Can You Vacuum Styrofoam? (Must Follow Correct Way)

By - Ron Singh

Updated -

Perhaps you are having an event, a party, or maybe even playing around at home with your kids or family members.

And then, to get things a little crazy, especially for kids, you used Styrofoam to create fake snow.

But, when you have achieved what you want, the big question that runs through your mind is can I vacuum Styrofoam?

As you continue to read further down, this article will help you see if it is or not possible for you to vacuum Styrofoam.

Next, we will see if you can vacuum its balls or pieces and whether it is safe enough to vacuum them.

Finally, we will consider what happens when you vacuum Styrofoam and the best ways to get it off your carpets.

Yes, you can vacuum Styrofoam. However, the challenge in picking it up lies with the static electricity that allows it to blow away easily. So you need to apply anti-static spray on the Styrofoam and use a shop vac or a vac with attachments. While vacuuming, do not vacuum in the usual forward and backward motion but from above.

Can You Vacuum Styrofoam Balls?

Can You Vacuum Styrofoam

Despite the severe challenge it poses, you can vacuum styrofoam balls. Generally, when people need to clean up styrofoam balls, the first thing that comes to their mind is to get a vacuum.

But, to successfully do the work, I will advise you to get a shop vac or any other with attachments and an anti-static spray.

One of the main reasons why vacuuming styrofoam balls is challenging is the styrofoam ball’s static electricity.

This feature makes the balls blow away as you are hard to vacuum or wipe with a cotton rag, thus causing stress.

Notwithstanding, the solution to this issue will be first to use an anti-static spray that is affordable here.

Before using the anti-static spray, make sure you arrange the styrofoam balls to form a thin layer and then spray the anti-static over them.

It would help if you also spray some anti-static spray at the tip of your shop vac or the attachments.

Another thing you can do is to use the dryer sheets from clothes dryers to rub over your vacuum to render the static ineffective.

Yet, a second reason for the challenges in vacuuming is the type of vacuum and the way of vacuuming.

To correctly vacuum styrofoam balls, you need not just the regular vacuum but a shop vac or at least one that can carry an attachment.

And your vacuum should have a big bag for collecting dirt; otherwise, it may quickly fill up.

And this makes you constantly go out to empty the vacuum, but a larger bag will save a lot of time.

Furthermore, concerning the style of vacuuming you should adopt, it should not be the usual forward and backward movement.

No, it should be from above; you must place the vacuum above the styrofoam balls.

Nevertheless, if you have serious challenges cleaning styrofoam balls by vacuuming, you can always go with the alternatives.

Below are a few alternative ways of cleaning styrofoam balls with vacuum cleaners:

#1. Broom and Dustpan

Although people commonly adopt this as the most straightforward method, it can still pose a challenge when you fail to address the problem regarding static.

Therefore, the first thing you need to do is to apply the anti-static spray, preferably from the link above. 

But if not possible, an alternative to the anti-static spray is the Bi-Carb Soda, which you can sprinkle over the styrofoam balls.

And yet, if you are at the point where you are lacking both, the sprinkling of water on the ball can still be manageable.

The static issue will not allow you to clean with a dustpan alone, so you will need a broom to sweep them onto the dustpan.

Sweep slowly and not with small brooms since they move air in many directions. So ensure to use a broom that has a significantly larger surface area.

#2. Lint Roller

Here, in this method, after you have finished sweeping slowly, you will have to roll over styrofoam balls, making them look flat.

But, again, if the lint roller is made of sticky material, it is far better than those made of soft materials.

But you can also create a homemade version using painter’s tape. It would be best if you used this because it is not strong enough that it would take out your floor polish or wall paint.

Then take the tape and roll over the styrofoam balls to another ball with the small balls.

#3. Balloon 

In this method, you can have static work for you rather than against you. The static will help draw the styrofoam balls to the dustpan, and all you need to do is to follow these steps;

  1. Get a balloon
  2. Rub your hands very fast over your ballon
  3. You will see the styrofoam ball coming towards the dustpan by just placing the balloon over the dustpan.

