How to get your vacuum to clean longer

With a little care, your vacuum will clean your house for many years to come.

How to get your vacuum to clean longer

Clean out the beater bar

  • The floor attachment on most vacuums employs a beater bar — a curving strip of brushes mounted on a roller.
  • Over time, these brushes are likely to become ensnared with hair, string or threads, which diminishes their ability to remove dirt and lint from your floors.
  • But you can easily break "the ties that bind" with a utility knife or seam ripper — either of which will make short order of any tangles or knots. Always unplug the vacuum before cleaning the beater bar.

Repair a vacuum hose

  • Did you just suck up a sock, dog toy or other object that is now firmly lodged in your vacuum hose? It doesn't have to spell the end of your vacuum.
  • You can often remove an obstruction by sliding a garden hose or broom handle through the hose.
  • Or you can try a straightened-out wire coat hanger or any other length of wire. If your machine permits, you can also try reversing the airflow, so that the machine blows out through the hose.
  • Sometimes a lodged item will come out more easily if it does it the same way it came in.
  • If none of these works, simply cut the hose, retrieve the obstacle and repair the rip in the hose with duct tape. You can also use duct tape to repair a damaged bag on an upright vacuum.
  • The same principle holds true for those holes left in your vacuum hose after your dog mistakes it for a chew toy.
  • In this case, repair the holes with electrical tape by stretching the tape tightly across the hose as you wrap it. The electrical tape should thoroughly seal the hose.

Dump the dust

  • To keep your vacuum running at peak performance, always change or empty the dust bag when it's about three-quarters full.
  • If you allow it to fill more than that, the decreased room in the bag reduces suction and puts a strain on the motor that will cause it to wear out sooner.

Care for a cordless vacuum

  • Those cute cordless vacuums may not be much use when it comes to cleaning deep shag carpets, but they're great for small jobs and quick cleanups on hard surfaces.
  • To keep your compact vac in top working order, be sure to shake out dust and dirt from the filter after each use. Periodically, you should also wash cloth filters in warm, soapy water.
  • Let the filter air-dry thoroughly before putting it back in the vacuum.

Replace a worn belt

  • One of the most common problems with an upright carpet-sweeper-type vacuum or a powered carpet-sweeping attachment for a canister vacuum is that the beater bar — the roller with brushes — will suddenly stop rotating.
  • The cause is almost always that the belt that turns the bar is broken or jammed. This is a relatively simple repair, and one that can spare you a handsome bill from the repair shop.
  • Many vacuums come with instructions or diagrams for replacing belts (although you typically need to start by removing the screws that hold the cover over the sweeper section).
  • Many hardware and appliance stores stock belts for commonly used vacuum models at low prices.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu