Yes, You Can Unclog a Kitchen Sink with Your Vacuum Cleaner (Plus, 5 More Surprising Uses!)

published Jul 7, 2023
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Vacuum in kitchen
Credit: Joe Lingeman

From sucking up the dirt and debris in rugs and carpet to refreshing your upholstery, your vacuum is likely an important tool for keeping your space clean and cozy. But is it living up to its full potential in your home? Creatively using your vacuum can help make fussy chores simpler and can leave your space cleaner than you ever thought it could be — especially your kitchen. 

Whether you’ve got a space-saving vacuum, a powerful pet vacuum, or one of the best kitchen-specific vacuums, there are plenty of tricks to get more out of your vac. Ahead, learn more about how to overcome common cleaning pain points with these six surprising uses for your vacuum in the kitchen. 

1. Clean appliances with a vacuum.

When was the last time you cleaned up all those burnt bits from the bottom of your oven or wiped the food residue from your fridge drawer? If you’ve been putting these chores off, we’ve got a brilliant tip to make them easier: Grab a hand vac or use your vacuum’s hose attachment (or a DIY hose vacuum) to suck up loose debris before using wet wipes or cleaning solutions. Easy-peasy!

2. Deodorize smelly items with a vacuum.

Musty kitchen mat stinking up your kitchen? For an easy fix, sprinkle baking soda on it — it’s miraculous at absorbing smells — allow it to sit for a few hours, then use your vacuum to suck up the excess powder. Use this trick for kitchen towels, chair cushions, and any other linens, too! They’ll smell fresher than ever.

3. Unclog your kitchen sink.

There’s (almost) nothing more frustrating — or gross — than a clogged sink. Before you call the plumber, turn to your vacuum (or a shop vac works best if you have one). A vacuum hose is a powerful way to unclog stuck kitchen drains. Just be careful not to do this immediately after you use strong cleaning chemicals in your drain, as it may splash them around. 

4. Clean your kitchen counters.

If you have a hand or stick vac, or your upright vacuum has a hose attachment, use it to suck up all those pesky crumbs that accumulate around your toaster. It’s much more efficient than wiping all that debris on the floor and sweeping it up.

5. Make your kitchen smell fresh. 

Cooking smells, or forgetting to take the garbage out, can quickly lead to a stinky kitchen. Don’t stress — your vacuum can change that. Try adding a few drops of your fave essential oil to a cotton ball and putting it inside your vacuum bag or canister. When you vacuum, you’ll release a subtle scent throughout your kitchen (or really, any other space in your home). You can do the same with a cotton ball in your stinky kitchen trash can, too.

6. Dust pretty much anything.

From your kitchen windowsills and screens to the top of your fridge, dust is a common offender, and it’s especially harmful in the kitchen. A damp microfiber cloth can do the trick in many cases, but you can also grab your hand vacuum or hose attachment when it’s time to dust. You can also use your vacuum to remove dust from your refrigerator’s condenser coils, which will ultimately help the appliance run more efficiently (and potentially save you money on future repairs).