Note that because the static effect is temporary, you will need to keep the effect by rubbing your hands on the balloon from time to time. 

Can You Vacuum Styrofoam Pieces?

I will say yes and no to answer the question in this subheading. The answer to the question depends on the size of your styrofoam pieces.

Below is a list of a few styrofoam pieces;

  1. Craft foam Styrofoam ball
  2. Safety corner and edges protector
  3. Styrofoam sheets
  4. 4×4 styrofoam blocks
  5. 4×8 styrofoam sheets
  6. Interlocking padded foam
  7. Repurpose Styrofoam

So, the truth is that styrofoam pieces of the same size or sizes a little bigger than styrofoam balls are vacuumable.

You can sweep them into a dustpan and adequately dispose of them for those not vacuumable.

Is It Safe to Vacuum Styrofoam?

It is safe to vacuum Styrofoam as long as you do it safely. Although, some situations make vacuuming styrofoams unsafe for you.

The following situations are what cause vacuuming to become unsafe:

#1. Vacuum Type

Vacuuming styrofoam is not something that all vacuums can perform. The vacuum capable of carrying out these tasks is those with powerful motors and great suction powers like the shop vacs.

These kinds of vacuums are best suited for engaging in such tasks.

#2. Overheating

If you do not have an enormous cleaning bag but then decide to vacuum Styrofoam, it will only take a few seconds, and your vacuum bag will become complete.

However, when this happens, your vacuum will begin to overheat, and if not emptied on time, it may destroy your vacuum. Considering the stress involved here, you will see that it is not easy.

First, you would have to keep emptying after every few seconds, meaning the only solution is a vacuum with a more extensive cleaning bag.

#3. Stress

The static nature of Styrofoam allows it to attach itself to whatever it wants, and this will stress you a lot to bring out the pieces that are stuck in your vac.

And also, because it has spread all over your vacuum, you will need to clean it after vacuuming. So indeed, you can say that vacuuming styrofoam is stressful.

What Happens If You Vacuum Styrofoam?

After everything I have said above, it is now clear that if you vacuum Styrofoam without an anti-static spray, Bi-Carb Soda, or water, vacuuming will prove to be a severe challenge.

But, with proper preparedness, you can efficiently vacuum Styrofoam without any issue.

Since Styrofoam also can overheat if it undergoes severe stress, it will be wise to empty your vacuum bag regularly. Also, when you finish vacuuming, always clean up your vacuum when it is over.

How Do I Get Styrofoam Out of My Carpet?

When removing Styrofoam from your carpet, there are two techniques you can follow or use. And this involves the use of either the lint roller or a balloon.

#1. Technique 1- Using Balloon

To efficiently carry out this technique, the following requirements should be available;

  • Balloon
  • Polyester cloth
  • Trash bag

#2. Technique 2- Using Lint Roller

In this technique, you are also under the obligation to provide the following requirements;

  • Lint roller
  • Water
  • Trash bag

Here are steps for removing styrofoam from the carpet using a lint roller and balloon technique:

StepsBalloonLint Roller
1Pump air into the balloonTake your lint roller and roll the carpet. All the hidden Styrofoam will attach themselves to the lint roller.
2Use a polyester cloth to rub on the balloon. If there is no polyester cloth, rub the balloon with your hands before blowing it.While picking up the styrofoam pieces, you’ll also take out dust and dirt.
3Hold the balloon above the Styrofoam, and they get attracted to and stick to the balloon. Keep doing this until you pick up all the Styrofoam.To get the remaining Styrofoam out of your roller, press the buttons by the side and bring the roller out. Then deep the roller on hot water for some seconds.
4Put a trash bag under your balloon as you slowly release the air from the balloon.The static should be out, and so should the Styrofoam. Dry the roller and put it back in.
5Pour all the styrofoam pieces into a trash bag.


You can vacuum styrofoam balls and vacuumable pieces with an anti-static spray and a good vacuum.

You also know all the alternative ways to clean up Styrofoam besides vacuuming. And finally, you can tell what happens when you vacuum Styrofoam and the techniques to remove them from carpets.

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