How To Clean A Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum cleaners make our lives easier and more comfortable. It’s one of the best investments for your home – no tool can compete with the cleaning, maintenance, and organizing prowess of vacuums. However, it seems that our favorite household tool also needs cleaning on its own. A little bit ironic, isn’t it? But it’s inevitable. You need to learn how to clean a vacuum cleaner to preserve your beloved appliance in tiptop condition.

Despite your busy schedule, you must find some time to clean your vacuum. They suck in the immense dirt, and it only makes sense that you should also clean your vacuum for it to continue being functionally effective.

If you think your vacuum doesn’t need to be cleaned, think again. Some dirt inside might be sitting for quite some time now. Follow the guidelines below to properly clean your vac.

Cleaning Your Vacuum Cleaner – Part By Part

Obviously, you can’t just soak your vac unit into some soapy water and then wipe it dry. You need to clean your vacuum part by part. Before starting, make sure to unplug your unit to avoid any potential accident.

Dirt Bag

Vacuum cleaners mostly have dirtbags; while others have canisters. The dirt your unit acquires while cleaning will be sent to the dirtbag.

Other vacuum cleaners are designed to be bagless. Additional info about bagless vacuums will be discussed later.

The first thing to do is to consult your user manual on how to remove dirtbags. Each brand has their own specific way of removing their bags.

The trick here is to remove your dirtbag and dispose of its content even before it becomes full. You simply have to pour the dirt content into the trash can.

Remember, allowing your dirtbag to become overcrowded with dirt debris is unhealthy for your unit. You should also replace your dirtbag with a new one as recommended by the manufacturer.


Filters are the most important part of your vacuum cleaner. They are responsible for segregating the dust from the solid debris. Again, your user manual holds the proper instruction in removing the thing.

Once removed, rinse your filter thoroughly with flowing water in your sink. After which, try brushing the thing up with some soft-bristled brush and soapy water.

If you’re in a hurry, wipe it clean with a washcloth and let it dry.


You also need to disassemble your unit’s attachment if you want to clean it well. Make sure to separate the standalone parts and the body where the wire is attached. The parts that are wired must NOT be dealt with water.

Consult your manual for all washable parts and start detaching them one by one. Now wash them thoroughly with soap and water.


When dealing with a detachable hose, you can use a good pressure washer to tackle the internal parts.

After cleaning all the parts, wipe them with a clean cloth and set them aside first. It’s important to remember NOT to use them directly after cleaning. Also, do NOT assemble your unit yet right after you cleaned its parts.

It’s advisable to treat the parts with a air blower to ensure optimum dryness, especially the internal sections.

Vacuum Brush

The secret of properly cleaning your vacuum brush lies in the roller and beater bar. Make sure to clean those parts deeply well.

Unclog any debris and hairs in the brush. Use a cloth to wipe the body and utilize a scissor to cut the hair.

When To Clean A Vacuum Cleaner?

Well, it actually depends on how often you use your unit. If it’s doing some regular heavy-duty stuff, then you must also clean it more often.

Signs That You Already Need To Clean Your Vac

If you’re not sure of the intensity of the need to clean your vac, there are some indications that your vacuum already needs cleaning.

Be aware of the symptoms that might tell your unit already needs to be cleaned. They are the following:

  • A clear sign that your unit badly needs some clean-up is when the suction starts to minimize. Notice when you can feel less power than before.
  • Another indication is your vac’s inability to suck in all the dirt. A sign it’s becoming less efficient is when there are still dust or dirt left on the surface and you have to vacuum the same place all over again.
  • Watch out when your vacuum doesn’t sound the same anymore. You will notice a grasp on the sound – it’s easy to tell because it will feel weird and the sound is quite recognizable when you are cleaning.
  • An odor is the last indication that your vacuum already needs some clean-up. It will emit an unpleasant stink that you’ve never smelled before – probably from a stuck dirt debris. Clean your vacuum immediately before the odor infests your entire household.

Important Reminders:

  • Generally, you have to clean your vacuum unit every three (3) months.
  • The dirtbag must be removed and cleaned every single month. Do it even though it’s not full of dirt yet.

Let’s admit it. Vacuums are not cheap at all, especially the best ones. When you’re not able to properly maintain your machine, expect to face some problems in the future that will cost you a fortune.

If you think you’re wise, then you should make sure to maintain your vacuum by cleaning it whenever necessary. Watch out for the signs or better yet, don’t wait for the symptoms to manifest and just clean your unit now.

