Unclog a vacuum cleaner
Photo 1: Shop vacuum technique
Use a shop vacuum to suck clogs out of the suction port or hose.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 2: Broom handle technique
Shove stubborn clogs through the hose with a broom handle.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
Photo 3: Bent wire technique
Pull clogs out of the suction port with a bent coat hanger or stiff electrical wire.Photo: Courtesy of The Family Handyman
If your vacuum cleaner isn’t picking up dirt, and cleaning or replacing the filter or the bag doesn’t help, you probably have a clog.
If the attachment hose has no suction,either it or the hose suction port is clogged. Try sucking out the clog with a strong vacuum. If that doesn’t work, use the bent hanger technique shown in Photo 3 to remove the clog. Stubborn clogs in hoses can be forced through with a broom handle (Photo 2).
If the machine isn’t picking up dirt and the brushes are turning, most likely the suction port at the base of the machine is plugged. Remove the cover on the underside of the machine to access the port. Bend a little barb on the end of a coat hanger or electrical wire and use it to hook the clog to pull it free.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- Shop vacuum