13 game-changing uses for a cordless vacuum cleaner

Halo Capsule X
(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Your cordless vacuum is a real multitasker. It's not just for carpets and hard floors - it's great for tidying up your closet or getting ready for a camping trip. These handy appliances help you clean smarter, not harder.

Empower yourself with a wet/dry cordless vacuum that can handle various cleaning challenges, from wet spills to dry debris. But that's not all. Discover the many other tasks one of the best cordless vacuums can assist you with throughout your home.

Whether you need to clean up after a construction project, tackle pet hair, handle tricky stairs, or spruce up outdoor furniture, this guide has expert tips and advice for all of it, so get ready to make the most of your vacuum's attachments and features.

1. Clean your car

A cordless vacuum is ideal for cleaning car interiors without the hassle of finding a socket or struggling with short cords. The crevice tool can dig out crumbs and dirt between seats, reach into cup holders, and along the edges of floor mats. The brush or upholstery attachments clean the seats, the dashboard, and the carpet well. 

Expert tip: For a thorough clean, remove the floor mats from the vehicle, hang them up, beat out the dust and dirt, and vacuum them separately. You can even keep your cordless vacuum in the trunk for quick touch-ups.

Halo Capsule X

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

2. Remove pet hair

Even if you keep your loveable pooch well-groomed, pet hair and dander get everywhere. A cordless vacuum is an easy and quick way to remove pet hair from upholstery, clothes, and stairs without the need to get out of your regular vacuum. Regular vacuuming can help reduce pet dander, which benefits allergy sufferers too.

Expert tip: Look for cordless models with specialized pet hair attachments - they often have rubber bristles that are highly effective at picking up fur. Vacuum your furniture in multiple directions to lift embedded hair. Remember to clean pet beds weekly - this can significantly reduce the amount of hair spread around your home. For stubborn pet hair on upholstery or stairs, use a damp rubber glove or a specialized pet hair-removing tool to gather hair before vacuuming. 

3. Clean the couch

Regular vacuuming keeps couches and chairs looking fresh and clean. Use the upholstery attachment for everyday cleaning and run it across the furniture in overlapping strokes. This helps you reach every part.  Remember to vacuum under the cushions and in the crevices where crumbs and dirt often accumulate. Flip removable cushions and vacuum both sides for a thorough cleaning. 

Expert tip: If your cordless vacuum has a brush attachment, use it on textured fabrics to agitate dirt and lift the pile. 

Cordless vacuum uses

(Image credit: Future)

4. Vacuuming the stairs

If you’ve ever struggled to reach the top few steps on your stairs, you need a cordless vacuum. They make cleaning stairs much easier and safer. Start at the top and work your way down to avoid stepping on areas you've already cleaned. 

Pro tip: The crevice tool and brush attachment are the secret weapons of a cordless vacuum when cleaning stairs. The crevice tool is a game-changer on the sides of carpeted stairs and tight corners, where dirt and debris often accumulate. The brush attachment agitates the fibers on carpeted stairs, ensuring a thorough cleaning. And don't forget to clean the risers (vertical parts) of the stairs, too.

5. Get to hard-to-reach spots

When using your cordless vacuum with an extension wand to reach high areas like ceiling fans, light fixtures, and top shelves, always remember to prioritize your safety. If you need to use a stepladder for very high areas, ensure it's stable and on a flat surface.

Expert tip: Use a soft brush attachment to remove dust without scratching surfaces, and make sure overhead lights are off and cool to the touch before vacuuming. 

Cordless vacuum uses

(Image credit: Future)

6. Deal with kitchen spills

While a general cordless vacuum is ideal for tackling dry spills in the kitchen, such as flour, sugar, or crumbs, a wet/dry vacuum cleaner can even tackle wet or sludgy spills. Look for cordless vacuums with rubberized attachments that can make quick work of any puddle of cereal or spilled sauces. 

Expert tip: Remember to empty the vacuum after cleaning food spills to prevent odors.

Cordless vacuum uses

(Image credit: Future)

7. Clean out the closet

Dust bunnies, shoe debris, and moths can make cleaning your closet challenging. But with a cordless vacuum, you can tackle the job in a fraction of the time, making it a breeze. Vacuum from top to bottom across each shelf, using the crevice tool for corners and edges. Remember to vacuum the floor, even under shoe racks or storage boxes. 

“Cordless vacuums help us access hard-to-reach areas such as inside and on top of cabinets, corners, shelving, small spaces like closets, and overhead areas,” says Taylor. “We prefer a model with a detachable cleaning head for the flexibility to use crevice tools or brushes. This versatility enhances productivity compared to our corded, commercial-grade vacuums.”

Expert tips: A seasonal deep clean of your closet will keep your clothes fresh and extend their life. It’s also a great opportunity to declutter and donate items you no longer need. 

Taylor Riley
Taylor Riley

Taylor Riley is an entrepreneur and a co-founder of Impact Cleaning Professionals, a commercial cleaning company specializing in post-construction, turnover and event cleaning in Polk County, Florida. 

