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Household Cleaning On A Budget My Vacuum Cleaners Broken What Shall I do

Updated on August 13, 2014
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What do you do if your Vacuum cleaner suddenly stops working and you don’t have the money to buy a new one? Don’t panic. There are loads of ways to get around this, you just have to use your head. Household cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore, with a bit of common sense you can make your house sparkle again with just a little know how.

Vacuum Cleaners are the most temperamental out of all your electrical appliances. Why is it they always get so blocked? Or maybe they keep churning out the dust that they've just sucked in! At the end of the day you know for certain when it has finally given up and there is nothing you can do to get it working again. You’ve cleaned it out, changed all the innards and still it just sits there looking smug in the corner.

So its back to the good old reliable broom. But it’s a big house you scream, how can I clean a whole house with just a broom? Well, don’t panic, there are certain little tricks that you can use to make your carpets look and feel clean again.

Spray bottle with Lemon Juice
Spray bottle with Lemon Juice | Source

A New Broom Sweeps Clean

First of all there is one rule and one rule only for cleaning a house. Never clean one room at a time. Why? Well two reasons. 1. Because you will spend so much time on it, trying to get the dust off everything you won’t have time to do the rest. 2. You will track all the dirt from the other rooms in and out while you are cleaning.

So if your Vacuum packs up, sweep all the way through the house first. Make sure you start upstairs, this way you brush all the dust and fluff into the upstairs hallway. Then you can see exactly where it is and and not put your foot in it!

So now you are standing there with the broom. And I know what you are thinking. What about all the dust flying in the air when I start to brush the floor? Well, here’s a little trick that I use sometimes when the Hoover, or Vacuum has gone to that great big appliance in the sky.

Get a bottle with a water jet attached to the top, and fill it up with water. You can add a drop of lemon juice to the water to make your carpets smell nice too. Before sweeping the room, gently squirt the water onto the carpet. Make sure that you turn it on to spray first, you don’t want a great big jet of water soaking your floor. So, spray it on the carpet first. This will keep the dust and fluff on the floor, and when you sweep, your broom will collect the dirt and dust and pile it onto the dustpan. Don’t forget to spray the broom too. It really does work, and its great if you have allergies. No flying dust.

When you have finished sweeping the floor in one room, go back in and do it again! Sorry, it’s the only way to make sure you got all the stray dirt up. This time it will be so much easier. Just gently glide a wet broom around to pick up the extra dust. Then open the windows to make sure it dries off quickly. Or if you prefer, turn the central heating on full blast. That will dry it off nicely.

Pet Hairs And Fur Balls

That’s all very well you might say, but what about all the animal hair? Its stuck to my carpet and it won’t come off. Well, there are a number of ways to sort this out. And one of the best is a garden hoe! Whether you have a big prong fork or a smaller one, it works just like it does on your grass.

Before sweeping with a broom, go over the carpet and gently rake up the hair. This should pick up most of it, but if it doesn’t, then you will have to take drastic measures! What does that mean?

Get on your knees! Sorry, but drastic is as drastic does. Find an old hair brush. A sweeping brush is either too hard or too soft, and also much too big and bulky to use. The best sort of brush is one with a lot of bendy bristles. And just go over the carpet inch by inch and brush it up. Sorry, hard on the knees but it does work! And don't forget to cover your face, you don't want to be coughing up fir balls!

Sponge mop or Paint roller
Sponge mop or Paint roller | Source

Paint Roller Or Spungy Mop

If you really want to get at all the dirt and grime that sticks right down into the carpet, then another good idea is to get a paint roller! Yep, you heard me! Preferably one of those on a long pole. Make sure its dry, and then add sticky paper, sticky side up you understand, onto the roller. Then just go over the carpet a few times. If you have a spungy mop, then do the same thing. Loads of sticky tape or paper. You will be amazed at how much dust and dirt comes up.

If you are cleaning small mats, then do what our mothers used to do. Put them out on the washing line, or over the balcony and give them a good whack with a broom! But cover your mouth first, you don’t want to be eating dogs hair! And while you are there, get the paint roller again and give it a once over. Works every time.

To save you putting the small carpets in the washing machine, just hang them on the line and get out the hose. Lather them up with carpet wash and then just rinse them down. Leave on the washing line until dry.

Washing Your Carpets

If you usually use a washer vacuum, and you definitely need your carpets to look nice for visitors, but your vacuum is broken, there are a number of ways to give them a quick wash that won’t leave your house smelling mouldy because you put too much water down.

Its back to the broom again! Just get a bucket of soapy water, and dip the broom in. Using a broom will stop you slopping water everywhere because the broom will not hold water like a sponge or cloth. Using circular motions go around the carpet making sure that you don’t get it too soapy. When you have finished, go over it again with clean water. When you have finished, get either plain paper or old cloths and lay them over the area that you have washed.

