How Often Should You Vacuum?

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Wondering how often should you vacuum? The answer may surprise you. It depends.

A vacuum near the top of the staircase.

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The house we live in had brand new carpet when we moved in. What a treat!

Forget the fact that it’s practically white carpet, okay, very light beige. And a rental. Who does that?

Needless to say, we’ve tried hard to take good care of it. Well, as best as one can when you live in a busy household of eight people, six of them active children.

Daily vacuuming has been our first line of defense. Regular carpet cleaning has been the second. The question often comes up, however, daily vacuuming?

How Often Should You Vacuum?

Yes, daily.

A few summers ago, almost eight to be exact, I decided to instill some better cleaning habits in all of us and instituted the daily vacuuming of the living areas.

There are three carpeted areas in the downstairs, and so each of the big boys had to choose one area to vacuum every day. It’s amazing what a difference it made to the overall appearance of our home.

Two twin beds with blue comforters in a child\'s bedroom.

I’d read once that you should vacuum an area as many times per week as the number of people that regularly use that area.

So, for a bedroom for one person, a weekly vacuuming is sufficient. A room with two roomies should get a twice a week treatment.

Our main living areas? According to that formula, they should receive eight vacuumings a week!

Well, that ain’t happening. But, since that fateful summer day we’ve been able to swing a daily once over. It really doesn’t take very long to go over each area.

And, since it has to be vacuumed, all the junk has to be picked up off the floor, too! {Maniacal laughter from the Mama.}

We’ve hired the same carpet cleaner for many, many years, and he has agreed that the daily vacuuming has helped our carpet last this long. It’s cheap, renter’s carpet in beige, so there’s only so much you can do, but daily vacuuming has helped.

What kind of vacuum should you get?

For over 20 years, we’ve had an Oreck upright vacuum. The first one lasted us about 13 years. The second is almost seven years old and going strong. You can read my review of it here.

For a short time, we had Jarvis, a robotic vacuum. Unfortunately, he wasn’t as loyal to us as he was Ironman.

When we had hard floors, we loved the Shark Cordless Sweeper. It was so light even the toddlers could use it. You can read my review of it here.

How often do YOU vacuum at your house?

Originally published August 16, 2010. Updated January 31, 2018.

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  1. I live in an approximately 1400 sf household with 3 other people, two small dogs, and three cats. All floors are hardwood, except for the living room which is carpeted. I used to vacuum the main living areas daily, but I admit to slacking lately. I do basically all of the day to day housework and it’s just too much. I have to get back on track though. The living room can take me literally 20 to 30 minutes alone because of the pet hair (I have one dog who sheds like you wouldn’t believe). I won’t even talk about mopping, or steamcleaning the carpet. Happens way too infrequently. I also make frequent use of a dust buster. And I, too, use the Dyson that is meant for animals. Does a nice job. However, soon after we got it, someone clogged up and broke the hose attachment, and I now have to lug in the shop vac to get into those small spaces and under things. It’s a pain in the butt! I wouldn’t mind vacuuming at all…if it didn’t involve moving so many things around and out of the way. I swear that takes up most of the time. If only I had some minions to put to work! 😊

  2. Me and my boyfriend I have a low-pile renters carpet, so needless to say it gets dirty very quickly. I vacuum our living room and dining area every single day, and our bedroom once a week since all we do is sleep in there. We only shampoo semi-annually however it’s always relatively clean to begin with when we do. It has kept the carpet in excellent condition.

  3. Wow! So many comments on vacuuming! Who knew it was such a thing?!? I live alone with two dogs, so I vacuum once a week, but I have laminate flooring, a woodstove, and did I mention two dogs? I do frequent sweeps of the wood and linoleum parts of my flooring a few times a week in between vacuuming. I am also a fan of the Oreck. I’m on my second one now, a canister with a carpet sweeper attachment. I find them more versatile than uprights, but the last one I had was an upright. I’ve used a Dyson and found them a bit heavy. The Oreck is lightweight and
    works great. Vacuums are like shoes; ya gotta spend some money on ’em if you want something that will last a few years! However, I feel that the really great vacuums of the world were the old Electrolux vacuums like the one my mom had (circa late 1960s and all metal parts) that lasted her about 30 years (five kids, several foster kids, large house, many animals).

      1. The Hoover! I swear my mom owned a Hoover for at least 20 years. That thing weighed about as much as I do! It was a Beast.

  4. Shedding golden retriever . . . I SHOULD vacuum at least once a day (probably more!). Realistically, it gets done about every other day.

