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How to Use a Vacuum Cleaner for Prepping

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Vacuum cleaners are versatile tools that can be used for a variety of prepping tasks, from cleaning and organizing to packing and sealing. A dry vacuum cleaner is something that I like to spend a little more money on because it can last a really long time. I prefer the canister vacuum because it gets me the most uses! There are many different types of vacuum cleaners out there, but you really have to choose one of the best vacuums that will give you the most bang for your buck. If you’re a prepper, then you know you can get even more uses out of it, beyond regular cleaning. 

How to Use a Vacuum Cleaner for Prepping

How to Use a Vacuum Cleaner for Prepping

I remember my first vacuum cleaner and how much I loved putting the carpet indentations into our 1970s shag carpet. Back then, a normal vacuum was amazing, but all of the internal parts, high speed, and different tasks a vacuum hose can suck up now are incredible.

It’s not as if the electric motor wears out quickly! I have found that newer vacuums are nice for cleaning carpets and hardwood floors, but my vacuum also is a great way to prep, and there are many surprising uses for it! Here are some tips on how to use a vacuum cleaner for prepping.

1. Cleaning and Organizing

Keeping your prepping supplies and gear clean and organized is essential for staying prepared. A vacuum cleaner can help make this task easier by quickly and efficiently cleaning up dirt, dust, and debris from your storage areas.

Make sure to use the appropriate attachments for each surface, such as a crevice tool for tight spaces or an upholstery tool for soft surfaces. Regularly vacuuming your storage areas can help prevent pest infestations and help keep your gear in good condition.

2. Packing and Sealing

Vacuum sealers are a great tool for preppers, allowing you to pack and store food, gear, and other supplies in airtight bags to protect them from moisture, pests, and other environmental factors. Using a vacuum cleaner to remove excess air from the bags ensures a tight seal and maximizes storage space.

Make sure to use high-quality vacuum sealer bags designed for prepping purposes, as regular plastic bags may not hold up over time. Label each bag with the contents and date to make it easy to find what you need when you need it.

3. Emergency Cleaning

In a survival situation, keeping your living space clean and sanitary can be crucial for avoiding illness and maintaining morale. A vacuum cleaner can be used to quickly and efficiently clean up dirt, debris, and other messes.

Consider having a backup power source, such as a generator, Goal Zero Yeti Home Backup System, or solar panels, in case of a power outage. Also, keep extra vacuum bags and filters on hand in case they need to be replaced if your vacuum uses bags. Bagless vacuums are very common now but they still use a filter.

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4. Water Removal

In the event of a flood or other water-related emergency, a wet/dry vacuum can be a lifesaver. These vacuums are designed to remove spills, crumbs, and standing water from carpets, area rugs, wood and tile flooring, and other surfaces, something a prepper appreciates as they try to stay prepared for emergencies.

Make sure to wear protective gear, such as rubber gloves and boots, when using a wet/dry vacuum. Make sure to dispose of the water properly to avoid contamination and health risks when you are emptying the unit. You’ll probably need to wipe down the area with a sponge, rag, microfiber cloth, or paper towel after the liquids are removed as a final step. Be sure to through away items in your trash that were used for such cleaning since they could become contaminated unless they can be run through the clothes washer for soapy water treatment. Scrub down the sink area if water was poured down the drain.

5. Air Filtration

Indoor air pollution can be a serious health hazard, especially in a survival situation where ventilation may be limited. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can help remove allergens, dust, and other pollutants from the air. Some areas in your home to be sure and clean since they tend to collect dust and dirt are window blinds, curtains, window sills, screens, and furnace and AC air vents. When cleaning those curtains be careful that any bristles from the brushes and the general heavy suction of the vacuum don’t damage the fabric.

Make sure to clean or replace the filter regularly to ensure that it’s functioning properly. Consider investing in a portable air purifier or ventilation system to further improve indoor air quality.

