The Single Most Important Thing You Should Clean This Weekend

published Nov 13, 2021
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Apart from washing our cleaning rags regularly, most of us don’t give much thought to cleaning the things we clean with — until something happens. That’s why, this weekend, you should get out your hardworking vacuum cleaner and give it a thorough cleaning!

A clogged and dirty vacuum not only doesn’t clean effectively, but it also causes the machine to work harder than it needs to. Straining the motor damages it irreparably and can shorten its life. Cleaning your vacuum cleaner isn’t just a matter of cleaning with clean tools, it’s also about maintaining the machine and saving money in the long run! (Note: You’ll want to give it a routine cleaning at least once a year, but empty the canister whenever it gets full!)

We’ve got six smart steps to help you clean your machine, but be sure to consult your vacuum’s manual first.

1. Check your filter.

The first thing you should do when cleaning your vacuum cleaner is change or wash the filter. Check to see what kind of filter your unit has and rinse it out or replace it. Let it dry while you’re cleaning the rest of your vacuum cleaner. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn

2. Clear out the brush bar.

Grab a pair of scissors. Cut through hairs and string that are wrapped around the roller and pull it all out. Turn the the bar to make sure you get all the way around it!

3. Wipe out the canister.

You may be able to completely detach the canister and clean it with soap and water. Address stubborn dirt with a sponge, rag, or microfiber cloth. You may even be able to put this part in your dishwasher!

4. Flush out the hoses.

The corrugated hoses of your vacuum cleaner could be hanging on to some nasty stuff. Detach the hose and use a mix of vinegar and baking soda to flush out that grossness.

5. Wash the attachments.

Give some attention to the attachments you regularly use because they could probably use a good cleaning, too. Wash them with soap and water or use a microfiber cloth and an all-purpose cleaner to wipe them out thoroughly.

6. Shine the exterior.

Finally, shine the outside of your machine. A microfiber cloth dampened with a mild all-purpose cleaner or even just water should do the trick. Use a soft-bristled brush to loosen dirt in hard-to-reach places.

How do you clean out your vacuum? Tell us in the comments below.