Vacuum cleaners are a main staple in any cleaning team, but can very quickly become ineffective or unsafe if they are not looked after properly. Here's 7 ways to keep your vacuum cleaner safe, and a free photo poster to download for your cupboard.
1. Check the Casing
This may seem obvious, but nothing that has broken casing will pass a PAT test. Vacuums are particularly at risk of having damaged casing if they have been dropped, or if they have fallen down the stairs.
2. Check the Plug
Plugs often get bent pins if they have been squashed against something in the cupboard, or someone stands on them by accident. Keep this as a regular check, as this is a very common fault. Also the 13 amp fuse is one of the first things that should be checked if the machine wont turn on.
3. Check the Lead
Perhaps the most common thing to go wrong on a machine. If it is a rewind machine, it will need hard wiring in, or if its a non-rewind machine - just check if it has a kettle style lead - the James or VNP180 style Numatic machine take a standard lead, as do many other machines. Either way, its always good practice to PAT test the machine afterwards to show due diligence.
4. Check the Filter
The filter is often overlooked, but will make a huge difference to the suction on your vacuum. Use another machine to vacuum it off - in effect the machine will be able to 'breathe' easier and will increase the suction. Replacement filters are not expensive - they are a very good investment if yours looks pretty grotty.
5. Check the Bag
OK, you knew this one already. Make sure the bag has space in it, and that it hasn't split everywhere. It's always good practice to wipe the base of the machine out quickly with a damp cloth if there is debris lose in the base of the machine. Pattern dust bags are also really cheap these days, so you don't need to re-use them! On that point, don't fall for reusable bags - they are a false economy as they get lined inside with dust and then you lose suction - the bag is in effect an additional filter, that protects the motor.
6. Make Sure its PAT Tested
Get your machines PAT tested every 12 months to ensure you are protecting your cleaners. This is a necessary and inexpensive check on your machines. Consider having a servicing program, to get a second pair of eyes on your machines - speak to us for more details and pricing on this.
7. Wind the Cable up from the Machine (NOT THE PLUG!)
If you dont have the luxury of a cable rewind, you need to make sure your cleaners are winding the machine up from the machine end. If you wind the machine up from the plug, you will wind twists into the cable, and you end up with a cable that is very twisted, and ultimately get breaks in the cable. A simple trick to save you money on cables ongoing.
8. Check the Floor Tool
Regularly check your floor tools - they are a consumable item on a vacuum cleaner. If you use a standard combination floor tool, keep an eye on the metal plate on the base as this will wear as soon as the small retractable brushes have worn out. If you use a wheeled floor tool, check the wheels for small bits of hair that get caught up - remove these and you will avoid getting the wheels getting stuck and wearing a flat spot on them!
Download the poster below and put up in your cupboards to keep it 'front of mind' with your cleaning staff.