Then comes the fun bit! Jump up and down on the cloths to make the water penetrate into the cloth or paper. If you just leave it, it will dry slowly and maybe start to smell. When you have done your jumping and you think it has worked, take off the cloths or paper, and open the window, or turn on the heating to dry it out. Either way the quicker you dry it, the less smelly it will become.

So, if you have to clean your Household On A Budget and your Vacuum breaks down. Don’t panic, with a bit of hard work it will look as good as new. But don’t let the dog back in just yet. Or the cat!

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    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Lol! Thanks for reading Aloyce, glad you liked it, and yes that darn house cleaning!

    • profile image

      Aloyce 3 years ago

      Hahaha this is great! This is almost exctaly the same method that I use for speed cleaning my own place.I love how you treat it like exercise. It's a great way to get your mind around the idea of cleaning which nobody really loves I love the before and after pics too, it's like one of those what's missing puzzles!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Sunita, yes I agree, I think they are great especially if you have large things to pick up off the floor, the vacuum always gets blocked! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • Sunita-Sharma profile image

      Sunita-Sharma 5 years ago from Los Angeles,California,US

      Hey Nell,this is an interesting hub. In my home country "India" people still rely on broom than vacuum cleaners!For day to day cleaning activities I think broom is best!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Jama, never thought of sticking around my hand to wipe away the stuff! great idea! I think we all have to go back to those times sometimes, especially when the hoover packs up or something else, at least I could live back then, wouldn't make much of a difference! lol! thanks again, nell

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Nell, I have an old recipe and housekeeping book from the 1800s. Haven't looked at it in ages, but am guessing homemakers back then used some of the same great tips you describe here.

      A beautician friend who used to cut patrons' hair in their homes routinely used a hair brush instead of a broom to sweep up cuttings from carpet. Works equally well for breaking up dried mud on an entry-way mat. Had to laugh at using a rake on carpet! Back in the days of long-shag carpet, I'd rake before vacuuming, but never thought of raking non-shag to loosen whatever was lurking in the pile!

      For what it's worth, the wide, clear tape used to seal packing cartons is great for picking up pet AND human hair from upholstered furniture. Just loosely wrap a length of it sticky-side out around your hand and "wipe" away.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, tillsontitan, lol! you can use mine if you like! its super powered and flies me everywhere! ha ha! thanks!

      Hi, Jlava, yes I remember that too, so broke but I didn't care back then, as long as I was married! lol! changed my mind since then! thanks as always, nell

      Hi, Pinkchick, yep, it does work! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Thanks for the tips Nell! I would have never thought of using a paint roller with tape to help pick things up off the floor. So clever! Nice hub!!

    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 5 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      Great advice Nell! Reminds me of the days when I was a newly wed ~ My first marriage that is. I couldn't afford a vacuum so a wet broom worked wonders.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      As always a great read. I thought my broom was just for riding ;)

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Susan, I always used a brush on the floor from our dog hairs too! they were everywhere, I should have collected them and made a jumper! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

      Hi, kitty, I love that first picture too! I couldn't have picked a better one! that's me on my cleaning day! ha ha! thanks again, nell

      Hi, Mystical, brooms are good to give them a good whacking! but make sure you wear a cloth around your mouth first or else you will end up with a mouth full of dust! lol! cheers nell

    • Mysticalmoon profile image

      Mysticalmoon 5 years ago from Idaho Falls, ID

      I didn't think of some of thoses ideas you had.

      I do wash my laying rugs, but didn't think about using a broom to get stuff up. Great tip!

      Thank you for sharing some helpful ideas!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 5 years ago from the Ether

      Voted up and useful, Nell! Great tips, as always. Loved the first picture, too. :)

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Great tips. I remember using an old hair brush to remove the dog hair before vacuuming so that the vacuum didn't get clogged :). Brooms are great and that is what they used before the vacuum was affordable or available. I like many of your ideas especially the spray bottle and paint roller with sticky paper.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Ruchira, what is it with vacuums? lol! they give up after a week! glad you found it helpful, thanks!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      I wish I had read your hub a month back when I needed to vacuum my carpet and the cleaner broke down.

      Gonna keep these tips handy since; they sure sound useful.

