Whilst vacuum cleaners are tools designed to help you keep your house clean, they themselves require regular cleaning and checks to ensure that they do not lose suction or become clogged. This article lists the steps you should follow to keep your vacuum cleaner in full working order.
Empty the dust collection cylinder/replace bag
An obvious but important task to keep your vacuum cleaner from becoming too full, as this will quickly reduce the suction that it can output. For bagless vacuum cleaners we recommend emptying the collection cylinder after every use if possible. If your vacuum uses bags then you won’t want to do this, but do check that the bag isn’t full after each use otherwise you will see a huge deterioration in suction power. As a rough guideline we would recommend emptying the bag when it gets 2/3 full.
One further step you can take with bagless vacuum cleaners is to use a wet sponge to clean the inside of the dust collection cylinder. This isn’t mandatory, but it’s nice to keep it looking clean.
Clean the filters
Most modern vacuum cleaners have cleanable or replaceable filters that catch dust particles as the vacuum exhausts air. These should be cleaned often to prevent a loss of suction, so follow your vacuum’s user manual to find how to remove it.
Once you have taken the filter out, shake it out over a bin to remove any loose dust. You can also use your fingers or a soft brush to remove the excess – an old toothbrush is perfect for this. The manual for your vacuum will inform you whether you can use water to wash the filter, so use cold water to rinse and clean the filter if this is the case. You will then need to leave the filter to dry before refitting it into your vacuum cleaner.
Some vacuum cleaners use paper or fabric filters which can be replaced, but these too can be shaken out to extend their lifetime.
Filters should be cleaned once a month, or more under heavy usage.
Clean the brush
The brush roll or beater bar is the spinning brush used to pull the dust up from carpets and this too should be cleaned regularly to ensure that your vacuum cleaner is picking up as much dust from your carpets as possible. Common things to look for are:
Hair or thread coiled around the brush
Large pieces of debris trapped in the brush
Large debris can normally be removed using your fingers, but you may well need scissors to cut through hair that has become entangled around the brush before being able to pull it free. Also make sure to check the ends next to the bearings as hair trapped around here can jam the brush.
Lubricate the brush bearings
After owning a vacuum cleaner for a long time, you may find that the carpet brush doesn’t spin as freely as it did when originally purchased. This may be a sign of hair tangled around the brush (as discussed in the previous section) or the bearings might need lubricating. Remove the brush from it’s casing, remove any debris or hair in the bearings and check whether the brush will now spin freely. If not, apply some lubrication to the bearings and test the results – a brush that spins faster will pick up more dust.