How to Maintain and Clean Your Vacuum Cleaner

by Sep 13, 2020Cleaning

It may come as a surprise to you, but the cleaning equipment in your house also needs to be cleaned. Yes it’s true.

When was the last time you cleaned your vacuum cleaner? Have you ever cleaned it since you first bought it? Probably not.

Your vacuum cleaner is the most hard-working cleaning device in the house and it needs regular maintenance to keep up with the wear and tear. After a year and a half of use, the vacuum cleaner can be spun up with an ugly shaped filter.

No need to panic, though. With proper cleaning, your vacuum cleaner will be up and running in no time. If you take good care of it, a vacuum cleaner can even exceed its service life.

Let’s talk about how you can maintain and clean your vacuum cleaner without bag or pouch to make it as good as new.

What you need

Step by step instructions

As you can see, you do not need a lot of supplies to keep your vacuum cleaner in perfect condition. Let us discuss different parts of the vacuum cleaner and how they can be cleaned.

1.Clean the floor heads

A vacuum cleaner floor head is the first thing that comes in contact with the ground. After deep cleaning your home is the floor head filled with hair – yours and your pet’s.

Check the floor heads for hair and dirt that can clog it. Make sure that nothing blocks the brush bar, as this can lead to poor vacuum cleaning when cleaning carpets.

The cleaning is different from one vacuum cleaner to another:

  • Some vacuum cleaners have a removable brush bar that you can pull out from the side of the floor head. Take it out and remove the stuck hair with your hands.
  • In non-removable models, there is a groove in the brush bar. Take a pair of scissors and cut hair along the line. Once all the hair is cut, it will easily come out of the floor head.
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Make it a habit to clean the brush bar and floor head regularly. If you let hair, dirt and grime clog this part of the vacuum cleaner, they will interfere air flow, leads to low suction.

2.Clean the filters

The filters in your vacuum cleaner ensure that the collected dust does not escape back into your home. However, I find it surprising how most homeowners neglect to clean vacuum filters on a regular basis.

Clogged filters can reduce suction, and you do not want that, do you?

If you are not already familiar, let me tell you that there are two filters in your vacuum cleaner, no matter what kind it is.

  • Engine filter: It is at the back of the vacuum cleaner where the machine releases its exhaust.
  • Allergen filter: This filter is located close to the dust bag or container.

Make it a habit to clean these filters at least once a month by following the instructions in the vacuum cleaner user manual.

For most filters, simply clean them with tap water and let them dry for about 24 hours before putting them back in the vacuum cleaner. If the dirt is tough, you can also use soapy water for better cleaning.

Some motor filters need a few presses against the wall to make them dust free. It’s that simple.

3.Empty the dustbag

If the vacuum cleaner’s dust bag or container overflows with dirt, it may adversely affect the suction and cause a fall.

In a bagless vacuum, there is a maximum level indicated on the container. Do not allow dust and dirt to accumulate over this point.

I would suggest emptying the dust bag after each use as the max line is often at half or a third of the depth of the container.

You will definitely get the most out of every bag for vacuum cleaners in bags as replacement bags can be expensive. However, be careful how you use the bags.

If the craving drops, it’s time to bring in a new one vacuum bag.

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4.Examine the Vac drive belt

Stop! Do not start looking for a new upright vacuum cleaner if your existing one has a rotating brush with faults. It probably works because the drive belt is broken or damaged.

A new drive belt costs a few dollars and it can get the vacuum cleaner in working order again. Be sure to rule out that option before buying a new vacuum cleaner.

5.Clean your vacuum cleaner

Every six months or so, give your vacuum cleaner a thorough cleanup. Doing so will clean the components of the vacuum cleaner while removing traces of dust and dirt that you may have ignored in routine maintenance.

Before you start cleaning, unplug the vacuum cleaner. Now you’re ready.

Start by removing hose from vacuum. Use a wire hanger to remove dust or hair in the hole connecting the hose to the housing.

Then lay the hose on the floor and insert the wire hanger into it to remove clogs that are deep inside. You can also clean it with soapy water later. Be sure to dry it thoroughly before reassembling it in the vacuum cleaner.

Things are getting a little difficult now, but don’t worry, I have you. Remove the central unit from the vacuum cleaner and separate the washable parts from the non-washable ones.

The washable parts include motor filters, vacuum accessories, cyclone pieces, dust container and accessories. Shortly said, empty the vacuum cleaner because you later remove dust from inside.

Soak the plastic parts in soapy water and wipe the metal parts with a damp washcloth. Leave both components aside to allow them to dry.

Depending on the type of filters, there are two ways to maintain their best performance. Some filters need to be replaced every few months. See the vacuum cleaner user manual for this information.

In contrast, some filters can be cleaned with hot water and only need to be replaced if there is a tear.

Now use the compressed air tank to clean the inside of the vacuum cleaner. Go into the edges and around the hooks to remove excess dust.

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It is best to do it out in the yard, otherwise the dust will escape back into the house.

Tips and warnings

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  • If you have lost your vacuum cleaner user manual, search for the vacuum cleaner model with the manufacturer’s name on Google. You will find a PDF version of the manual.
  • Always empty the dustbag afterwards deep cleaning your house. As for routine cleaning in the home, empty it when the waste crosses the max limit.
  • Some filters have short lifetimes four to six months. Replace them as needed.
  • Do not wash the vacuum cleaner’s metal parts in soapy water as it may damage them.
  • Disassemble your vacuum cleaner outside the house, as cleaning bagless vacuum cleaners is a messy job. Wear a mask if you have allergies.

Closing words

A crucial but often neglected part of the good household is to keep your cleaning products clean. With vacuum cleaners, take care of each component separately, as I have explained in this guide.

It can seem like an extra task to clean your vacuum cleaner regularly. But think of it this way: it can help you save hundreds of dollars that you would otherwise have to spend on a new vacuum cleaner.

Now it’s time for you to clean your vacuum cleaner and share with me:

  • Did you find this guide useful?
  • Do you clean your vacuum cleaner regularly?
  • Did you know about these vacuum maintenance tips before?

I would very much like to hear your feedback and questions in the comments.

About the author

Jeneva Aaron

Jeneva has over many years of passion for interior design and cleaning. She is the founder and CEO of, where she provides honest and objective reviews on home and cleaning products.

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