You've got to love hand-me-downs. We've been the gracious recipient of a gently-used, top-of-the-line Dyson vacuum. It's got all the bells and whistles, plus more vacuum attachments than we know what to do with. No, really—we have no idea how half of them are supposed to be used. Luckily, one blogger's confusion is the internet's treasure: Click through for a photo guide on how to identify (and use) 9 of the most common vacuum cleaner attachments.
The Extension Wand
Telescopic, rigid tubes that attach to the end of the vacuum hose. They can also link to your other attachments to provide an extended reach.
Can be used for: Dusting crown molding, cleaning under the refrigerator.
A hose attachment that gets narrow at the end to clean tight spaces.
Can be used for: Vacuuming in carpet corners, cleaning between sofa cushions.
A wide attachment with bristles extending from it to loosen hair, dust or dirt that can be lodged between fibers of anything made of (or covered with) fabric.
Can be used for: Cleaning a pet's favorite chair, dusting off curtains.
It looks similar to the vacuum brush, but an upholstery brush has longer, more stiff bristles that are ideal for working carpet cleaners and soaps into furniture or carpets.
Can be used for: Shampooing carpets, getting stains out of furniture.
Stair cleaner attachments come in many different styles. But most feature a wide, pivoting opening at the end of an extended hose, allowing you to clean around moldings while keeping the standing vacuum at the bottom of the stairs.
Can be used for: Cleaning stairs, duh.
Features a slotted design, allowing several horizontal mini blinds blinds to be cleaned at once—and cleaned on both sides.
Can be used for: Dusting and cleaning mini blinds.
Looks much like the mini blind attachment, but usually features slots that are further apart and tines that are longer.
Can be used for: Dusting between vertical blinds.
Features a long, rigid tube with a bend at the very end for reaching around ceiling fans. Most also feature bristles. Some are designed to wrap around fan blades and clean both sides at once.
Can be used for: Dusting the hard-to-reach tops of ceiling fan blades.
Wide, flat attachments that often have bristles for sweeping and wheels to move around easier on the floor. Some have a subtle scalloped edge to clean over grout or seams.
Can be used for: Sweeping up dry messes on tile, hardwoods or any other hard, flat floor surface.
(Top image: Madeedition.com)