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Cleaning Pro Reveals the 5 Things You Should Never Vacuum

You're better off sweeping these things up instead.

No one really wants to fold the laundry or scrub the shower, nor do they jump for joy when it's time to vacuum the floors. And when it comes to this last task, organizing and cleaning expert Caroline Solomon says you might actually be making the chore even harder. Ahead, she shares the five things that you should never vacuum. They can damage your appliance, cause stains to set on your floors, and even pose a safety hazard.

READ THIS NEXT: What Happens If You Don't Vacuum for a Month, According to Experts.

Baking soda

backing soda on a cutting board

In a recent TikTok video, Solomon is quick to point out that baking soda should never be vacuumed. "Overtime, the particles can clog your filter," she says.

According to Queen Vacuum, this happens because the tiny particles can end up "cementing" in the vacuum. A clogged filter can then reduce the effectiveness of the vacuum cleaner and even damage the motor. Instead, use an old-fashioned broom to sweep up any spilled baking soda.

And don't throw it out! Solomon explains in a blog post that you can mix baking soda with lemon juice to create a cleaner that removes stains and brightens tiles.

READ THIS NEXT: 5 Things You Should Always Do Before Your House Cleaner Comes.

Glass shards

Person Sweeping Up Broken Glass {Get Rid of Old Stuff}

It may seem obvious, but glass shards should never be vacuumed, regardless of whether you have a bagless or bagged vacuum cleaner.

"Sweep up glass instead as it can damage the inside of your vacuum cleaner," advises Solomon.

According to The Spruce, the only time you should vacuum up glass is if you have a handheld vacuum that does not have a flexible hose. And always make sure your eyes, hands, and feet are protected from any debris.

Plants and soil

Plant loosing dead yellow leaves
Pencil case / Shutterstock

Always grab the broom and dust pan to clean up dead leaves and dirt. "Too many dead leaves can clog your [vacuum]," says Solomon.

House Digest adds that vacuuming up soil from carpeting can leave permanent stains. In this case, they advise letting any moist soil dry and then picking up as much as you can with a spoon. Then, they say you can "use a vacuum to absorb any stubborn dirt and spot treat any lasting stains."


Makeup and cosmetics display

Like baking soda, makeup particles are extremely small and can clog the vacuum or even melt the insides of the appliance, Solomon notes. Not only this, but the heat from the vacuum can cause makeup stains to set into your floors.

Ash and dust from the fireplace

Pile of Fireplace Ashes

"These can be dangerous to vacuums as they lack the proper filter," says Solomon about ash and dust from the fireplace.

According to Atlanta Chimney Doctor, it's common for ashes to remain hot after the fire has gone out, sometimes taking days to cool down. Household vacuums are made of materials that can melt, and they're usually full of combustible materials like paper and dust.

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Courtney Shapiro
Courtney Shapiro is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Before joining the Best Life team, she had editorial internships with BizBash and Anton Media Group. Read more
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