How To Maintain Your Vacuum Cleaner In 10 Simple Steps

Updated on July 24, 2020 by Joseph D. Nielson

Table of Contents

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Purchasing is a quality vacuum cleaner is a significant investment to make. That’s why Fresh Home Guide is dedicated to finding the best models available for purchase; while providing all the need-to-know information to help decide, utilize, and maintain the vacuum cleaner of choice.

Keeping a clean vacuum is essential for ensuring performance and longevity of the device. Otherwise your initial investment can turn into a costly vacuum repair nightmare. Avoid waiting until the vacuum smells to take action and use these steps to help prevent issues before they start.

Hassle-Free Vacuum Maintenance

Having to use the vacuum is already a chore so it’s understandable if cleaning the vacuum cleaner doesn’t always make the to-do list. In any case, after a few uses or cleaning up a heavier mess, it’s important to give the vacuum a quick “check up”.

To keep the check up quick and painless, use our 10 easy steps to create a check list you can follow each time to ensure your device always gives its best vacuum cleaner performance.

1. Empty It Regularly 

Typically, most vacuum cleaner problems are caused by continuing to use the device with a full dirt canister. Before things get bad and you need to figure out how to get smell out of vacuum cleaners, check to see how much dirt has built up before each use.

Vacuuming after the dirt canister or bag has reached capacity causes the dirt to overflow into the air passage. The excess dirt particles are then released back into the atmosphere and begin to hinder smooth airflow to the vacuum cleaner. That means bad news for the device and your sinuses.

Maintain maximum suction power and air flow by emptying your vacuum cleaner dirt canister or bag frequently. The result will ensure the airways are kept clear to guarantee a perfect clean with each use.

Quick Tip: Clean The Canister 

With bagless vacuum models it’s important to not only empty, but to also remove and thoroughly clean the canister every so often.

2. Replace The Dirt Bag

For those using a vacuum cleaner that features a dirt bag, make sure to replace the bag when necessary. Cleaning out the dirt bag is not enough and will likely lead to unpleasant odor as particles build up over time.

To prolong how much the dirt bag can be used before the vacuum stinks, don’t wait until the dirt level reaches maximum capacity before emptying. A general guideline to regulate how frequently the bag will need to be replaced is to empty the bag when the dirt level is around two-thirds full.

3. Clean And Replace The Filters

The purpose of vacuum cleaner filters are to ensure the atmosphere is kept clean and hygienic. A dirty filter will compromise the vacuum suction power and release unwanted dust particles back into the air.

Remove the filter to empty it out after every couple uses, and try lightly banging it against the garbage bin to get out as much dirt possible. For vacuum models featuring reusable filters, maintain optimal performance with regular cleanings and occasionally washing it thoroughly with water and a mild detergent.

Image of vacuum filter

Quick Tip: Wait To Reassemble 

After washing any vacuum filter, make sure it is completely dry before reattaching it to the vacuum cleaner. This will prevent mould or mildew from developing into vacuum smells that are difficult to eliminate.

4. Lubricate Moving Parts

There is a variety of vacuum cleaner options available these days that feature moving parts to ensure the ease of maneuverability and functionality. These moving parts can include swivelling heads, rotating wheels and brush rolls that need be kept lubricated for proper function.

For those that prefer the convenience of a cordless stick vacuum with a swivel head, lubrication between the connecting parts will maintain smooth control the device as it’s used over time.

Make sure to prevent getting stuck in your tracks mid clean up, rotate and lubricate vacuum wheels and brush head rolls to keep effortless rotation and movement. Lubricating moving parts will maintain the best vacuum cleaner performance and always give users an effortless cleaning experience.

5. Check Air Passages For Clogs

After a vacuum has tackled multiple cleanings, if not regularly maintained, dirt particles and debris tend to accumulate within the interior. The main culprits storing the most unwanted dirt build up are where air flows; such as nozzles, filters and hoses.

To locate obvious dirt and debris simply look at the main parts build up tends to occur. For hard to see sections such as the hose, use a flashlight or cellphone flashlight app to get a more thorough look.