In conclusion, a vacuum cleaner can be a valuable tool for preppers, serving a variety of purposes from cleaning and organizing to packing and sealing. By utilizing these tips, you can make the most out of your vacuum cleaner and stay prepared for any situation.

6. Pest Control

In a survival situation, pests like rodents and insects can be a serious health hazard and cause damage to your supplies and gear. A vacuum cleaner can be used to quickly and efficiently remove pest droppings, webs, and other debris.

Make sure to wear protective gear, such as gloves and a mask, when cleaning up pest debris to avoid exposure to harmful bacteria or allergens. Consider using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to further reduce the risk of exposure.

7. Fire Prevention

Keeping your living space free of flammable materials can help prevent fires, especially in a survival situation where access to emergency services may be limited. A vacuum cleaner can be used to remove dust, lint, and other flammable debris from carpets, upholstery, work areas, storage areas that don’t get much attention, and other surfaces.

Make sure to clean the vacuum dustbin or bag regularly to avoid the risk of damage inside the vacuum cleaner itself from overheating. Inspect the vacuum cord, any vacuum attachment, and components for signs of wear or damage before use. Fire Extinguisher Post

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8. Clothing Repair

In a survival situation, repairing damaged clothing can be essential for staying warm and dry. A vacuum cleaner with an attachment can be used to clean out your sewing machines. Then you can always have it available to repair tears or holes in clothing or gear, sew your own clothing, or piece materials together for a shelter. A sewing machine is a great appliance that we all should learn to use. When my girls were little I made most of their clothes and gained a great deal of pleasure doing so. Keeping it in good working order is critical.

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the sewing machine vacuum attachment carefully to avoid damaging the fabric or injuring yourself. Keep spare thread and needles on hand for quick repairs. Micro Vacuum

9. Vehicle Maintenance

Having access to reliable transportation is crucial in a survival situation, making vehicle maintenance an important task. A vacuum cleaner can be used to clean your vehicle’s interior, removing dirt, dust, and other debris that can clog air filters or cause mechanical issues.

Make sure to use appropriate attachments for different surfaces, such as a crevice tool for tight spaces or an upholstery tool for seats and carpets. Keep spare vacuum bags and filters in your vehicle in case of an emergency.

10. Personal Hygiene

Maintaining personal hygiene is important for avoiding illness and staying healthy in a survival situation. A vacuum cleaner can be used to clean hair clippers, razors, and other personal grooming tools, removing dirt, hair, and other debris that can harbor bacteria or other pathogens.

You also want to make sure those furry friends you have at home are kept clean and free from loose hair, bugs, thistles, and so on. You can buy attachments to use as you do some minor “grooming” of pets. Depending on the length of the hair, razors and scissors can leave a real mess if not vacuumed up when the job is done.

Make sure to use appropriate cleaning solutions and follow the instructions for each grooming tool carefully to avoid damaging the device or injuring yourself. Consider investing in portable showers or washing facilities to maintain personal hygiene in a survival situation.

What kind of vacuums exist?

  • Conventional upright vacuum cleaner
  • Cordless vacuum cleaner
  • Hand-held vacuum cleaners
  • Industrial vacuum cleaners 
  • Portable canister vacuum cleaners
  • Smaller handheld vacuum cleaners 
  • Robot vacuum cleaners

Final Word 

A vacuum cleaner can be a versatile tool for preppers, serving a variety of purposes from pest control and fire prevention, to keeping your sewing equipment clean and ready for clothing repair and personal hygiene. By utilizing these additional tips, you can make the most out of your vacuum cleaner and stay prepared for any situation. Whether sweeping up dust particles or cleaning up pet hair to make it into a fire starter, there are tons of uses for vacuum cleaners.

