"Things People Search For - Pine Needles!" or "How to clean pine needles out of your carpets."

When I published this blog post I never expected it to bring so much traffic. (Now, to be fair, my blog doesn’t get much traffic – so even 3 views is a lot for me.) You can imagine my surprise this morning, when I logged into WordPress to see the search terms “can you vacuum up pine needles dyson” and “dyson not picking up after i vacuumed pine needles”. The article itself was never intended to be about sucking up pine needles, and only talks about how my last vacuum didn’t work because someone had tried. With that in mind, let’s talk about pine needles!

Pine needles are probably the worst thing you could try to vacuum up. For one, they get lodged in your carpet. Those needles are very difficult to vacuum up because they tend to get stuck in your carpets’ fibers. Depending on the type of carpet you have, this could be quite bad. If you try to vacuum them out, your vacuum will probably not get them all and the ones it does manage to pick up will probably get lodged into the hoses of your vacuum. Because of this, it is best not to try to vacuum up pine needles.

Now, if you already did try to vacuum up your pine needles here is how your fix it: Get a screw driver! Depending on your vacuum, you will need to take out some screws so you can get to the hoses easily. On my old Dirt Devil, this involved disassembling the “brush housing” and removing some screws that mounted the hose to the back of it. Your mileage will vary. Now that you have gained access to your hose, let’s hope you have either a long screw driver or a wire hanger you don’t need anymore. (If you’re a ninja, your wire hanger can be reused as a hanger afterwards..) Unbend the wire hangar and start ramming it up the hose to dislodge all of the funk that has wrapped itself around those pine needles that you carelessly tried to vacuum out of your carpet. This part will be nasty, dusty, and you will probably want to kill your pet cat and/or dog. Be careful not to jab any holes in your hose with your wire hanger (or long screwdriver.) After some crazy twisting, jamming, ramming, and other vacuum hose acrobatics the funk and pine needles should come clear.

What you do next is very important to the health of your vacuum. Gather up all of the funk with your hand, and throw it in the trash. Some people might try to vacuum it up again, that would be a mistake. Why? Because you just spent the last hour familiarizing yourself with the innards of your vacuum cleaner and getting up close and personal with that pine needle and cat/dog funk infested hose – if you vacuum it up, you will have to do it all again! If you enjoyed cleaning the filthy cat/dog funk and pine needle mesh out of the hose, then by all means vacuum it up again.

Once the mess is off of your carpet, and safely in the trash, reassemble your vacuum. Make sure there are no extra screws. If there are extra screws, make sure that they don’t belong to your vacuum. If they DO belong to your vacuum, disassemble and reassemble the vacuum (except this time, do it correctly…moron.) If you are unsure if it belongs to your vacuum, then place it in your junk/random screw/dead battery/extension cord/old glasses/crap drawer with all of the other screws you have found on your floor. (One day, you will find the thing that the screw came from. If you throw that screw away, you will find that thing if belongs to the day after the trash gets picked up.) Once this step is finished, turn your vacuum on to make sure everything is still functioning. If it is, you’re not an idiot. If it isn’t, then I am not responsible for the damage – you are.

Now that you have de-pined your vacuum cleaner, you’re probably asking yourself – “How am I supposed to get these pine needles out of my carpet?!!” The solution to this is simple: Replace your carpet. You will never get all of the needles out of your carpet. If replacing your carpet isn’t an option, then next time buy yourself an area rug specifically for your Christmas tree. (Or buy yourself a fake reusable tree. Deforestation and pine needles in carpets are real issues that can be alleviated with fake trees that don’t have needles.)

If either of those solutions isn’t satisfactory, your next bet is to go back to your junk/random screw/dead battery/extension cord/old glasses/crap drawer and get some tape. Duct tape would be best but, if you don’t have any, packing tape should suffice. If you don’t have packing or duct tape, just take the wire hanger that you used to unclog your hose and choke yourself with it because you aren’t prepared for the things real life can throw at you. If you’re still alive at this point, get on your bike and ride it to the nearest convenience store and buy yourself some duct tape. I prefer the zebra kind but, if they don’t have it, any of the assorted neon colors will work – my second choice would be hot pink. (I say get on your bike because the store is probably less than 2 miles away, and almost anybody can bike 2 miles easily. If it is less than two miles and you do take your car, I hope you have a good reason – jerk.)

After you get home with your zebra and/or hot pink roll of duct tape, wrap it around your hand. I probably shouldn’t have to tell you to wrap it around your hand so the sticky side is out, but if you had to go to the store to get duct tape because you aren’t prepared for life then you probably wouldn’t realize to put it on sticky side out because you aren’t that bright. Go ahead and remove the duct tape from your hand if you did it wrong, and be happy to know that I am happy you’re in pain. You can also send me $10 for the hair removal that just happened.

If you didn’t put the duct tape on wrong, you probably know what I am about to tell you to do. Take the tape and roll it over the area of carpet that the pine needles are living in (use your hand and zebra/hot pink duct tape like a lint roller, which would also have worked for pine needle removal. I didn’t tell you this because your hand and zebra/hot pink duct tape makes you much more of a badass.) This will get most of the needles, but there will still be some that you won’t be able to get out. For those pesky needles that refuse to stop occupying your carpet – we will call them the 99%, even though they are really closer to 1% than 99% – pick them out with your fingers, one by one. Don’t be afraid to be forceful and, if you have a can of pepper spray, you had better use it before they have a chance to get up and leave after you so rudely told them to vacate the premises.

Like previously stated, you will never be able to get all of the needles. You might as well just accept that some will be permanently violating your carpet, just like you permanently violated the earth by cutting down your Christmas tree when there are perfectly viable fake alternatives. (I know, I know, fake trees don’t smell the same – but that can be solved by using Pine-Sol to clean your house for the month of December..or you can use pine scented Raid if you have an ant/roach problem. Even better, spray that bastard cat/dog with the pine scented Raid – that will teach it to shed that disgusting hair all over your carpet. If it lives, it will smell like pine for at least a month – or until it dies because you’re an idiot and Raid-ed your cat/dog.)

Once most of the needles are gone, it is safe to vacuum your carpets again. Remember, no matter how good you think your vacuum is the pine needles are better. Also remember, that right now is the best time of year to go to your local thrift store and buy yourself that $500 vacuum you’ve always wanted for only $8.99 – judging from the visits on my blog, there should be plenty of Dysons. (Remember, if you do buy a vacuum at your local thrift store, that you will have to do these cleaning steps to it as soon as you get it home. The only reason why your new vacuum is even at the thrift store is because some idiot couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working after they sucked up pine
needles so they gave it to the thrift store so that some poorer idiot could waste their money on a seemingly functioning vacuum only to find out they wasted $8.99 that could have gone to feeding their family if they didn’t buy that clogged up vacuum. Also remember, that it won’t be your cat/dog funk and pine needle mesh you’ll be cleaning out of the hose…it will be somebody else’s – which is freaking disgusting.)

After all of this, I hope you have learned your lesson. Don’t vacuum up pine needles.

Stephen Battey

Stephen is a 25 year old amateur photographer, blogger, and husband from Tacoma, Washington. He shares a cute ass house with his husband, cat, and two dogs. He generally hates all weather patterns.

Tacoma, WA