Who hasn’t had a vacuum cleaner accident?
My worst was probably the time I reached down to keep something from being sucked up by the vacuum, failed to hit the power off button first, and ended with my finger being snagged and walloped by the beater bar. It left a deep cut right on my knuckle, and…. Well, you didn’t ask for the gory details, did you?
Maybe this will be the riot act you read to your kids before letting them loose with the vacuum.
Some kids will think it is seriously cool to run a vacuum. Wheels, power, and loud noises, anyone?
For others, it will be a ho-hum chore. Just tell your child that danger lurks in every corner AND they can’t be trusted to drive the car unless they can properly drive the vacuum.
1. LOOK OUT for all the technology cords, wires, bells, and whistles!
You seriously don’t want to have to replace your phone or iPad charger!
CHECK under beds for wires! It’s a wire’s favorite hiding spot.
Those suckers are hidden everywhere, sometimes in the most unlikely spots!
If you hire a housekeeper, kindly pick up your wires for her!
2. While you are at it, be careful with the vacuum’s own chord!
I have met some vacuums that have run over their own cords!
Those cords have serious scars and need to be bandaged up with electrical tape.
The beater bar on the older, heavier vacuums can really tear up a cord and expose bare wire.
Think electric shock! Not good! Some vacuums, like my favorite Shark pictured above, have a handy cord hook up higher on the handle.
3. Watch out for faulty vacuum handle latches on the upright models.
Never turn your back on your vacuum without double checking the handle! You could get walloped.
Once a faulty vacuum handle that failed to latch made a mark on my client’s freshly painted wall. Yikes!
Thankfully, the black streak disappeared almost completely with some TLC.
If you find yourself in such a pickle, try the gentlest of cleaners first with a soft microfiber rag and some warm water.
Go easy with a Magic Eraser. I’ve accidentally removed paint from walls with that sucker!
4. LOOK out for paper clips, safety pins, and bobby pins.
These culprits can damage the vacuum’s beater bar/belt. If bent metal gets lodged in a vacuum hose, it can be a real challenge to extract.
Boy, do those clips and pins blend in with the carpet! One person I know of installed a large magnet on the front of his vacuum.
That’s worth trying.
5. LISTEN for changes in the vacuum motor’s sound.
High-pitched whine? Your vacuum’s screaming for HELP! Shut ‘er down!
Just like driving old cars, you have to learn to listen to your vacuum’s motor.
You may have accidentally clogged the hose.
Something might be stuck in the beater bar. Listening is a skill that takes practice.
Clear water or soda bottle caps are another hidden danger!
Sudden loss of suction and a change in the vacuum’s voice are two major clues.
The last time this happened to me, I literally had to take every removable part off the vacuum to find the culprit.
Thankfully, I did find it. Even better, I put the vacuum together again correctly. Whew!
Here’s to safe and happy vacuuming!
P.S. REMIND your kids to never vacuum through a puddle of water. Folks have died from doing this.
If your kids pass the”vacuum safety driving test”, give them the Cobweb Katie stamp of approval.