Other uses for a vacuum cleaner
The household vacuum cleaner is one of the most useful tools you can own. It cleans hardwood and tile floors better than any broom, and it is essential for pulling up dirt and crumbs from carpets.
Most vacuums come with various attachments to make them versatile cleaning tools, from removing dust from a ceiling fan to suctioning French fries that remain under the car seat after the last trip to the drive-through.
But the vacuum cleaner can do so much more. Here are some surprising tasks you can perform with your vacuum, many of which you may have never considered.
What creative things can you do with a vacuum?
Make your home smell fresh
For areas of the house that accumulate odors and are not easily cleaned in the washing machine, like mattresses and cushions, sprinkle them with some baking soda. After a few minutes, you can vacuum them, pulling up the baking soda along with the unpleasant smells.
Groom the pet
Grooming your dog or other pet at home often involves a bath, cleaning the ears and eyes, and brushing your animal's coat. If you brush your dog's coat inside the house, loose fur and dirt remain on the floor. Instead, try using your vacuum cleaner. Many dogs and cats enjoy being vacuumed, and the technique will remove all the unwanted hair and leave you less mess to clean up afterward. Some vacuums even come with special grooming attachments. Of course, if your pet is frightened of the vacuum cleaner, then it is not right for them.
Eliminate fleas and other insects
The vacuum is not only effective for keeping your pet’s coat clean and groomed, but it’s also an efficient tool for ridding your carpet of fleas and other insects that often reside in a house with pets.
Fix carpet impressions
You can use your vacuum cleaners to eliminate indentations in the carpet left behind when heavy furniture is moved to a new position.
Just place ice cubes in the indentations and allow them to melt completely. The water will help to re-fluff the carpet fibers, encouraging them to return to their original shapes. Allow the carpet to dry, then vacuum over the spots to remove any trace of the impressions.
Recover tiny lost items
Earrings, pins, miniature screws and other tiny items can disappear when dropped on your carpet, but a vacuum is an ideal tool for recovering your lost valuables.
Pull a stocking or old tights over your vacuum cleaner hose, secure it in place with a rubber band, and then turn on your vacuum. Pass over the area where you dropped the small object. The vacuum will suck the item up, and the stocking will prevent it from entering the hose.
While you have the vacuum set up for small items, run it under cushions, behind couches, and around other furniture. You may be surprised to find a long-lost piece of valuable jewelry.
Placate a crying baby
Most parents know a gentle rocking motion is effective for calming down a crying baby. But did you know that the monotonous noise of a vacuum cleaner can also soothe a fussing newborn?
Place the infant in a baby carrier, fire up the vacuum and start cleaning the house. If the white noise produced by the vacuum soothes your child, you will have found another method to keep your baby happy (and you as well).
Make the perfect ponytail
To form the perfect ponytail using a vacuum, slip a hairband around the end of the nozzle and then suck up all your hair from the back. Slide the hairband from the nozzle to your hair, and you have your ponytail.
Reduce seasonal allergens
During warmer weather, screen doors, windowsills, windowpanes, and window screens become collection points for dust and pollen. These accumulating allergens can be eliminated by vacuuming frequently using the dust brush attachment (included with most vacuum cleaners). Clean the door track and windowsills before the allergens blow inside your home.
Clean your washing machine’s lint filter
The material that collects on your washing machine’s lint screen is sometimes difficult to remove. Use the vacuum brush attachment to thoroughly clean the screen and pull out the material that remains in the link screen housing.
Lint also accumulates in the dryer exhaust line and inside the machine around the clothes drum, creating a fire risk.
To remove the material, unplug your dryer and turn off the gas line (if the dryer has one). You can use the vacuum crevice tool to reach under the appliance and access the vent area. To clean the dryer completely, remove the screws that hold the outer housing in place on the back of the appliance, open and vacuum out the entire inside cavity.
Create an extender with a toilet paper tube
Access to some narrow crevices, like a sliding door track, is difficult even with the various attachments that come with most vacuum cleaners. You can create the perfect device yourself by squeezing a cardboard toilet paper tube to form the appropriate shape and attaching it to the vacuum hose.
Inflate an air mattress
While the vacuum cleaner has a seemingly endless number of uses sucking air into its bag, it can also be useful blowing air out.
Use a vacuum cleaner as a leaf blower
Blowers designed for outdoor work are ideal for moving leaves, dust, grass clippings and other outdoor debris. Some powerful wet/dry machines are available with both vacuum and blowing functions.
However, you can use an indoor vacuum cleaner as a blower for yard maintenance to move lightweight materials when a blower is unavailable. Connect a tube inside the vacuum canister where the bag attaches, just as you would when inflating a mattress, and you are ready to clear the front-yard sidewalk.
Jeff Harper is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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