Some of the best vacuum cleaners can be expensive, but you better believe that you’ll get those dust mites cleaned up and also find many surprising uses for the vacuum to use for prepping. If you can find additional uses for your washing machine, then you are surely going to find many other great ways to use your upright vacuum. What uses would you add to this list? May God Bless this World, Linda 

Copyright Images: Woman Vacuuming Carpet Depositphotos_102613416_S, Woman in Jeans Vacuuming Depositphotos_232573890_S

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6 Comments

  1. Linda,

    We have a perpetual problem with dust and no amount of filter cleaning or changing helps to remedy the problem. We even had our ducts cleaned and sealed to no avail. Now I’m washing our permanent air filters weekly–previously it was monthly.

    Our Kirby vac does have HEPA filtration and bags. Nothing seems to work.

    1. Hi Ray, I believe living in the desert brings on more dust. Or at least it did when we lived there. It was so frustrating because our lawn furniture had a light layer of red sand constantly. I hear you on the dust, dang stuff! Linda

  2. another usage for the more heavy-duty vacuum with an exit “blowing” port – the “shop vacs” are the most common these dayz – vacuums can actually be used to blow up items that require large volume of air like air mattresses, kiddie pools, holiday displays, inflatable toys, furniture, small boats, ect ect

    trick is to construct an adapter to size down the 2″ vacuum port opening to the usual 1/4″ inflate port on the item to be filled – best to start with a handy vac accessory item for the purpose of attaching various size hoses – it’ll step it down to around 1″ or 3/4″ – use poly pipe fittings to a 3/8″ thread – you can use a tapered barbed hose fitting as the “bayonet” for the final inflate point …

    **** A devil of a great vac for this purpose is the old old ElectroLux “torpedo” style vac – it was nothing but a powerful household air turbine – ported on both ends for suction and blowing – make sure to get the patented OEM hose for the machine!!!!!

    1. Hi Illini, Oh my gosh, my grandmother had an Electrolux vacuum, it was a really good vacuum!! Yes, you are so right it’s making the adaptors fit just right for the different projects we need to do. Great comment, LInda

  3. A vacuum cleaner is fantastic for cleaning the dust off of books. By keeping the books clean they don’t turn yellow or dingy as moisture and the dust dirty the exposed paper. Then you don’t get dust clouds when you want to read one of your favorite prepping books. If you try to wipe the edges of the paper you risk messing them up if the room is humid.

    You can also use one to clean bags or backpacks and anything cloth. Some things can be rinsed, washed, brushed dry or with soap and water, left outside to be sanitized and freshened by the sun. But before washing out the grime, you can remove the dust with one of the brush attachments and sometimes a brushing or wiping with a damp sponge or cloth may be enough. Sometimes I vacuum my shoes to clean them up.

    They make little handheld vacuums and they’re handy for electronics. Computers get dusty and sometimes it causes overheating and shorts inside the computer (Actual dust bunnies) and the keyboards get gnarly with debris gathering between the keys.

    While technically not sold as a survival or prepping item, those vacuum bags that compress blankets and clothing (Space Saver Bags) will keep them clean and dry. That means when you need to use them, they’re ready and it won’t be a problem if you don’t have the ability to wash and dry things easily due to lack of utilities. Many times it got cooler all of a sudden, but the item I wanted to wear was dusty and smelled less than fresh. Imagine a day or even a week of washing, drying and then storing extra clothes and blankets, but all of it is ready for immediate use soon as the weather changes or there is a crisis or emergency.

    And if you don’t have those special bags, you can use trash bags and just tie them closed or use twist ties, Zipties, string, cordage or tape. It’s just like using a straw and vacuum sealing a Ziplock bag. It’s an effective hack.

    I think everyone should have a shop vacuum, even a small one like I do is very handy in case of leaks or spills.

    1. Hi Ray, I love your thoughts and tips as always. I never thought to try using garbage bags to suck the air out of. I store all of my preps in zippered bags to keep the dust off them. Southern Utah always had a wind blowing that red sand everywhere!! LOL! Linda

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