How To Clean A Dyson Vacuum

Generally, the large array of vacuum brands also means there are different ways to clean the vacuums. If you happen to have a Dyson vacuum cleaner, the following steps might help you in cleaning it.

  • It’s advisable to take your vac out in your lawn before you start cleaning it. Ensure it’s unplugged.
  • Empty the vacuum canister from any dirt or solid garbage debris.
  • You need to release and remove the vacuum’s outer canister. To do it, press the button you can find at the back of the unit.
  • Now remove the vacuum’s foam filter by opening the bottom of the vac to gain access to it. Put it aside for the meantime.
  • Utilize a flathead screwdriver to remove the roller cover at the bottom of your vac. An easy way to do it is to flip the vac upside down first.
  • Grab your scissors and remove the hairs tangled on the roller. Make sure to pull out all strands so there is nothing left in the roller.
  • Now it’s time to clean the different components of your vacuum. It is recommended to use a compressed air to blow out the visible dust and dirt on your machine.
  • When done, put the roller back in place.
  • Expect the Cyclone part to be extremely dirty so you must clean it well. Put everything in the trash can to be tidy.
  • Utilize a compressed air to properly clean all the components on the cyclone. It seems your air blower will become useful in another way.
  • Blow out dirt on the canister section by means of compressed air, again.
  • Wash the sponge filter with water. Repeat the process until such time you can see clear water when you squeeze the sponge filter.
  • Wash the canister using a dishwasher soap.
  • Wipe all parts with a damp paper towel and make sure everything is dry.

Note: Never run the Cyclone section with water. It is advised to clean your Dyson Vacuum every three months.

How To Clean A Shark Vacuum

Shark is another popular vacuum cleaner brand. If you have one of their units, make sure to clean it the right way using the steps below.

  • Unplug your unit before you start the cleaning process. Just like any other vacuum brand, it is best to clean your unit outdoors so the dirt debris can’t scatter on your floors.
  • Reach for the rotating brush first. Grab your scissors and cut the hairs stuck in the rotating brush. Use your fingers to pull out stubborn hair.
  • Access the canister and dispose of its content in the trash.
  • Take your canister to the nearest sink and clean it with soap and water.
  • Use compressed air to fully remove the dirt on the canister.
  • Set aside the canister and let it dry naturally. You can use your air blower again with this one.
  • Remove the filter. Soak it in warm water then wash it with soap. Be careful not to rip the filters off to prevent spending bucks to replace it.
  • Dry all the filters after washing them.

Note: Every Shark vacuum canister must be cleaned at least once a month. Also, avoid washing felt filter with water.

How To Clean A Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

You’re lucky if you have a bagless vacuum cleaner. They are relatively easier to clean compare to vacuums that use bags. Here’s the proper way to clean your bagless vac.

  • First, remove the parts that are washable.
  • Separate the parts that are replaceable.
  • Next, wash the washable parts and allow it to dry. Use soap and clean water.
  • Release all the dirt debris from the canister into the dustbin.
  • Clean your canister with water and let it dry.
  • Now, remove the rotating brush with a screwdriver. Use scissors to cut stubborn hair and use your fingers to pull out strands.
  • Before you reassemble your rotating brush, check the air passage-way of your vacuum. Clean it if necessary with a damp cloth. This is to ensure that your machine works properly without any clog.

Note: The most important part to clean is the filter. Expect that component to be the dustiest part. The filter needs to be replaced every 6 months (meaning, twice a year). Until then, you have to remove all its dirt and dust by washing it well.

How To Clean The HEPA Filter

  • Make sure to wear a mask before starting the cleaning process. The filter can be very dusty and you don’t want your allergies and asthma to get triggered (if you have one).
  • Remove the filter and wash with running water in the sink. Rotate the HEPA filter so that water touches every inch of it.
  • Scrub the filter if necessary. Use only soft-bristled brushes. Otherwise, you’ll be damaging it.
  • Wipe it with a towel afterward.
  • Allow it to dry naturally or use an air blower. Make sure no moisture is left in the filter before you install it back in the unit.


Proper cleaning is the best approach to a healthy maintenance. Taking care of your vacuum will ensure optimum performance every time and you’ll be doing it a favor by extending its lifespan.

Keep your vac clean as much as you want to keep your house clean. Having a clean home is your ticket to a healthier life free of diseases and allergies. Cleaning your vacuum will have a direct effect on the cleanliness of your entire household.

Make cleaning a habit and always make time to do it. Now that you know how to clean a vacuum cleaner, you must incorporate the knowledge and start applying it, now.

Leave a Comment