How To Clean A Shark Vacuum
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How To Clean A Shark Vacuum

Many people have asked me how to clean a Shark vacuum and whether it is safe to do it on their own. The answer is yes, cleaning a Shark vacuum should be carried out regularly, and you can do it without hiring a professional cleaner.

That said, let your Shark vacuum take a day off and enjoy cleaning therapy. After a thorough wash and some rigorous scrubs, the device will be running strong again, keeping your house spotlessly clean. No more keeping you around. Let’s get the work started!

Shark Bagless Vacuum
Shark vacuums are popular for their stylish designs and incredible functions.

More About SharkNinja And Their Vacuum Cleaner Line

SharkNinja is no doubt one of the pioneers in the household appliance industry. Its name is derived from the company’s two product lines, with Shark specializing in innovative vacuum cleaners, whereas Ninja is known for a broad range of kitchen fixtures equipment.

There’s a lot to say about Shark’s vacuums apart from the wide selections. The devices are affordable, easy to use, and come with powerful suctions. Whether it’s loose dirt, pet hair, or food crumbs, they can suck up quickly and bring the shine back to your floor.

If you are planning to get a new vacuum, these models from Shark are worth your penny:

However, as time goes by, your Shark vacuum will lose its magic. Its suction power starts to become lackluster, followed by a series of strange noises. At times, you will find it exuding a stinky odor or leaving a trail of dirt behind.

If these things happen to you, your vacuum needs a deep-cleaning treatment. Keep reading to find out how to clean a Shark vacuum with no effort.

A Guide To Cleaning A Shark Vacuum, Step By Step

Overall, the process should not take you long. You will dismantle the device, clean the parts, and reassemble. According to Shark, you are recommended to clean the vacuum four times a year. Of course, the frequency will vary based on factors like foot traffic or types of flooring.

For the best result, put the manual guide next to you as you are working. While it is true that most models from Shark are not too different, there will be a few exceptions. Therefore, look through the manual if you notice that my description does not match your device.

Note: You can also find the instruction booklet on Shark’s Customer Care page.

Let’s begin!

Tools And Supplies

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Scissors
  • Soft brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Rust remover
  • Soapy water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda

Step 1: Disassemble The Vacuum

To start with, you will take the device apart. Ensure that it is disconnected from the outlet to prevent you from getting an electrical shock. If you are not sure how to disassemble it, skim through the manual. You will begin with the canister, followed by the filters and the hose.

As you remove each part, clear out the obstructions, if any, with a microfiber cloth.

Note: If your family is allergic to dirt and dust, it’s best to do this outside.

Step 2: Wash The Canister

Dispose of the waste content in the canister properly. Then, bring the canister to a sink filled with soap water and wash it thoroughly. For set-in dirt and dust stains, scrub them out using a soft brush. Rinse the canister with cold water afterward.

Once finished, dry the canister on the counter for approximately 24 hours.

Don’t be hesitant to remove dirt, grime, and hair from your canister. Watch this video:

Watch this video: Shark Rocket Pro - How To Empty And Clean The Dust Container

Step 3: Clean The Filters

Depending on your model, you will have one or two filters, in addition to a HEPA filter, which traps 99.97% of particles with a size of 0.3 microns.(1) They are made of foam rubber, while others are made of felt. You should see them upon removing the canister.

Foam Rubber And Felt Filters

Cleaning foam rubber and felt filters are easy. All you have to do is rinse them under the tap until the water runs clear. A little scrubbing and squeezing will be helpful so long as you are gentle. Allow the filters to air dry.

Note: In most cases, cleaning won’t help bring back the white color. It can only remove dust and other debris so that the filters will look somewhat yellowish. However, this is completely fine as long as the filters are not damaged or torn into pieces.

Boost your vacuum’s efficiency by cleaning the foam and felt filters. Watch this video to know:

Watch this video: How to clean your shark vacuum filter

HEPA Filter

A Shark vacuum HEPA filter is washable, unlike its counterparts from Dyson or other brands. However, detergent and other cleaning fluids should not be involved since they can get stuck inside the filter. A quick rinse with clean water is enough.

