Trust me: these vacuum cleaning hacks are major game-changers

No more dirt 🙅‍♀️

A vacuum on a pink background with heart eye emojis around it
(Image credit: Future)

Ah, the vacuum. It’s totes one of the best ways to get the house clean, and I use it all the time. But have you ever wondered if there are better ways to use it and clean it? I sure have.

Firstly, when you’re actually vacuuming, you want to make sure that you’re not wasting your time and that you’re actually cleaning everywhere. Then once you get ‘round to cleaning the vacuum itself, there are so many parts to deal with. Brush? Hose? Filter? Ugh. They all get super gross, which means they can be a real pain to clean.

Luckily, I’ve got you covered with a range of different vacuum cleaning hacks. These cover everything from how you use your vacuum to clean, right up to easy ways to clean the machine itself. Basically, your vacuuming routine is gonna get 10x better after reading this.

Oh, and feel free to screenshot these for when you’re actually zooming and hoovering...

10 vacuum cleaning hacks that are totally genius

From unusual places to use your vacuum to ways to make your room smell amazing afterwards, here are ten vacuum cleaning hacks that are super clever.


♬ Sure Thing (sped up) - Miguel

1. Use a dryer sheet to keep the air fresh 

I just love it when household cleaning supplies can be used for a range of different appliances. It makes life so much easier when shopping for products. For example, dryer sheets can be used for scrubbing stuck-on food, stopping shoes from being stinky, as well as for cleaning with a vacuum. All you need to do is pop them inside your vacuum bag or canister to make the air fresh AF while you clean. Be sure to go for a scented one for a gorge long-lasting effect, such as these Gain ones which are Amazon bestsellers.

2. Vacuum air vents

Don’t stress: I always forget to clean my air vent too, TBH. But think about all the dust and debris it’s bringing into the home every time you turn it on. Ew. You can actually use your crevice tool on the vacuum cleaner to get right in there and get all that dirt out. This will improve the air quality in your home, meaning you can breathe a li’l easier. If you don’t have a vacuum with a crevice tool, a handheld vacuum is also a great option. BTW, Black+Decker’s handheld vacuum is Amazon’s Choice if you’re in need of one.

3. Use a bristle brush to clean stubborn stains beforehand

I’m a terrible klutz, and whenever I spill anything, my panicked reaction is to grab the nearest cleaning tool. But if you have a sticky stain that just won’t budge, you shouldn’t be going over it with the vacuum first, as it will just rub the stain into the floor — which is a complete nightmare if you have a carpet. Instead, use a bristle brush on the stain first, as this will loosen the stain and make the dirt easier to remove with the vacuum. Boom, bye-bye stain. 

4. Sprinkle baking soda on the carpet before vacuuming 

If you don’t have baking soda in your cleaning cupboard, I’m telling you RN that it should be in there. From laundry to windows, it’s a total dream (FYI: Arm & Hammer’s is my go-to, which you can bag on Amazon). It’s also amazing for removing odors, which includes working on carpets. Dust it directly onto them before vacuuming to freshen them up and get rid of any nasty scents. It also absorbs moisture, which is handy as you don’t want to use your vacuum on damp surfaces, as this can damage it. NTY!

5. Apply a lubricant to your vacuum brush

Has your vacuum gone a little, erm, stiff? If it isn’t moving as it should be, apply a multi-purpose cleaning lubricant (Ballistol’s on Amazon has over 3,000 five-star reviews) onto the brush roll to allow it to spin more easily. Make sure to only use a couple of drops, as you don’t want to make your brush greasy — attracting all the dust bunnies. So not cute.

6.  Put a few drops of essential oil in the filter

Essential oils are one of my fave ways to relax in a room. Whether they’re in an electric diffuser or just dabbed on my wrists, they’re so rich and gorgeous. But did you know that they can also be used to enhance your vacuum? Once you’ve washed out your vacuum filter, put a few drops of essential oil in it before placing it back in your vacuum. This will stop your vacuum from getting smelly and will leave your room with a delish scent. I always like to get a few different ones, and LagunaMoon’s set of six with scents like eucalyptus and lavender is Amazon’s Choice

7. Vacuum the ceiling and walls

Got a vacuum with a long hose and an extension wand? Make the most of all that length by using it to reach high-up places, like ceilings and walls. By doing this, you can get all the gross dirt off that you just can’t see properly when you’re sitting on the couch. Unfortunately, just because you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it ain’t there. This also makes cleaning cobwebs easy, as they can be really messy with just a duster — sorry Miss Spider, you’re outta here.

8. Rotate your furniture while you’re vacuuming 

Okay — you’re probs thinking I’m supposed to be making your life easier, not harder. Well, this will make getting hold of dirt a lot easier, even if you do have to flex your muscles a bit. Rotating the furniture as you’re going around vacuuming will allow you clean all areas of the floor, including hard-to-reach areas such as under and behind furniture. Rotating everything before you begin and working your way around the room will also allow you to see which areas you’ve done and which you might have missed. 

9. Vacuum your mattress

Yes, really. We all spend a lot of time on the mattress (sleeping, obvi), so you’ve gotta think how much dirt builds up on there. Mattresses can also harbor dust mites, allergens, and other particles that can affect your health. We don’t want you getting sick, bestie. Simply use the upholstery tool on your vacuum to go over your mattress (I recommend once a month minimum) to keep it clean. Don't have a vacuum with an upholstery tool? TikTokers love this little green Bissell vacuum for upholstery cleaning, which is also an Amazon bestseller. Tick, tick, tick.

10. Use a broomstick to clean the hose

When you put two cleaning tools together, you can create magic, baby. This one is a bit out there, but trust me, it works. Having a clogged hose can make vacuuming take a lot longer, but there are not a lot of things that are the same width and length as a hose, which makes it hard to clean. One thing that is just the right size, though? A broomstick handle. Stick it up there to remove any debris, moving it carefully so it doesn’t get stuck. Then, if your hose is detachable, remove it and rinse it under running water to flush out any remaining dirt. Done!

Up next: How to clean your vacuum, in just eight easy steps

Eve Smallman
Content Editor

Hi there! I’m a content editor at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses. For Real Homes, I specialize in interior design, trends and finding the best viral buys.