8 Things You Should Never Vacuum

Imagine a life without vacuums. While it’s possible to clean up dirt, dust, and debris without a vacuum, it’s certainly easier and more convenient to get your home clean with the help of this nifty invention. However, there are a number of things your vacuum is not meant to suck up. Some items can clog air cleaner filters and lead to a dusty mess, or worse, damage the inner components of the vacuum.

Avoid making more of a mess and ruining your vacuum by steering clear of these 8 items when vacuuming.


Using a standard vacuum to suck up liquids is never a good idea. Liquids can get trapped inside the vacuum instead of making it all the way to the bag or dirt canister, causing the appliance to malfunction and may even encourage mold growth. Yet more dangerous is the potential for electrocution. Always keep vacuums and other electrical appliances away from liquids.

Clumps of Hair

If you have cats or dogs who are heavy shedders, a pet hair vacuum is a must for keeping your house clean. However, even these specially designed machines should not be used to suck up large clumps of hair. Trying to suck up too much at one time can create a clog and make it more likely that some of the hair will get tangled around the brush roll. Before you start vacuuming, use a broom and dustpan to pick up any larger clumps of hair.

Fireplace Ash

If you try to suck up tiny particles such as ash with your vacuum, they’ll likely end up blowing right back out into the air. Additionally, because ashes can hold heat for long after a fire has been extinguished, vacuuming them up too soon could be a fire hazard.

Fine Powders

Similarly to fireplace ash, trying to vacuum up fine powders such as makeup or sawdust isn’t recommended. Fine particles can get into the vacuum’s motor, causing it to burn out. Even if they don’t affect the motor, these tiny particles may simply be released right back into the air where they can have a negative impact on the room’s air quality.

Paper Clips, Coins, and Small Toys

While some of these items may look small enough to fit through your vacuum’s hose, they could get stuck further down the vacuum or cause damage to the motor or another component. Instead, pick up stray coins, paper clips and any other small items on the floor before you run the vacuum.

Broken Glass

Don’t reach for the vacuum to clean up broken glass. The sharp edges of the glass shards could damage the vacuum’s bag or inner components, potentially ruining the appliance or making costly repairs necessary.

Used Coffee Grounds

It might seem easier and faster to vacuum up wet coffee grounds, but doing so can cause them to get stuck in the hose or inside the machine, where they could potentially lead to mold growth. Even worse, the grounds could find their way to the motor and stop it from working properly. Use a paper towel to pick up wet coffee grounds.

Cords and Cables

It’s unlikely that you’ll try to suck up a cord or cable un purpose, but you may get one stuck accidentally as you try to vacuum over or around it. If you catch the cord the wrong way, it can become damaged, exposing the wires, and presenting a safety hazard.

And yet regular vacuuming is only a small part towards getting your home cleaner and indoor air healthier. At Air Professional Associates, we have multiple ways to improve the quality of your air. Is a professionally installed air cleaner the right solution to improve the quality of the air in your home? Contact us today for a free in-home consultation, and together we can make that determination.

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