parallel to the floor.
  • Keep only one hand on the wand at a comfortable arm’s length.
  • Move forward and away from the power source.
  • Use easy underarm swinging motions when detail cleaning and short “stabs” when spot cleaning, always standing upright.
  • Once you reach the end of the power cord, return to the power source. Disconnect the cord from the power outlet and wind it from the backpack to the end of the cord to reduce the likelihood of cord twists, fractures, and knots. If you have finished your work, remove the backpack by sliding the left strap off your shoulder while raising your right arm and shoulder to hold the strap in place. Slowly lower your right shoulder and gently lower the unit to the floor.
  • Move to the next power outlet or area to be cleaned and repeat the above steps.

Work right:

  • Find the most easily accessible power outlet. This is your starting location, at the fish “head.” Your turnaround spot is the “tail.”
  • Envision the floor areas as a fishbone. Check the room layout and the position of furniture. Check the condition of the floor.
  • Decide which areas you should detail clean with long strokes (the backbone) and spot clean with short stabs (the ribs).
  • Work away from the power outlet, making your way from one side of the fishbone toward the tail. Then come back to the other side, toward the head.

Which areas are best suited for cleaning with backpack vacuums? Which areas are not suited for backpack vacuums?

Tight spaces, areas with low-pile carpet or no carpet, and offices are great for a backpack unit. Areas with thicker carpet require airflow and agitation provided by a motor-driven brush. Backpacks will only pick up the surface dirt.

Which vacuums are best for open spaces?

Cordless uprights allow you to work safely and move around your workspace without the use of a cord. Plugging in a machine then unplugging it, along with tripping hazards, will result in a 20% decrease in cost savings alone, along with decreased efficiency.

What are common vacuuming mistakes?

Mistakes we see a lot include people sucking up items with their vacuum that they did not intend, vacuuming too quickly to effectively clean, and overlooking room corners as well as eye-catching areas. Some mistakes are harmful to the equipment, such as destroying cords by wrapping them toward the vacuum and neglecting to service equipment. Using the wrong equipment for the job can harm the facility, workers, and guests, and lead to legal issues.

What misconceptions do people have about vacuuming?

There is a misconception that vacuuming should be hard to do to be effective. Another myth is that bagless vacuums save money. Bagless vacuums can waste time and spread dirt. Vacuums
with bags are more environmentally friendly, especially in high-traffic areas.

What vacuum technology should people consider?

Vacuums with brushless motors and brush roll motors, cordless models, and repairable models are required for fleet and commercial use. Robotic vacuums are the future.

Kathleen Misovic

Managing Editor for CMM

Kathleen Misovic is managing editor for CMM. She has a degree in journalism and an extensive background in writing for print and digital media for various publications and associations. Contact her at [email protected].  

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