It’s no secret that we love a good hack to help us make the most of our appliances and items we already own. In the case of the sock vacuum hack, it’s making the most of our best vacuum cleaner to find lost miniature items like stud earrings or earring backs. But it can also be utilised for spillages of anything that you don’t want lost to the vacuum's filter - a bag of lentils? A box of beads? You get the gist.
Whether you own the best cordless vacuum cleaner or a plug-in one, you can try this hack either way. All you need, apart from your vacuum and its hose attachment, is a thin sock or a pair of tights and an elastic band or a hair tie.
Not every hack is created equal - we’re looking at you debunked dishwasher tea towel hack. But we reckon this one stands up. And so does our cleaning expert.
Sock vacuum hack for retrieving lost small items
Similarly to the window condensation washing up liquid hack and as it is with most hacks, we first encountered it on social media. Namely TikTok this time, thanks to Chelsea Dyan (@gratefulheartcollective) who shared a video about this simple solution to a lost earring.
In the caption, Chelsea wrote, ‘That dreaded feeling when you touch your ear and realize your favourite earring is gone. Never fear - this super easy vacuum hack is here. All you need is a sock or nylon and your vacuum cleaner! And it works for finding little Lego too!’
Polya Petrova, cleaning expert from Fantastic Cleaners, approves of this clever little hack, ‘Whether it's earring backs, sentimental rings, Lego pieces or a minuscule screw which should have been holding your entire IKEA table together, all people have small things that, if lost, would cause trouble. But you can certainly grab your vacuum and a pair of tights, pantyhose or thin socks and slide one foot over the end of your vacuum’s hose attachment.’
‘Make sure to secure it firmly with a rubber band, hair tie or whatever similar thing you might have on hand. For the hack to be effective, you'll need to start the vacuum and point the hose in the direction of the lost item. After a few minutes or even seconds of waving it around, you should be able to pick up the hose end to find your tiny object securely hanging on in the opening. Once you've got it, make sure you still have the vacuum on.’
Otherwise, you could lose the item or items again once you switch the vacuum off and the suction lets go of it.
The only times that this method might prove ineffective are if the elastic or hair tie is not secured properly or if the item you’re trying to retrieve has fallen somewhere too far and inaccessible.
‘The hack is helpful but comes with a risk depending on where you've dropped the item. If the sock is not tightly attached to the vacuum hose, the item and the sock may both be lost. In the video, the earring is dropped on a shaggy rug and can be easily found. However, if the item had fallen in a vent, it could be harder to retrieve it back with this hack,’ Polya explains.
So keep that in mind when you try this hack out. But we’re pretty certain this is goodbye to lost earrings and the like.
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Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home and interiors. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors. She feels the two are intrinsically connected - if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.
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