A clean vacuum cleaner is an efficient machine. And for this to happen, it is mandatory that people inform themselves about the ways of keeping their housekeeping devices all fresh and genuine.
Every day, you are pushing the vacuum cleaner around the house, back and forward, and then shove it back into the dark larder and leave it there until the next use. It’s time you realize the bad things you are doing to your vacuum cleaner, as tragic as it might sound, and what improvements you can start doing for better cleaning.
Just think about the many times you are dragging these machines all around and also the times when you hit them on the furniture around the house.
But why do the malfunctions happen? Well, because of the poor caring. So, the talk today will cover the topic of washing the vacuum cleaner in the right way, in order to maintain a good suction. And it is really simple. Let’s understand the how to clean a vacuum cleaner steps together.
The Most Often Diagnostics
Before going straight to the ways of cleaning the vacuum cleaner, I thought it would very helpful to expose some of the most often diagnostics to help you target the parts of the vacuum cleaner that need the most attention. Here we go:
a) The Vacuum Cleaner started to smell. This is one of the most common problems that a vacuum cleaner can have, and it appears due to the lack of cleaning the area where all the dirt comes in.
Over time, vacuum cleaners can develop this bad odor, especially if you have pets and you are vacuuming their hair or dry food. Here is a video on how to avoid this situation and make your home smell nice, while cleaning:
b) The Vacuum Cleaner Brush does not spin. Another issue that might appear to your vacuum cleaner has to do with the brush, that does not spin anymore. This problem is related to the belts, used in the construction of the appliance. It is necessary to check if the driven belt and the cogged belt are working properly.
Maybe you don’t want to hear this, but this kind of problem can be caused also by a jammed brush roll, which hasn’t been pulled out and cleaned for a very long time. Ensure there is no external object in there and if the assembly is not cracked.
c) The Brushroll is Jammed. Sometimes it happens that the brush roll gets clogged with debris, which can immediately drive the belt to heat up. In time, this issue will emit a strong smell of burning rubber.
d) Vacuum Cleaner is unusually noisy and vibrates. If you have noticed that the vacuum cleaner noises are more and more acute and the machine tends to emanate a bad smell from the drive motor, this can be a sign for a poor cleaning.
This is caused when there is a lot of dirt that enters the motor area and causes those blockages. In time, this issue can take to a broken motor fan and noise, while the vacuum cleaner is operated.
e) The Bag/Dust Canister needs Emptying. If the dust canister is fully loaded, then it probably forces the excess of dirt and rubble inside the machine, which causes a really bad smell. Also, for those who have a vacuum that comes with dust bags, and they are full, they will instantly emit bad odors as well.
f) Dirty Filters. When the filters are dirty, they will stop trapping the pollutants and debris. Imagine that all the dust will start emitting a very bad smell, especially if you use to vacuum dirt such as the pets’ hair or some food.
g) The Vacuum Cleaner’s Vent is Blocked. The vacuum cleaner has to eject the cleaner air from the inside of the machine to support suction. But if the vent is dirty or obstructed, then this might be the cause of the bad smell.
h) The Vacuum Cleaner is not sucking. You should check the intake port, which is placed in the same location as the brush roll. Because of the great amount of the debris, which is kicked up by the rotating brush, there might appear a blockage. If you use to vacuum carpets and rugs, then this is a common issue.
i) Broken Fan. If there is no operational fan, there might not be any suction at all. The fan is the one that creates that pressure that gives the vacuum its suction power which enables it to function. If the fan stops working, so does the machine.
While this might not be the most comprehensive list, the good news is that all these issues above are easy to resolve, and all you need is the habit of permanently cleaning the vacuum cleaner. By giving a regular clean, you will see that the vacuum cleaner will do the best job.
To do Before You Start Cleaning the Vacuum Cleaner
Before you start cleaning the vacuum, it’s important to know some things and to do them. Please check these points:
- Clean the vacuum in a good, ventilated area, as the machine is very dusty and you might soil all the room;
- Make sure the vacuum machine is unplugged
- Before cleaning the vacuum, please pay attention to the manual. If you don’t have it anymore, because the machine is way too old, then I assure you that you will find an online one. So, consult the manual, the location of filters or canisters, and then start cleaning the vacuum machine.
