How to Clean a Vacuum Cleaner

removing the bag from a canister vacuum cleaner
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-800
What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner
Vacuum cleaner user manual
Soap solution
Soft cloth

A vacuum cleaner greatly eases the chore of cleaning your home. For maximum efficiency and performance, it is necessary to regularly clean your vacuum cleaner.

Step 1 - Unplug the Vacuum Cleaner and Empty the Dirt Container

To avoid electric shock, you must remember to unplug any electrical equipment before cleaning it. A vacuum cleaner generally has either a dirt bag or a container in which the vacuumed dirt and debris are collected. If you are unsure of how to remove the bag or the container, refer to your user manual for instructions. If you have a bagged vacuum cleaner, remove the bag and dispose of it in the trash can. If you have a bagless vacuum cleaner, it is best to take it outside and empty the container, or else the dust may billow around in your home. Take the vacuum cleaner close to a trash can, or to the garage and empty out the dirt container. If according to the user manual you can use water to clean the dirt container, wash it with a soapy solution and dry it thoroughly. When replacing the container or bag, make sure it is thoroughly secure, or else the vacuumed dirt may travel to the motor, causing serious damage.

Step 2 - Clean the Filters

vacuuming a hardwood floor

Most vacuum cleaners have single or multiple filters, which clean up the vacuumed air and segregate the dirt and dust. Remove the filters and clean them thoroughly. Refer to your user manual for cleaning instructions. Some filters must be replaced, whereas others can be reused after cleaning. Ensure it is safe to clean your vacuum filter with a soap solution. If it is not, just use an old brush to remove the clogged dirt. If it is safe to wash your vacuum filter, soak it in a solution of mild soapy water and clean it thoroughly. Air dry the filter, or wipe it clean before replacing it in the vacuum cleaner. Never replace wet or moist parts in the vacuum cleaner. In addition to the risk of electric shock, there is a great chance the mold and bacteria may grow in the moist, enclosed space.

Step 3 - Clean the Attachments

Most vacuum cleaners have several attachments that make access easy. Any removable parts can be washed in a soapy solution, after referring to the user manual. Never wet any parts or hoses that have wiring or are permanently attached to the vacuum cleaner. Replace the attachments only when they are completely dry.

Step 4 - Clean the Vacuum Brush

old bagged vacuum cleaner

If you have an upright vacuum cleaner, lay it on the floor so you can easily access the lower parts. Check the vacuum brush, beater bar and roller. Remove any clogged debris, hair, or strings that may be entangled. If necessary, use a pair of scissors to carefully cut out any entangled parts. With a damp soft cloth, wipe down the body of the vacuum cleaner. Wipe the electric cord and make sure there are no cuts or signs of damage to the cord.