Cleaning A Vacuum

My vacuum disassembled

Cleaning a vacuum is more than just rinsing the filter and calling it a day. Seriously, ladies, when is the last time you cleaned your vacuum? Many women do not enjoy or simply get flustered when it comes to disassembly of products, but I am one of those who truly enjoys taking all sorts of things apart. Just please mind the screws! (Magnetic bowls are great. Your husband may have one in his workshop you can borrow, or you can get one here!)

All vacuums are different, but once you see how to take apart one, the others are usually self explanatory.

By the way, if you are itching to make things work better, check out my blog post on making your dishwasher run like new!

By the way, this is the vacuum I have now, and I fully recommend it. By the way, I am not paid for this recommendation. This opinion is my own, especially after having a sheddy dog like Buddy.

Personally, I find it wise to break down and clean my vacuum every 90 days (the filters I clean more often than that.)


Washable Filter

First remove the filters. Ladies, these need cleaned often. If you cannot remember, please set a reminder in your phone. A poorly cleaned filter can be detrimental not only to the vacuuming and filtering job, but to the motor within the vacuum. The filter allows air passage, but is meant to trap the small particulates. If it is so clogged that air cannot pass, you are making your motor work harder, which ages it faster. Clogging a filter is like clogging an artery. It isn’t ideal and it can cause the heart (in this case the motor) to work harder and give out sooner.

So, at least once a month, please remove your filter and wash them. Now, please follow the directions, I am not sure if all filters are washable. Most are, but check with the manufacturer.

A second washable filter

There is often another filter in the vacuum that is not washable. This is called the HEPA filter (high efficiency partiulate air filter) . Learn more about HEPA filters and what they do here. Those just need to be replaced-please check with your manufacturer to ensure when you should replace it.

HEPA filter for vacuum
The white filter is the HEPA filter

Back to the washable filters. What you want to do is rinse them until the water runs clear. They can even be squeezed out (obviously don’t be violent with it. Let it air dry. (Maybe set in the dish drainboard on the counter-if its clean of course!) Hey, and sometimes ladies…you need to replace not wash. I am not sure what the metric is to decide upon cleaning vs. replacement.

Dust Cup

Have you looked at your dust cup? Scroll back up and look at my dust cup! Yuck. The cleaner the system, the more efficient. Remove the dust cup. Empty it. Clean with warm soapy water. It shouldn’t take much but a dishrag and the warm soapy water to make it shine like new.

Side note. Speaking of dust cup-it is not a good practice to vacuum with a full dust cup. Again, here, it’s not only harder on the motor, but at some point your vacuum is not sucking as well, and you are just vacuuming to look cool.

Hose, Brush Roller, and Frame

Uh oh…what about the hose. Have you considered the germs that may reside…or even possible clogs? Detach the hose.

My hose twists off-some of you may have a screw or so

Rinse in hot water, maybe use a sprayer hose from your kitchen for higher pressure. Once done, check to ensure you can see clearly from one end of the hose to the other. (Tip:a major clog can be pushed with a wire hanger.)Quite often, I have spoken to women who complain that they don’t “see” why, but suddenly their vacuum sucks! Okay, sorry for the dad joke! What I mean is…the vacuum doesn’t seem to function as solidly as it used to. Often times it is either a clog within the hose or the elbow coming from the brush roller.

The elbow coming off of the brush roller. A common place for clogs

Pictured here is the elbow joint of a vacuum. often times I find larger pieces of paper (IE stickers) stuck in here, which then collects dust and debris and makes the clog worse. Please take your fingers or pipe cleaner to sweep the pipe area. Depending on the vacuum brand, sometimes this piece can be removed. If it can, please rinse with hot soapy water.

vacuum hose

Alright, ladies, grab a bowl. Lay the vacuum on its back. Remove the screws. Place the screws in the bowl. I would advise against using a drill because over tightening such things can lead to cracking the plastic frame. Remove the brush roll.

How is that roll looking? Mine has ridges to allow me to cut the hair, or thread. Clean that brush girls. Wipe it down with a disinfectant covered rag or dish soap. DO NOT SUBMERGE or SOAK.

Now, see this clear plastic part here? Yours might not be clear, but lets clean that. You may wonder why such things are important, but lets get scientific. That brush revolves many times a minute. Those particles against the plastic may come loose and back into the carpet. Isn’t that the opposite of the reason that you are vacuuming? Don’t wanna rub the dirt back into the carpet using the brush as an aid.

From age 8, my husband used to help his father clean carpets professionally until he joined the Army. He shared that the dirt in the carpet can-on a micro level-destroy the fibers. Nobody wants to lessen the life of their carpet. So, now that you cleaned that, lets move to that other clog hot spot, the elbow joint.


Now, once all the parts are dry, lets reassemble the vacuum. It is quite simple. If you struggle with reassembling things, take photos of each step you take while taking it apart. It will help you put it back together.

Ask Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you have any questions, please send me photos of your vacuum and I would be happy to help.

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