The vacuum is your best friend when house cleaning. Even if you’ve kept it old school and use a vacuum with a bag, it’s still one of the fastest and most effective tools for getting rid of dirt. However, if you really want your vacuum to operate at optimum efficiency, it needs maintenance. Here are some tricks and tips on how to clean a vacuum.


how to clean a vacuum


General Vacuum Tips

These tips will prolong the life of your vacuum and help keep you safe:

  • Never use the vacuum to pick up metal, plastic bags, or any other material that could harm the vacuum/wrap around the roller brush.
  • Only vacuum up liquids with a wet/dry vacuum.
  • When plugging in the vacuum, never force the plug into the outlet. You could shock yourself.
  • Because there is a wide variety in vacuum cleaners, you should always check the Owner’s Manual before cleaning.
  • Never stick your fingers in the vacuum while it is running or plugged in.


The Vacuum Cleaner

Make sure the vacuum cleaner is unplugged. Remove and empty the canister or remove and replace the bag. For the canister, wash it with warm soapy water and allow it to air dry before replacing it.

Wipe down the outside of the vacuum with a disinfectant. Lay the vacuum on its side and check for hairs, string, or other debris wrapped around the roller brush. These should be removed; if lots of string and hair restrict the brush’s movement, you can burnout the motor. You should also clean the filters and hoses (described below.)


How to Clean the Hose

Remove the hose from the vacuum. You may need a small screwdriver. Once removed, look inside the hose to check for debris. Use a wire or hook to remove any clogs. Place the hose in a sink full of soap water and scrub with a cloth or sponge. Rinse the inside and outside and then let dry.


How to Clean the Vacuum Filter

Your vacuum may have more than one filter. In general, there will at least be one in or near the dust cup. Remove large clumps of dust and debris and throw away. Check your manual, but in general it is okay to place the filter under running water to clean it. You could also use a wet toothbrush to gently scrub the filter on all sides. Let the filter completely air dry before putting it back inside the vacuum.


Consider a HEPA filter

HEPA filters are designed to collect a high percentage of particulates in the air. Cleaning with a HEPA filter can be especially helpful for those who suffer from allergies or asthma. We discuss HEPA filters more fully on another page. Just remember for a HEPA filter to be truly effective, all the air in the machine must pass through the filter and there can’t be any leaks.


Don’t Forget the Attachments!

Your vacuum attachments make your machine much more versatile. Don’t forget to use them. Check out our run-down of some common (and not-so-common) vacuum additions and they can help you work smarter.


Clean a Vacuum and then Clean the House?

It’s easy to clean a vacuum, but does cleaning your vacuum just to effectively clean your floors sound like a lot? Have someone else come over and vacuum for you! Call Maids by Trade and see how we can help.