5 Simple Steps You Can Take to Make Your Vacuum Cleaner a Million Times Better

updated Jun 16, 2020
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someone vacuuming home rug
Credit: Joe Lingeman

While you’re busy cleaning our homes from top to bottom — especially during quarantine — your cleaning tools can get short shrift. You’re so happy to be done using them that you sock them away, possibly filthy, until the next mess.

The tools you use to deal with dirty things often get neglected, but if you think about it for just a second, you realize that these very items must need a good deep cleaning every now and then. Not only do dust bunnies and bacteria and who knows what all else stick to broom bristles and proliferate in sponge cells, but using dirty items to make things clean doesn’t make much sense.

Some cleaning tools are relatively easy to clean. Rags and even rubber gloves can be tossed in the washing machine, brooms can be swished in a soapy sink, and scrub brushes can be soaked in a bleach solution. Others, like the vacuum cleaner, seem so complicated to clean that we may honestly think that they’re supposed to just live a dirty life. But they’re not.

This weekend, you’re going to breathe new life into your vacuum cleaner.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

This Weekend: Clean your vacuum cleaner.

Cleaning your vacuum cleaner isn’t just for looks; it makes your machine run efficiently. This means it’ll clean better (hooray!) and you and it won’t have to work as hard, which in turn means that it’ll last longer and that you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

Here are the important steps to take:

  1. Wash the filter: To clean your vacuum cleaner, you’ll begin with the things that are easiest to take out. If you have a washable filter, remove that, wash it, and leave it out to dry in the sun if you can.
  2. Clean your roller brush: The easiest way to do this is with a seam ripper. The task is easy and the results are immediately apparent. Plus pulling giant globs of hair our from around that roller bar is satisfying.
  3. Move on to the canister: Check your machine’s manual for instructions, but you may be able to detach your canister and wash it with soapy water. Use a rag or microfiber cloth to help dislodge stubborn dust and debris.
  4. Clean out the hoses: Your vacuum’s hoses and tubes may harbor their own disgusting little secrets, as Ashley found out when she went to clean her vacuum cleaner. Detach what you’re able to, sprinkle some baking soda down into the tubes, and then follow with a vinegar chaser. The fizzing will help push out the grime that clings to the inside walls of your hoses and tubes. Rinse thoroughly with water.
  5. Wipe down the exterior: When you’re done with interior components, wipe down the outside of your unit with a damp microfiber cloth.

Make sure everything dries completely before you replace it and get excited about the next time you’ll vacuum with the shiny unit you never imagined you’d have again.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 5 Simple Steps Standing Between You and a Better Vacuum Cleaner