The right vacuum cleaner can do wonders for a family home. If you have power, ease of use and versatility, you can clean all your floors and a range of other household surfaces with ease.
But there’s a chance you’re not exploiting the full potential of the vacuum cleaner in your home. With the right attachments and accessories, a household vacuum cleaner can help you perform a range of unusual tasks.
We’ve spoken to householders and done some of our own research to bring you these 9 very surprising things you can perform with a vacuum cleaner.
1. Find small objects
Have you ever been assembling furniture, only to discover that you’ve dropped a tiny screw on the floor. Have you ever lost a ring or a stud earring down the side of your sofa? If you have ever lost something small and hard to see in your home, you’ll know exactly how difficult finding it can be.
But if you have a powerful vacuum cleaner at home with a long, thin attachment, there’s nothing you can’t find. And all you need is a couple of elastic bands and an old pair of tights.
Attach your crevice tool or any long, thin attachment to your vacuum cleaner. Wrap the tights around the end of the nozzle, and fix them into place with the elastic bands — ensuring the tights are taught around the opening.
Start vacuuming in the general area where you lost the item. And keep checking the tights. Before too long, what you’re looking for will be stuck to the tights — held in place by the suction power of your vacuum cleaner.
2. Clean narrow spaces
If you have a crevice attachment with your vacuum cleaner, you can access the narrowest of spaces. But what if you’ve lost this crucial attachment? What if you need to access narrow spaces?
The answer is simple: use an old toilet paper tube. Place the tube over the nozzle, and hold it in place with your hand. You can adjust the width of the opposite end of the toilet roll tube so it fits into the space you’re cleaning. This is perfect for cleaning window and door frames.
3. Send your children to sleep
Believe it or not, a lot of babies and small children actually like the sound of a vacuum cleaner. Some children find the electric motor and the sound of suction strangely therapeutic. Perhaps this is because they heard similar sounds in the womb for several weeks. Or maybe it’s more complex than that.
Nevertheless, a little early evening vacuuming could be more effective than lullabies or bedtime stories.
4. Fancy dress
OK, this idea is for people with an old vacuum cleaner they no longer use. But some of the accessories and component parts can make for a great fancy dress costume.
For example, you can dress up as an astronaut by wearing a white suit and using an old vacuum cleaner hose as your oxygen tube. Attach the hose to a couple of two-litre plastic bottles, and you have your very own air tanks. You can use the other vacuum accessories for astro tools and gadgets.
5. Do your hair
You’ve probably never considered using a vacuum cleaner to do your hair in the mornings. But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. A vacuum cleaner’s long attachment is perfect for use as a brush. And it makes your morning beauty rituals faster and easier.
Put a hairband around the end of the nozzle, and suck up your hair from the back. Slip the hairband over the end of the nozzle and onto your hair — and you’ve got the perfect ponytail.
Just make sure you’re using a clean attachment. You might want to keep one with your hair products just in case someone uses it on your floors.
6. Remove carpet indentations
It’s nice to move furniture around occasionally — particularly when transitioning from one season to the next. But if you have carpet in the room, you’re often left with dents that seem to stick around for months afterwards. A big sofa can flatten thick-pile carpet almost to the point of no return.
But if you have a powerful, cyclonic vacuum cleaner with a long attachment, you can remove carpet dents in a matter of minutes. But first, you’ll need to place ice cubes along each dent. Once they’ve melted, vacuum the dent using a crevice attachment. This should pull up the fibres and banish the dent completely.
7. Collect pet hair
Pet hair is very difficult to remove from carpet and upholstery. It seems to stick to fabric like glue. But if you have a vacuum cleaner dedicated to pet hair removal, your job gets a lot easier. The design of the brushroll, cyclonic power and various attachments combine to make picking up pet hair a simple and quick process.
8. Freshen up pillows
How often do you clean your pillows. Yes, you probably clean your pillowcases regularly, but what about the soft, squishy bit they cover? The average pillow case is a magnet for sweat, dust, pollen, mites, skin and a range of different allergens. But if you have a brush tool with your vacuum cleaner, you can remove a lot of this nastiness with the minimum of effort.
Start by sprinkling baking soda over your pillow. This should absorb excess moisture and odours. Then simply vacuum the pillow thoroughly with the most appropriate attachment.
9. Upcycle your vacuum cleaner
Believe it or not, there are several ways you can turn your old vacuum cleaner into something useful. Use the various component parts and accessories to make some cool modern art. Or use the main hose to make a unique lamp for your home. Some people can even harvest the parts of an old vacuum cleaner to make robots and remote control cars.
Before you throw away your old vacuum cleaner. Check whether someone else might want it. If it still works, someone will be thankful for it. If it’s broken, keep the spare parts — just in case you need them in the future. And if you decide to discard your vacuum cleaner, do so responsibly at your local refuse centre.
It really is true what they say — a vacuum cleaner isn’t just for cleaning!