9 surprising uses for your vacuum cleaner or carpet cleaner

housewife with vacuum cleaner cleaning
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Vacuums and carpet cleaners do more than whisk away dust and dirt from floors and carpets. Canister or upright vacuums that contain a hose with different attachments are true workhorses when it comes to cleaning up messes all around the house. People assume carpet cleaners are only meant for carpets, but that’s not the case.

Here are nine surprising uses for your vacuum or carpet cleaner that will make housework a breeze.

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Clean Small Appliances

While your vacuum won’t be able to clean your oven, it can help to de-crumb the nooks and crannies in your small appliances like toasters or toaster ovens. (Be sure to unplug appliances first.) You can also use it to eliminate crumbs on the countertop to help prevent an ant situation.

Banish Indoor Pollen

To reduce the chance of unwanted pollen wandering into your home, suction up allergens in window sills and screen doors regularly. Use a dry brush attachment to vacuum screens to help eliminate pollen and dust. Go over drapes and blinds while you’re there.

Undo an Overnight Accident

Children’s bedtime urine accidents can be easily undone with portable carpet cleaners. Just be careful not to oversaturate the mattress, which could result in mold spores, and make sure that one side is thoroughly cleaned and dried before you flip it over to clean the opposite side. The best carpet cleaner will eliminate odors and restore your fabric to pre-accident condition.

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De-Lint Dryer Vents

One of the leading causes of house fires stems from your dryer vent system. On average,  firefighters respond to more than 13,000 home fires caused by clothes dryers, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Alarming, right? Luckily, the likelihood of a fire can be drastically reduced by regularly cleaning the dryer.  Use your vacuum hose to clean lint from your dryer ducts and reduce the chance of lint catching fire.

Find a Small Item

If you’ve ever dropped an earring or small nail on the floor, you know how tricky it can be to find it. There’s an easier way than getting on your hands and knees. Wrap a piece of cheesecloth or old pantyhose over the end of the hose’s nozzle and secure it with a rubber band. Work your way around the suspected area. The mesh will stop your item from getting suctioned into the vacuum.

Sprinkle Away Odors

Take the baking soda from your kitchen and use it on your carpet to reduce odors. Sprinkle it over the carpet and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. When you vacuum, the baking soda — and any odors — will get sucked up.

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Say Goodbye Pet Hair on Surfaces

For as much as we love our four-legged friends, most of us could do without the excess of pet hair floating around the house. Whether it lands on your bed, couch or curtains, use your vacuum’s hose to suction up pet hair from all surfaces. A quick “all over” vacuum session can tame stray hair from winding up in the washing machine, a major factor in causing clogs.

Freshen Curtains and Furniture

Carpet cleaners can be used to clean drapes and furniture. For chairs and couches, leave plenty of time for everything to dry before you sit back down. You can even take your portable carpet cleaner out to the garage to freshen up your car’s upholstery.

Groom Fido

Did you know you can groom your pet using a special vacuum attachment? These are made to brush and suction loose fur right off your pet and offer a clever way to keep shedding at bay.

Are you eager to try any of these tricks? Anything that shortens cleaning time is a win in my book!

About the Author

Emily O'Brien

Emily is a freelance writer who loves connecting the dots among facts and finding obscure little details to weave in throughout her work. Whether she's interviewing Olympic athletes, small business owners, dessert cookbook writers, or world-renowned architects, she's passionate about shining the spotlight on good people doing remarkable work. Learn More.