You'll wish you'd known this sooner.
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It turns out there is a right way to vacuum. Even though most of us have likely been vacuuming our homes for years without questioning our technique, cleaning experts have gotten vacuuming down to a science. By following these pro-approved tips, you'll catch more dust, crumbs, and pet fur the first time—and your rugs, carpets, and floors will never be cleaner. Stick to the vacuuming guidelines below to learn the best way to vacuum.

1. Go Slowly

The key to getting the cleanest clean is going slow. Start on the far edge of your carpet or rug and push the vacuum forward in a straight line. This movement lifts the nap (or fibers) of the floor covering to reveal any dirt or debris hidden underneath. Then pull the machine back slowly toward you to collect all that debris. For your next row, overlap the first by about 50 percent and repeat the process until the entire surface has been cleaned.

2. Vacuum in Two Directions

Another tip for getting your carpet extra-clean is to not only vacuum up and down in rows but also turn 90 degrees and vacuum side-to-side. The extra effort will be well worth it in the end, as it will help catch every bit of dust and debris.

3. Clean the Machine

Yes, your vacuum does need to be cleaned. Regularly emptying the canister can improve the suction, while cleaning the brushes and bristles will help them sweep up every last crumb on your carpet. Follow these vacuum cleaning guidelines to clear out the bristles after each use, the canister after every few uses, and check the filters once per month. With a little maintenance, the machine will run smoothly, so you won't have to keep vacuuming the same spots over and over.