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The Ultimate Guide


6 Things You Shouldn't Do to Your Vacuum Cleaner

Happy man standing with vacuum cleaner in dining room at home


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We depend on our vacuum cleaners to be there for us through thick and thin. They are supposed to be ready to swoop in and suck up the worst messes right when we need them. But is it possible that we aren't treating our vacuum cleaners the way they deserve? Whether your machine is a bagless or a bagged vacuum cleaner, there are a few things you should never do to your vacuum cleaner.

  • 01 of 06

    Vacuum Hard Objects

    It's tempting when you see that penny or small rock on the ground as you are vacuuming to go ahead and run the vacuum over it rather than stooping over to pick it up. But this can be a big mistake. These hard objects can cause serious damage to the interior of the machine, or become lodged inside in places that will be difficult to remove them. And, it's true that it may not ruin the vacuum cleaner every time. But one time will be more than enough. Avoid the risk and pick up hard objects manually.

  • 02 of 06

    Vacuum Water

    Regular vacuum cleaners are not designed to pick up water. If you are tempted to run the vacuum cleaner over a pile of water you run the risk of electrocution and serious damage to the machine. Even if you are not electrocuted or ruin the machine, you'll have a nasty mess on your hands when it comes time to empty the dirt bin or bag. Wet/Dry vacuums are specially designed to be able to pick up water without risking your life or the machine. Wet/Dry vacuums are relatively inexpensive and can be a great addition for those emergency situations where you need to vacuum water or liquid up. But never use a regular vacuum cleaner to do this job.

  • 03 of 06

    Let the Vacuum Run Overfilled

    When the dustbin or bag is at capacity, the vacuum cleaner needs to be emptied. If you don't empty it, the performance of the machine will be drastically worse. And you run the risk of overheating and damaging your vacuum cleaner. If you do notice that the vacuum cleaner doesn't seem to have as much suction, check the bag or bin, first. Most of the time, emptying these can make a huge difference in how well your vacuum is cleaning your home.

  • 04 of 06

    Vacuum Over the Cord

    Vacuum cleaner cords are tough and usually able to withstand some trauma, but running a vacuuming cleaner with a spinning brush over an electrical cord is a bad idea. That same motion that forces the dirt up into your vacuum cleaner can fray or damage the exterior of the cord. Over time, even the best cords will start to show damage, making them unsafe for use.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Throw It Out for Loss of Suction

    Maybe your vacuum cleaner isn't picking up dirt the way it used to.  If you just assume that it is old and needs to be replaced, you might be wrong. First, try checking the bag or on a bagless vacuum, check the dirt bin. Sometimes a full or nearly full vacuum cleaner will perform very poorly. If emptying those doesn't work, you may have a blockage in your vacuum cleaner. Unplug the vacuum and do some detective work. Is the hose blocked? What about the openings where the hose goes into the machine? Is the brushroll turning freely, or have hair and string built up and need to be removed? Remember to maintain your vacuum cleaner and it may be running like it's brand new.

  • 06 of 06

    Think the Motor Is Busted

    Did your vacuum cleaner suddenly overheat and turn itself off? A lot of people assume that this is the end for their machine. But in there are some ways to get your vacuum back in working order. The vacuum may have overheated because of a full bag/bin. Or hair and string wrapped around the brushroll may have caused overheating. Fix these issues and check for clogs. Try turning the vacuum back on. Many times this is all that is needed to fix the issue. Be aware that some models may have a manual reset button. Refer to your manufacturer for instructions to reset your model. Maintaining the vacuum cleaner on a regular basis will keep this issue from happening.