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How To Properly Clean A Vacuum (And Why You Should!)


Allison here.

Today I will be showing you a step-by-step tutorial on how to properly clean a vacuum (Vaccumn? Vaccuum? Vacuumn? Vacume? Does anyone else have this problem of always improperly spelling vacuum? Hehe…).

Of course, I most likely have a different vacuum than you do, so there will be some differences in how you clean yours. But the same concept applies.

Another difference may be how often you need to clean yours.

I prefer to clean mine once a month, which might seem excessive, but I have a few good reasons why I choose to do this:

  1. I vacuum my house daily, which causes the vacuum to get dirty quickly.

  2. Cleaning it once a month allows me to keep up with the cleaning. I would rather spend only 20 minutes cleaning it once a month as opposed to two hours of deep cleaning it every few months.

  3. It allows me to check for any issues that I may not have noticed, such as a hole in the hose, a loose part, a screw missing, etc.

  4. I can see the difference even though some people might not, so I go by my standards.

  5. It is nice knowing that I have a clean vacuum waiting to be used for all of next month.

I understand that most people are busy and may not have the time to clean their vacuum monthly, but I definitely would suggest setting aside time to clean it at least every 2-3 months.

This will help to extend the life of your vacuum, thus saving you money. It will also help to save you time and stress when you regularly maintain it.

Another thing that you must do with your vacuum, especially if you use it often, is to change out the belt and filter. This can be done every 3-6 months.

This is especially important as both of those parts help the vacuum to do its job, so when you do not replace them, the vacuum has to work harder, thus decreasing its lifespan.

Most vacuums only last about eight years before they start to have issues or stop functioning completely, so we want to make sure that we get as much use out of our vacuums as possible.

Some other things you can do to make your vacuum last in tip-top condition are to:

  1. Empty the canister after each use, or at least every couple of uses. You do not want the canister or bag to get full.

  2. Be GENTLE. This is especially important. Do not bang your vacuum around or go too fast with it across the floor.

  3. Do not run over the cord, if you have a corded vacuum.

I also mentioned above that I vacuum our floors daily, which also may seem a bit excessive, but it is kind of necessary for us.

I have a dog, which is reason enough to vacuum daily as the floors get pretty dirty from his fur and dirty paws. Our house is also pretty small, so it only takes me about 10-15 minutes to vacuum our whole house.

And, I am also to blame for our dirty floors :) Somehow I get flour all over the kitchen floor anytime I bake, which is almost every day.

So yes, vacuuming daily is a necessity for us.

Alright, now let me teach you how to properly and thoroughly clean your vacuum.

*Like I was saying previously, my vacuum is a Bissell Powerforce Helix which might not be the vacuum you have, so check out videos or read the manual on your vacuum to determine what is the best way to clean it and if there are any major differences between yours and mine.

Nonetheless, the same concept applies, and you can tweak some of these tips as you see fit.

What I like to do first is to start rinsing out the attachments.

This includes the pet brushes, hose attachments, and also the main hose part. The main hose on my vacuum twists right off with ease, but again, check and see how to properly do this with your vacuum.

You could almost not believe the amount of dirt, hair, and dust that comes out of the attachments, especially from the main hose! Even though I clean mine every month, I still get a lot of dirt coming out! That is mostly due to our dog, though.

So, this step is pretty important, but also simple.

This step also allows you to check for any holes or tears in your hose.

Once you are done, simply hang the hose over an object (bathtub faucet, porch railing, etc.) to let the water drip out.

Next, I do the canister.

This is pretty straightforward; I take everything apart (the top, the filter, the canister itself, etc.), and I rinse it all out. I use a rag and Dawn dish soap to clean the main areas, but you do not have to do that with the whole thing as most, if not all, of the dirt will rinse out easily.

I rinse out my filter monthly for three months before replacing it.

I then let it all dry out while I do the rest of the vacuum.

This is where we get into the nitty-gritty areas.

I unscrew the bottom off of my vacuum (do not lose the screws if you have to do this!) and I pull out the roll and the mini wheels. I then rinse and scrub them thoroughly as these parts are usually more dust-heavy. Make sure to pull all of the hair off the roll first before rinsing it.

After that, I take a soapy, damp rag and wipe down the inside where the bristle brush roll goes and the entire bottom of the vacuum. Use a spray bottle with a cleaner in it (preferably a vinegar one) to remove any odors as well as to get into hard-to-reach crevices.

I also get as much dirt off the stationary hose as I can.

After all that, I dry all of the bottom parts and put them back in their place. I then screw the bottom cover on.

About every three months, or if the wheels get squeaky, I will spray all of the wheels with WD-40. I usually do this at the same time I change the belt and filter.

Then I stand the vacuum up and start spraying and wiping everything down. This includes the foot pedals, the handle, the height adjuster, and anything else besides the cord.

Do not put anything back (except for the bottom attachments) until it is COMPLETELY dry. Do not make the same mistake I did when I was impatient and put everything back; it did not make for a happy vacuuming experience the next day.

You can let it dry outside in the sunlight if you wish.

Once everything is dry, simply put everything back in its place.

There you have it: a nice clean vacuum!

Enjoy its cleanliness while it lasts, as it will get dirty again quickly, but that is what maintenance is all about.

Check out the before and after pictures; you can really tell a difference!



Look at all that! Keep in mind, I clean mine monthly.

All in all, this should not take that long (unless your vacuum has been pretty neglected), and it is very simple and straightforward to do. So, there is not much of an excuse to not clean it.

Especially considering how essential regular maintenance is to the lifespan of your vacuum.

I do hope that this article helped you!

Let me know in the comments if you have any vacuum-cleaning tips! And, let me know how you have always spelled “vacuum.” Ha!


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