3 Things You Should Never Vacuum Up in the Kitchen

updated Jun 6, 2019
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In a perfect world, cleaning my kitchen floors goes like this: First, I move the area rug and vacuum it: right side up and upside down and then again right side up. Next, I sweep the floor. Then, I mop the floor and let it dry. Only then, when the floor is basically clean enough to eat off of, do I give it a final vacuum and put the area rug back in place.

In the real world, sometimes there is not time for all of these things. Sometimes you just need to take a quick pass with a vacuum cleaner and call it a day. And that’s okay! Except when it’s not.

Here are three things you should never vacuum up in the kitchen.

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1. Broken Glass

Glass can wreak havoc on your vacuum: It can puncture the bag, get lodged in the hose, or otherwise gunk things up so you ended up with an even bigger mess.

What to use instead: A broom! And a dustpan! Any tiny pieces that might be leftover are fine for your vacuum cleaner to handle. Or you could try a piece of bread or a potato if you have those things handy.

Credit: Lauren Volo

2. Wet Food

Do not try to vacuum up soup spills, sauce splatters, or really anything that is remotely wet (like cooked noodles or coffee grounds). Your vacuum cannot handle wet things!

What to use instead: Try a microfiber cloth for anything truly liquid. If you can pick it up (say, chunkier bits of a red sauce), go ahead and do that before you bust out the cloth.

Credit: Melissa Ryan

3. Flour

If you accidentally spill flour all over the floor, your first impulse might be to bust out the vacuum. But fine powders and dusts can actually clog your vacuum.

What to use instead: Use a broom and dustpan to get up as much as you can, and use a wet paper towel to mop up the rest. Then, you can use a vacuum to get whatever you may have missed.