How to Properly Clean Your Vacuum
Is your vacuum not performing as well as it used to? If so, you might be tempted to buy a new machine altogether. While it could be time for a replacement, you should consider giving the one you have a deep clean before you make the investment. Whether you have a bagless or bagged unit, Christopher Blakeman, the owner of Blakeman Vacuum and Sewing in Colorado, has great advice on how to properly clean yours.
Understanding the Difference Between Bagless and Bagged Vacuums
"Most vacuum cleaner professionals wouldn't recommend you buy a bagless machine because without a bag, your vacuum is way more susceptible to motor damage," he says of the debate between the two types of vacuums. "A bag mostly prevents dirt and dust from traveling through a vacuum's motor and this is why older models, like old Electrolux units, Hoovers, and other bagged units, last over 20 years." Moral of the story? If you are in the market for a new machine, go the bagged route. "In the long run, buying bags—as opposed to a new vacuum cleaner—is always more affordable," Blakeman notes.
Cleaning a Bagged Vacuum
If you have a bagged vacuum, you'll want to change the bag and remove buildup from the roller brush regularly. "Taking the filters outside and blowing them off with an air compressor, and then reinstalling them once a month will help to extend the life of the unit," Blakeman says. "Bagged units are easier to maintain and are healthier for the home because of their ability to capture all bacteria, dirt, and debris in the bag."
Cleaning a Bagless Vacuum
Those with bagless vacuums, says Blakeman, should clean theirs thoroughly at least once a month; these iterations hold extra debris and build up dirt over time (this can ultimately overload the motor). When cleaning, Blakeman recommends putting on a mask and taking the canister outside; use an air compressor to blow out the cyclone and main motor unit. You can then clean the canister in the sink with soap and water. To clean the roller brush, Blakeman suggests using a pair of scissors to make sure the built-up hair and fibers don't wrap the roller to the extent that it breaks. His tip? "Putting a little scented oil on the post motor filter adds a nice touch if you enjoy a clean scent after vacuuming."