Lately, we have received many requests for information about what to do about odors that occur when one uses their vacuum. Understand that just due to the nature of what a vacuum is used for – namely picking up and storing dirt & dust – it is not realistic to expect a vacuum to be completely odor free (especially as it gets older).
However, there are some simple, effective procedures you can follow that will go a long way to keeping this problem under control:
1) Make sure that all the filters in the vacuum are clean or, if necessary, replaced if needed. Dirty, moist filters are an excellent medium for the growth of mold, mildew and other odor sources.
2) Look at the dust bag or dirt cup. Often they have never been washed or cleaned even after years of use. Certainly smells will emit from any area where dirt & dust are collected. Even the use of new paper filter bags can’t prevent some residue from collecting in the compartment they reside in. Take some time to wash out – with mild detergent and water – the unit’s dust bag or dirt cup. **Make absolutely sure any component of your vacuum it completely dry before using. **
3) If you have an upright vacuum or a power-head the roller brush and fan chamber may need to be wiped out and all debris removed. Do what you are comfortable with; ie.,clean the parts you know you can easily put back together. (Many vacuums are designed for easy access to the beater bar and fan chamber). At very least you can wipe down the underside of the vacuum.
4) Check out any hoses and attachments. Do they need cleaning? Removable pieces can be washed in a sink of soap & water. DO NOT soak hoses that have a power line within them. These and permanently affixed hoses can be cleaned with a slightly damp cloth attached to a pole.
5) Finally, there are available several products that can be added to your vacuuming process that lesson odors and add a scent to freshen the air. Our favorite is an environmentally friendly blend which you sprinkle a tablespoon on your carpet and vacuum into a freshly changed filter bag or emptied dirt cup. There are several pleasant scents that last till the next bag change.
We hope that these steps help with any vacuum source odors you may have. Remember to always unplug your vacuum before ever working on it. Also, since most odors in your home originate from your carpet, your vacuum reflects how clean your carpets are.