How to Clean a Vacuum Cleaner – Tried & Tested Methods

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: November 21, 2023

cleaning a vacuum cleaner
A man cleaning a vacuum cleaner.

Have you ever felt like your vacuum is just pushing around dirt on the floor? That’s a big red alert that your vacuum needs a little cleaning. Like most other appliances, vacuum cleaners perform best when they are clean.

You will notice that your vacuum works slower and has less suction when it’s clogged up with debris. In order to keep your vacuum at peak performance, you must regularly empty its contents. The bag used in bagged vacuums is used to capture particles and must be replaced as soon as they become full. A thorough cleaning is a necessity to keep your robotic vacuum cleaners in good working condition for a longer period.

Cleaning your vacuum every month is a good thumb rule, but if you notice it isn’t working as well as you’d like, if it’s smelly or if you have used it for a particular cleaning job, you might want to clean it sooner. Keeping your home clean with vacuum cleaner is a simple, quick maintenance task that will improve its performance.

Here is an easy step-by-step guide that will help you perfectly clean your vacuum.

1How often should you clean your vacuum cleaner?

To maintain a vacuum cleaner’s performance, you must clean it every 12 months, and you should not delay the cleaning more than 18 months. It is recommended that you check the brush rollers and hose for problems every 3 months, or more frequently if your home is very dusty. You should also wash out the dust cup, replace or wash filters, and wipe down the outer housing to ensure it is dust-free.

If you have a vacuum without a dust bag that uses a cup, you should always empty the contents of the vacuum cup after every use or when the debris reaches up to 2/3rd of the mark displayed on the cup. If the dust and debris contents reach higher than this level, the vacuum cleaner will not be able to operate effectively.

2List of items you'll need to clean your vacuum cleaner.

  1. A pair of Scissors
  2. Small basin or a bucket
  3. Dishwashing liquid
  4. Hot water
  5. Microfiber cloth
  6. A can of compressed air
  7. Essential fragrance for good smell

3Directions to clean a vacuum cleaner

3.1 Unplug the vacuum cleaner

unplugging vacuum cleaner
A man unplugging his vacuum cleaner from power socket.

The first step you can do is unplug your vacuum cleaner from the charging port when it’s time to clean the vacuum. It is recommended to clean the vacuum outside your house to prevent dust particles and residues from spreading inside your home.

3.2 Detach the dust bag and empty it

detaching vacuum cleaner bag
A person cleaning vacuum cleaner dust bag.

Before you start cleaning your vacuum, make sure to empty the dust bag and hose completely. Then let the vacuuming machine run until everything inside its body is sucked away. If you can, disassemble as many parts of the dust cup as possible to make cleaning easier.

3.3 Clean the filters

cleaning vacuum cleaner filter
A person holding vacuum cleaner filter filled with dust.

Once you’ve unplugged the vacuum cleaner, you must check for clogged filters. Having a clogged filter is the main reason for the suction loss and foul smell. There are mainly 2 types of filters, i.e. Pre-filter and Post-filter. You can read it from the manual or search online if you don’t know where the filters fit on your vacuum cleaner. A great thing about filters is that they are washable. If you have a HEPA filter that is not washable, you simply need to replace it.

To clean the washable filter, beat out all the dust and hair residues and run it under a cool water tap until it’s clean. Put the filter aside and let it dry for 24 hours before you reassemble it.

3.4 Clean the canister

cleaning a vacuum cleaner canister
Vacuum cleaner canister opened for cleaning.

If you don’t have a canister and have a bag, remove it once it’s halfway full. To clean the canister, empty it, take it apart, and wash it in the sink with warm soapy water. Lay the canister aside to dry for 24 hours.

Try to knock out all the dust and debris for the middle entered part with a handle. Take a toothbrush and brush the holes. Meanwhile, if anything is stuck, spray it out with a can of compressed air. At last, wipe down the entire canister with a dry microfiber cloth.

3.5 Clean out the hoses

cleaning a vacuum cleaner hose.
A vacuum cleaner hose detached for cleaning.

Another reason for the suction loss is a clogged hose. Detach the hose and submerge it into hot soapy water for 10-15 minutes. After rinsing with hot water, hang the hose to “drip dry”. You can dislodge a clump of debris in your hose with a broomstick or garden hose. Make sure you work slowly and carefully, so you do not puncture the hose. Clogs, tangled hairs, and dust can accumulate in upholstery or dusting brushes, crevice tools, turbo brushes, and extension wands. Inspect and clean them regularly.

