8 great safety tips to follow for the happy use of your vacuum cleaner

Vacuum cleaners are essential tools in our daily home lives, it’s rare to find a household without one. And some have as many as three!

Vacuum cleaners help us keep a clean and dust-free home & living environment and although they appear simple to operate, ensuring that your vacuum cleaner is used safely is crucial even when using the best brands available.

Here are some helpful vacuuming safety tips for when you are operating your vacuum cleaner. These will minimize risks to you and your machine and help keep your home spotless. These eight essential tips will prolong the life of your vacuum and they will also help you tidy up your home more easily & with confidence.

1. Watch out for sharp & large bits of debris still on your floors

We all know how to use vacuum cleaners to clean up every day dirt and dust from our homes, but they are not designed for oversized or sharp objects like broken glass or small pieces of wood.

Items like these can cause blockages in hoses or in the vacuum cleaner’s internal parts and also overwork the motor or puncture the vacuum bag or dust box. Larger debris is likely to reduce the efficiency of the vacuum cleaner, and even result in costly repairs or replacements due to permanent damage to the machine. You also need to be careful not to hurt yourself from kickback from any larger debris.

In order to prevent any of these issues happening in the first place, make a quick inspection of the area that you’re about to clean before vacuuming. Manually pick up & dispose of any oversized or sharp objects before you start your vacuuming job and you’re much safer already.

2. Your vacuum cleaner does not like hoovering up liquids on its rounds

As versatile as our vacuums may be, if they aren’t specifically designed as a wet/dry model, then they aren’t meant to handle liquids. Vacuuming up liquid spills with a standard vacuum cleaner can cause serious damage, affecting both the motor and the electrical components of the unit. Water can create a conduit for electricity, which in turn then increases the risk of electric shocks and short circuits. In addition, the internal components of the machine are not waterproof and exposure to any liquids can cause them to rust or malfunction.

3. Emptying the dust canister or bag regularly will help your vacuum cleaner

If the canister, bag or dustbox is always close to reaching its full capacity then the vacuum’s suction power can decrease over time, causing it to overwork and reducing the overall efficiency of the machine. This could ultimately lead to potential motor damage in the machine as well.

To avoid these issues happening in the first place, make a habit of emptying the canister or dustbin after each use or whenever it reaches around 75% of its capacity. For bagged vacuum cleaners, replace the disposable bag before it becomes overly full, and ensure the replacement bag is appropriate for your vacuum model.

4. Don’t forget about your feet – slippers are your friend!

It’s tempting to vacuum around your home in just bare feet or socks, but this isn’t the best idea. Wearing slippers or shoes provides several benefits that can’t be overlooked.

Firstly, they offer an added layer of protection against any small sharp objects or debris that may have been missed by the vacuum cleaner.

Secondly, wearing footwear reduces the risk of slipping on freshly vacuumed floors, especially on hard surfaces like hardwood, lino or tiles.

And, thirdly, it’s also worth remembering that some vacuums can generate static electricity. Wearing slippers or shoes, preferably ones with rubber soles, will act as an insulator, protecting you from potential static shocks when you come into contact with metal objects or parts of the vacuum itself.

5. Make sure you are using the correct charger for your cordless vacuum

When it comes to using electrical appliances, especially cordless ones. It’s easy to assume that any charger will do the job as long as it fits. However, this is oh so wrong!

Any charger you use for your vacuum needs to be the specific one designed for that model as each and every appliance is designed to handle a certain level of voltage and amperage. Using a charger that isn’t compatible could cause overloading and subsequently, might result in the machine overheating which could lead to a fire.

Always ensure you’re using a charger and cable that is in good condition. Damaged cables with exposed wires are a huge safety hazard that increase the risk of electric shock. If the cable for your vacuum is damaged, it is important to replace it with an original manufacturer part or one recommended by a professional vacuum service company like PHC.

6. Watch out for combustibles on your vacuum rounds

Remember to be cautious about not accidentally vacuuming up any flammable or combustible materials when you’re vacuum cleaning your home. This could include substances like matches, petrol or lighter fluid and even fine powders like flour or sugar which can combust on occasion.

Ignition from a spark can potentially occur when these materials make contact with the electric motor inside the vacuum, causing a fire risk and potential expensive repairs.

Always clean up flammable substances appropriately before vacuuming and if unsure about the safety of a material, consult the manual or contact the manufacturer or a professional service company like PHC Vacuum Service.

7. Store the vacuum cleaner safely

Safe storage is the final step in maintaining your vacuum cleaner, yet it’s just as important as all the other steps.

First and foremost, ensure your vacuum cleaner is completely turned off and unplugged before storing it. Extend the power cord fully to check for any wear or tear or any other damage. Then coil it loosely without kinks so that you prevent damage to the internal wires.

Detach and store any vacuum cleaner attachments separately for easy access and care. Store the vacuum in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or heat, ensuring good airflow around it to prevent overheating and motor damage.

8. Make sure you carry out regular servicing & maintenance on your vacuum cleaner

The best thing to do is employ a professional vacuum service and repair company to regularly look at your vacuum cleaner.

Here at PHC, we are the largest, independent vacuum service and repair company in the UK; we have been going since 1989, are still family owned, have more than 75,000 happy customers and have won several awards for our great work.

Our annual vacuum cleaner services start at just £34.99 and a professional field engineer comes to your home at a time and day to suit you.

To find out more, click on the service page for your brand of vacuum cleaner (we service Dyson, Miele, Sebo, Oreck, G-Tech and Kirby machines).