If you’re domestically challenged and ever found yourself staring at the vacuum cleaner attachments that came with your vacuum, this post is for you!
It’s time to end your love hate relationship with that heap of plastic and metal and learn to embrace your vacuum; it’s attachments and the multitude of cleaning tasks that can be done with that one little machine. I’ll walk you through step by step, tool by tool and explain what they are with an explanation for the uses for each of your vacuum cleaner attachments.
Let’s get ready to vacuum up stuff!
How To Use Vacuum Cleaning Attachments
First, let’s talk vacuums. There are several different kinds of vacuums on the market today and depending on your budget can cost you anywhere from $100 upwards of $1000.
Because I’ve owned a residential and commercial cleaning businesses for over 15 years, I’ve used countless vacuums. I prefer canisters over uprights, and my favorite hands down is the Kenmore Elite.
So how do you figure out which is the right one for you?
For residential cleaning, the two you want to choose from are the upright and the canister. That’s not to say you won’t have a use for other types like handhelds and stick vacuums or even computerized like the Rumba, but for general overall cleaning, stick with one of these two models.
1. Upright Vacuums
Upright vacuums have a tilt and push design with bagged or bagless options. These models work best on carpets and typically have a brush roll that can be turned off for cleaning bare floors, and have a height adjustment mechanism for rugs with different thickness.
Uprights are not as versatile as canister vacs and generally have fewer attachments. They usually are heavier to push and pull than a canister nozzle, but if you have a back issue, pulling the canister behind you will do a number on your lower back.
2. Canister Vacuums
Canister vacuums are tanks with a long hose that come with an array of attachments. They are typical great on suction too.
They can clean and dust just about anything. They have a motorized brush roll head for carpeting and come with a bare floor attachment that handles just that. With the other attachments, you can clean furniture, walls, drapes, and ceiling fans. They are great on stairs but are bulky requiring two hands to carry and the space to store it.
Now that you understand the difference between the two main models of vacuums let’s move onto the tools and attachments and how to use them.
Most Common Vacuum Cleaner Attachments and How to Use Them
Whether it be a canister or upright most if not all vacuum cleaners come with these four tools.
A. Crevice Tool
Probably the most underutilized tool in your vacuum tool kit. The crevice tool has a skinny shape and angled tip and is great for getting into tight spots and corners. Use it along baseboards, around radiators and vents, between the sofa cushions, cleaning the refrigerator coils, delinting the dryer, in the tracks of sliding glass doors, and basically anywhere your regular hose can’t or won’t fit. I also love to use this tool when vacuuming my car as it gets into the space between the seats that’s hard to reach, and those big ole hoses can’t squeeze in to.
B. Dusting Brush
Typically round with long, soft bristles it’s great at dusting window sills, bookcases, framed pictures, lampshades, wooden surfaces, and blinds. I also like to use it to remove dust from baseboards, above doors and door moldings. If you’re careful, you can even use it to dust light fixtures. Because the bristle is soft, you can also use it on more delicate pieces such as knick knacks.
C. Upholstery Tool
The upholstery tools is a small, flat headed attachment that has stiff bristles to help remove fur, dust and lint from sofas, chairs, mattresses, cushions and any fabric covered area.
D. Extension Wand
The extension wand allows you to reach those hard to get to places like high ceilings, light fixtures, corners and behind appliances without moving them. You can even use your extension wand as a “hard to reach picker upper”. Just put some pantyhose over the nozzle and secure with a rubber band. Place the wand over the article you can’t reach and the vacuum will suction it to the hose making it easy for you to grab.
Additional Tools That Might Come With A Canister Vacuum
When you purchase a canister vacuum or some high-end uprights like a Kirby, the manufacturer often develops and includes high-end gadgets that help tackle all sorts of vacuum jobs.
A. Motorized Floor Piece For Carpeting
Comes with all cannister vacuums to effectively clean rug surfaces.
B. Power or Turbo Brush
This attachment is similar to the canister’s motorized brush head but smaller. Sometimes they are round and not square or rectangular. They offer rotating bristles and a compact size that’s useful on stairs and upholstery, mattresses and car interiors. You can also use them on drapes to remove stuck on pet hair but don’t use it on delicate fabrics like silk.
C. Mattress Attachment
The mattress attachment is typically extra wide or has a unique shape that will remove even more dust and allergens than any other attachment. Personally, I’ve never actually used this attachment for this purpose. I tend to use my turbo power brush to vacuum my mattress.
D. Ceiling Fan and Blind Attachment
Designed specifically for cleaning tops of fan blades and between blinds. If you’re lucky enough to have this tool, you’ll always use it!
E. Pet Groomers
Assuming your cat or dog won’t run and hide at the sound of the vacuum, this device makes it easy to vacuum your pet.
F. Floor Attachment
You don’t want to use the motorized head when cleaning solid surfaces like hardwood floors and tile. You could damage to them by scratching their surface or loosening tiles. Instead, use the floor attachment. It has soft bristles and is longer than the upholstery tool or mattress tool.
The attachments that come with your vacuum are there for a reason: to make your cleaning more efficient and effective. Use them as they were designed and you’ll have your whole house vacuumed and dust free in no time flat.