As soon as the first hint of spring arrives, we’re busy making our to-do list, checking it twice, and stocking up on all the essentials for a complete floor-to-ceiling spring clean. One of the most vital tools you’ll use during this yearly endeavor is your handy dandy vacuum cleaner. The vacuum is an amazing invention that helps keep your home free of dust and debris. That being said, you should avoid cleaning up certain things with your upright or cordless vacuum. Vacuums can be damaged by some items, requiring costly repairs or making it useless, while possibly clogging their filters leaving more of a mess behind. So stop and question if the mess you are about to clean up is safe to use your vacuum on.
Pieces of Glass
In order to get rid of broken glass as quickly as possible, you might be tempted to vacuum it up off the floor. In reality, that isn’t the best idea. Sharp edged glass shards can damage the vacuum’s bag or internal components, causing damage and costly repairs. Instead, carefully sweep the mess into a pile and pick it up with a dustpan. If you’d like to run a vacuum afterwards to insure tiny slivers aren’t left behind, that’s fine.
Powders, Soil and Coffee Grounds
The vacuum motor can burn out if fine powders or particles of soil and coffee grounds get into it. Other similar items that aren’t advisable to vacuum up are sawdust and makeup. Even if the particles do not affect the motor, they may just be released right back into the air, negatively impacting the air quality in the room or they could get stuck in the hose or inside the machine, where they could potentially cause mold to grow.
The best thing to do when vacuuming up liquids is not to do it with a standard vacuum cleaner. It is not recommended to vacuum liquids with a standard household vacuum because liquids can become trapped inside the machine, instead of reaching the dirt cup or bag. Getting liquid inside the appliance can cause it to malfunction, and it may even invite mold growth. Yet more dangerous is the potential for electrocution. Always keep vacuums and other electrical appliances away from liquids. Wet mess cleanup should only be done with a shopvac. Just remember to rinse out the bucket and hose and dry thoroughly before storing.
Clumps of Hair and Fur
If you or your pet sheds a lot, a pet hair vacuum is great for keeping the house clean. Even so, a vacuum should not be used to clean up large clumps of hair or fur. You will have a hard time cleaning out a clog if you try to pull too much hair at one time. Before you start vacuuming, pick up any hair clumps on the floor with a broom and dustpan before vacuuming up big clumps of hair. You will need to clean out your vacuum’s brush roll as well.
Using your vacuum to suck up ash from your fireplace isn’t the best idea. The tiny particles you try to collect with your vacuum will probably blow right back out into the air. In addition, vacuuming up ashes too early may pose a fire risk because ashes can hold heat for a long time after a fire has been extinguished. If you insist on vacuuming up ashes, let them cool for at least 36 hours before you do so and use a dustpan and handheld brush to pick up most of the mess first. This way you’re only vacuuming up a minimal amount of problem causing particles and putting less strain on your favorite cleaning tool.