Note: A HEPA filter will require more time to dry compared to the other filter(s).

Step 4: Trim Off Hair And Other Threads From The Brush

This step can be broken down into three small stages as follows.

In general, newly bought vacuums do not require much work. With hair and thread clogs that get tangled in the brush, you can trim them off with scissors. Then, pull them out gently using your hands (preferably with gloves on, as they can be pretty gross).

Detach The Head

In contrast, if your vacuum has been working for years, the cleaner head should be removed and cleaned properly. To detach the cleaner head from the handle, press the buttons on both ends. The head should be released automatically.

Next, you will extract the head’s cover to gain access to the brush. With Shark vacuums, you will most likely come across these types of brush: one with a brush-roll and the other with an extra front roller. Despite the model you have, the instructions are not too dissimilar.

Unfasten The Faceplate

Remove the screws that connect the cover with the unit with a screwdriver. If the screws are corroded, wipe out the rust using rust removal. With most models, there are four screws, but some will have more.

Take The Brush Out

Now that the faceplate is out of sight, start pulling out the brush. To get it out completely, you will have to remove a belt that holds the brush in place. Rotate the roller should it be stuck or persist.

Likewise, you will also snip off the hair and long strings from the surface. End the process by applying a layer of rubbing alcohol to make the brush shiny.

Brush Roller Vacuum
A brush roller can be referred to as a beater bar in the user guide

Let’s find out how to remove thick masses of hair via this easy guide. Watch this video:

Watch this video: How to Clean Rocket Shark Vacuum Brushbar / Brush roll

Step 5: Clean The Hose

Over time, the handle hose will be badly clogged up with large chunks of hair, dirt, and other small items like coins or paper clips. As a result, your powerful device will lose its suction or even malfunction.

Once you separate the hose from the main unit, look inside to find the blockages. Take them out with extreme caution to avoid puncture. If you can’t reach them with your hands, a brush will be of great use.

Later, submerge the hose in a sink filled with soapy water to flush out the remaining dirt and dust in the bendy section. If you notice a foul odor at this point, add two cups of vinegar and three tablespoons of baking soda to the hose, with one hand covering the hose’s end.

Give it a few shakes. After that, run cold water through the hose again before hanging it dry with other components.

Step 6: Reassemble The Vacuum

After 24 hours, check whether the parts have dried out yet. If they have, put everything back to its place in a reverse fashion.

You will reinsert the brush into the unit, followed by the faceplate and the cleaner head. Next, reconnect the head with the hose. Return the filters and the canister to their positions. Check the manual to ensure that you have reinstalled the parts correctly.

Congratulations! Your Shark vacuum is now as good as new!

Smarter Ways To Clean Your Shark Vacuum In The Future

Even though you have successfully cleaned your vacuum, it’s worth looking at the following section for future jobs. It will offer you plenty of tips to make the most of your time and effort.

  • Know Your Model: It’s important to get to know your vacuum a bit if you want the job to go plain sailing. You should remember where the parts go or whether it has unique features that stand out from other models.
  • Protect Your Health: If you are highly sensitive to dust properties, you are advised to put on a medical mask and gloves. Wearing protective gear also reduces the chance of injuries from touching sharp objects in the canister or hose.
  • Examine The Parts: As you clean the individual parts, carefully inspect their condition to find out if they need a fix or replacement. Some red flags are wear or tear, fracture, openings, and so on.
  • Avoid Rough Scrubbing: Vigorous scrubbing motions are not encouraged since they can cause substantial damage to the parts. Be gentle as much as you can and use a soft-bristled brush instead of abrasive tools.
  • Skip Harsh Cleaners: According to most experts, chemical-based solutions are not suitable for cleaning household appliances. Household supplies like baking soda or vinegar alone are enough to bring the shine back on your vacuum.
  • Dry Exhaustively: Let the components dry completely before reinstallation. If excess moisture remains, it will lead to another issue: mold. When you run the vacuum, mold will spew out from the unit, causing you to suffer from many respiratory problems. (2)
  • Purchase Spare Parts: If you need to use the vacuum, but the hose or the filter is not dry yet, you can consider buying spare parts to reduce waiting time. Just stop by any local hardware stores like Home Depot or Target and pick up what you need.
  • Refresh The Odor: If your vacuum is entrusted to pick up pet waste and food crumbs, perhaps it’s a good idea to eliminate the unpleasant smell with a scented tab. Place it in the vacuum and let the aromatic scent wake up your house.

