If you’ve ever dropped a small screw or other part in your garage or workshop, you know how hard it can be to find it in all the clutter. To make short work of locating small missing items:

  1. Cut the foot section off an old stocking or pantyhose.
  2. Slide the stocking over the suction hose on a vacuum cleaner or shop vac with the toe inside the hose.
  3. Hold the stocking on the vacuum cleaner hose, and turn the vacuum on.
  4. Vacuum the area you lost the part.
  5. Turn off the vacuum and look in the stocking for the lost part.

The dirt and dust will pass through the stocking, leaving the missing item behind.

Watch the video above to find out more.


Joe Truini: If you’ve ever lost a small part in the workshop, you know how frustrating it could be trying to find it. One way is to use a vacuum to just suck it up. But then, of course, the part will go into the vacuum, and you have to sift through all the dirt to find it.

Now, here’s a way to use the vacuum, but avoid that mess. Get a piece of pantyhose, this is just the bottom foot section of the pantyhose, and put it over the end of the wand—the vacuum wand. This is the toe section of the pantyhose you’re going to stuff in there. Then you just hold on to it and vacuum up the dust, and hopefully, trap the part you’re looking for.

Now, I know I dropped the brass bushing back here in the corner, and we’ll see if we can just vacuum it up and find it. Let’s see how we did. Now, you notice the vac—there it is! I like that. Isn’t that great.

The vacuum sucks up the dirt, the air passes right through the vacuum, but the part gets trapped right in there.

Further Information

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

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