  5. We live off grid, dependant upon solar & wind, so we aren’t able to vacuum as much as I’d like (in the winter) so I put down extra throw rugs I’m the entry way to grab dirt. We also sweep the kitchen floor after every meal, hoping to stop the dirt before it reaches the family room. But my vacuum canister is full after vacuuming!

  6. I actually miss vacuuming. Shocking, right? My family and I are currently renting a home with all wooden floors right now. With my little ones (prior to us moving), I vacuumed once a week…more if the kids made an especially big mess with food. I’m glad your vacuum has lasted so long though! That’s amazing to think of something lasting that long these days.

  7. I vacum every other day.We have all wall to wall carpet. Plus we have a dog too. By doing it every other day keep carpet clean, no dog hair.we use a Panasonic up right does a great Job. Got it only 5 months ago. New carpet in the den. The vacum keeps it like new.

  8. WOW I really feel like a slacker this morning having 7 peopl ein our household and I try to vaccuum once a week. how on earth do you get it all done everyday? and what happens if your two year old is afraid of it?

    a latte of blessings & giggles,

    1. I make the minions do the vacuuming! Though these days we only do it daily in the summertime. I should step that up, shouldn’t I? 3yo is now fine with it. But, someone was assigned to move her to another room when she was scared of it.

  9. We got lucky and found an old Roomba vacuum at a garage sale for $20. This model sells on ebay for $65. I use it every day an am in love. I was worried that that would wear out my carpet faster, but I’m glad to see so many advocates of daily vacuuming- no more guilt!

  10. I try to vacuum once a day, every other if that’s not possible! I have a Miele canister vac and I love it! I got it when we moved in and had brand new carpet. It was totally worth it to spend the money. that was 7 years ago and its still like new. A cheap vacuum doesn’t even compare!

  11. How do you all find time to vacuum so frequently? I am seriously stoked if I have time to vacuum once a week! I do love a vacuumed house, but struggle to get it done. I better step up my game!!

      1. @Jessica Fisher, maybe that’s my problem! My kids are 2 and 8 months 🙂 Between work, exercise, getting supper made, baths taken, and bedtime books, I barely have time to do the dishes from that night every night!

  12. Gosh! Now I am inspired to try once a day. I usually get to it a few times per week (we have 3 people and 1 crazy doggie)… but I HATE sitting on the floor and seeing grime and pet hair around me!

  13. I have five kids, fluffy dig, messy husband, we homeschool and my hubbie works from home. I vacuum the family room and kitchen 2-3 times a day! School room once a day. Upstairs, once a week. I love my oreck too!

  14. I vacuum the downstairs daily and the upstairs about twice a week. But I cant fucntion through my day unless I vacuum so that is my priority when I wake up.

  15. This is sooo funny! Am I the only person in the world who doesn’t even vacuum every week??!! I hate vacuuming and our carpet hides dirt really well… 🙂

  16. Vacuuming is very relaxing for me. With active, playful children and a 5,000 sq ft home, cleaning is “me-time.” Sprinkle some Febreeze carpet cleaner or any other that happened to be on sale and vacuum away. Also l love to watch our kids rush to pick up “prize possessions” off the floor. I only vacuum 20 mins each day. About every 3 days I’ve covered the whole house. (The only rooms without carpet are the kitchen and one bathroom.)
    Now if someone could help me with my acres of yard. HELP!

  17. I hate lugging out the big heavy vacuum cleaner and my 2-year-old isn’t quite ready to take on that chore. But I try to vacuum the entire house once a week. However, I vacuum the kitchen and living room–our most heavily trafficked areas–with the Swivel Sweeper every other day. I LOVE the Swivel Sweeper!!! A friend gave one to me and I thought initially I’d never use it, but it is amazing! So lightweight and picks up everything!

  18. We vacuum common areas daily and bedrooms on the weekend.

    zGirl12 is in charge of the kitchen- load & unload the dishwasher, wipe the counters, sweep the kitchen floor, vacuum bedrooms on Saturday (doesn’t matter what time, but she can’t go out to play or go with mom & dad for errands until her Saturday chores are done).

    zGirl6 is in charge of the family room- clean up EVERY night (put toys away, put shoes on the rack, put pillows on the couch), vacuum the family room floor after the tidy, clear kitchen table, push in table chairs

    I love my Hoover WindTunnel. I’m always amazed at home much it picks up. The kids love to use it too- the accessories are easy to use and the electrical cord has a push button to wind internally. 🙂

  19. Dyson! Dyson! Dyson!

    Granted, it’s only me, fiance, and Daughter. However, she has recently garnered a like for grinding her goldfish crackers into the wool area rug in the living area. After growing up in a house with several animals at any given time, we went through vacuums like there was no tomorrow. Oreck, hoover, rainbow. You name it, it didn’t last beyond a year. Happy to say my parents have had their Dyson for 4 years, and I’ve had mine for two.

