Tutorial: How to Make Perfect Vacuum Lines

I will never forget the first time I saw perfectly aligned vacuum lines in carpet. I worked at the main office of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in Portsmouth, NH. One of the cleaning staff was vacuuming a large open area and with every sweep of her vacuum she formed perfect anglcarpet linesed lines. I was awestruck!

To avoid putting footprints in the nicely groomed carpet, I took the stairs to the next level. As crazy as it might seem, any foot imprint in the carpet would have been an irreverent act.

When I got home that evening, I pulled out my old Kirby vacuum and practiced making lines in my carpet. It was a total failure. I had lines, but they didn’t look pretty and went in every direction imaginable. But I didn’t give up.

What I discovered immediately was NEVER vacuum yourself into a corner. Also, always plug your cord into an outlet that is closet to where you will exit the room. Maneuvering around furniture is tricky but, with practice, you will soon be making lines in places you never dreamed possible.

Here are a few tips I have to share:

  • Use the crevice attachment (if you have one) on your vacuum cleaner first. Vacuum the edges in each room before you vacuum the carpet.
  • Vacuum from the furthest corner away from the door and vacuum your way out of the room. Visually divide your room into sections if it is large and start at the far corner.
  • Move any easily movable furniture out of the room or place on a surface that won’t be vacuumed (bed, table, etc.). That way, you have the most space available to do your work.
  • Keep the cord behind you. Return any moved furniture to its place before moving on to the next section. This will alleviate any unwanted footprints on your ‘cut lines’.
  • Turn on power. Pull straight back to the end of your section (do not extend your reach farther than you can extend your arm). Now, go right back over that line you just made, and finally, pull back on an angle. Keep vacuuming in one direction, that way you’ll never repeat an area you’ve already cleaned and you also don’t step all over the area you just vacuumed.
  • Once you get to the end of your section, pull everything back to the beginning of your next section and repeat! You should vacuum yourself out the door.
  • Make slow, deliberate passes to ensure the dirt is being sucked up into the vacuum.
  • Back your way out of the room.

Here is a great video showing how it is done:


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