A central vacuum system is a great addition to your home, making your house cleaning routine easy and convenient. However, you can seriously damage it if you vacuum up something you shouldn’t. Whether you are using a portable vacuum or a central vac, sucking up the wrong stuff can ruin your vacuum. You don’t want to have to replace your portable vacuum, but causing damage to your central vacuum system is even worse.
Protect your central vacuum system by avoiding sucking up these particular household messes.
Whether it’s a mess from a spilled drink or a leaky pipe, your vacuum should not suck up liquids. Liquids can damage the motor or cause an electrical short. If liquid gets into the vacuum filter, it will form a clog when you suck up dust and debris in the future. Water or liquids inside your vacuum can also lead to mold growth and unpleasant odors. Use a wet/dry vacuum if you need to clear puddles quickly.
If you use your fireplace a lot or have a wood or pellet stove, the easiest way to clean it is to vacuum up the ashes. But you shouldn’t use your central vacuum to do it. If the ashes and embers are still warm, the heat will damage your vacuum. Even if the ashes are cold, they will clog the filter and get stuck to the inside of your hoses. Certain wet/dry vacuum cleaners are suitable for ashes, or you can use a metal dustpan or shovel to remove them.
When a Christmas tree ornament falls and breaks, or you knock a glass to the floor, the vacuum shouldn’t be the first thing you reach for. The sharp edges of large shards can nick the inside of your hoses or tear the filter. Use a broom and dustpan to clear up the large pieces, and only use the vacuum when you can’t see any more shards.
If you spill something while baking, you’ll want to use a broom and a wet cloth to clear up the mess. Fine powders like flour, baking soda, or baby powder will clog the filter and reduce your vacuum’s suction power.