How To Clean A Dirty Vacuum Cleaner

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How do we get rid of that awful dirty vacuum smell?

Nothing ruins a good day like cleaning with a smelly vacuum cleaner. A smelly vacuum makes us feel like we are making the house dirtier instead of cleaning it. Thankfully, a smelly vacuum can be easily fixed. To remedy the situation, we first need to find out the source of the odor in the vacuum. Armed with this knowledge, we can eliminate the things that cause the vacuum cleaner to stink.

What is causing that smell?

1. A dust bag/receptacle full of smelly dirt: If there is smelly dirt in the dust bag, the vacuum will smell. Fortunately, the smell is removed by simply emptying the dust bag, or in the case of bagless vacuums, the dust receptacle. If the dust bag is reusable, it should be washed and dried in the sun. For bagless vacuum cleaners, the dust canister should be cleaned with a solution of water and baking soda. To prevent bad smells, dust bags, and dust canisters should frequently be emptied. We don’t have to wait until the bag gets full. We should remember that even reusable dust bags get old. They should be replaced at least once a year.

2. A dirty or worn out filter: A vacuum’s exhaust filter prevents the leaking of bad smells from the vacuum. Dirty or worn out filters will allow the smell to leak. If the filter is washable, clean it with soapy water and let it air dry, preferably in the sun, for 24 hours. We should always remember that even washable filters wear out with time. They should be replaced every 3 to 12 months.

3. If you have a cylinder or canister vacuum that smells, the odor may be caused by dirt stuck in the hose. To remove the smell, we clean the hose with a flue brush in a simple procedure:

  • Tie a weight to a nylon string or a slim cord.
  • Drop the weight through the tube until it comes out the other end of the hose
  • Tie the free end of the cord to the flue brush
  • Using the weight, pull the flue brush through the hose until it reaches the end
  • The brush will remove the dirt that was lodged in the hose
  • Disinfect the hose by pouring a solution of water and disinfectant/bicarbonate through the hose and leave it to dry
  • If the hose is made purely of plastic, soak it overnight in soapy water in order to remove any lingering smells.

4. Damp dirt: If we vacuum moist dirt like mud, the moisture can trigger the growth of mold and other fungi inside the cleaner. The damp dirt can also stick to many surfaces in the vacuum cleaner and cause blockages. Because prevention is better than cure, we should avoid vacuuming moist dirt.

5. Pet hair: Pet hair has a strong smell. If sucked into the vacuum, it will most likely cause the vacuum to stink. To prevent this, we should remove pet hair off the floor by sweeping. We should go a step further and avoid using the vacuum to remove hair altogether. Hair and fur are excellent at causing clogs in vacuums. In case dog hair accidentally finds its way into the vacuum, empty the dust bag promptly.

6. Overheating: If the vacuum smells like burning plastic and is hot to the touch, it is probably overheating. This means that the vacuum has a problem that needs to be worked on by a professional. To get rid of that smell, take the vacuum cleaner for a checkup.

How to keep the vacuum cleaner smelling good

– If there is a lingering smell even after cleaning the bag, filter, hose and attachments, we need to deep clean the entire vacuum cleaner. With a solution of baking soda and water, clean every accessible surface of the vacuum. This may involve disassembling the vacuum, cleaning and drying the individual parts and assembling the vacuum cleaner once the parts are dry.

– Put dry orange peels in the dust bag or dust receptacle, and the vacuum cleaner will give out a citrus scent whenever you clean.

– Another trick is to pour cinnamon on the floor and suck it up with the vacuum. With the cinnamon now in the dust bag and filters, a sweet cinnamon scent will be in the air whenever you vacuum.

Prevention is the best deodorant

The best way to avoid a smelly vacuum cleaner is regular cleaning and maintenance. Timely emptying and cleaning of vacuum bags and filters is necessary to keep the vacuum smelling good. Replacing of worn bags and filters also prevents bad smells from forming. Maintaining a pleasant smelling vacuum only takes a few tricks and very little effort. At the end of the day, however, being proactive is the easiest way of maintaining a nice smelling vacuum cleaner.

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