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10 Unexpected Ways You Never Thought to Use Your Vacuum Cleaner

Use your vacuum cleaner to make your home smell amazing, get rid of carpet dents, and deodorize smelly couch cushions.

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Vacuum to the rescue

Although it’s the most obvious use, keeping your carpet free of dirt and crumbs isn’t the only thing your vacuum can be used for. Whether you use a cleaning schedule, are guilty of making some of the most common vacuuming mistakes or know all the places you should vacuum—a vacuum is one of the most valuable cleaning tools you can own, with an abundance of uses you may never have even thought of.

Read on for a few uses for a vacuum you may have never considered, and check out the best vacuum cleaners and pet hair removers you’ll be glad you bought.

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Make your home smell amazing

Saturate a cotton ball with your favorite essential oil or perfume and drop it into your vacuum cleaner bag. As you vacuum, the scent will gently release and freshen up the air. Here are the best essential oils for every room in your home.

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Get rid of fleas

Ditch the harsh chemicals—one study found that using your vacuum cleaner to kill fleas is just as effective. For the experiment, researchers planted 100 adult cat fleas (the most common type of flea found on pets, such as cats and dogs) into a tightly woven, kitchen-type carpet. Vacuuming the carpet killed an average of 96% of the fleas. Tests on fleas in the larvae and pupae stages were 100% successful.

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Keep allergens out of your home

Once open-window season hits, your windowsills and screen doors become hot spots for pollen and dust. Use your vacuum cleaner’s brush tool to clear the windowsill and door track before these allergens blow into your home. The same tool can be used in a back-and-forth motion over window screens. Repeat on a weekly basis.

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Catch crumbs

Whisk away hard-to-reach crumbs (like the ones that get wedged under the grates in your stove and toaster, or into the shelves on your refrigerator door) by using your vacuum’s crevice tool. Once the dirty work is done, clean as usual with stove cleaner or disinfectant.

Close-Up Of IceNopparat Jaikla/Getty Images

Ice out carpet dents

Rearranging the furniture doesn’t have to mean unsightly carpet dents. Place ice cubes on those pesky reminders of the past and wait for them to melt. The water will encourage the carpet fibers to return to their original shapes. Vacuum over the wet spots to bring them back to their upright positions.

Hand cleaning clothes dryer lint trapBenjamin Clapp/Getty Images

Clear your washing machine’s lint filter

If you’re wondering how to clean a washing machine, use your vacuum’s brush attachment to clean your washing machine’s lint screen. Finish the task by attaching the vacuum’s crevice tool to pull any remaining lint from the machine’s lint cavity.

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Deodorize a smelly cushion

To absorb odors on any plush item that’s impossible to run through the washing machine (say, throw pillows, carpets, or mattresses), try a little bit of baking soda. Sprinkle the powder onto the spot you’re trying to clean and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Vacuum it away and say goodbye to dust, dirt, and stinkiness.

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Clean kitchen appliances

To keep your refrigerator in top shape, make sure you not only clean the inside, but the outside too. Built-up dust and lint on the hard-to-reach backside condenser coils could shut down the unit by causing it to overheat. To remove the buildup, pull the refrigerator several feet from the wall and vacuum its coils thoroughly. Finish by vacuuming the floor area and pushing the appliance back into place.

2020 Apple MacBook ProFuture Publishing/Getty Images

Clean a crumby keyboard

To thoroughly clean your computer keyboard, begin by flipping it upside down to dislodge any loose crumbs. Attach your vacuum’s crevice tool and vacuum the keyboard itself to lift any remaining crumbs. Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and brush it into the area surrounding each key. For particularly dirty spots, use a toothpick. Finish by using a dry, lint-free cloth to remove dust and polish the keys. Next, check out these things everyone with a Swiffer should know.

vacuum cleaner dust everythingHighwaystarz-Photography/iStock

Dust everything!

Get creative with how you dust—your vacuum is more versatile than you might think. With plenty of attachments and add-ons, your vacuum is a great tool for getting rid of dirt and dust. Use it in corners, on blinds, lampshades, books, pictures, shelves and mirror frames—essentially, anywhere that’s a pain to dust. Next, check out these household cleaning hacks from professional house cleaners and the best robot vacuums you can buy.

Sources:

  • Ohio State University: “Cat Fleas’ Journey Into the Vacuum Is a ‘One-Way Trip'”
  • PCWorld: “How to clean your keyboard”
  • New York Magazine, The Strategist: “How to Get Rid of Dust, According to Cleaning Experts”