    They CAN be pricey. Target often has them as part of a gift card deal, Kohl’s is always having some sort of sale. Or you can be like me and order direct from Dyson’s website and get a refurbished model, complete with warranty still in tact!

  20. Our house has a combination of carpet/hardwood/linoleum in the main living areas (bedroom, family room, kitchen, mudroom) and I vacuum each of those everyday. We don’t wear shoes in our house and food remains in the kitchen/dining areas but nonetheless, it needs it! (2A/4K)

    I’ll admit that my upstairs bedrooms aren’t vacuumed as often but not much goes up that the carpet doesn’t catch before there – ha!

    Habit or necessity, it just feels better clean!

  21. I definitely don’t vacuum as much as I should (read once every month or so, if I remember), but we’re getting ready to move into a BRAND NEW HOUSE (yeah God – totally His provision and timing), and I want to start a daily/weekly routine of vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping to keep our new floors looking new.

  22. It is our oldest son’s responsibility to vacuum our downstairs daily. Even though we have hardwood and mainly area rugs, I think it needs done on a daily basis because it really does make the house look cleaner. He then has to vacuum the other levels of the home at least once a week, including the stairs.

    Since you tweeted asking if a Dyson is worth it, I’ll answer that one too 🙂 We do have a Dyson and it is completely awesome! It actually helps with keeping the hardwood clean too since it can go from carpet to hardwood seamlessly (and no scratching the floors). The first time we used it, we got SO MUCH stuff off the carpet, it was pretty disqusting. The full canister showed the value in having one especially with our boys having allergy and asthma issues. It’s worth every penny for a clean home and prevention of asthma flare-ups.

  23. I’ve never heard that saying. I like it! I love vacuuming, but I don’t like having to get everyone to pick up their toys from the floor. If I had Oprah’s money, I would hire people just to vacuum when I left a room….so there would be vacuum lines in the carpet. (Oh yes, I’m a little (Adrian) “Monk-ish”.) However, I think a Dyson is a necessity!

  24. The downstairs – twice a week. Upstairs – once a week but we don’t “live upstairs”

    I steam clean the main rooms downstairs 4 times a year ( maybe more if vomit/ pet stains is involved.

    Upstairs once/twice a year (thats where we have our guest room, office, guest bathroom, etc)

  25. We vacuum two times a week. I am completely on board with the Dyson. We have 2 dogs and I am amazed at how much that vaccuum picks up! We vaccuumed with our old vacuum then re-vacuumed with the new Dyson and I was amazed at how much more stuff the Dyson picked up. So if you are vacuuming a lot with an old vacuum you are still missing a lot of stuff! I also steam clean once a year!

  26. You know, I’ve been thinking about this lately! I posted last week about my Dailies, my daily cleaning tasks, and I’m working on my list of Weeklies right now. I vacuum the downstairs (living room, dining room) once a week….okay, sometimes not even that often. The upstairs bedroom and playroom get vacuumed even less frequently. I really need to start doing this more often, and really wishing I had a Dyson!

  27. What a great topic! Living on a ranch with a husband, six children, and sandy soil, the main living area, hardwood, receives a daily sweeping/dusting with the kitchen and dining room being swept after each meal. Even with this our floor still gets gritty. I’m hoping the dirt slows down some after the grass grows and is established in our yard. Right now one side is a large sandbox. As much as I enjoy a clean floor, I’ve got to admit that the sight of little people footprints through the house are just so cute I can’t help but smile as I clean them up.

  28. My main floor—living room, hall, landing, dining room and school room—all get vacuumed daily. I would love to say it is because we have an 11 month old, but truthfully, I think it just makes the house look cleaner.

    The rest of the house is usually once a week. Washing floors is another story.

  29. I have vacuumed at least once a day for 5 yrs and we had a little more shag in our carpet we bought that we expected. It has frayed it all. :O( I just wanted to mention, the length and type of yours will do great with daily vacuuming. Next house I will know what kind of carpet to get for a ‘high traffic’ family! lol
    Blessings and hugs!! Rachael

  30. Wow, I feel like a slacker! It’s only my husband and I living in our place. We both work full time and go lots of different places on evenings and weekends, so we aren’t really walking around in our house all the time. So, honestly, I vaccuum about once or twice a month (yes, month, not week) in our main living areas or just if I notice it getting dirty. It doesn’t help that we have an awful vaccuum cleaner, but I have horrible luck with vaccuum cleaners. I probably only vaccuum upstairs every other month.

