As one of the more expensive cleaning appliances, it’s important to know how to clean a vacuum cleaner to protect your investment. A few minutes before and after each use will keep your vacuum cleaner running efficiently, which means you’re doing your carpets a favor, too.
How To Clean A Vacuum Cleaner Before Each Use
Check the brushes: Thread, hair and other items often get tangled in the rolling brush at the base of your vacuum. This brush is what lifts dirt and debris from your carpet. If it can’t spin properly, it can’t clean properly. Tease the threads loose or use small scissors to snip and remove them.
Inspect the belts: Over time, a vacuum cleaner’s belts can become worn or stretched out. When this happens, the vacuum won’t work properly. Inspect yours regularly and replace loose or worn belts as needed.
Wipe the wheels: Given the nasty messes they deal with, vacuum cleaner tires often get coated in gunk. Rather than rolling this gunk onto your carpets where it may create stains, give the tires a quick wipe with a damp microfiber cloth.
Check the hoses: In addition to looking for holes or fraying spots, make sure your hoses are free of debris. I’ve often found tissues, and once even some gum, in my vacuum hose. Rather than letting those gum up your vacuum’s motor (pardon the pun), you should make sure the hoses are intact and empty before each use.
How To Clean A Vacuum After Each Use
Keep it empty: If your vacuum has a bag, replace it when it’s half-full. Models with dust bins should be emptied after every use. No matter what the manufacturer says, a full bag or dust bin does cut suction.
Wipe your vacuum down: Given their job, it’s not surprising that a lot of dirt and dust collects on a vacuum. Keep yours dust-free with a soft cloth after each use.
How To Clean A Vacuum Periodically
Wash what you can: Wash the dust, crevice and upholstery attachments at least once a month to avoid greasy dirt buildup. If your hoses are made of plastic, give them a quick rinse in the sink or tub monthly, too, then hang them outside to dry. Vacuums with dust containers need occasional washing, too, as do their plastic gaskets.
Follow the maintenance schedule: Many “bagless” vacuums still require regular replacement of internal dust and HEPA filters. Using dirty filters runs a risk of overheating your vacuum and reduces its cleaning efficiency, too. Check your manufacturer’s instructions and replace yours accordingly.
Remember: never vacuum up coins, small toys, sharp items or larger pieces of debris. These can damage the interior mechanisms of your vacuum, bending the blades and ruining the motor.