If You Own a Vacuum, You Need This Simple $5 Tool

It’s a little meta, but cleaning your cleaning tools is an important part of keeping your homemaking life humming.

For example, imagine how your bathroom-cleaning momentum would come to a screeching halt if you discovered you were out of your favorite tub and tile cleaner. And you won’t be so amped to handle the living room once you realize that your usually-trusty vacuum is struggling to suck, and the brush is being taken over by a swarm of hair.

When it comes to the vacuum, this $5 tool—smaller than the average pen—saves the day: a seam ripper. (And if you’re one of those people who finds satisfaction in cleaning hair balls out of a drain, this vacuum maintenance task will be fun for you, too.)

How It Works

When a vacuum cleaner’s roller brush doesn’t seem to be picking up effectively (or stops rolling altogether), the culprit is quite often a mess of hair strands that get tangled up around the brush. If that’s the case, it’s easy to diagnose: You’ll see layers of hair looped around the roll, sometimes even nearly to the depth of the roller’s bristles.

Unrolling the hair is impossible, and using scissors is clunky (and therefore a safety hazard). But a seam ripper — like the kind tailors and seamsters use — is just the thing you need. It slices deftly through the hair, allowing you to easily pull it out from the brush, along with the dust and other dirt that’s gotten wrapped up with it.

How to Remove Hair from Your Vacuum Roller Brush with a Seam Ripper

It’s really simple once you have this affordable tool in hand.

One more tip: This cheap hack becomes a whole lot more affordable if you already have a seam ripper at home, so check your sewing kit!

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: Anyone Who Owns a Vacuum Needs This Simple $5 Tool

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