What You Will Need
In order to clean the vacuum machine, you need some tools, so the result will be the deserved one. Everybody has all this stuff in their homes, so there is no rocket science in cleaning the vacuum machine. Here is what you need:
- A Screwdriver (preferably a crosshead one) - vacuum cleaners are kept together with some screws, which can easily be removed with a screwdriver.
- Warm Water - the warm water is going to soak the filters and remove them entirely.
- Soap/dish soap - try using a non-abrasive type of soap or detergent, that has antimicrobial agents. These agents are designed to disinfect and also kill the germs that gather at the surface of the filters.
- Cleaning toothbrush/simple brush - make sure you have a good hand-held brush, like the one used for scooping the debris into a dustpan. The brush will help you remove all the pet hairs and the carpet fibers that get trapped inside the dust canister. The toothbrush is perfect for you to get in those areas which are hard to reach.
- A cloth made of microfiber - the microfiber is effective for trapping all the tiny pieces of dust, more than a regular cloth would do it. The microfibers can absorb eight times more their weight and due to their soft material, they will protect the surfaces from scratches.
- Scissors - will help you cut away the tangled fibers and hairs that accumulate in the rotating brush.
- Garbage bag - Here is where you will lodge all the dust.
- Rubber gloves - in order to protect your hands.
- Compressed Air - this is optional. But a container of compressed air will be great for blasting away any hardened dirt or stubborn obstructions.
How to Clean a Vacuum Cleaner - The Actual Steps
Cleaning the vacuum machine is a very important job that should be done at least every few months, in order for the vacuum to do its job effectively and help the user prevent the dust. Also, as shown in other articles, as long as the vacuum is working properly, you can do lots of other healthy things with the vacuum, such as preventing the allergy-related sniffling in the house.
And if you want another reason for cleaning as often as possible the vacuum machine, well, find out that these systems can really start stinking. So be sure you follow these steps:
1. Clean the Filter
The first step to do is to clean the vacuum filter. Most of the vacuum cleaners come with a couple of filters that need to be checked manually. This way, you will be able to see where the dirt is exactly located. Cleaning the filters is a very important step, as they are the first major line of defense against all the dust and the nasty allergy particles.
Now, there are some vacuums that come with washable filters. But in case you don’t have this type of filters, just do this: remove them from the vacuum machine, shake them very well, but away from the face, and rinse them under cool water, for several minutes. Then make sure you lay the filter flat, for drying, for at least 24 hours.
It is vital for the filter to be dry because nobody would want to mold spores or any bacteria to grow on the filter. This unhappy moment will actually ruin the main purpose of the filter, right? And the last thing you would want while vacuuming is a bad smell.
So, once you make sure the filter is all dry, it’s time for placing it back in the vacuum cleaner, along with the foam filter, in the exact same order you removed them.
Here is a video to help you do this:
2. Clean the Foam Filter
Most of the modern vacuum cleaners come with secondary filters, made most of the times from plastic. Now, what you need to do, once you have removed the dust canister and left it in a bowl full of warm water, is to do the same with the filter.
Be careful, because there are lots of new models of vacuum cleaners that come with filters made of foam. Check to see if yours is the same.
Most of the manufacturers don’t recommend users to wash the foam filter, because this way you can reduce its life or perish it. So what should you do in this case?
Well, there’s a solution to everything, right? So the best way to clean the foam filter is to tap it out into the trash, making sure the area is well-ventilated and you don’t keep your face too close.
When you cannot see any debris or dirt and you are satisfied with the job, you can place the foam filter on one side.
3. Clean the Canister
Once you were sure you cleaned the filters, it’s time for the canister. If your vacuum cleaner is using a bag instead, skip this step, as you are only interested in changing the bag as soon as it gets full.
In order to clean the canister, you need to first remove it and empty all the dust and dirt into a garbage bag. Then, grab the instruction manual, and separate the canister part from the larger vacuuming part.
Now, you are free to soak the canister into the warm soapy water and start cleaning it with a scrub brush. It is very important to rinse all the soap well and leave the canister to drying for at least 24 hours. This last part is extremely important, as there should be none inside moisture into the vacuum.
Now that the vacuum has taken apart, it is time to clean the interior part of the vacuum. It’s time to grab that toothbrush I was talking about earlier in this article and brush in a downward stroke.
This way, you will get rid of the debris from the vacuuming part. Once you did that, wipe down all the dirt with a dry microfiber cloth. But if the dirt persists and gets stuck in the vacuum, it’s time for using the compressed air.