      Thanks Nell :)

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, connect, I used copier stickers! lol! you can buy really wide ones that will go all around the roller, or just sellotape, bit of a sticky situation! ha ha! but it does work, just gets the main dirt up, but only use it in drastic situations! you wouldn't believe some of the things I have had to do when things break! lol! thanks again nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Hello hello, lol! I can just about do mine! it is hard work, but when your hoover packs up I didn't have a choice, mind you it was a great workout! thanks again nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, itsmonkeyboy, seems like no hoover can take it these days, bring on the new technology! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Thanks for reading Leah, cheers nell

    • connecttoheaven profile image

      connecttoheaven 5 years ago from oregon

      Sorry to be a stickler, haha, but I don't know how to go to the store (shop) and ask for sticky paper. What size is it? What is it normally used for? We have lint rollers for your clothes, but they wouldn't be big enough... they might tell me to use masking tape...

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

      You certainly went through it all. Now you have done it all I let you come and do mine. lol

    • itsmonkeyboy profile image

      itsmonkeyboy 5 years ago from London, UK

      Some great ideas! Out hoover keeps playing up and I keep taking it to pieces to sort it. I may take some of your points on board just to take the strain off the poor old thing. Thank you.

    • Leah Helensdottr profile image

      Leah Helensdottr 5 years ago from Colorado

      Very useful information. Thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Lyric, its one of those appliances that always seems to pack up! you would have thought with all that tech no how they would have invented something different by now! lol! thanks again, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, carrie, sadly mine did! ha ha! but I have the old one that seems to have got a second life! but I have been known to do this! thanks again, nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, connect, the sticky paper is so that when you run it over your carpet, it picks up the little bits and pieces that you have missed, or that the broom doesn't grab, you should see the paper after running it across your floor! ugghh! lol! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, jdatwell, thanks, I am glad you found it helpful, cheers nell

      Hi, Lou, I know just what you mean, try singing at the top of your voice while doing it! ha ha! it does help to keep you sweeping, but it drives the neighbours, cats dogs and everything else mad!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, jfay, sometimes its easier to use a dustpan and brush, gets in all the corners! lol thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, christopher, my carpet always seems to be wanting a good sweep, even when I have hoovered! drives me insane, I think I will do what you said, I will call myself artistic, surround myself with paint, sculpture and everything else and just say, 'well we artists just don't clean darling!' ha ha! thanks again nell

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Up and useful Nell. Hope all is well. This seems to happen to me a lot. These are some great tips and know how. Very nice job Nell:) Take care.

    • carriethomson profile image

      carriethomson 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      hey nell those are great tips!! i specially loved the hair brush carpet cleaning!! but i seriously hope the vacuum never goes up to that great big appliance in the sky.:))

      carrie

    • connecttoheaven profile image

      connecttoheaven 5 years ago from oregon

      I hate the noise of a vacuum cleaner, but I didn't think the broom would work. Thanks! But what is the sticky paper?

    • Lou1842 profile image

      Lou1842 5 years ago

      My vacuum has broken in the past and I could have done with this article during those times. Now, we've invested in a really good vacuum which I'm hoping will last for a good few years. Not sure I could face sweeping all our rooms!

    • profile image

      jdatwell 5 years ago

      that was some things i have never thought of very useful. have to get my family to start helping. some of those things i forgot.

    • jfay2011 profile image

      jfay2011 5 years ago

      interesting and chock full of good tips. I hate house cleaning and I have a sucky vacumn cleaner. I have hardwood floors and a small apartment, so I end up getting down on my hands and knees with a brush and collector

    • christopheranton profile image

      Christopher Antony Meade 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

      Just reading that leaves me knackered. If my vacuum cleaner breaks, I prefer to morph into "confirmed bachelor" mode, and let the house get dirty, until I can afford a new one. People expect me to be a "slob", so it doesn't matter so much.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Les Trois Chenes, luckily my vacuum is okay now, but believe me, I have had to do this! ha ha! thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • Les Trois Chenes profile image

      Les Trois Chenes 5 years ago from Videix, Limousin, South West France

      Oh dear, everyone is just so upbeat about these ideas Nell, but it really makes my heart sink. Hands and knees with hairbrush in hand or sticky tape? If vacuum cleaners are not an option, then I'm going to go one better than Greensleeves and cover my floors with hay! Thank goodness that our French B&B has wooden floors - warm and easy to sweep and keep clean (our gite has tiles, cool in the summer and mopable). Thank you, though, for making me realise how much I love my vac when it comes to fitted carpets and rugs!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Ibiddm thanks so much, hope it gets up the pet hair! thanks

    • lbidd54 profile image

      lbidd54 5 years ago from The beautiful Jersey Shore

      Great hub, as always. I have to try your ideas about the pet hair.

      All the Best!

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Alicia, all tried and tested! lol! my hoover totally packs up so many times I have thrown it out the window! well not literally but metaphorically! thanks as always nell

      Hi, grinnin, glad you like the ideas, and thanks, it took me a while to perfect it, I usually ended up covered in dust!

