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These 5 Common Vacuum Mistakes Will Cost You

These common behaviors can easily lead to the untimely death of your vacuum cleaner.

Vacuum cleaners are one of the most important cleaning tools in any household. In addition to keeping carpets clean, today’s vacuums have other useful applications too, like sweeping hard floors and cleaning upholstery. And since vacuums are one of the more expensive cleaning tools you can’t really go without, it’s important to protect your investment by taking good care of it.

Unfortunately, many people make costly vacuum mistakes all too frequently. Some of those mistakes are costly because they can ruin a vacuum, while others are costly because they trick people into thinking they need a new vacuum when their current one just needs some TLC. But the good news is that both types of mistakes are entirely avoidable.

Today I’ll be sharing five of the most common (and costly) vacuum mistakes. Avoiding these five things can help ensure your vacuum serves you well for years to come.

5 Costly Vacuum Mistakes That Are Surprisingly Common

1. Failing To Empty The Dust Cup Regularly

Your vacuum can’t perform correctly if you don’t empty the dust cup regularly. If you run your vacuum while the dust cup is full, not only will it be less effective, but the restricted airflow could also cause the motor to overheat. The simplest way to ensure this doesn’t happen is making a habit of emptying your vacuum’s dust cup before or after each use.

2. Assuming Loss Of Suction Means The Vacuum Is Broken

If your vacuum experiences a sudden loss of suction when you’re using it, don’t panic—there are several reasons why it might have occurred, and not all of them mean your vacuum is a lost cause. Before you do anything else, try all of the following things:

  • Empty the dust cup
  • Inspect the hose for clogs
  • Check the connection between the hose and the vacuum for clogs
  • Inspect the brush roll and remove anything wrapped around it

In many situations, addressing these issues will sort out the problem and get your vacuum working again. If not, a good next step would be to contact a vacuum repair service to see if they may be able to help.

3. Assuming The Motor Is Dead

If your vacuum overheats and shuts off, all is not lost. Many vacuums have an auto-shutoff feature to help prevent something fatal from happening to your vacuum.

First, try the same steps I recommended for loss of suction under item #2 above. Then check your vacuum’s user manual for instructions about resetting your vacuum. (If you don’t have the paper copy of the user manual, you can always look it up online using your vacuum’s make and model number.)

4. Vacuuming Up Stuff You Shouldn’t

Vacuums are an excellent tool for picking up everyday dust and dirt, but they aren’t made to handle every single thing that might be on your floors. Vacuuming up things you shouldn’t is one of the quickest and most effective ways to break a vacuum. For a list of things you shouldn’t vacuum up, check out my post at the link below.

Read More: The 7 Things You Should Never Vacuum Up, And Why

5. Failing To Clean The Filter

Every vacuum has a filter or series of filters that trap fine dust and dirt particles. These filters help prevent dust from recirculating back into the air, but if those filters are already packed full of dust, they won’t be able to work correctly.

The process of keeping vacuum filters clean will differ from model to model. Some have washable filters, some have filters that need to be replaced every few months, and some have a mixture of both washable and disposable filters. Look for instructions about filter maintenance in your vacuum’s user manual.

Hopefully these tips help you avoid vacuum catastrophes in the future. But if you do find yourself in the market for a new vacuum, make sure to check out my vacuum recommendations at the link below! 🙂

Related: The Best Corded And Cordless Vacuums That Are Actually Affordable

Do you have any tips for keeping your vacuum cleaner working correctly?


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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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