Styrofoam is light but quite strong so I’m not surprised you are being careful about cleaning it up with your vacuum.
In this article, we’ll be starting by explaining whether you can vacuum your Styrofoam or not and the reasons for this.
We’ll also be listing other cleaning materials that you can use to get rid of Styrofoam from various surfaces in your home, and the step-by-step process to use them. Let’s get right to it.
Can You Vacuum Styrofoam?
You can vacuum Styrofoam, but it may prove to be more difficult than you expected. There are easier and better ways of cleaning up styrofoam than vacuuming.
Vacuuming should only be considered if the styrofoam is widely spread across an environment where the floor isn’t smooth or even.
For example, if the styrofoam is spread all over your garden, lawn, or beach, vacuuming may be the best option.
Reasons Why You Should Not Vacuum Styrofoam
We explained that you can vacuum styrofoam but it is difficult. Well, we’ll be explaining some of the difficulties and why you may want to avoid this task.
1- Not All Vacuums Can Vacuum Styrofoam
Because styrofoam can be vacuumed doesn’t mean your vacuum will work. Vacuuming styrofoam is only possible with vacuums that have great suction power and powerful motors.
Other vacuums may just blow the styrofoam away instead of sucking it in. They are not just powerful enough. Shop vacs are good examples of suitable vacuums for this.
2- Your Vacuum Could Overheat
If you are not careful, vacuuming styrofoam could destroy your vacuums. This is especially true if the vacuum doesn’t have a big cleaning bag.
Styrofoam fills up vacuum bags in a matter of seconds which can cause your vacuum to overheat if you continue vacuuming.
It is also stressful because you will have to empty your vacuum bag every few seconds until you finish vacuuming. So get a vacuum with a larger capacity or get a bigger cleaning bag for your vacuum.
3- Vacuuming Styrofoam Is Stressful
Styrofoam is static. This means it easily glues or attaches itself to things. After vacuuming styrofoam, it’s not unusual to find the pieces stuck to your vac, which can be annoying.
Usually, an anti-static spray is sprayed on styrofoam before cleaning it up to avoid this. But it’s difficult to do that when the styrofoam is spread all over. So you will have to clean your vacuum after vacuuming.
How Do You Clean Styrofoam Pieces from the Floor?
Getting styrofoam pieces from your floor is quite simple, especially if the pieces aren’t many.
Method 1: Cleaning Styrofoam Pieces from the Floor with Dustpan and Broom
This is easier to do on a hardwood floor but it also works on a concrete floor.
1- Anti-static spray
4- Trash bag
STEP 1: Spray some anti-static spray on the styrofoam pieces on the floor. You don’t have to soak it. Just spray enough to keep the pieces from flying everywhere.
STEP 2: Now, gently use a big dustpan to move and gather the pieces together. Some would have stick to the dustpan surface at this point, making your work easier.
STEP 3: Now use a large broom to gently push the remaining pieces into the dustpan.
STEP 4: Gently get rid of the styrofoam pieces by pouring them into a trash bag.
Method 2: Cleaning Styrofoam Pieces from the Floor with an Electric Leaf Blower
This works on all floor types easily.
1- Electric leaf blower with a vacuum option
2- Ear protection
3- Anti-static spray
4- Trash bag
STEP 1: Use ear protection. An electric leaf blower is quite loud, especially when used indoors.
STEP 2: Activate the vacuum mode of your electric leaf blower. Most leaf blowers with a vacuum option have a switch you can just move down to activate the suction. Your leaf blower should also have a leaf bag.
STEP 3: Start collecting those styrofoam pieces around on your floor. Go around your floor with the leaf blower until every piece is picked.
STEP 4: Detach your leaf bag and spray some anti-static spray in it so the styrofoam pieces can be easily removed.
STEP 5: Empty your leaf bag into a trash bag so it can be easily disposed of.
How Do I Get Styrofoam Out of My Carpet?
Getting styrofoam out of your carpet can be done using a lint roller or with a balloon. Let’s see each of these methods in detail.
Method 1: Cleaning Styrofoam from Carpet with a Lint Roller
The most effective lint roller for this is a sticky one. Scotch Brite 50% stickier is a good example. But there are other equally effective ones you can get in stores.
If you are going to be cleaning a large area, get a big lint roller.
1- Lint roller
3- Trash bag
STEP 1: Pick up your lint roller and roll it over your carpet. As you roll the lint roller, the styrofoam pieces will stick to your roller.
STEP 2: The best thing about using a lint roller to pick up styrofoam pieces is that the roller will also remove dust and get rid of other dirt on your floor.
STEP 3: To get the pieces out of your lint roller. Pop the side buttons and get the roller out. Put the roller in a sink and run it under hot water for a few seconds.
STEP 4: This should remove the static and get your styrofoam off the roller and into the sink. Rub your roller on a lint-free cloth to dry and pop it back in.
STEP 5: Now gather the styrofoam and pour the pieces into a trash bag.
Method 2: Cleaning Styrofoam from Carpet with a Balloon
This method is super easy and can be used on floors and carpets.
2- Polyester cloth
3- Trash bag
STEP 1: Blow up a balloon. It doesn’t have to be very big.
STEP 2: Rub it thoroughly on polyester cloth. If you don’t have polyester cloth, rub the balloon with your hands before blowing.
STEP 3: Now hover the balloon over the styrofoam pieces on your carpet. The styrofoam will immediately stick to your balloon. Do this until you have picked every piece.
STEP 4: Slowly release the trapped air in the balloon while a trash bag is underneath. After doing this, throw the balloon into the trash bag.
How Do You Get Styrofoam off Furniture?
You can easily do this by using some of the methods explained above. For example, you can use a lint roller, balloon, and vacuum cleaner. Rub a dryer sheet over the outside of the vacuum before using it to prevent the styrofoam pieces from sticking to your vacuum.
Alternate Method: Use a Duct Tape
1- Roll it into a ball. Ensure the sticky part is outside. You can roll it on your palm.
2- And just dab at the styrofoam pieces on your furniture.
3- The styrofoam will stick to the tape and you can then dispose of it in a trash bag.
This method also works on the floor. Just wInd the tape around your feet and walk all over the area. Then dispose of it after.
What Happens If You Wash Styrofoam?
Nothing happens when you wash styrofoam. And that’s why it’s dangerous. Some people wash styrofoam cups or plates and reuse them but that’s a health hazard.
Styrofoam has little air pockets that serve as breeding spaces for bacteria when washed and reused. There’s no amount of washing that can get rid of that.
Using hot water would kill most of the bacteria but it would also disintegrate the styrofoam, so there’s no point.
Vacuum cleaners can pick most kinds of stuff (such as sugar or sand). So, you can vacuum styrofoam but there are some difficulties that you may face, which we have explained. You have to be adequately prepared.
We have explained in detail the materials and methods you can use, instead, to get rid of styrofoam pieces from your floor, carpet, and furniture. You will find this task very easy if you follow the steps dutifully.