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How To Live Without a Vacuum

Did you know that it’s possible to live without a vacuum cleaner? And your house could even be MORE clean? Well you sure can! Here are some tips and advice on how to keep your home clean without one.

Why Not Have a Vacuum?

Did you know that it's possible to live without a vacuum cleaner?  Here are some tips and advice on how to keep your home clean without one.

Many people love their vacuum cleaners, but I am certainly not one of them. I hate carpet, and I hate vacuuming. Every time we buy a house the first thing I do is remove any carpeted floors and put in new flooring as quickly as I am able to.

Even if you regularly vacuum your carpets, they still harbor a LOT of nasty stuff that gets thrown into the air when you vacuum.

We had carpet in the bedrooms of this house for a lot longer than I preferred, and so I had a robot vacuum. As far as vacuums go, that was the best! Not having to vacuum myself was totally worth it’s little quirks and foibles. Unfortunately, it met an untimely demise after not one, not two, but THREE water accidents in the same week. (Having six kids is no joke).

Since we had no vacuum anyway, I figured I’d do a little experiment and wait to purchase a new vacuum until I felt like I actually needed it. We no longer had wall to wall carpeting, and all my area rugs are sturdy enough to toss into the washing machine. (I buy them that way on purpose…that whole 6 kids thing…)

I’ve actually lost track now of how long it’s been since we last had a vacuum. You truly can survive without one AND have a clean house! As you can imagine, there just aren’t a whole lot of people talking about how to live without a vacuum. However, I did find a few people who have tried this as well.

The Mr. Money Mustache forum has a post on the topic with many different opinions. Some people even feel that their floors are cleaner when they sweep and then mop, versus vacuum and then mop. This has been my personal experience as well.

The blog, Whispers From Elizabeth conducted a similar experiment with the goal of being electricity free. She did not have a vacuum for over a year, but with a dog and area rugs, she appreciated having one of those non-electric floor sweepers. I’ve used those in other settings before and they do seem like a pretty good option.

How To Live Without A Vacuum

So, how DO you live without a vacuum anyway? Actually, it’s pretty darn easy. Get a broom. Sweep your house every day. (Or twice a day….if you have 6 kids…). Mop weekly in the kitchen, dining room and bathrooms, and in the rest of the house as needed.

If you have area rugs, you can clean them with a carpet sweeper, or wash them on the washing machine on cold. Don’t dry them in the dryer if they have a rubber backing though, as it can melt. If you have area rugs that can’t be washed, beating them really does clean them well. It’s good exercise too!

If you have pets, you may be wondering about pet hair. We had a black lab mix for over ten years, and he used to shed like crazy. Even vacuuming every day couldn’t keep it under control for me.

By far the best way to handle pet hair I’ve found is the Lily Brush. We have the mini which works great for cat hair on the sofa, but they also have a larger size for carpets. These are totally worth it, even if you DO have a vacuum.

Sweeping pet hair can kind of just throw it around in the air, so if you have very furry pets, try dust mopping with a washable microfiber cloth or Swiffer.

And there you go! It’s cheap, easy, and clean.

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Judith Emery

Saturday 30th of July 2022

I save all my tea leaves and store them damp. I then scatter them on my hardwood floors before sweeping. It helps to trap all the fly away dust and pet hair and does a fantastic job.


Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

Thanks for the tip!

Carol L

Sunday 5th of September 2021

Well, that's just great if you don't have carpet! However, replacing carpet for the entire house isn't practical for most of us. I would LOVE to get rid of it, but can't afford to. For those of us HAVING carpet with no soon-to-be-expected floor covering changes, a vacuum is a must, especially with pets. Tile, wood and vinyl floor surfaces, I agree, don't require a vacuum, but carpet does.


Tuesday 7th of September 2021

Absolutely, it really depends on your individual needs.


Thursday 2nd of September 2021

This works. I have an old shop vac for major disasters but haven't used it in ages. Too much bother. I have a house dog that sheds a lot. I brush her outside with a cheap dog brush with the skinny, flexible teeth. I have a husband who tracks everything into the house, plus chickens, turkeys, more dogs and a huge garden. I swear by sweeping and mopping.


Tuesday 7th of September 2021


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