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How To Clean A Bagless Vacuum: Upright, Canister, Or Stick

Many people get caught up in the convenience of having a bagless vacuum cleaner and how it does its job, that they never ask if or how they should clean it! What brought this on was when I was vacuuming the other day, my vacuum was not its normal self.

The kids had been working overtime to make sure the carpets were well fed so there was mess everywhere! So as the vacuum was struggling to deal with the platter the kids had made for the living room carpet I knew it was time to give it a clean.

If you have wondered how do I clean a bagless vacuum? Wonder no more as I am here to take you through it step by step.

Step 1: Be Prepared

cleaning your vaccum cleaner

Before you start make sure you have what you need. I recommend that you have some baby wipes (is there anything these cannot do?), a can of compressed air, some old rags, dish soap and a ready and waiting empty sink.

Apart from the compressed air, you will most likely have the rest of this stuff already in your house. If your vacuum allows you to insert new HEPA filters, you might also want to have one of those.

Step 2: Break It Down!

Well not literally, but take off everything that can come off your vacuum. I am talking about all of the tools, the canister, the filters and so on. Anything that comes off the vacuum easily should be removed.

Step 3: Throw Them In The Sink

cleaning a sink

Ok so maybe not throw them in, but fill the sink with warm soapy water and then put each piece of your vacuum cleaner in it. I like to give each piece a really good and thorough rub to make sure all of the dust and other mess that I do not even want to know what it is comes off.

 If you are cleaning tools, make sure you get inside them and give the nooks and crannies a good wash too.

One extra pro tip that I want to give here regards the canister. First of all, make sure you have emptied it into the garbage. Also though if you can get your hand in there use a baby wipe to get rid of any excess mess that might be stuck to the sides.

This is better than getting it all in your sink as it makes cleaning a more nasty job than it needs to be. I actually wash the canister separately from the rest of the vacuum and find that works best.

Step 4: Let Them Air Dry

I cannot stress how important this next step is. You have to let all of the components of your vacuum cleaner dry and dry properly. You cannot use them if they are wet. Stuff will get all stuck to it and it will be a pain to deal with.

If this means leaving the parts out to air dry for 24 hours then so be it. Once they have air-dried you will also be able to see if you managed to clean all of the pieces properly. Again, please do not try and use your vacuum when the pieces are wet. I am sure there is a safety issue here, but your vacuum will also not work properly if it is wet.

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Step 5: Dust The Rest Of The Vacuum

vaccum cleaner dusting

This is where you can of compressed air comes in. Now that the canister is removed you can blast compressed air down the hose and it should dislodge any bits of dust, Cheerios, Legos or anything else that may be stuck in there.

Give it a few good blasts and it will be clear. You can also use this on the head of the vacuum and anywhere else that you feel dust may be. Cans of compressed air can leak so I find it best to hold it a few inches away from the vacuum cleaner.

Once again I like to break out the baby wipes here. If you are going all in with cleaning your bagless vacuum cleaner you might as well clean it all and give the whole thing a going over with baby wipes. You will be amazed at how filthy the outside of a vacuum cleaner can be!

Step 6: Clean The Floor Brush

The floor brush or head of the vacuum if you prefer is where all the action happens and there is bound to be a lot of dust and other mess here. Some people will get out the toolbox and actually remove the head and clean the brush roll this way.

In theory, this is going to be the best way to clean your vacuum. However, this can result in you invalidating your warranty and if you do not know what you are doing you could actually end up damaging your vacuum. So removing the floor brush is not something I would recommend

What I do recommend is that you tip the vacuum on its side and pull out any bits of hair, dust, and other lovely mess that you can find. You can always use the compressed air to blast out any really stuck in mess.

If you want a baby wipe can come in handy here, just make sure you let it properly dry if the baby wipes you are using happen to be quite wet. I find that I can clean the floor brush very well this way and I do not have to bother unscrewing and removing it.

Step 7: Put Your Vacuum Back Together

Once all of the parts you have cleaned are fully dry you can put the vacuum cleaner back together again. If this is the first time you have thoroughly cleaned your bagless vacuum cleaner then you might want to take a few photos of it on your phone before you do so just so you know for sure where everything goes.

I am sure you will be fine though. It is also now that you would put in a brand new HEPA filter if you want to.

As you can see it is not hard to clean a bagless vacuum and in all honesty a thorough cleaning like this only needs to be done a couple of times a year in my opinion. I say this as a parent with two kids and two dogs so my vacuum cleaner sees a lot of action.

Cleaning your bagless vacuum a couple of times per year will not only make sure it works great, but it will also make sure you get many years of use out of it.

Read More: How To Empty, Clean, And Take Apart A Shark Vacuum Cleaner

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I'm obsessed with cleaning (maybe to an unhealthy degree) and want to share all of my best tips and hacks with you.

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