  31. I’ve started to vacuum our dining room daily and our living room every other day. To be honest, I rarely vacuum upstairs as we spend most of our days downstairs. The dining room with 2 toddlers is always needing to be vacuumed so I’ve just given up and given in to the need and started to vacuum daily.

    Another trick is that I bought a dust buster that I let my 3 year old use to vacuum up the crumbs under the table after meals. She loves to help and it’s been helping so much!

  32. I have a mix of hardwood and carpet throughout my house, but I still give both a good vacuum at least once a week. If I’m really feeling crazy, I do it twice a week. I think that “rule of thumb” suggestion sounds about right.

    And I noticed the Oreck…don’t you just LOVE that vaccum! We have one and I adore it!

  33. We vacuum weekly, but I do feel we should be vacuuming more often. This post has inspired to at least add in some quick vacuumings between the mainly (detailed) weekly one. We just bought a Shark Navigator from Costco and love it. It seems to be doing a great job at a fraction of the cost of a Dyson, and there is a coupon out for Costco making them $30 off for the next few weeks.

  34. I have carpet upstairs and hardwood downstairs. I vacuum the carpet once a week on Thursdays and I sweep every night after my boys go to bed. Its a bit aggravating to have to sweep everyday.

  35. My goal is to vacuum every day but in reality this means about five times a week. BUT, most of that is our three cats. They call shed like crazy year round and we have a long haired one who tracks litter every where. I hate it. Don’t get me started on the food mess in the dinning room with our two boys.

    I should clarify this only means the downstairs which takes six minutes. The upstairs gets done a few times a month at most. Since the baby gates went up the cats don’t spend as much time upstairs and the four y/o is too scared to play up there on his own. So we live on the ground floor.

    Of course, I’m crazy enough that we own a Dyson pet roller ball vac. And we don’t have any carpet. I know it sounds crazy but it’s worth it.

  36. I vacuum our living room and kitchen daily; those are the only rooms the dogs are allowed in. We have hard-wood floors. I use the hose attachment and clean-up the tumbleweeds. I vacuum the bedrooms and office once or twice a week.

  37. I usually vacuum the whole house once a week…and mop. I’ve made it a chore for my oldest son, though, to run through the hall and living room every evening. It doesn’t always get done, but we’re workin’ on it.:) Our living room can get pretty messy if we don’t, just due to it being the most “lived in” room in our house, besides our kitchen.

  38. We also have six children. I would love to see it vacuumed daily, but I settle for three times a week, sometimes four. I think keeping it vacuumed makes the whole house look better. For those of you who vacuum daily…what kind of vacuum do you have? I’ve probably been through half a dozen vacuums in the last 10 years. Ugh!

    1. @Stephenie,

      The Dysons are pricey but well worth it, in my opinion. We have a pet model and we don’t even have carpet! Within two days it made such a huge difference in the cleanliness of the house. I noticed Target has been putting them on sale and you can also find deals at Kohl’s when they run their percent off promotions.

      1. @Beth,
        I LOVE my Dyson! We purchased it 6 years ago when my son was born-installed new carpeting in the house too. It still works great after all these years. It’s gross the amount of dirt it picks up from my clean floors!

    2. @Stephenie, We have a Hoover WindTunnel which we recently bought. Before that, we had the same vacuum for 5 years! Although 5 years isn’t long, companies don’t make equipment like they used to.

      We have 4 kids (12, 6, 2.5, 7 mos) and a Boxer AND we live in the desert where it’s extremely dusty dirty.

      I love the Hoover WindTunnel because it has a HEPA filter (for allergy-stricken kiddos), it works on the tile and carpet, it’s bagless, and it quickly comes apart to wash in the sink.,price,target_com_primary_color-bin,target_com_size-bin,target_com_brand-bin&searchRank=salesrank&frombrowse=1

      1. Dysons are the worse. I had really expensive Karastan Shag carpeting and thought I really needed a strong vacuum. The Design was always full of fibers . I ended up ruining the carpet. We replaced the carpet with similar Masland carpet and I purchased a 1970’s Electrolux on E-Bay. . It cleans the carpet without pulling fibers. Dyson is not the answer!

  39. Eight people, daily vacuum. I wish there were enough hours that I could have it done three times a day! It would also help if we had a decent vacuum! 🙂

  40. I’m going to show this to my husband to prove we should be vacuuming more! Any comments on how often carpets should be steam cleaned? I have cream wool carpets and have been meaning to get them professionally cleaned… for 4 years now. Eek!

