Should you vacuum or dust first and the truth about portable vacuum cleaners

There are 2 school of thoughts:

1. Some people prefer to dust and then vacuum because dusting will cause dust to settle in lower surfaces which can be vacuumed off

2. Some people prefer to vacuum first then dust because it seemed that vacuuming may result in dust being distributed back to the air.

For me, I prefer option 1. Generally I do not think a vacuum cleaner is supposed to cause dust to be distributed back to the air- if the vacuum cleaner is like that, then perhaps you need to look into changing the bags, filters or buying a new vacuum cleaner.

I stay in an industry area where my home gets dusty fairly quickly. Coupled with house pets (I have two dogs in my home) my home can get real dusty.

Personally, I don’t dust often but instead I would wipe off surfaces with a microfibre cloth on days that I decide to clean my living space. I only use the duster on higher areas, window frames and wall corners.

After wiping off the surfaces I would then sweep and mop the floor. On certain days I would vacuum and then mop the floor. I saw no point of vacuuming or sweeping then followed by dusting.

Difference between vacuuming and sweeping

Vacuuming is always the preferred choice compared to just sweeping with a broom. Reason being, vacuuming is capable of removing stubborn dirt and fur stuck to your floor – well even not 100% but it is definitely much better compared to sweeping.

Also, when you are sweeping the floor, the dust does fly off (often you cannot see it unless you are cleaning a very dusty room with a thick layer of dust) and settle of elsewhere.

However, not many people have time to do vacuuming. I, for one definitely too lazy to do it erm do not have the time so I would sweep my living room and kitchen twice a day (morning and evening) and mop once in the evening.

Portable vacuum cleaners

I also do not enjoy dragging my vacuum around the home. I vacuum at most once a week. Yes, there are the cordless ones- in fact, I have almost purchase a cordless vacuum cleaner from an electrical shop until the salesman (I appreciated his honesty) told me something like this:

“As you can see, we sell cordless vacuum cleaners which you can see being displayed at the corner there. But before you buy the cleaner, I just wish to feedback to you  about few things based on past experiences of our customers- first, the charging dock sometimes may malfunction and the appliance may fail to charge. When customers take it back, sometimes the warranty covers and sometimes it does not. If it is past the warranty period (usually 1 year) or that it does not come under warranty, then the cost of replacing the part would be expensive, causing few hundred bucks. 

Another thing is that the suction power of a portable vacuum cleaner would not equal to a normal wired one. If you have heavy duty cleaning such as vacumming the carpets of an office or if your home is carpeted, then the portable vacuum cleaners are not suitable. At most, a fully charged device can only be used for 20 minutes and then after using, you need to let it charged for many hours before you can use it again. With longer duration, the battery capacity may also reduce (ie even if fully charged, it is lasting for shorter duration of time).

Also cordless vacuum cleaner would have a smaller storage box (in order to remain light and well, portable) and you would need to clean out the box more often compared to a regular vacuum cleaner.”

I decided not to get the portable vacuum cleaner then. Truth to be told, the salesman did not want to hardsell because I was already buying other items from the store (a juicer and simple water purifier) and he had hoped I would be a returning customer, not the complaining type. He had experienced a few cases of customers who came back with complain after they bought portable vacuum cleaners (even though it is of reputable brands).

But I know of a friend of mine, who stayed in an apartment and have a few cats uses a portable vacuum cleaner because she said it is so much easier and cleaner compared to sweeping. She said she is spending lesser time in cleaning up her house.

In conclusion, vacuum cleaner definitely cleans better than the old fashioned broom and dustpan. Ultimately it depends on personal preference as there are pros and cons of each – for example a portable vacuum cleaner is easier to use compared to a wired bulky one. If you have a smaller space and do not mind to change to another if it gets spoil (in return for the convenience and time saving plus), then it can also be a consideration in purchasing it.



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