How to Clean Your Vacuum Cleaner - dummies

By Gill Chilton

Every tool needs to be cleaned periodically to continue to work well and your vacuum cleaner is no exception. Failure to keep it clean will reduce its efficiency.

Before inspecting any moving part of your vacuum ensure that the vacuum is unplugged.

Keep the wheels clean to avoid marking your floors or adding dirt to your carpet instead of taking it away. Check the wheels before you plug in the machine and wipe off the wheels with either a wet or dry cloth. If you take the vacuum outside to do the car with the hose attachments, stand the base on a carpet mat.

Change and wash filters as your model dictates. Be sure these are scrupulously dry before replacing. Stand them near, but not touching, a radiator for at least 12 hours.

To remove threads and coils of hair caught in the brush bar, carefully snip across at intervals then gently pull free. Bizarrely, the quickest way to clean a dirty brush attachment is to use another vacuum tool. Simply undo the brush attachment, clip on the crevice tool, and go along the brush bristles, suctioning up dirt.

Emptying the vacuum bag or bagless canister is an opportunity for developing good cleaning habits. Take bags, and the canisters of bagless containers, outside to empty them. The newest models have trigger switches that empty straight into the bin. Take care to avoid breathing in the dust.

  • For lift-off canisters: Hold a bin bag tightly across the rim of the canister then invert carefully to empty. Leave at least 10 seconds for dirt to slowly drift into the bag before you take it away. Seal and bin outside.

  • For vacuum bags: Aim to never let the bag get above half-full. A bag bursting with dirt dramatically cuts the efficiency of your vacuum. Follow the manufacturer’s removal instructions, taking care to pinch tight the top so that no dust can escape. Drop immediately into a rubbish bag, seal, and bin.