Who knew vacuuming could be a contact sport?


With the holiday cleaning season upon us, it was rather fortuitous that I ran across the training manual that came with my vacuum cleaner on the proper care and feeding of my trusty appliance.

You wouldn’t think such reading material would be very entertaining, but it left me in stitches, er, rather ROTFL (“rolling on the floor laughing” in computer speak).

Here are some of the pitfalls listed as spoilers for marathon cleaning sessions of which I’m about to launch:

*Beware letting fingers, hair, and clothing get too near the brushes and openings.

Page one offered the warning,”If you have to turn the vacuum over and look at the brush roll, turn off the vacuum cleaner and unplug it,” it read. “The brush rolls on a vacuum cleaner can rip out hair from your head, damage clothes, and injure body parts.”

This gave me a good chuckle. First of all, why would I want to look at my brush roll?  I could only imagine my expression while peering into the bottom of my vacuum cleaner and letting it latch onto my locks.  I would have to drive myself to the hospital with a vacuum hanging off my head.  That would be somewhat less embarrassing than explaining to my Thanksgiving guests why I’m wearing a wig.

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Yet,  I’m reminded of the time I vacuumed the draperies right off my guest room window just minutes before company arrived. I think that’s when I bought the new vacuum cleaner, one so powerful it could suck Lucky Dawg right up if I’m not careful.

*Never carry a vacuum cleaner by the cord.

“Carrying a vacuum cleaner by the cord or pulling the cord are big mistakes,” warned the manual.

That’s pretty funny.  I pictured myself stumbling around the house carrying my 50-pound vacuum by the cord.  That would be hard to do even for me and it would amount to blatant appliance abuse. The article noted that damaged cords can result in the risk of electrocution or fire. No kidding. The fire department has been called to my house twice this year, I don’t want to go for three.

Using an indoor vac outside, or a dry vac on a wet surface.

“Don’t use an indoor vacuum cleaner outside. Indoor vacuum cleaners aren’t meant to be used on outside surfaces.” Oh shoot. I guess that means I should quit vacuuming up the leaves in my front yard.  I thought that was rather brilliant until I had to pull a baby squirrel out of the nozzle.   Similarly, never use a dry vacuum cleaner on wet surfaces. Check.

Picking up hard items.

“Don’t want to take the time to pick up the penny on the floor? Think again before you vacuum over it. Hard and sharp objects can chip or crack the fan blade on your vacuum cleaner. Don’t knowingly vacuum hard and sharp objects. Be sure to scan the room for these objects before you vacuum.”

Ooops, guilty as charged.  I’ve been vacuuming the same nail up off the floor for three years.  The thing just gets coughed up in another room. It’s become a personal challenge to make that nail disappear without having to bend down to pick it up.

Failing to maintain your vacuum cleaner.

“It only takes a little bit of maintenance to clean your vacuum cleaner’s brush roll, wash/replace filters, and empty the dirt container. But not doing it regularly will ruin your vacuum cleaner.”  I expect that includes changing the bag every now and then.  I simply wait until it starts spitting up what I vacuumed up- then I know it’s time to change bags.

And I don’t know anything about filters.  If my vacuum has a filter I can’t imagine where it would be located.  I don’t really care.

3 thoughts on “Who knew vacuuming could be a contact sport?

  1. This is so funny. I had to go look and see if my vacumn had a filter and guess what it does but I haven’t changed it in 3 years. That’s when I bought it. I have double ovens and have lost the manual and can’t figure out how to self clean the bottom unit. I know it does because it has the self locking feature. Maybe next time I buy something I’ll file the manual but of course I’ll forget where I filed it. Hope you have a Very Happy Thanksgiving and I had so much fun at your house. Carolyn

  2. Hi Carolyn,

    Instead of “filing” the manuals, I’ve started placing related ones in the nearest storage thing to the object to which it relates. Usually, I’ll place it into a zip lock first, just to keep it neat if other things are also stored there.

    Now, whenever I need something pertaining to a piece of equipment or appliance, I just look for the closest drawer, box, or shelf to where it is usually kept (out of sight), and then, I don’t have to remember where I was going to start filing all that kind of stuff — you know, all in one place. (Yeah right!)

    You can even place your receipts in the same bag. I also keep the vacuum cleaner filters on the shelf right above where I store the vacuum cleaner. Also, I like to keep an extra light bulb in a drawer of the round table for the lamp that sits on top of it. Actually, I sometimes alternate which kind of bulb I use in that lamp as I usually don’t read in that room, so it saves me having to look in a central place every time I exchange or replace a bulb. They never burn out when you’ve got oodles of extra time, I’ve noticed, so this speeds up the bulb changes when I’m in a hurry.
    There are lots and lots of things that can be more logically stored like this, I have found.

    I’m not really all that organized, so this method has kept me from losing my mind completely! Now, if I’d just USE that vacuum cleaner we’d be in business.


  3. Hello, if you’re keen on iRobot Roombas like me, I’m sure you’ll also be keen on Vacuum Robots. Yup, that’s me! And the products are coming soon so stay tuned!

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