• Rouba Woodward

How Do I... Clean My Vacuum Cleaner?

Is your vacuum losing suction? It might be a sign that it needs a deep clean. Let us explain how to give your vacuum cleaner a proper, deep clean so that it can work more effectively.

Your vacuum cleaner is a true workhorse, removing dust, debris and allergens from the floors of your home year after year. But how often do you give it a proper, deep clean beyond simply washing the filters and pulling out the tangled threads from the rotating brush? You wouldn’t clean your kitchen with a dirty dish cloth and the same goes for your vacuum cleaner – without proper cleaning and maintenance, a dirty and clogged vacuum spreads mess around your home rather than removes it. But giving your vacuum a deep clean is quicker and easier than you might think. Here’s all you need to know.

What’s the big deal if my vacuum is a little dirty? Everything your dirty vacuum sucks up will spread through your home rather than be removed. This can be particularly problematic if anyone in your home suffers from asthma or respiratory issues. A clogged and dirty vacuum will also lose suction power – in fact, this is often the first sign it needs a clean. Cleaning your vacuum regularly is particularly important if you have animals as pet hair can get stuck in the bristles, build up and then become hard to remove. Tip: If you or a family member have asthma or allergies, consider buying a vacuum with a high-efficiency particularly or HEPA filter that will remove allergens from both the floors and air.

What are some of the signs your vacuum needs a clean?

  • Loss of suction power or picking up less dust: This can indicate a dirty or damaged vacuum hose or clogged dust canister.

  • Heating up and releasing a burning smell: This can mean the motor has stopped working properly due to dirty, blocked filters.

  • Loud or strange noises: If you hear these coming from your vacuum, switch it off and give it a proper clean. Funny noises can also indicate a broken component inside the machine.

How often should I clean it?

This will depend on the type and model of your vacuum cleaner, and how often you use it. Most user manuals suggest a deep clean, where you take the vacuum apart and clean each part individually, once every three months or so.

But if you or a member of your household suffers from asthma or allergies, it’s a good idea to clean it more frequently – say twice per month.

How do I clean it?

  • Unplug the vacuum cleaner.

  • Carefully take the machine apart following the instructions in your vacuum cleaner manual.

  • Using scissors or a seam ripper, cut out any hair or threads that are stuck in the brush of your vacuum-cleaner head (be careful not to cut the bristles).

  • Replace a partially full dust bag with a new one. If you have a bagless vacuum, empty the dust canister. Wash it thoroughly and dry it in the shade before putting it back in the vacuum cleaner.

  • Remove all filters and run them under warm water until the water runs clear. For stubborn, hard-to-remove dirt, fill a sink with warm water, add a few drops of dishwashing liquid and clean filters with a soft brush. Set on a towel to air dry.

  • For the cleaning hose, find a deep sink or use the bath and pour a teaspoon or two of baking soda inside the hose (how much will depend on the length of the hose). Swish it back and forth to ensure that all internal surfaces are fully covered. Let it sit for a few minutes before slowly pouring some vinegar into the hose. You’ll hear a hissing sound – this is the vinegar reacting with the baking soda. This will help clean out parts of the hose you cannot reach. Rinse hose and air dry.

  • Wipe down all reachable parts of the vacuum cleaner with a microfibre cloth.

  • Make your vacuum look like new by rubbing a little cleaning alcohol on the outside.

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