3.6 Clean the beater bar

cleaning vacuum cleaner beater bar
Cutting excessive hair and dust particles from vacuum cleaner beater bar with a scissor.

The next step is to clean the area around the beater bar. When the beater bar gets full of hair and carpet fibers, the bristles can no longer pick up stuff out of the carpet, which means it’s no longer doing its job.

To clean the beater bar, take a pair of scissors and cut off all the hair stuck along with the plastic. Make sure you do not cut any bristles!

3.7 Inspect the motor belt

If your vacuum cleaner has a motor housing, you’ll want to clean it just like you’d clean the rest of the vacuum. First, put on gloves and turn off the unit. Unscrew the bolts holding the housing together and then carefully separate the two halves. Be careful not to spill anything on the metal surface while doing this. Wipe the entire area down with a damp rag and mild detergent. After letting the metal dry, apply a coat of oil to protect it from rusting.

3.8 Clean your vacuum's attachments

cleaning vacuum cleaner accessories
Vacuum cleaner accessories detached for cleaning.

Cleaning the attachments is very simple. Just soak them in the sink with warm soapy water and dishwashing liquid detergent. If any bristles have stuck stuff between them, you can use your toothbrush and brush the bristles. Once they are clean, lay them aside for at least 24 hours to dry.

There are many other parts of your vacuum that need some attention. To clean the wheels, follow the same steps as above. However, if they have built-in brushes, you won’t have to worry about getting detritus off the wheels. Spray the brush with water and wipe it off with a soft cloth.

3.9 Reassemble the vacuum cleaner

Reassemble the vacuum once all parts have been cleaned and dried.

3.10 Bonus Tip - Give your vacuum a pleasant smell!

To make your vacuum smell good and pleasant, just find your exhaust filter and put a few drops of your favorite smelling fragrance right on the filter, and it will make your vacuum smell exotic.

4Wrapping Up

We hope that our well-researched and step-by-sept guide on how to clean a vacuum cleaner helps you and makes the cleaning process easier. If you face any difficulties while cleaning your vacuum cleaner, you can comment down below with your query. We will be very pleased to help you out. If you are looking to buy a new spin mop for your home, you can check our article on best magic mop to buy in India 2022.

FAQ's about Vacuum Cleaner

How do you clean the inside of a vacuum cleaner?

Follow these simple steps to clean your vacuum cleaner from inside as well.
1. Make sure the vacuum cleaner is unplugged and that the canister is removed.
2. Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe the inside of the canister.
3. Use warm soapy water to wash the canister.
4. Make sure all soap suds are removed by rinsing.
5. Replace the canister after it has completely dried.

If you have a smelly vacuum cleaner, you can use your favorite fragrance and spray a few drops of it in to the filter. With this technique you can get rid of your foul smelly vacuum cleaner.

Once the canister is empty, use a microfiber cloth to wipe the interior down. In the best case scenario, you should wash the entire canister in warm soapy water. You can effectively remove all dirt, dust, grime, and hair with this method.

According to experts, it is recommended to replace your vacuum cleaner every 8 years. However, the lifespan varies quite a bit based not only on the brand but also on how you use it.

Vacuum cleaners, like your house, need to be cleaned regularly as well. When you keep your vacuum’s filters, hose, attachments, canister and other parts clean, your vacuum will run more efficiently so it lasts longer and picks up more debris.

Wet a paper towel or cloth and wipe the dust bin down. If tight spaces need to be cleaned, use a small paintbrush or compressed air after the dust bag has dried. Once the parts have dried, wipe down the vacuum’s exterior and reassemble it.

If you want to make the house smell great while vacuuming, add half a fresh dryer sheet to the vacuum bag or canister. In most cases, the dryer sheet will not be strong enough to scent the air, but you will find that the air will smell better after using it.

Your vacuum cleaner may need to be emptied if it has lost suction power. There are various foam and mesh filters available for vacuum cleaners. If they are not cleaned or replaced properly, they can become clogged over time. This can cause your vacuum to lose its suction power.

According to recent estimates, vacuum cleaners can last on average up to 8 years. However, it varies based on the manufacturer. It is possible for your vacuum cleaner to break for a variety of reasons. If the motor jams, the filters break, or you just use it too much, eventually you will have to replace your vacuum cleaner.

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About This Article

Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

This article has been viewed 1983 times.

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Updated: November 21, 2023
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