9 Things You Should Not Vacuum

Keeping a home clean is a lot easier with the right appliances, such as a vacuum cleaner. While there are numerous styles, manufacturers and sizes, all vacuums are meant to clean carpets, rugs and other areas of the home. Here are 9 things you should not vacuum.

Number 1: Loose Hardware

Be careful not to vacuum up screws, nails, tacks and the like, all of which can get caught in the vacuum's motor and cause major damage.

Number 2: Fresh Foods

While it may be fine to vacuum up spilled salt, sugar or other powder-like substances, trying to vacuum up wet foods such as baked beans, salad, raw vegetables, fresh meats, poultry and seafood is a bad idea. These should go in the garbage disposal instead. By vacuuming up these items, it could cause motor trouble, as well as remain in the bag or HEPA container, ultimately spoiling and producing a bad odor.

Number 3: Pet and/or Kid Toys

Children and pets often leave their play things out and about. Rather than vacuum them up, and possibly cause damage to the vacuum’s brush rollers, place them in toy chests or designated drawers.

Number 4: Coffee Grounds

Spilled coffee grounds can surely be a mess on any type of flooring, but vacuuming them up could be even worse. The grounds can easily be blown all over the house due to the suction and the air release from the vacuum’s head. Wet grounds can also potentially damage a motor and other parts of the vacuum.

Number 5: Plant Debris

Plants often shed leaves and possibly flowers, so be sure to discard them in a garbage can or bin.

Number 6: Liquids

Unless the vacuum is manufactured to suck up liquids, most regular vacuums should not be used to pick up spilled liquids like soda, liquor, wine and/or juices.

Number 7: Dirty Clothing

While it may seem enticing to pick up dirty socks with a vacuum cleaner, think again. Socks and other small clothing items can become lodged around brush rollers, as well as clog up the motor. Ultimately, vacuuming up any of these items could also cause the motor to catch on fire.

Number 8: Cosmetics

Cosmetics such as lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, foundation and other popular make-up products should be picked up by hand and not by a vacuum. All of these items could smear, melt and/or damage carpeting, rugs and other areas of the home. The residue could also attach itself to the lower portion of the vacuum and be transferred to stairways, steps or tile floors.

Number 9: Outdoor Soil

Trying to suck up outdoor soil could be a disaster. Not only can soil stain, but wet soil may cause even more damage. It can become embedded in carpeting and rugs if vacuumed up. Loose dirt particles can also escape from the suction, leaving more of a mess than ever.

Keep in mind what a vacuum should be used for: dirty carpets and rugs, rather than as a trash can for discarding unwanted items.