Person Holding Up Clean Vacuum Cleaner Bin

How to Clean Your Vacuum Cleaner Filter

Here’s the tragic story of a bad relationship between a vacuum owner and a vacuum cleaner. Every time they clean together the vacuum cleaner filter gets more and more clogged and the vacuum’s suction gets weaker and weaker. Eventually, the owner gives up on the old model and trades the appliance in for a shiny new one.

Let’s be honest, most of us have been guilty of ignoring poor performance then throwing our machines away when the problem gets worse in the past. We say it’s time for a change because cleaning out (or in some cases replacing) your vacuum cleaner filter takes less than an hour and could even save you the cost of a new appliance!

Tools Needed For Vacuum Filter Cleaning

Before You Begin Cleaning…

Here’s a warning before you embark on this task: it can get messy. Dust from your filter can rise up in a big cloud before settling on your carpets so heed our top tips to save you extra work.

  • Take the vacuum outside to clean it. Sitting outside on a nice day with some music playing and the sun gently warming your skin hardly feels like a chore at all. More importantly, dust settling on your grass won’t need cleaning up afterwards.
  • Have the tools you need to hand before you begin so you don’t have to keep stopping and starting. You’ll most likely need some screwdrivers to take the vac apart to access the filter, a bin bag to put the excess fluff and dust into and some kind of tool to aid cleaning.
  • Figure out if your vacuum cleaner filter can be washed or is non-washable. You’ll need to consult your appliance manual for this. Washable filters can be rinsed under the tap and cleaned with a mild detergent.
  • Tools to help you clean non-washable filter include paintbrushes, hairdryers and air dusters (the cans of compressed air you’d use to clean out a keyboard). If you have a second vacuum cleaner or a handheld vac that would be ideal for the job too.

FYI bagless vacuum cleaners are more likely to need their filters cleaning as vacuum bags often come with filters built in. However, it’s always worth checking your appliance manual to see what kind of cleaning the manufacturer recommends.

How to Clean a Non-Washable Vacuum Filter

We’ll take you through the cleaning process step-by-step for a bagless vacuum. Are you sitting comfortably? Then let’s begin!

Unclipping Dust Bin From VacuumRemove the vacuum bin from the main body of the vacuum.

Unscrewing Filter From VacuumUnscrew the filter section from the rest of the vacuum bin.

Removing Filter From Dust BinRemove the filter from the dust bin.

Cleaning Filter Case With PaintbrushBrush the excess fluff and dust from the outside of the filter.

Removing Vacuum Cleaner FilterSeparate the filter from the vacuum. It’s clear which areas will need cleaning as they’ll be coated with dust!

Inside Of Vacuum FilterThe interior of the filter should be clean so you just need to get to work cleaning the outside.

For added satisfaction get a before and after picture!

Dirty And Clean Vacuum Filter Before And After

It’s worth noting that different vacuums come apart in different ways. If you can’t separate parts, don’t force and break them! Once again your manual is your bible to help you access the right part of your machine.

Important note: Never wash your filter to clean it unless you’re certain it can be washed. Washing a non-washable filter will either cause it to disintegrate or the micro holes that allow air to pass through it will get blocked, rendering the filter useless.

If you’ve got to this info too late and you’ve already given yours a dousing you’re in luck as we’ve got a vast range of replacement filters you can get your hands on.

How to Clean a Washable Vacuum Filter

Some filters can be washed and here’s how.

  1. Unscrew your vacuum to get to the filter
  2. Remove the filter.
  3. Wash it in water with a mild detergent and rinse clean.
  4. Leave to dry thoroughly. This is super important as a damp filter won’t do its job.

If your vacuum gets a lot of use and leaving the filter to dry is a pain you can get always get yourself a spare.

Washable Vacuum Cleaner Filter

How to Replace a Vacuum Filter

Torn, damaged or excessively worn filters should be replaced completely rather than just cleaned. The process for getting to the filter is the same. You just need to pop your shiny new one in the same position as the old one.

When buying a replacement you’ll need your model number to hand. It’ll most likely be on the sides or base of vacuum on a sticker or data plate.

Locations Of Vacuum Cleaner Model Numbers

Here’s Josh with a step-by-step video to help you:

Clean your filter, repair your relationship with your appliance and save yourself money on the cost of a new one! We wish you and your vacuum cleaner many happy years together.

Love your revitalised vacuum so much that you want to spend more time with it? Make the most of it with these helpful hints.

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