    • grinnin1 profile image

      grinnin1 5 years ago from st louis,mo

      These are creative and useful tips that I am going to put to use. I am "anti-vacuum" personally, and appreciate any ideas that will get me out of it!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very useful hub, Nell! You have some great ideas for cleaning carpets, most of which I've never heard of. I've bookmarked your hub for future reference, because my vacuum cleaners never last for as long as I expect them too!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, b. Malin, I want a cleaning woman too! and one that will cook, drive me to work, pick me up and just about anything else menial! ha ha! such is life, back to the sweeping! thanks again nell

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      I Hate Vacuuming...and cleaning, but alas, it must be done. Good, Good, pointers Nell. Might even break down and use some...NOT...I want to hire a Cleaning Woman...But in the End, I Bitch and Complain, and Eventually get it done!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Denise, lol! I know just what you mean! but this is for those times when we either don't have the cash or the time, thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Whew! All of that sweeping, raking, hoeing, picking-tedious. My solution: go out and buy another vacuum cleaner.

      Great tips. My favorite? The spray bottle with lemon juice. I'm going to give that one a try.

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Polly, ha ha! thanks for the laugh! I had better get out the way if I see a madwoman on a broom heading my way! good luck with the white cat hairs! and thanks!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

      Oh, I so hate carpet! Mine is burgundy and I have a white cat! Even with a VC I was getting ready to get on my knees to get all the allergies out before winter. I read here or somewhere about baking soda and peroxide in carpet to do that so I am starting up against the walls first which a cleaner can never get good but your broom idea does sound good to save me much time! Useful and interesting! If it doesn't work I will jump on it and ride it right over there and hit you with it! lol I am sure it will and that will save me so much time. Thanks!

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Greensleeves, LOL! am I allowed to say typical male? ha ha! maybe that's why my sons bedroom is always like that, well it is until I tackle it! thanks for reading and the laugh! cheers nell

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 5 years ago from Essex, UK

      Interesting read and I'm sure it's all really useful, effective advice Nell, which I may try one day. But as a man who lives alone and doesn't get many visitors, I work on the principal that a build up of dust just makes the carpet softer and more cushiony underfoot. (Or is that the reason WHY I don't get many visitors??)

      PS: If you want a vacuum cleaner, I think mine works - leastways, it did last time I found it and switched it on :-)

    • Nell Rose profile image
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      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, K9, lol! sounds like you got your hands full! seriously it really does work, I have been stuck in this situation quite a few times in my life, and I think I have tried everything from garden hoe's to getting on my hands and knees with sticky tape! I can't stand dust! lol thanks for reading, cheers nell

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      Outstanding!! We forget just how well good-ole elbow grease works. I found the pet hair removal technique right up my alley. With two cats and a dog (and 6 chickens, but they don't leave hair on the carpet, just a few feathers around the yard) getting the hair out of the carpet is an imperative! I think I will put your hoe idea to work this weekend, Nell! Great hub! Thanks for the ideas.

      HubHugs~

      K9

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, barry, thanks! trust me its not easy, luckily my hoover decided to work today, temperamental thing! but I have been known to do this, so everything is authentic! lol! cheers

      Hi, Simone, yep! lol its amazing what you can do with a spray and a broom! thanks for reading, cheers nell

      Hi, vocal, thanks for reading, its amazing what you have to come up with when your hoover breaks down! lol

      Hi, Laura, that's sounds like the best option, I will go and knock on a few doors! lol thanks nell

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 5 years ago from Aurora

      There certainly was a time vacuumw did nott exist (but wal;-to wall did not either). Make friends with a neighbor?

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I love these tips! My favorite is using a paint roller. I would have never thought of this. Very ingenious. Thanks so much!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Whoah! You've shared some cleaning tips here I've NEVER heard of before! Pairing a broom with a spray bottle? Who woulda thunk it? Very cool. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 5 years ago from Queensland Australia

      If and when my vacuum every breaks down(heaven forbid and touch wood) I'll head to this hub!:)

    • Nell Rose profile image
      Author

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, Quill, whos that, your wife? ha ha! seriously, it is a pain when you haven't got one, and all the above tips I have done myself, totally true and totally worth trying, apart from me getting in a temper with the hoover of course, I left that bit out! lol! thanks as always, nell

      Hi, mary, Oh so would I! lol! I hate it so much, I thought it would be nice once I got my own house, but no, never! thanks again, nell

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      Good advice! I hate housecleaning, even with the proper tools, it is not a favorite job of mine. If I could afford it, I'd hire a housecleaner!

    • profile image

      "Quill Again" 5 years ago

      Hugs and as always a great read... the reason I have a built in vacum in the house... never breaks down.

      Blessings