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We know you know how to vacuum -- but we've got the scoop on the little things that come up: Tackling small spaces, how to fix a broken belt and the things you should never vacuum.

We're breaking it down by every little thing you need to know. Not only will you know how to vacuum -- you'll know tips and tricks that will get your space even cleaner.

vacuum cleaner, hose how to vacuummarie-ll, Flickr

How to Vacuum: Make Clever Use of Your Cleaner
You can use a wet-dry vacuum as an automatic dustpan -- really! Yes, it's a little more involved than using it in a straight-forward way but it will keep the corners cleaner than ever before. Danny Lipford shows you how:

You also can go check out videos on how to use a small hose to vacuum small, tight spaces and make a wet-dry vacuum more mobile.

How to Vacuum: Keep Your Machine Clean!

Your vacuum works hard, picking up crushed fishy crackers from under the couch, sawdust shavings from your latest DIY endeavor, and everyday particles of dust and dirt that find their home in yours. With a little love, you can keep your vacuum working stronger and longer. It doesn't take much, just a bit of consistent maintenance.

We've also got info on how to clean a bagless vacuum and a general guide to vacuum maintenance.

How to Vacuum: Repairs and Quick fixes

Picture this: you're suctioning up dust and dog hair when all of a sudden your vacuum cleaner makes a loud noise and stops working or ceases to pick anything as it runs.

Contrary to its name, a vacuum cleaner doesn't actually create a true vacuum; instead, it removes dirt from your floors using reduced air pressure in an enclosed chamber (the air pressure outside is greater than that inside). This pressure differential sucks the air outside into the vacuum chamber, picking up dirt along with it. It has a spinning brush in the nose that grabs extra debris as you push it around, sucking it up into the bag or canister. The drive belt keeps the brush spinning.

When the belt breaks, the brush stops spinning. And the dirt stops moving; it just stays put. But no fear -- check out our great piece with all the steps to fix the vacuum belt.

This will restore your vacuum's suction -- and it's a great thing to do every few months. Not sure if you need to take the steps? Try unplugging your cleaner and flip it over so the rotating brush is exposed. With a screwdriver, remove the screws covering the plastic guard plate that surrounds the brush. When that's off, you should be able to see the belt. Test it with your finger -- it should be nice and tight. If there's any slack, replace it.

How to Vacuum: Stay Away From These Items!
Don't just suck up everything in your path -- if you see these, stay clear...

1. Soil
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
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.

3. Lipstick
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.

(And find out the other three things to avoid by checking out the full pieces -- 5 Things You Should Never Vacuum!)

See what else we have in store for spring cleaning from how to clean windows to how to vacuum.


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