8. Deep clean windows

When cleaning the glass, it’s easy to forget the tracks, sills, frames, blinds, and curtains around windows, but freshening these areas can add even more sparkle. Use the crevice tool of your vacuum to suck up dust and grime, and pay attention to the corners where dust and dirt tend to build up. Don't forget to vacuum the windowsills and frames while you're at it. 

Clean blinds and curtains with your cordless vacuum to keep them looking fresh and dust-free. If you have delicate fabrics on your window, use a lower suction. Remember to vacuum the curtain rod and valance if you have one.

Expert tip: If you have a wet/dry cordless vacuum, like the Black+Decker Dustbuster QuickClean Cordless Wet/Dry Handheld Vacuum, you can mop around the sills and frames and then suck away any residue before giving a final wipe with a clean cloth. 

9. Refresh outdoor furniture

Quickly clean patio furniture with your cordless vacuum to keep your outdoor living space inviting. Start using the brush attachment to remove loose dirt and debris from cushions and furniture surfaces. Use a crevice tool to get into the grooves for wicker or textured furniture. If outdoor cushions have been exposed to moisture, allow them to dry completely in the sun before vacuuming. 

Expert tip: Remember to clean underneath furniture and in crevices where insects might hide. Before storing outdoor furniture for the winter, give everything a thorough vacuum to prevent dust and pests from settling in during storage. Regular cleaning can significantly extend the life of your outdoor furniture.

10. Make it your camping buddy

Cordless vacs quickly remove ash and debris from BBQ grills. They can also be handy for clearing tents and RVs of walked-in mud and dirt.

Taylor tells us he relies on his cordless friend on every RV trip. “With two children and a dog in such a confined space, our camping trips can get dirty fast,” he says. “The maneuverability of a cordless vacuum is ideal for this task. In the compact environment of an RV, we can get multiple cleans on a single charge, making it perfect for life on the road. It lets us quickly clean our floors while traveling without connecting to shore power.”

Expert tip: For optimal performance, ensure BBQ grills are completely cool before vacuuming. It's crucial to fully charge your cordless vacuum before use, especially if you won’t have a power outlet while on the road. Focus on high-traffic areas and storage compartments, which accumulate the most debris.

11. Clean up after construction

If you’re tackling a DIY project or cleaning up after builders, consider the DEWALT 20V MAX Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuum. Priced at $159 on Amazon, this cordless vacuum offers a unique advantage over standard vacuums, making it a more efficient cleaning tool. 

“We rely on cordless vacuums during post-construction cleaning,” says Taylor. “Especially for the final clean. During construction, dust settles throughout the house. Although we remove most of this dust during the initial rough clean, it usually takes multiple steps to eliminate it completely. During the final cleaning, the cordless vacuum reaches more places and does so more quickly than corded vacuums.”

Expert tip: For stubborn construction dust, pair your cordless vacuum with a damp microfiber cloth for a thorough clean.

12. Find lost items

"A cordless vacuum can be a lifesaver if you have lost something small like an earring, a tiny screw or even a coin in thick carpet, down the side of the sofa or your car seat," says Rachel Morgan, a cleaning expert from My Job Quote

Expert tip: "To prevent the item being sucked into the interior of the vacuum, put a sock or stocking over the opening of the suction tube, holding it in place with an elastic band," suggests Rachel. "Now, you’re ready to hunt for your missing item."

Rachel Morgan
Rachel Morgan

Rachel Morgan has worked in the cleaning industry for over fifteen years. Rachel specialises in domestic home cleaning but has previous experience in large-scale commercial cleaning. She also works closely with MyJobQuote to provide expert cleaning knowledge to homeowners, tradespeople and news outlets on a range of cleaning-related subjects.

13. Remove furniture dents in carpets

Moving furniture around occasionally refreshes your interiors, but the dents left behind in your carpet can be an eyesore. Rachel suggests using a cordless vac to lift them and restore your carpet's look. 

Expert tip: Rachel simplifies the process by suggesting putting a couple of ice cubes on the dent to dampen the surface and soften the fibers. Let the area dry, and use your cordless vacuum to remove all traces of the indentation. It's that easy!

Your cordless vacuum has multiple uses beyond vacuuming hard floors and carpets. It can double up as a DIY buddy or a camping friend, and the attachments that come with cordless vacuums make them much more versatile and flexible than a standard vacuum cleaner. Plus, charging them up in advance means you don't have to look around for a power source, which can be a game changer on the road or in your backyard. And they don't have to cost a fortune. Head to our best vacuums under $200 for reviewed and recommended cheap cordless vacuums.

Joanne Lewsley
TTR Customer Advisor, Vacuums

Joanne Lewsley is a reputable freelance writer specializing in evidence-based health and lifestyle content. With a background in journalism and extensive experience working for known brands, Joanne rigorously tests and evaluates home gadgets. Her passion for writing is complemented by her love for the outdoors and live music.