Eliminating Stinky Vacuum Cleaner Odor

What You'll Need
Dust pan and brush
Flue brush
Pads and essential oils

Vacuum cleaners are used for cleaning every sort of mess so it is inevitable that they will acquire an odor of their own. Eliminating this odor is relatively simple.

Step 1 – Prevention is Better Than a Cure

It is fairly obvious that some dirt that vacuum cleaners are used on will leave a smell. Dog hairs quite often have quite a strong smell. Use an ordinary broom and dust pan to clean up the worst of the dirt. This is often quicker and more effective than using a vacuum cleaner that will fill up quickly.

Step 2 – Avoid Damp Dirt

Avoid vacuuming damp dust and dirt. This can stick to any surfaces within the vacuum cleaner and while it is drying out can enable the growth of molds and fungi.  

Step 3 – Empty the Vacuum Cleaner

Get into the habit of emptying the vacuum cleaner each time you use it. It is the accumulation of different smells that are allowed to stand together that makes the problem so bad.

Step 4 – Expose the Filters and Bag to Fresh Air

If a smell is starting to be noticed from the vacuum cleaner, it should be emptied and the filters placed in the open. The bag should be reversed and hung in a sunny and breezy position.

Step 5 – Replace the Filters

If exposing the filters to fresh air does not get rid of any smell on them they need to be replaced. Vacuum cleaner filters should be replaced frequently.

Step 6 – Wash the Bag

If the bag does not smell fresher after being outside for a few hours you can wash it. Remove any metal fittings first.

Step 7 – Try a Different Brand of Bag

The disposable bags used by vacuum cleaners are not all the same quality. Some bags can not be emptied as many times as others before they start to smell.

Step 8 – Clean the Vacuum Cleaner

There are areas of vacuum cleaners that accumulate dirt that can create a smell. The cleaner heads and brush roller bars are the first parts exposed to the dirt and sometimes you will notice that the dirt gets caked on to them. If you have a bag less vacuum you should clean the dirt receptacle if it starts to smell.

Step 9 – Clean the Vacuum Cleaner Hose

If the smell is in a cylinder or canister cleaner the smell may be caused by deposits to the inside of the vacuum tube. This should be fairly obvious because you will be able to smell the hose. A vacuum cleaner hose can be cleaned well by pulling a flue brush through it. Tie a weight to a cord and drop it through the tube, tie the cord to the flue brush and then pull it through.

If all else fails you can disguise the smell by using pads with drops of essential oils inside the cleaners. These will change the smell to something more acceptable. Regular use of these pads will replace all but the worst smells from a vacuum cleaner.