11 Unexpected Ways You Never Thought to Use Your Vacuum Cleaner

Use your vacuum cleaner to make your home smell amazing, get rid of carpet dents, and deodorize smelly couch cushions.

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Make your home smell amazing

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Saturate a cotton ball with your favorite essential oil or perfume and drop it into your vacuum cleaner bag. As you vacuum, the scent will gently release and freshen up the air. These are the best fragrances for every room in your home.

Get rid of fleas


Ditch the harsh chemicals—one study found that using your vacuum cleaner to kill fleas is just as effective. For the experiment, researchers planted 100 adult cat fleas (the most common type of flea found on pets, such as cats and dogs) into a tightly woven, kitchen-type carpet. Vacuuming the carpet killed an average 96 percent of the fleas. Tests on fleas in the larvae and pupae stages were 100 percent successful. Here's how to make a natural flea collar for your pet.

Keep allergens out of your home


Once open-window season hits, your windowsills and screen doors become hot spots for pollen and dust. Use your vacuum cleaner's brush tool to clear the windowsill and door track before these allergens blow into your home. The same tool can be used in a back-and-forth motion over window screens. Repeat on a weekly basis.

Catch crumbs


Whisk away hard-to-reach crumbs (like the ones that get wedged under the grates in your stove and toaster, or into the shelves on your refrigerator door) by using your vacuum's crevice tool. Once the dirty work is done, clean as usual with stove cleaner or disinfectant.

Ice out carpet dents


Rearranging the furniture doesn’t have to mean unsightly carpet dents. Place ice cubes on those pesky reminders of the past and wait for them to melt. The water will encourage the carpet fibers to return to their original shapes. Vacuum over the wet spots to bring them back to their upright positions.

Clear your washing machine’s lint filter

iStock/Nick M. Do

Use your vacuum’s brush attachment to clean your washing machine’s lint screen. Finish the task by attaching the vacuum's crevice tool to pull any remaining lint from the machine's lint cavity. Here's how you might be doing laundry all wrong.

Deodorize a smelly cushion


To absorb odors on any plush item that is impossible to run through the washing machine (say, throw pillows, carpets, or mattresses), try a little bit of baking soda. Sprinkle the powder onto the spot you're trying to clean and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Vacuum it away and say goodbye to dust, dirt, and stinkiness. These are other brilliant uses for baking soda.

Clean kitchen appliances


To keep your refrigerator in top shape, make sure you not only clean the inside, but the outside too. Built-up dust and lint on the hard-to-reach backside condenser coils could shut down the unit by causing it to overheat. To remove the buildup, pull the refrigerator several feet from the wall and vacuum its coils thoroughly. Finish by vacuuming the floor area and pushing the appliance back into shape.

Clean a crumby keyboard


To thoroughly clean your computer keyboard, begin by flipping it upside down to dislodge any loose crumbs. Attach your vacuum's crevice tool and vacuum the keyboard itself to lift any remaining crumbs. Dip a cotton swab into rubbing alcohol and brush it into the area surrounding each key. For particularly dirty spots, use a toothpick, advises PC World. Finish by using a dry, lint-free cloth to remove dust and polish the keys.

Dust everything!


Get creative with how you dust—your vacuum is more versatile than you might have thought. "Use the dusting brush on blinds, lampshades, books, pictures, and mirror frames—anywhere that's a pain to dust, Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, told Good Housekeeping.

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