Vacuum Cleaners by Floor Type

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Vacuum Cleaners by Floor Type

The single most important step in improving the cleanliness and look of your floors is through regular vacuuming. When it comes to carpets, fibers serve as a trap for dust, dirt, allergens, and other particles, and traditional upright or canisters are best suited for these surfaces.

Hard floors will require frequent sweeping, mopping, and waxing. These floors will most benefit from wet/dry and stick vacuum cleaners.

On the other hand, because stairs and upholstery are often hard-to-reach, they require vacuums with special attachments such as crevice tools and upholstery nozzles.

As such, different types of floors will benefit from different types of vacuums. To help you find the type of vacuum cleaner you need, simply choose your floor or surface type from the list below:

Wall-to-Wall CarpetHard Floors
Combination FloorsStairs
Upholstery Commercial Areas

Wall-to-Wall Carpet

There are three basic kinds of debris to remove from carpet: lint and surface litter; debris that's not visible to the naked eye but lying below your carpet's surface; and heavy dirt and sediment laying at the bottom of your carpet fiber. For wall-to-wall carpeting, an upright vacuum cleaner is clearly your best choice because they have more suction power than canister vacuums. Their motors are stronger, their cleaning paths are wider, and overall, they are more durable. While not suitable for certain surfaces such as delicate rugs or hard floors, they are clearly the best choice for carpet, regardless of the length of the pile.

Recommended Vacuum Type:

Hard Floors

A good hard floor vacuum cleaner will prevent both stain formation and scratches.  When choosing a hard floor vacuum cleaner, look for wet/dry models that can handle both dry and liquid spills.  When in dry mode, these vacuums pick up debris such as dust and dirt.  When in wet mode, simply fill the vacuum's canister with cleaning product and start cleaning.  For quick cleanups of dry spills on hard surfaces, stick vacuums and floor sweepers may also be sufficient.

Recommended Vacuum Types:

Combination Floor Surfaces

While upright vacuums are best suited for mostly carpeted surfaces, for homes with a combination of floor types such as carpet and hard floors, canister vacuum cleaners may be more suitable. Canister vacuums have base units that contain the vacuum's motor, dust bag, and filter system. Usually included are also cleaning tools and specialized cleaning attachments such as wands and extension hoses. They are easy to maneuver and great for cleaning stairs. They are truly the most versatile type of vacuum because they can clean carpets, smooth floors, and above-the-floor surfaces such as upholstery and curtains.

Recommended Vacuum Type:

Stairs

If your home has stairs, a canister vacuum cleaner is your best bet, as an upright vacuum is not designed to clean stairs by itself. Even with specialized attachments, cleaning stairs with an upright is not only awkward, but the results are usually poor because an upright's revolving brushes cannot be used on stair treads (an area with high traffic). When choosing a canister vacuum for your stairs, look for models with edge-cleaning features. Furthermore, for quickly cleaning up small spills on stairs, a cordless vacuum cleaner may also do the job.

Recommended Vacuum Types:

Upholstery

Just like carpets, upholstery also needs to be regularly vacuumed in order to prevent abrasive dust particles from causing damage. When purchasing a vacuum cleaner, look for models that come with upholstery and crevice nozzle attachments designed for this purpose. Because canister vacuum cleaners are much easier to maneuver than upright models, these types of vacuums are more convenient to use.  There are also a number of steam vacuums with upholstery attachments that are great for gentle stain removal.

Recommended Vacuum Type:

Commercial Areas

Most vacuums are usually designed for residential or light-duty cleaning in an office environment. For heavy-duty duty cleaning of commercial or industrial areas, a commercial-grade vacuum cleaner will be the only type that will do. These vacuums are manufactured with larger and more powerful motors that are designed to get the dirt and grime of out of high-traffic areas. As a result, these types of vacuums are generally more expensive than residential models. Commercial vacuums also come in a range of styles such as backpack vacuums, floor buffers, and Shop Vacs.

Recommended Vacuum Type:



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