You use your vacuum to clean up messes around the house, but there comes a time when your vacuum itself could use a good cleaning. By keeping your vacuum clean you will extend its life and keep it running efficiently.
Always refer to your vacuum’s owner’s manual for specific instruction on cleaning and replacing filters. Vacuum manufacturer’s Dyson and Bissell note that cleaning filters is quick and easy, so there’s really no good excuse not to do it.
First, turn off the vacuum and make sure it is unplugged. Then, remove the vacuum’s filter(s)—each vacuum is different so you may need to look up how to remove it/them in your owner’s manual.
Filters should be washed in cold water only, and Dyson says theirs should not be washed using detergent or in the dishwasher. Just rinse it under cold water and then squeeze the water out of the filter. Repeat this process until the water runs clear.
Let the filter dry completely—this will take about 24 hours—before putting it back in the vacuum. Never dry the filter in the microwave or a clothes dryer.
Cleaning Parts and Attachments
Make sure your vacuum’s attachments are free from threads, hair, pet fur and any other debris or sticky stuff. If a brush head is jammed, cut the threads or hair that are preventing it from rotating, while being careful not to cut any of the bristles.
If you have a bagless vacuum, you can empty the canister and wash it in warm, soapy water. Then dry it thoroughly before putting it back together.
For other attachments such as nozzles, extension wands and crevice tools, remove them from the vacuum and wipe them down using warm, soapy water and then let them dry.
Cleaning the Hose
If your vacuum doesn’t have good suction, you may need to clean the hose. If you can, detach the hose and try sucking out any clogs with a second vacuum, or use a bent wire hanger to remove a clog.
Then, with the hose still detached, take it outside or over a laundry or bathroom tub and run water through the hose. You’ll likely find bits and pieces of food and paper come out. At this point, you can also take a cleaning brush and run it through the hose as far in as you can get. An old toothbrush can also work to clean out some of the debris that may be stuck along the walls of the hose. Let it dry completely before re-attaching.