Check the video below because it will come very helpful:
4. Clean the Powerhead
There are lots of hair and debris that can get caught up in the beater bar of the vacuum. This issue makes the bristles hard to pull things out of the floor or of the carpet. The process of cleaning will be as hard as the roller would pop out.
When facing this problem, you just need to take that pair of scissors and begin cutting all the debris and hair. But please take care so you don’t the powerhead’s bristles.
Pull out all the dirt and hairs with your hands and brush away any little piece of debris that remained through the powerhead. Use a cleaning toothbrush to simplify the process.
5. Clean the Vacuum Attachments
When it comes to the attachments of the vacuum cleaner, these are very easy to clean, as you just need to fill a sink or a bucket with nice warm water and somewhere about a teaspoon of mild dish soap.
Drop all of them together. For any of the vacuum attachments that have hairs stuck in them, you can easily use the cleaning toothbrush in order to brush them away.
Once you make sure the attachments are all clean, it’s time for rinsing them and lay them flat, in order to dry and have no drop of water left on them. Make sure you leave them out of the vacuum cleaner for at least 24 hours.
Now, in terms of how often you should clean the vacuum and its attachments, you should probably clean the filters, the canister, and all the attachments at least every three months. Maybe even more often.
This way, you make sure that the vacuum will do its job properly and you will reduce the amount of time spent while vacuuming. And this is a huge plus, isn’t it?
Top Tips to Keep in Mind
When cleaning a vacuum machine and maintaining it, it is very important to take care of all its components. So, don’t be surprised when I will tell you that it’s time to grab all the little things and store them wisely.
Have a Safe Place to Store the Little Things
For instance, have a safe place to store all the little things, such as the screws. They are so easy to get lost. It’s so easy to store them in a smart way: just grab a cup or a bowl, and place all those screws inside.
Once you did this, place the cup or the bowl in a safe place, such as on the countertop. This way, when you will come to put the vacuum together, it will be a lot easier, instead of fishing around on the floor for lost screws.
Make Sure You Have Enough Spares
When you are buying a vacuum cleaner, most of the manufacturers usually offer spare HEPA filters along with their boxes. However, some of them are not so generous.
Filters are one of the most important parts of a vacuum cleaner and are likely to perish, particularly if you use to clean them often. So, make sure you are buying some spares that are authorized and you keep them in house. Make the same habit when it comes to the foam filters, and buy some more, for your own safety.
When it comes to the spares, it is also good to keep a spare drive belt somewhere safe, in a cupboard, for instance. So, think about all that it is perishable and make sure you keep a spare for each one.
Clean the Vacuum Machine and the Filters Once a Month
By regularly cleaning the vacuum machine as the manual is suggesting, you will make sure the system will do its job in the best way. So, although you have a warranty, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of the machine you are using.
This is why I recommend people to clean their vacuums at least once a month. And if you follow this advice, you are going to keep your vacuum cleaner working efficiently for many years to come.
Use a Deodorizer
So, once you are sure you cleaned nicely the filters and also changed the dust bag, you can safely buy a deodorizer, this way keeping the machine's smell fresh, for a long time.
Take Your Time When Cleaning the Vacuum Machine
When cleaning the vacuum machine, make sure there are no distractions around. So, you should know that the cleaning task is relatively simple, but you need to focus there. By getting distracted by anybody around, the children or other conversations will make the whole process a lot more complicated.
To avoid any of this displeasure, make sure you are on a quiet day when you do not have visitors or the children around. Take your time and you will enjoy a vacuum cleaner that works perfectly.
Maybe you don’t want to hear this, but yes, we live in a throwaway world, where we are dependent on these smart devices that make our lives easier. So, in order to enjoy a product as much as you can, you need to take care of them.
The first thing to do is to learn what each component of the vacuum does, how to clean it, how to maintain it and then, how to diagnose a problem. Once you do this, you will be better prepared to roll the sleeves and resolve any issue that will appear to your vacuum cleaner.
When it comes to my own experience, I can tell you that it is possible to have the best working vacuum machine for a very long time. You just need to take care of it, to follow the rules from the manual, and to always be sure that your system is all clean.
Now, washing a vacuum cleaner might seem more complicated than it actually is. But you just need a couple of tools and a maximum of 15 minutes to obtain a fresh machine.
Try to follow this step-by-step guide and tell me, in the comments below, how it worked. Do this monthly routine and you will surely extend the life of your vacuum cleaner.