People Who Have The Cleanest Homes Always Vacuum First

Who’s with us?

It's a controversial viewpoint, but one many a neat freak stand by firmly: To get your home the absolute cleanest, you should be vacuuming both as the first and final step in your cleaning process. It may sound counterintuitive to get the vacuum out when dust bunnies are still lurking around at higher elevations. Still, there's certainly a case for clearing the initial layer off the floor before you begin the rest of your regimen, no matter how much we hate to admit it.

We've all been there—it's wall cleaning time, and hair, fur, or dust clings to your cleaning cloth, only detaching itself once it has a prime-time spot on your white walls. You realize you might have been better off with the fingerprint smudges. To avoid this most irritating scenario, give your high-traffic or mess-prone areas a quick once-over with the vacuum. It doesn't have to be perfect, but the rest of your cleaning will be significantly improved even if you just hit the problem areas like the corners, areas around the tubs and toilets, and even the baseboards themselves.

1950s Woman Vacuuming
Getty/George Marks

If you have a handheld vacuum, take it to the fridge drawers, stovetop, and dryer lint trap in this first round. It will keep a good bit of the crumbs and dust off your floors, making the rest of the cleaning much more manageable. 

Wiping off your lower cabinets will be a tidier and quicker process, too, without fear of your wet cloth dragging along grime if it accidentally sweeps the floor while cleaning the toe-kick areas.

Before you cry foul on this suggestion to add another step to your to-do list, know it benefits those with high-shedding pets. When the fur starts flying, we all know it'll cling to almost everything, even soaring to the top of that just-dusted sideboard—This means you're putting in the work without a full payoff.

Time is of the essence for many of us, and you might not be able to bust out the vacuum twice in one day. In those instances, the best thing to do is quickly clean up any obvious fur balls, crumbs, or other dust magnets and then continue the cleaning. You can catch everything else when you zip around the vacuum after the rest of the house is shined and primed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can you use to clean the inside of your vacuum?

    According to Merry Maids, there are four steps to properly cleaning your vacuum. Keep adequate airflow by removing the canister and using soapy water to wash it in a sink. Use a microfiber cloth to clean the interior and let it dry entirely before returning the canister to the vacuum. After, remove and wash the filter according to the manufacturer's instructions, which vary by vacuum. The third step is to clean the base plate, including cutting away hair and using a grout brush to remove stuck-on debris. Lastly, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the vacuum's exterior.

  • How often should you vacuum?

    Vacuum frequency depends on the type of flooring you have. Vacuuming twice a week is recommended for carpets and rugs, while tile, hardwood, laminate, or vinyl floors need vacuuming at least once a week. Your lifestyle and household occupants might increase the frequency you need to vacuum, as people with pets that shed or people with dust allergies need to clean more often.

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