    1. @Meagan, Our warranty on the carpet from Home Depot required a semi annual cleaning – every 6 months.

      We schedule ours for the first week of December and then at some point in June. The Dec cleaning helps keep my mind at eases from hosting Thanksgiving (if something spills, no big deal, the cleaning guy will help get it out!) and helps prepare our home for the holidays.

  41. I have three children, six dogs, one cat and a ranch. No curb-to-curb paving and a lot of, ahem, “muck”. Honestly over the summer, I totally let things slide and I only vacuum every other day or so. But once September comes and things have a more natural rhythm to them I’ll be back to vacuuming once a day and sweeping in the evenings.

    Only two bedrooms and the small living room are carpeted, but I still vacuum the whole house – it’s really the only way to get all the hair and dog ‘silt’ that piles up wherever they lie.

  42. When we had new carpet installed, I only remember two things that would negate the warranty –
    1. Not vaccuming several times a week, going over each spot seven times.
    2. Going barefoot on the carpet. They said the oils from your feet were worse for the carpet than the dirt on the bottoms of your shoes.

    We also have six kids, and have vaccuumed daily for years in the main area. To me, it makes the house look clean. Don’t ask me about dusting….UGH!

  43. I agree that your house feels better and looks better when vacuumed.

    We have a household of seven. Five of them are children. I vacuum at least once per day. At least. It is just about the easiest thing I can do to make my house look decent when a thorough cleaning is not an option due to time.

    I am super picky about vacuuming. I feel like i need to re-do it when our 11 yr old or 9 yr old vacuums for me. Did you struggle with that? I have no problem letting the kids (even our smaller kids) vacuum, but I feel like I still need to go over it so that it is done well…

    Great topic!

  44. I vacuum my living room and hall pretty much every day…otherwise it really starts to look bad.

    I’ve always heard that dirt in the carpet acts like sandpaper, wearing the carpet strands down, so regular vacuuming helps it to last longer.

    1. Also remember that vacuuming also wears the carpet strands down, though! Tough bristles are hitting it as you vacuum. I have to vacuum three times per week, even though we have 4 people and two hairy pets in the house. I like to think of “every two people is one vacuum”, since it’s easy to pick up the dog hair.

  45. I vacuum our family room daily. It’s the center of the house, and gets lots of traffic. The upstairs catwalk, and regularly used bedrooms get vacuumed M, W, F. The rest of the carpeted rooms that don’t get used often are done once a week. We also don’t wear shoes in the house, they come off in the garage. DD and I don’t mind this at all since we love to be barefoot. I’m looking forward to fall, but dread having to wear socks again. 🙁

  46. my fantastic husband usually instigates vacuuming the bedroom (only room with carpet), and since our 9 month-old is crawling around and eating whatever comes to hand I’ve got a constant reminder to keep everything else swept semi-regularly….
    Great rule of thumb for vacuuming! Love it. (Now if we have 6-8 kids will I love it as much? We’ll see….)

  47. I am telling the family this rule about the number of persons = the number of vacuums. I have always felt that we need to vacuum more. Turns out we should double it for the downstairs. We are having the carpets cleaned next week. I’m going to try my best to keep it looking good with frequent vacuums for as long as possible. Thanks for the helpful tip!

  48. What a great post! I seriously was just thinking of this yesterday. My aim will be a little more frequent – right now I vacuum three times a week (there are four of us plus two hairy dogs.)

  49. Oh…I like this!

    I used to have robotic vacuums in my life before children. They would do the floor while we were at work.

    Now as a stay-at-home mom I need to do it daily, I actually do it 1-2 times per week. Though right now I am not doing it at all since our vacuum is broken. (Well I’m actually sweeping it regularly which is really more work. Ugh)

  50. What a great method for how often to vacuum. I usually vacuum on Thursday and I must admit that Thursday and Friday are the best looking days in my bedroom (the only room I go into daily that has carpet).

  51. I have hardwood throughout (well, tiled baths and kitchen)… I vacuum once or twice a week. I am FOREVER crawling around with the dust pan though. I’m thinking I do that between 20 & 25 times a week… at least in the kitchen!!! (FYI- when I DID have carpet, I didn’t vacuum nearly as much as you though.)

  52. There is only 3 of us and we take our shoes off at the door or should, so there really isn’t much dirt on the floors so I only vacuum once a week on Tuesdays.

  53. We have tile and a dog. Which means our floor is never ‘gritty’ (cause the dog eats everything on the floor) but my young children have a firm grasp on air currents and eddies from watching the dog hair blow about. I vacuum about twice a week and pick up dog hair fluffs constantly.