Got a Smelly Vacuum Cleaner? Find Out the Most Common Causes and Their Solutions

October 21, 2018

A smelly vacuum cleaner is, to say the least, annoying. Unpleasant odour is a very common issue when it comes to both bagged and bagless models. A number of things can be responsible for that unpleasant foul smell that makes you want to skip vacuuming altogether. But the good news is that in most cases, the cause and most importantly, the solution is relatively simple and inexpensive.

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Here is how to deal with the most common causes of a smelly vacuum cleaner:

The bag

This is by far the most common reason why vacuum cleaners begin to smell bad. It is either because the bag is too full or containing things that are a breeding ground for bacteria such as decaying food particles, dead bugs, pet hair, etc. The solution is as simple as removing the vacuum bag and replacing it with a new one. It is recommended not to wait for the bag to become completely full before replacing it. When to replace the vacuum bag depends on several factors but if you vacuum on a daily basis or/and own pets for instance, it’s a good idea to do it every month. Have a bagless vacuum? In this case, the smell obviously isn’t coming from the bag. Instead, the culprit could be the canister. The solution? Clean the canister and let dry thoroughly before reassembling your vacuum cleaner.

Filters

If your vacuum cleaner still smells bad after you’ve replaced the bag/cleaned the canister, the smell could be coming from the filters. No matter if your vacuum cleaner is bagged or bagless, its filters need to be cleaned on a regular basis. How? Majority of modern vacuums come with filters that are simply rinsed by warm water. However, you are highly recommended to check your vacuum’s instructions manual. Also, be sure to check when you are supposed to replace filters. Most brands recommend replacing them every six months.

Hose and attachments

While most people eventually check the bag and filters, many forget to check the hose and attachments which can also be the culprit for a smelly vacuum cleaner. The hose, roller brush and other attachment come in direct contact with dirt and therefore, they are prone to dirt buildup and blockages which can cause unpleasant odour. For that reason you should clean the hose and attachments from time to time and check them regularly for blockages. This goes for both bagged vacuum cleaners and their bagless counterparts.

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Warning!

Burning and metallic/electric smell can indicate a mechanical problem which in turn can pose a potentially serious safety concern including risk of fire. If your vacuum cleaner is emitting burning or/and metallic/electric smell, you are highly recommended not to use it and have it checked by a qualified professional.