Does Your Vacuum Cleaner Suck?

When it comes to cleaning your home, which is the one appliance you turn to first? For many it’ll be the vacuum cleaner. So what do you do when this stops sucking and doesn’t remove the dirt from your floors?

According to one study, 44% of us replace our vacuums when they become inefficient, despite it often being a result of poor maintenance. Not cleaning the filter of your vacuum cleaner is one of the main reasons the appliance stops sucking and below we explain how to fix this and two other common faults which reduce the suction in your vacuum cleaner.

Full Vacuum Bag or Canister

Whether you’ve got a Dyson, Numatic, Vax or another model the vacuum bag or canister should be emptied before it becomes two-thirds full. As your vacuum fills, its suction becomes reduced. This in turn reduces its effectiveness in collecting dirt and debris from the floors, meaning instead of looking clean once you’ve run the vacuum around your floors will look just as messy.

Along with emptying the vacuum bag before it becomes two-thirds full, you should also replace the bag regularly. This is important as the pores in the bag can become blocked, again reducing suction each time the vacuum is used. Thankfully replacing your vacuum bag needn’t be expensive and we have an extensive range of replacement vacuum bags available.

Dirty Filters

As touched upon already, the condition of the filters in your vacuum cleaner can hinder its effectiveness. As dust and dirt sticks to and clogs up the filters, the vacuum cleaner’s suction is reduced.

To keep your filter in top condition, we recommend each time you empty your bagless vacuum cleaner you shake off any excess dirt from the filter. In addition, on a monthly basis you should give your filter a thorough clean.

Wash the filter in warm water (as long as it’s a washable one) and leave it to naturally air dry.  You shouldn’t use your vacuum without a filter, so it’s a good idea to buy a spare vacuum filter if necessary.


Think of the dirt your vacuum cleaner comes into contact with from mud and debris brought in from outside through to pet hair. It’s no surprise that blockages can occur.

If your vacuum cleaner is suffering from a blockage, the areas to check are:

  • The hose /attachments
  • The brushroll

To unblock the hose, remove it from your appliance and carefully use the end of a brush or wire coat hanger to push the blockage free.

Unblocking your brushroll is just as easy. Cut free any fibres and hair which may be caught around the part and remove them. In turn, this will remove any other debris which may be caught, ensuring your brushroll is able to rotate freely again.

So a full vacuum bag or canister, clogged filter or a blockage in your vacuum cleaner are three reasons why it may no longer suck. Two other faults which can hinder the suction are gaps in the air flow and faults with the motor. These are slightly more difficult to repair, but they are still doable at home – and if these are the reasons your vacuum’s suction has reduced we suggest you watch the following video.

Understanding what causes a lack of suction in your vacuum cleaner and knowing how to rectify the issues wont just help prevent them from occurring in future, but can also help save you the cost of purchasing a new appliance.

For more advice on looking after your vacuum cleaner, helping to save you money in both the short and long term, click here.

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