How to Use Vacuum Cleaner Attachments

September 4, 2014

How to Use Vacuum Cleaner Attachments via Clean Mama on ABFOL

If you have a love/hate relationship with your vacuum cleaner you might want to start putting those attachments to use and get your vacuum cleaner working for you!  Your vacuum cleaner may have more (or less) attachments, but these three tools are the ones I use the most and the ones included with most standard vacuum cleaners. Knowing what each tool can be used for will help you use your vacuum to its full potential.


Vacuum Cleaner Tools via Clean Mama on A Bowl Full of Lemons


    Crevice Tool: I use the crevice tool every single time I vacuum. It features a narrow nozzle which fits in tighter spots, such as under the stove, refrigerator and other large appliances. It also works well along the edge of baseboards and in hard-to-reach spots, such as vents. I also use this tool to pick up small pieces that the vacuum cleaner doesn’t grab right away.

    Dust Brush: A dust brush attachment typically has a circular brush head and is especially effective at picking up dust and particles without scratching surfaces. It works particularly well on window blinds, shelves and wooden surfaces.

    Upholstery Tool: The upholstery tool has a small, flat head and powerful suction, this attachment works well on fabric surfaces such as mattresses, couches, chairs and other fabric based pieces.


    Now that you have a better idea of what those common attachments are for, let’s look at just how to use your vacuum and attachments effectively on most of your household surfaces.


    Most carpeted surfaces will do well with just the vacuum. Areas that receive a lot of traffic such as entrances and main living spaces may need a more frequent vacuuming, but most carpeted areas can be vacuumed once a week.

    Hard floors:
    I vacuum all the floors in our house at least once a week (on Wednesdays) and sweep in between. This is my personal preference, but I find it easier to keep all the floors cleaner that way.

    It can be difficult to maneuver a large vacuum along a stairway. I recommend using a canister vacuum or more portable vacuum if you have one. You can also utilize the length of your vacuum hose with a smaller attachment. Use the crevice tool along the edges and corner and use the upholstery tool for the tread if you needed. Most stairs can be vacuumed weekly unless they receive a high amount of foot traffic, in which case a more frequent job may be necessary.

    Walls and Ceilings:
    Use the circular dust brush attachment and start at the ceiling. You may need to add an extension to your attachment or use a step stool or small ladder in order to reach higher surfaces. Work your way down from ceiling to floor in a vertical motion as you vacuum. Most walls and ceilings benefit from a yearly cleaning unless you have a lot of dust in your home. In those circumstances, a spring and fall cleaning are ideal.

    Blinds are often a dust magnet and may need a monthly swipe with the vacuum in order to keep the dust at a minimum. Use the dust brush attachment – my vacuum has vertical dust brush that works great for this, but any dust brush will work. Close the blind slats so they lie flat and vacuum. Reverse the blinds so that the slats are lying the other way and repeat. Repeat monthly or as needed.

    Upholstered Surfaces:
    Use the upholstery attachment on mattresses and fabric surfaces. Work in a horizontal or vertical motion from top to bottom. Use the crevice tool in the tight corners and seams. Use the dust brush on leather furniture to reduce any risk of scratching. The upholstery attachment is great for vacuuming mattresses.

    The vacuum cleaner is the best way to remove dust and dust mites from the surface of the mattress when you rotate your mattress. Make sure that the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner is clean and slowly vacuum all of the crevices. Follow up with the upholstery tool to vacuum the surface of your mattress.

    The dust brush tool works fabulously in those tricky vent slats for furnace and air conditioner runs. Dust seems to collect here especially during seasons where the furnace or air conditioner is run more frequently. With weekly touch ups you can minimize the buildup that is more difficult to clean effectively.

    Start with the crevice tool and get in the space between the baseboard and floor or carpet. Then use the dust brush attachment to run along the baseboards in a horizontal motion. A thorough monthly vacuuming of your baseboards is ideal.


    When you utilize your vacuum and its attachments as designed, you will find your cleaning tasks to be more efficient. Curious about my cleaning routine, when I vacuum, and what products I use? Check out this page!

    I’ve got a great natural recipe for a carpet freshener (you can even sprinkle it on your mattress and vacuum it up with your upholstery tool!)
    For more cleaning tips and free printables, come visit my blog, Clean Mama!




    Becky (Clean Mama) writes a cleaning and organizing lifestyle blog all about simplifying everyday life and making daily cleaning tasks more fun. You'll find her with a printable checklist and a cup of coffee while running around with her three little ones. Clean Mama is also the housekeeping expert on, and has been featured in HGTV magazine,,, iVillage and has written cleaning and organizing content for companies like 3M, Peapod, and Reckitt. Look for Becky's first book to be published in the Spring of 2014! Learn more about Becky at

4 comments on “How to Use Vacuum Cleaner Attachments

  1. Jen says:

    I’m one of those people who, instead of using a vacuum attachment, will expend a ton of energy vacuuming over one fuzzy in the corner on the floor multiple times until I get it 🙂 Using these tools does save so much time and energy though, and you’re right, they really do make cleaning tasks easier!

  2. Joni says:

    I am so happy I found your website! I started looking for tips on how to clean/sanitize bed pillows and decided to explore a bit more once the pillows were in the dryer. Thanks for the explanation on what frequency to use each tool when cleaning. I tend to clean most of each area whenever I vacuum, with the exception of the sofas and chairs. My problem is our hard wood floors. They seem to always have so much debris and dust collects in my hallway corners. I’ve found using a slightly damp dust mop weekly helps me manage the hard wood floor areas much better. Do you recommend any of the newer vacuum/mop combinations to help reduce the time spent cleaning? I’m curious as to proficient the self-propelled/motorized cleaners work. What are your thoughts about these types of devices?

  3. Andy says:

    Honestly, I may say that I didn’t even know how does my vacuum cleaner’s attachments are called till now. They looked so strange to me that I didn’t know how to use them. So here I found that actually it will be easier to clean if I use them. Thanks! Regards!

  4. Arlene Marquez says:

    Crevice tool and upholstery tool are the only ones I use among the accessories I got with my SEBO vacuum cleaner. When I found so many accessories with the vacuum cleaner, I contacted the online shop Vacmaster from where I bought it to know about their purposes. They explained about each of the items, but most of those items were useless for me. But it is always nice to know their uses, because we will never know when the useless becomes useful.

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