5 things you didn’t know you could use your vacuum for

This appliance can do so much more than just clean floors.
Birds eye shot of a dog sitting on a sisal rug next to a timber coffee table.Photographer: Abbie Melle

Vacuum cleaners are excellent at sucking up dust and dirt with little to no effort from the user. And while we’re all aware of a vacuum’s primary purpose – to keep floors clean – turns out this nifty appliance is actually capable of doing so much more around the house.

So whether you own a stick vacuum cleaner, or a powerful corded model, try these vacuuming hacks to keep your home looking fresh and clean.

Freshen up your home

Eliminate odours and naturally freshen up your home at the same time by adding a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, tree tea or lemon, to the filter in your vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, soak a cotton wool ball with essential oil and place it in your vacuum cleaner bag. The scent will disperse and freshen the air in your home as you vacuum – no unsightly dispenser or expensive refills needed.

Modern white kitchen with marble-look splashback and white bar stools
Crumbs and odours tend to accumulate in the kitchen. Combat both problems at once by using your vacuum to suck up debris and deoderise at the same time. (Photographer: John Downs | Styling: Kylie Jackes)

Retrieve lost items

Never lose your jewellery or contact lens again with this handy household hack. Secure pantyhose material over the opening of your vacuum with a rubber band. Then, simply run the vacuum over the area where you dropped the item, to carefully retrieve it (and maybe some crumbs from under the couch).

Remove carpet furniture dents

If you’re feeling the strain of moving heavy furniture, you’re not alone– your carpet feels it, too. Moving heavy furniture often leaves behind deep indentations that can ruin the appearance of your carpet. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix. Place ice cubes in the carpet dips and let them melt completely. When the carpet is completely dry follow-up by running a vacuum over the area to remove the damage.

Groom pets

One of the reasons you probably whip out your vacuum on the regular is because of fur-shedding pets! Treat the problem at the source by using your vacuum cleaner. How, you may ask? By investing in a pet-grooming vacuum cleaner attachment. It slicks back the fur and sucks up stray strands at the very same time so your pet and your home stay spick and span. There are pet-grooming vacuum cleaner attachments for Dyson machines and universal pet-grooming vacuum attachments for all other units available.

country living room coffee table jute rug
Keep pet hair at bay by using a vacuum cleaner pet-grooming attachment. (Credit: Abbie Melle)

Give mattresses a deep clean

The secret to a healthy, good night’s sleep may be a clean mattress, yet it is often overlooked when we wash our other bedding. Using the upholstery attachment, vacuum the top and sides of your mattress, pressing firmly as you go. You’ll be surprised how quickly and effectively you can rid your mattress of dead skin, pet hair and food crumbs using your vacuum.

Even more ways to use your vacuum cleaner:

  • Maintain other appliances by keeping components such as air conditioner vents and clothes dryer lint filters clean. 
  • Remove crumbs from toaster tray. Make sure the toaster is unplugged before you attempt this. 
  • Use with vacuum storage bags to save room in your cupboard by compressing out-of-season clothing and infrequently used linen. 
  • Keep skirting boards dust free using the brush attachment. 
  • Blow up inflatable furniture, including air mattresses for when guests come to stay.

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