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Vacuum Care & Maintenance Tips

How to Ensure Your Vacuum Works Properly


Extensive care and maintenance information for your particular vacuum can be found in your product manual or on the manufacturer's website. In addition, inspecting your vacuum regularly and following these general care tips can help you keep your vacuum operating properly and may even prevent costly repair issues from developing. These guidelines provide a systematic approach to inspecting your vacuum and it should be done on a routine basis.

Vacuum Cord:
  • Keep the cord untangled at all times to reduce the risk of breaking wrapped wires.
  • Prevent kinks in the cord which can hamper the automatic rewind (if applicable) and damage wires.
  • Check the condition of the electrical plug and use care when unplugging the vacuum. Pulling or stretching the cord to disconnect can cause plug prongs to bend and break which would require a plug change. A bent or broken plug can be hazardous.
Vacuum Replacement Bags:
  • If your vacuum is not equipped with a 'full bag' indicator light, check your vacuum bag often and replace when needed. Replacing bags even before they become full can improve air flow and performance.
  • Keep replacement bags on hand and use proper bags for your vacuum.
  • Where to Find Vacuum Bags
  • When to Change Vacuum Bags
Vacuum Filters:
  • Filters must be maintained/changed according to type as recommended by the manufacturer. Filters that are clogged can severely impact air flow and the vacuum's performance. In the absence of any specific guidelines, inspect filters for condition and change as required.
  • If filters are washable, clean, dry completely and replace.
  • You may be able to clean filters by vacuuming them with another vacuum, or blowing out the dirt with an air hose.
  • Follow recommendations for filter replacements or change more frequently if warranted due to the type of dirt/dust that has been vacuumed.
  • HEPA filters should be changed according to your product manual or at least annually.
Vacuum Brushes:
  • Inspect the condition of all brush attachments and remove debris, threads, wood chips, lint and other debris which can hinder air flow through the bristles or within the attachment.
  • Check for food residue or sticky subtances which can cause odors and prevent brush bristles from free movement.
  • Brushes in the power bar or nozzle attachment should also be checked routinely to clear debris.
Vacuum Power Head or Nozzle Attachment:
  • The power bar requires routine checks to clear debris, strings or other items that may have become tangled in the brush rollers and which can hinder operation.
  • See Power Head Basics for more tips on how to keep your power head in good condition.
Vacuum Wheels:
  • Keep wheels clean and remove debris that may have wrapped around a wheel. When wheel movement is restricted, the wheel could scratch hard surfaces such as wood flooring.
Vacuum Hose:
  • Check for cracks which can cause air leaks. If detected, you can often effect a temporary repair with tape, but the hose should be replaced to maintain a tight seal.
  • Never hang the hose on a nail which can cause kinks or breaks in the plastic outer lining. Either use onboard hose storage or install a (garden) hose reel/holder in a closet to store your vacuum hose.
  • Check the interior of your hose for obstacles and clear. Tissues or small socks can often become lodged within the hose and can restrict air flow and suction performance.
  • Pulling a toddler around the house on a canister vacuum may seem like a fun thing to do while you're cleaning, but the hose is not designed to pull this extra weight and you may be faced with a costly hose replacement later.
Bagless Vacuum Features:
  • Bagless vacuums have seperators or cyclone mechanisms that enable the dirt to transfer into the dust/dirt receptacle or bin. These require routine checks for debris that can impede performance. Review your product manual for cleaning steps.
  • Bags vs Bagless Vacuums
Vacuum Exterior and Attachments:
  • Keep your vacuum's exterior in good condition by wiping it as needed when unplugged, with a soft cloth and mild detergent. Wipe spills on your vacuum exterior to prevent unpleasant odors.
  • Store your vacuum attachments onboard or in a routine storage area to reduce the risk of losing accessories.
Monitor Motor Performance
  • If you detect a burning smell from the motor or loud noises when the vacuum is operated, it may require technician servicing. Prompt attention could save your motor, but ignoring this warning sign could mean a motor replacement at a higher cost later.
  • Never use a regular vacuum for wet spills or cleaning tasks. Use only a wet/dry vacuum that is designed with sealed components especially for this purpose.
  • Review your vacuum warranty and ensure required repairs or servicing are completed before the warranty period ends.
Read More About Vacuums & Floor Care:

Vacuum 101 - From Buying to Care
Vacuum Types
Bags vs Bagless Vacuums
Vacuum Power Head Basics
More About Vacuums & Floor Care
Small Appliance Parts & Repair Sources

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