Cleaning the Cleaning Supplies – How to Clean the Vacuum Cleaner
Sometimes, it’s time to clean the cleaning supplies. You can’t wipe a table clean with a dirty rag, and you can’t get a floor clean with a clogged vacuum. Over time, the vacuum cleaner you use in your office or home becomes clogged with hair, string, twist ties, and dust bunnies.
If the canister or bag is never emptied, it will lose suction as the vacuum becomes full. If any aperture is clogged with a wad of fluff, you’ll lose suction power, as well. If the beaters become too wrapped in crud to beat, they won’t pull debris out of the carpet fibers anymore. Here’s a practical step-by-step guide to clean your vacuum to keep a cleaner floor with a few quick swipes.
What Not to Vacuum
- Electrical cords
- Hair ties, twist ties, and paper clips
- Long strings
- Large pieces of fluff
- Broken shards, nails, and large staples
- Wet mess
- Fine dust and fireplace ash
Want to keep your vacuum in good shape and clean it less often? Avoid vacuuming these things, which vacuums don’t handle well. A little picking up can make a big difference for a clean carpet and an effective vacuum.
Cleaning the Beaters
- Needle-nose pliers
- Small trashcan
1. Flip the Vacuum Upside-Down
Access the underside of your vacuum foot. Lay your vacuum on its side and then roll it so the foot and beaters face upward. You should be able to see the beaters, the mess, and the mechanism that holds them in place.
2. Unscrew and Remove the Beaters
Follow the instructions based on your vacuum model to release the beaters. You may need a small or medium screwdriver to release the beater posts. There may also be some disassembly of the frame around the beaters with lever or twist latch releases.
3. Pull, Cut, and Remove Debris
Now you can see the debris and have the beaters detached. Usually, vacuum beaters become badly wrapped in hair, string, and dusty debris. You will likely need a pair of sharp scissors and possibly needle-nose pliers to remove all of the debris. Drop the debris into the trashcan next to you until the beaters are completely clear. Look to the posts the beaters connected to and remove any wrapped that hair you can.
4. Unclog Holes and Apertures
Next, turn your attention to the housing. Clear the crud from any holes and apertures. Use a small scraper to remove crud from the edges and the seal.
5. Reassemble the Beaters
Finally, put the beaters and the housing back together, reversing the disassembly steps you took earlier.
Unclogging the Vacuum Hose and Wand
- Broom handle
- Wire coat hanger
- Needlenose pliers
1. Clear the Wand with a Broom Handle
Clogs in the wand of your vacuum happen when you suck up something just a little too big for the chamber. You can remove socks, cable wraps, and bouncy balls from your vacuum wand with a narrow broom handle. Remove the wand and run the broom handle from one end to the other to push the item out the wider side of the wand.
2. Unclogging the Apertures and Hose Joints
Hose clogged? Use an unfolded wire coat hanger to hook an item out of the hose, or detatch the hose at both ends and use the broom handle trick.
3. Hunting Down a Dust Clog
Not sure where the clog is? Break out your vacuum manual and start checking each joint in the wand-hose-tank pathway until you find the clog and remove it with the coat hanger.
Cleaning the Canister
- Damp cloth
- Needlenose pliers
1. Remove the Canister
Detach the canister (or bag) from your vacuum with the usual push or latch mechanism.
2. Open and Shake Over a Trash Can
Open the canister over a large trashcan and shake all the dust and debris out.
3. Remove Filth from the Filter
Anything trapped around the centre post of your canister or stuck to the apertures, pull it out. You may need needlenose pliers to reach into the narrow channels of your canister or clear an aperture.
4. Wipe and Return
Use the damp cloth to wipe the inside and outside of the canister and return it to your vacuum.
Cleaning the Vacuum Filter
1. Extract the Vacuum Filter
If your vacuum has a changeable filter, follow the manual (or sticker instructions on the vacuum) to extract your filter. Admire how full of dust it is, vacuum filters are rarely clean.
2. Rinse According to Instructions
Rinse out the filter using the instructions on the filter, vacuum, or manual. This may take several minutes to rinse all the fine dust caught in the filter.
3. Dry for 24 Hours
Once the filter is clean, leave it out in the open air for 24 hours to give the filter material time to dry. It will not work right in your vacuum when damp.
4. Reassemble the Vacuum
Put your vacuum back together by placing the filter back into the canister, and the canister back into the vacuum. Run a test to make sure you have full suction again.