Photo: Getty Images
Vacuuming is by far my most dreaded task -- the moving of the furniture, clearing of surfaces -- and then there's all the dog hair to contend with (and the dog, whose arch nemesis is the vacuum cleaner).
But once I have that vacuum in hand, I've been known to suction whatever's in my path. I admit, I've vacuumed quite a few items that I now regret having sucked up in my haste.
So I've compiled a list of five items you should never run your vacuum over. (No, not even if you "didn't see it.")
Not only can soil stain carpets and/or rugs, but wet soil can become embedded in the surface itself, causing a bigger mess to clean up later. Instead, try this tip for cleaning up wet soil from your carpet: Using a butter knife, scrape the mess from surface of your carpet directly into a dustpan or other collection device.
2. Fresh food
Grab a broom and a mop for this mess -- not a vacuum! Photo: Getty Images
Feeding time with the baby got out of hand this morning, and you now have a floor full of milk-soaked Cheerios. Sure, it may seem smart to vacuum the mess, but chances are, that milk won't smell fantastic when caught in your HEPA container eight days later.
I know, I know. Who would vacuum their lipstick? I did, once. By accident, of course, but the repercussions were enough to ensure I never do the same again. Cosmetics are known to smear and melt, and they'll do the same in your vacuum, causing anything else you vacuum immediately afterward to miraculously turn the same bright shade of your new Revlon lipstick hue.
Everyone's vacuumed a paperclip or two in their lifetime, right? Like loose hardware, paperclips are a death trap of for your vacuum and should always be picked up by hand.
5. Loose hardware
Nails, tacks and screws can severely damage your vacuum's motor. A good rule of thumb? Avoid vacuuming any area of the garage. Instead, tackle that area with a simple broom and dustpan.
Keep metal items out of your vacuum. Photo: jupiterimages
Long story short? Your vacuum isn't a trash can -- use it wisely!