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10 Things You Should Never Clean Up with a Vacuum

 Messes are much easier to make than they are to clean up. That's why we rely on different cleaning tricks and useful devices to make the floor sparkle and get stains out of carpets or walls. One of our greatest tools in the battle against messes is the vacuum cleaner, a modern-day technological marvel that no home can do without. But it's important to remember that this miracle machine is designed for specific uses and has to be carefully maintained. 

Some spills aren't meant to be cleaned by vacuums and need to be dealt with using an alternative method. We've gathered this list of 10 items that cannot be cleaned using a vacuum cleaner. The next time your cat knocks over a flower pot or the kid spills a bowl of spaghetti, you'll know not to reach for the vacuum!

1. Fireplace Ash

Household items that should not have the vacuum cleaner used on them, Firewood burning in a fireplace

Winter is nearly here, so it's the perfect time for the family to gather around the fireplace and enjoy a nice movie or just a good conversation. After the evening is over, you may find the area surrounding your fireplace covered in ash. The vacuum cleaner may be an easy way to remove the ash from the floor but ash particles are so fine, they often blow out the back of the machine and into the air. Instead, you can use wet coffee grounds to safely gather up and then sweep the ash.

2. Plant Debris and Soil 

Household items that should not have the vacuum cleaner used on them, Soil spilled on a table

Keeping flowers and plants at home can do wonders to brighten up a room. As time passes, you may find dead leaves, twigs, and petals falling around the pot. An accident or dirty shoes may result in clumps of soil being splayed across your floor. Don't rush to the vacuum. These materials can clog up your device, possibly damaging the engine. In case of spillage on carpets, you may even end up making the mess bigger.

3. Coins or small toys 

Household items that should not have the vacuum cleaner used on them, Piggy bank with coins in it

These are unlikely to be things that you intentionally try to vacuum. However, accidentally vacuuming these items can have hazardous results so it's important to check any floor space for these small and easy-to-miss items. They may break into pieces during the suction process. They can also end up shredding the bag of your vacuum cleaner or irreparably damaging the motor. So do a quick check before you vacuum and collect these items.

4. Shredded paper

Household items that should not have the vacuum cleaner used on them, Cardboard box filled with shredded paper

Getting rid of an endless stack of old documents and bills from 10 years ago? Then shredding is a great way to do it while still protecting your information. However, you're left with piles and piles of long thin strips of paper. The best way to dispose of this is to use a broom or in the case of carpets, use your hands. Vacuuming may seem like an easy option but it'll clog up your machine.

5. Used coffee grounds

Household items that should not have the vacuum cleaner used on them, Coffee grounds in a filter

Any regular coffee drinker may find that no matter how careful they are, some coffee grounds manage to find their way to the floor when being moved from the coffee pot to the trash can. Use a paper towel or a cloth to clean it off hard floors. In the case of carpets, you have to carefully scoop them and then later remove the stain. 

Using a vacuum to clean up coffee grounds is a surefire way to clog the pipes and motor of your machine and if the grounds are wet at any point, they may even cause mildew inside the bag.

6. Construction dust

Household items that should not have the vacuum cleaner used on them, Man using electric saw on wooden platform

With few motivations and opportunities to leave the house now, it's a great time to build, renovate and refurbish. Along with all of these beautiful updates and remodeling, dust, dirt, pieces of wood, and construction materials on the floor are virtually unavoidable. 

Dust seems like something that could be dealt with using a vacuum cleaner, but construction dust is much finer than ordinary household dust. It has a result similar to that of fireplace ash as it gets blown out the back and mixes into the air. It's a tedious task but a broom is the best way to go.

7. Electrical cords 

Household items that should not have the vacuum cleaner used on them, Extension cord with electrical wires and cords plugged in 

Obviously, no one ever tries to vacuum an electrical cord, but there are moments where we may be tempted to quickly run the machine over it to reach a tough corner and speed up our job. This can actually be very dangerous as the force of the vacuum can break the exterior cover of the cord. 

Once the wires are exposed, the cords can become a fire hazard. Even the cord connecting to the vacuum cleaner is at risk of this happening, though they are designed to be a little stronger than the average electrical cord. Next time, take the extra few minutes to move the cords out of the way before you clean.

8. Make-Up

Household items that should not have the vacuum cleaner used on them, Small jar or container with pink powdered cosmetic item

Make-up leaves its mark on not only the user's face but also on the surrounding area. When a lady goes to "powder her nose", there is often a residual line of powder left behind on the counter and floor. Dropped, broken, or residual forms of make-up like bronzer, blush, and even lipstick are not designed to go into vacuums. They are generally sticky products that will melt when exposed to the heat of the pipes and the engine of the vacuum cleaner, and as a result, it could damage them in a variety of ways.

9. Liquids

Household items that should not have the vacuum cleaner used on them, Tea glass filled with milk spilt

Do not vacuum liquids. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. While there are versions of vacuums that have been designed to handle both wet and dry items, there is still a major risk of damaging the machine. In the case of normal vacuums, you also run the risk of getting electrocuted. So the next time you see a spill, just grab some paper towels.

10. Clumps of hair 

Household items that should not have the vacuum cleaner used on them, Woman holding brush covered in hair 

In any household, especially one with more women, you're likely to find hair gathered in clumps in every corner of the house. It may seem like a difficult task to clean all of that hair with a broom or your hands, but it's actually the easier option. When these long thick clumps get sucked into the machine, it'll get clogged up and you'll have to open up your vacuum and remove them every time, a task that is much messier than just collecting the hair separately.

Be sure to share these vacuuming tips!

 

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