Instead of waiting until the vacuum smells, a top priority should be frequently checking all the air passages for clogs or blockages. Tools and certain household items can also be used to help poke out any obvious dirt and clogs inside the passages.

For owners of a wet vacuum cleaner, an option to try for dirt build up or clogs is to pass clean water through the hose.

6. Detangle Hair From The Brush Roll

Vacuum cleaners take on some of the most difficult cleaning jobs out of any household device. Meanwhile, trying to fix vacuum cleaner issues can be one of the most difficult jobs most people would rather avoid.

Generally speaking, the area getting the hardest hits will be the brush roll in the vacuum head. The main function of the brush roll is to pull out the toughest dirt and debris from the deepest fibres of any carpet.

More often then not, the brush roll will hold on to strands of hair and pieces of animal fur that become tangled in the bristles during cleanings, hindering its rotation. Use a pair of scissors to carefully cut out tangled hair or fur that has spun itself stuck in the bristles.

Quick Tip: Detangle Frequently 

Always check to see the condition of the brush roll after each use to ensure it rotates easily for the most effective cleaning. The more build up there is the harder it will be to get back clean vacuum bristles.

7. Check For Wear And Tear

Whether it’s used as a ceiling vacuum cleaner or for general floor cleaning, there will be some wear and tear to the device over time. The best way to maintain an effective performance from your vacuum for years to come is to frequently check for any damage.

There may come a day that you vacuum up a few marbles during your clean routine, this would be a perfect example of when to check for any cracks or malfunctioning.

Any cracks or unevenness to the body of the vacuum cleaner are sure signs of impending damage and should be taken care of immediately. For those unfamiliar with vacuum repair, consult a professional repair person or electrician to find out if replacement or repair is necessary.

8. Replace Or Repair Damaged Parts

Finding yourself with a broken vacuum cleaner is never an ideal situation. Even if the device is still functioning, using even the best vacuum cleaner with damage to parts can lead to potential hazards or injuries.

Any time there is damage to a vacuum, no matter how small the part may be, it is not advised to continue using the device under any circumstance. Noticing something such as a frayed cord can lead to fire, electrocution or even death.

Taking a chance by using a compromised vacuum cleaner is never a good idea, because the outcome can be a safety or cost bearing issue. Always ensure that any damaged part is repaired or replaced before using the vacuum for any purpose.

9. Check The Condition Of The Belt

The belt of a vacuum cleaner is what ensures that the brush roll stays in place and rotates at the correct angles. It’s important to check the belt occasionally for unevenness, cracks and imperfect fitting that can indicate the beginning stage of serious damage.

Monitoring the condition of the vacuum cleaner belt will help prepare for if the time comes to replace or repair the part. Make sure to check if the belt is tight enough, if not it should be replaced right away.

Image of person vacuuming floor

Quick Tip: Do A Biannual Replacement

As a general rule to follow, the vacuum cleaner belt should be replaced every six months.

10. Have The Vacuum Serviced

Most local vacuum cleaner shops will provide repair and maintenance services to help with the upkeep of your device. Since there are likely some vacuum cleaner problems that cannot be easily detected on your own, it’s a good idea to have a professional take a look.

There’s no need to wait until the vacuum stinks or stops sucking up dirt to take it to be serviced.

Occasionally taking the vacuum for professional maintenance will be a great way to make sure it performs as the best vacuum cleaner for years to come.

Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance How-To In Review

A vacuum cleaner is an investment worth protecting. The best way to protect your device is by regularly cleaning out the built up dirt and checking for any damage to the different parts of the vacuum.

Make a check list to help remember and continually execute proper maintenance for your vacuum cleaner.

Joseph and Family
About Joseph D. Nielson

Former journalist and editor for various press groups, I now dedicate my time to reviewing products for the home and family life. When I get time to myself, I enjoy rock climbing, taking my dirt bike for a rip, and most importantly providing my family with the best home possible!