How to Clean Your Vacuum Without Ruining It!‍

Did you know vacuuming is one of the dirtiest things you can do? All those crumbs and pet hair become an aerosol cloud when vacuumed. 

That’s why your vacuum cleaner needs to be cleaned regularly, preferably with a self-cleaning function that doesn’t involve taking it apart. 

In this article, we will show you how to clean your vacuum without ruining it and the steps you can take to keep it in tip-top shape.

What To Clean When You Clean Your Vacuum

Let’s start with the basics. 

When you clean your vacuum, you want to clean the following components:

  • Bag/bags. Obviously, this is a must-clean part. If your vacuum has a rotating dirt bowl that collects the debris, you might also want to clean that out if you notice it’s clogged. If your vacuum is bagless, you don’t have to clean this part. 
  • Filter. This is another must-clean part. Your filter is what keeps your vacuum from being smelly and from overheating. To clean the filter, simply take it out and hand wash it with warm water and mild soap.  
  • Exhaust port(s). You don’t want to clean this part regularly, but if you notice that it’s clogged up with dirt and fine dust particles, you’ll want to clean it. To clean the exhaust port(s), take a can of compressed air and blow out any debris that’s clogging it.

Repair or Replace Your Vacuum’s Parts

Your vacuum may come with a warranty, so check the box before you start cleaning. 

If there’s a warranty, you should definitely take advantage of it. Vacuum cleaners only last so long, but they are designed to last longer than other household appliances. 

You may find that the motor overheats and needs to be replaced, or the belt needs to be replaced. The brushes that agitate the carpet may need to be replaced, and the roller bar may need to be cleaned. 

There are many parts that can malfunction on a vacuum cleaner, and many can be repaired with a few simple do-it-yourself projects. If you find that you’re cleaning your vacuum every few weeks, you may want to get a new one.

Many brands are on the market, and some are better than others. The average lifespan of a vacuum cleaner is about five years, but some can last longer than that.

How to Clean the Filter

Vacuum cleaners have filters that collect dirt and dust as the vacuum cleans. Most filters are made of coarse fiber that traps tiny dirt and hair particles. 

You can clean these filters in the washing machine or by hand. First, remove the filter and check it for large clumps of debris.

Remove the clumps by hand or tweezers if the filter is clogged. 

To clean a filter by hand, use a brush to loosen any dirt that’s clogging the filter. Then wash the filter in the sink or a bucket, using warm water and mild soap. 

If you’re cleaning the filter in a washing machine, use the gentle cycle and mild detergent. 

Be sure to dry the filter thoroughly before placing it back in the vacuum.

How to Clean the Exhaust Port(s)

You can clean the exhaust port by using a can of compressed air or by blowing it out with your mouth. 

If the exhaust port appears clogged with dirt and fine dust particles, you can clean it with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. 

Just make sure the cotton swab doesn’t have any frayed edges that could damage the exhaust port. If the exhaust port is clogged with larger debris, you’ll need to remove it. 

To remove the exhaust port, unplug the vacuum cleaner and remove the screws holding the housing together. Once you’ve removed the exhaust port, you can clean it with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

How to Clean the Fan and Motors

You can clean the fan and motors of your vacuum with a dry cloth, but don’t use a brush or liquid cleaners.

If you notice that there’s dust or dirt clinging to these parts, lightly blow it off with your breath or a can of compressed air. If you notice that there’s caked-on dirt or dust on the fan blades or motors, you can use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub it off. 

Alternatively, you can place a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol on the dirt and gently scrub it off with your finger.

How to Clean the Canister and Floor Head(s)

You want to clean both the canister and the floor head of your vacuum thoroughly each time you clean the vacuum. 

To clean the canister, remove the bag and use a brush to clean the inside of the canister. If there’s a filter in the canister, you can clean it with a brush and warm water. 

To clean the suction tube or floor head, remove it from the canister and brush it with a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush. 

You can also use a cloth dipped in warm water.

Ditch the Dust Bag

You don’t have to use the dust bag if you don’t want to. While many vacuums come with a dust bag, others do not. 

In fact, many modern vacuums have replaced the dusty bag with a high-tech filter that stops dirt, allergens, and allergens rather than collecting them.

What’s more, these new filters are reusable, so you don’t have to replace them when they get dirty. 

To clean these filters, simply brush them off with a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush. If the filter is very dirty, you can either rinse it with water or put it in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with warm water.


Cleaning your vacuum is an essential part of keeping your home clean. 

If you don’t clean your vacuum regularly, you may notice a decrease in suction power and an increase in how dirty your floors are.

All that dust and dirt that your vacuum collects can quickly clog the filters, which will reduce the suction power of your vacuum. Regular vacuuming also helps you prevent allergies. 

If you regularly clean your vacuum, you’ll be preventing allergens like pet hair, dust, and pollen from building up in your home. 

Finally, cleaning your vacuum is also good for the longevity of your vacuum’s operation. All that dust and dirt can cause rapid wear and tear on your vacuum’s motors and filters, so it’s best to clean your vacuum regularly.

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