And, check out the table below to determine when you should clean your vacuum, along with its components.

Vacuum/Vacuum PartsCleaning Frequency
CanisterAfter each use
Foam/felt filtersEvery month
VacuumEvery three months
HEPA filterEvery year

If anything goes wrong, don’t hesitate to contact Shark for professional help. Or, if this is too much work for you to handle, you can have the machine serviced by an expert. It should not cost you much, but success is always guaranteed.


New to cleaning a Shark vacuum? I have been there, too, and I’m sure that you have any questions even if you have scrolled through the post. Not to worry; the following section got your back.

Can I machine wash the filters of my Shark vacuum?

No, you can’t. According to Shark, you should only hand wash the filters.

Can I use bleach to clean the vacuum parts?

Bleach should be the last thing that comes to mind when cleaning household equipment. It’s abrasive and can eat through the material, so it’s your safest bet to go with soapy water.

When should I replace the filters of my Shark vacuum?

Shark advises their customers to replace the filters every three months, particularly if you run the vacuum daily. This will help maintain the device’s efficiency in the long run.

After I clean the brush, it stops spinning. How do I fix this?

Make sure that the switch used to activate the brush is turned on. It is located on the vacuum underside. Also, check if you have put it in the wrong setting. If everything seems normal but the light still turns red, you should send it to Shark for further examination.

How do I clean other attachments of my Shark vacuum?

To clean additional attachments, you just need to wash them with plain water and let them dry.

Do the instructions above apply to a cordless Shark vacuum?

Yes, you can follow the exact instructions to clean a cordless Shark vacuum. Indeed, you will skip step 5 of the procedure.

I happened to cut off some parts of the roller brush. What should I do?

In that case, you have no choice but to replace the roller brush. Visit any equipment store in the area and check whether they have the exact replacement for your vacuum.

Can I dry the filters in an oven?

No, you can’t. Shark has warned against drying machine parts in a tumble dryer, an oven, or near a naked flame.

Should I clean the vacuum when its motor is overheating?

You can proceed to clean your vacuum even when the motor overheats. Nonetheless, don’t forget to unplug the vacuum from the power source and wait until it cools down.

A Reminder To Increase Your Shark’s Vacuum Lifespan

Have you memorized all the steps of how to clean a Shark vacuum yet? I’m positive that you have. The process is not too challenging, and I believe that you will achieve huge success.

However, bear in mind that frequent cleaning sessions are not how you maintain a vacuum’s performance. To extend its lifespan, you should not use it to suck in large objects, fragments of plastic or glass, or wet food. In addition, remember to empty the canister when it’s 3/4 full.

Before my post ends, I just want to remind you that questions, tips, and other comments are all invited. Let me and other readers know how your cleaning project went! Have a nice day!

How To Clean A Shark Vacuum


  1. US EPA. 2021. What is a HEPA filter? | US EPA.
  2. Mayo Clinic. 2021. Mold Allergy – Symptoms and causes.

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Kevin Jones

Kevin Jones

Home Cleaning Specialist

Expertise: In-depth Knowledge of Cleaning Agents and Their Uses, Advanced Home Sanitization, Techniques Expertise in Cleaning and Maintaining, Various Floor Types, Innovations in Home Cleaning Tools

School: American College of Home Economics

Kevin Jones is a seasoned home cleaning specialist with over a decade of experience in the industry. A stickler for cleanliness and organization, Kevin brings a systematic and innovative approach to home maintenance. His expertise ranges from traditional methods to modern cleaning technology, ensuring homes are not just clean but healthy environments too.

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