Believe it or not, there are tons of uses for a leaf blower beyond simply standing in your yard and taking care of what autumn has dropped on your lawn. In fact, some people buy a leaf blower even if they live in the desert and never have to worry about fall leaves dropping.
Here are five genius uses for a leaf blower that don’t involve leaves:
1. Drying Your Car
Nothing’s worse than water spots on your car creating blemishes on freshly-washed paint. Most of the time, evaporating water leaves behind an unsightly residue when you aren’t able to dry off your vehicle quickly enough. A powerful leaf blower can make fast work of drying things off. Think of it as an industrial-size blower like the one at your local car wash.
2. Clean Out Your Dryer Vent
Although it’s hard to imagine that one of the unconventional uses for a leaf blower would be maintaining your home’s duct work, you can actually use it to unclog your dryer vent. Over time, lint, dirt and dust can build up inside the ducts that carry your clothes dryer’s exhaust to the outside world. This could cause a fire if the lint were to overheat. A leaf blower lets you blow the lint out of the trap all at once, eliminating any potential build-up and improving your dryer’s overall efficiency.
3. Blast Your Gutter
This is similar to cleaning out your dryer vent, only this time, you’re doing it outside: Use your leaf blower to blast the cobwebs, tree gunk and dirt from your gutters to improve the flow of water off of your roof and away from your home’s foundations. As a precautionary measure, make sure you find a stable ladder before venturing up the sides of your house.
4. Clean Snow from Your Walkway
Light, powdery snow might look pretty, but it can become treacherous if too much of it builds up on your walkway or porch. A leaf blower can make short work of any snow by shooting it back out into the street or up onto a convenient snowbank — all without forcing you to sweat it out with a shovel and spend the rest of the day with a sore back.
Although another one of the less-known uses for a leaf blower is a little specialized, it could come in handy for any of the contractors-at-heart out there. If you’ve ever had to thread wire through a long conduit, you know how time consuming a process it can be. Attach one end of your wire to a small piece of foam, such as an ear plug (if you’re using large wire, you can use a cork or piece of sponge for more weight.) Place the end of the wire in the conduit, fire up the leaf blower and you’ll have that cable unspooled and at the other end in no time.
Rather than getting caught with a single-use tool that takes up precious garage space, why not use your specialized leaf blower for new, DIY applications? You’ll feel good about your purchase and look like a pro in the process.
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Having been bitten by the car bug at a young age, I spent my formative years surrounded by Studebakers at car shows across Quebec and the northeastern United States. Over ten years of racing, restoring, and obsessing over automobiles lead me to balance science writing and automotive journalism full time. I currently contribute as an editor to several online and print automotive publications, and I also write and consult for the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.