Vacuum maintenance essentials
Note: Don’t forget to first unplug your vacuum cleaner. You don’t want it to turn on or to accidentally zap yourself while you’re cleaning it!
1. Check the vacuum bag if your vacuum cleaner has one: Replace the bag if it’s 1/3 of the way full. Using your vacuum when the cleaner bag is full will actually cost you more money in the long run—it makes your vacuum work harder and it doesn’t suction as well, which means that you have to keep the vacuum cleaner on for longer as you go over the same spot over and over!
2. For bagless vacuums: Empty out the tray or bin if you have a bagless vacuum cleaner.
3. Check all hoses and attachments: Look inside all of your hoses and attachments for obstructions or clogs. If you find any dirty stowaways, you can push them out with a wire coat hanger or the end of a broom handle.
4. Clean the filter: Since filters are made differently, check your owner’s manual before cleaning yours. Paper filters can usually be cleaned by shaking or gently tapping out the debris. You can typically wash your filter in the sink if it’s made out of plastic or foam. If your filter doesn’t come clean, it may be time to replace it.
5. Clean the beater bar: This is also known as the brush roll. If you don’t know what the brush roll is, just look underneath your vacuum cleaner. It’s the thing that probably has tons of debris and hair stuck in it. To clean it, just unlatch or unscrew the bottom plate and remove the brush roll—just remember how you removed it because you’ll have to put it back on later! Use your fingers or a small brush to clean the roll. You can even use scissors to cut away the hair if it’s particularly stubborn.
6. Check the belt: Take a look at the belt while you have the bottom plate off. Does the belt look loose, melted, worn or cracked? If so, it’s time to replace it!
7. Wipe away: Wipe away any dirt or debris from the brush roll housing—which is just fancy “shop talk” for the place on the back of the vacuum cleaner where the brush roll goes.