Can I Use My Vacuum Outside? (Do This the Right Way)

Can I Use My Vacuum Outside?

Vacuums are an essential tool for keeping our homes clean, but what about outside? With all the leaves, debris, and dirt that accumulates on our lawns and patios, it can be tempting to use a vacuum to clean them up. But can you actually use a vacuum outside?

Using an indoor vacuum outside is not recommended. Outdoor cleaning requires a different type of vacuum that’s specifically designed for outdoor use. Indoor vacuums are not built to withstand the elements and can be damaged if used outside.

Luckily there are special vacuum cleaners that can be used when you’re cleaning outside your house. In this article, we look at what your alternative options are and why you should rather not use your regular vacuum to clean outside.

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

A vacuum cleaner is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ device. There are variants of this household cleaning device which makes it more suited for different circumstances. We’ve compiled the best vacuum cleaners you might need daily.

The top vacuum cleaners on Amazon

1. Cordless Dyson V8 – ideal to use inside your home to clean dry messes.

2. Stanley wet-dry vacuum– perfect for cleaning wet or dry messes in our outside of your house.

3. Black&Decker Leaf Blower + Vacuum– ideal for cleaning your lawn of dead leaves and other debris.

Secrets to Using a Vacuum Outdoors

Regular vacuum cleaners are not designed to be used outdoors, although this doesn’t mean that it is entirely impossible. There are certain (debris-free) surfaces and situations where a regular vacuum cleaner, like a Dyson, would be usable.

Debris outside, like sticks and leaves, would wreak havoc on the vacuum bag of an indoor vacuum. So, it would be better to use a bagless vacuum. 

It’s considered relatively safe to vacuum flat surfaces near your house, like the patio or driveway. However, you should keep an eye out for puddles of water since regular vacuum cleaners cannot suck up water. The best chance you’ll have of cleaning outdoors is with a wet-dry vacuum cleaner.

Where You Can Vacuum Outside

Although it’s not advised to vacuum outside, a vacuum cleaner can still clean specific outdoor spaces – let’s have a look.

Vacuuming The Patio

If you do not have a wet-dry vacuum and need to clean the patio, a regular vacuum cleaner could do the job. 

First, you must sweep all the dead leaves and debris out of the way since these could damage the vacuum bag. Then you can plug your vacuum cleaner in (provided you have an extension cord or a cord that is long enough).

If you have a ‘blow’ feature on your vacuum cleaner, your life has just got a lot easier. All you need to do is blow the dust and other debris off the patio. If your vacuum does not have the ‘blow’ feature, it won’t hurt to suck up the dust on your patio, although if your vacuum cleaner has a bag, you should avoid all leaves and sticks.

After vacuuming your patio, be sure to replace (or wash) your vacuum filter.

Vacuuming Concrete

Deciding whether you can vacuum the concrete floor of your garage boils down to the size and power of your vacuum cleaner. Regular vacuums won’t be able to suck up a lot of debris from a concrete floor since their filters will be blocked very quickly.

We would definitely recommend rather borrowing a wet-dry vacuum when you want to vacuum your concrete garage/basement floor.

Lawn Vacuum Cleaner

It’s pretty obvious that you can’t use your regular vacuum to clean the leaves on your lawn, but is there such a thing as a lawn vacuum cleaner?

Surprisingly, there are! A leaf vacuum and blower is a two-in-one solution that allows you to blow leaves or suck them into a bag. These are perfect for clearing your lawn of dead leaves, sticks, and other debris.

The Black&Decker leaf vacuum is one of the best sellers on Amazon.

What To Avoid While Vacuuming Outside

If you do decide to use your regular vacuum cleaner outside, the most important thing to avoid is water. Vacuum cleaners are not designed to suck up water, and you’ll most likely permanently damage your vacuum if you do.

Water will spill into the motor of your vacuum, leaving it completely ruined. This is because regular vacuum cleaners usually use a bag to catch debris, but this bag is not waterproof, and water can easily flow through the fabric and onto the motor of the vacuum.

If you are planning on vacuuming a surface that you know has wet puddles, rather, reach for the wet-dry vacuum cleaner.

You might also enjoy our post on Whether You Can Vacuum Your Garage

Final Thoughts

You should not use your regular vacuum cleaner to clean outside your house unless it is extremely necessary. There are other vacuum cleaners, like a wet/dry vacuum, that can do the job better without burning out their motor.

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