How to Clean a Vacuum Cleaner

Person vacuuming carpet with a red vacuum

The vacuum cleaner is just one of many small appliances you count on to keep your home running smoothly. It’s a tool you use to clean the house, but what about cleaning the vacuum itself? Regular vacuum cleaner maintenance will help the machine maintain its suction and last for years longer before needing to be replaced. Molly Maid can help with these tips on how to clean a vacuum cleaner.

Gather Your Supplies

  • Replacement vacuum bag (optional)
  • Soap and hot water
  • Can of compressed air
  • Wire hanger
  • Dryer sheet
  • Broom or mop
  • Duct tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement vacuum belt (optional)
  • Tweezers
  • Scissors or a seam ripper
  • Lubricating oil
  • New bearings or brush roller (optional)
  • Paper towels or an old paintbrush
  • Damp cloth

How to Maintain a Vacuum

  • Empty the debris canister into the trash or replace the vacuum bag, depending on whether you have a bagged or bagless vacuum. If the appliance has a canister, always empty it before it reaches three-fourths of the way full.
  • Wash the canister and all vacuum attachments in the sink with hot soapy water.
  • Remove the filter. If it’s made of foam or plastic, rinse it clean in the kitchen sink. Wait until it’s completely dry to put it back in the vacuum. If the filter is made of paper or fabric, spray it with compressed air to remove debris. You may want to go outside for this task.
  • Straighten a wire hanger and feed it through the vacuum hose to remove any clogs and open the airway. Do this carefully to prevent puncturing the hose.
  • Attach a dryer sheet to the end of a broom or mop handle with duct tape. Then, carefully insert the handle into the vacuum hose to dust the inside.
  • If the vacuum hose has any cracks, seal it with duct tape.
  • Tip the vacuum on its side. Remove the bottom plate with a screwdriver so you can inspect the parts inside.
  • Remove the brush roller and unwind long pieces of hair, string, or yarn wrapped around it. If you’re unable to do this by hand, grab the hair with tweezers. Then, cut them away with scissors or a seam ripper.
  • Clean and lubricate the bearings on the brush roller with oil. If the bearings don’t spin freely, consider replacing them or the entire brush.
  • Check the condition of the belt and replace it if it appears cracked or stretched out.
  • Remove dust and debris from the air passage and brush roller housing with a dry paper towel. An old paintbrush may help you reach further back.
  • Reassemble the underside of the vacuum and screw the bottom plate back on.
  • Wipe all exterior surfaces and the length of the cord with a damp cloth. Make sure the vacuum is completely dry before you plug it in.

Schedule Household Cleaning from Molly Maid

With your vacuum all tidied up, you’re ready to put it to work cleaning your home. But what if you don’t have time to vacuum and wash and scrub and disinfect? When you have other priorities taking up your time, count on the professionally trained crew at Molly Maid to make your house spotless. With our flexible offerings, you can have your house cleaned as often as you would like. Request a single deep-cleaning, occasional cleaning, or routine help with household chores.

For more useful cleaning tips, or to hire an expert housekeeper, please contact your local Molly Maid to request a free in-home estimate.