A vacuum cleaner can keep your home smelling fresh all the day, but you also have to return the favor by regularly maintaining it. As you might already know, vacuum cleaners tend to get smelly with time. Especially with bagged units, the odors can become pretty disturbing. If you fail to frequently maintain your vacuum cleaner, it will start releasing these foul odors instead of performing its duty of keeping the room surroundings fresh and clean. I bet you’re here because you reached this “milestone” (of you owning an “infected” unit), so read on. I have outlined an extensive step by step guide which will help you to get rid of these unwanted smells.
Step 1: Replace the bags/empty the debris
Smelly bags are usually the main cause of a smelling vacuum. If you own a bagged unit, start by replacing the bag. Bags are actually very important in preventing funny odors. Try to buy only original bags, produced or recommended by the manufacturer of the vacuum cleaner. Some bags have additional filtration layers which limit the smell released by the dirt gathered inside, not to mention complex auto-seal systems. Buy these type of bags instead of the simple paper ones. Bags should be replaced anywhere between 1 month to 6 months, depending on their size and on the frequency of your vacuuming. If you have washable bags, wash and allow them to dry completely (don’t mount back wet bags, or you might end up ruining the unit).
If you own a bagless unit, it is obvious you’ll need to empty the dirt bin, wash it and allow it to dry completely.
Step 2: Clean the vacuum cleaner
Ensuring that the vacuum is clean is the second step you should take. Do this start by dampening a cleaning cloth in fresh soapy water. Wipe the entire surface of the vacuum thoroughly, to remove dust and other type of stains. If you want to be more environmental friendly, clean the vacuum using baking soda. Start by preparing the mixture; i.e. sprinkle 1 teaspoon of baking soda into a reasonable amount of water (0.1 gallons).
Use this solution to wash your vacuum cleaners hose, filters and its bag compartment. Rinse these parts using fresh water and then dry any plastic or metallic material using a clean and dry piece of cloth. Pay special attention to the inside of the hose. Remove any clogs which you might notice.
Step 3: Clean/Replace the filters
Your machine has filters which aid in keeping off dirt, dust and allergens from escaping back into the vacuumed environment. These filters usually get old and it may come a time when they need to be changed. Here’s a piece of advice I always give to my clients: don’t get cheappy on filters. Filters are important, not only for your health, but for the health of your loved ones.
You need to change your vacuum’s filters every 3 to 12 months. As in the case of the bags, always buy recommended/original parts. 3rd party products not only have an inferior quality, but I’ve seen cases where they don’t even completely match the needed geometrical shape, allowing dust and other airborne particles to completely evade the filtration system.
If you have washable filters, wash them and leave them to air-dry for 24h, before finally reassembling them into your machine. Even washable filter wear out in time, so don’t be “afraid” to purchase new ones if necessary.
Step 4: Incorporate perfume pads
If you haven’t thought about incorporating perfume pads in your vacuum cleaner when vacuuming, then it’s time you do. Scented tablets are important, especially since you are trying to get rid of bad smells. Personally, I like the lavender or the fresh blue ocean fragrances, I think they fit the vacuuming activity. However, there are many other types to choose from. Just be sure to ask all your family members which one they prefer, so you won’t end up irritating someone. Some last longer than others, but the effect is the same.
Purchase perfume pads which are scented with your preferred odor and place them on the top filter of your vacuum. After doing this, turn on your machine. Once it’s on, it will release a gentle and fresh scent as the air passes through the pads.
Step 5: Use Cinnamon
You might not know this, but cinnamon absorbs bad smells. The undeniable strong scent of cinnamon has the ability to deal with the foul smell of dust particles that your machine picks up during cleaning. If you don’t want to use perfume pads (although you can use both, of course), all you have to do is sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon into your vacuum bag or into the canister and that’s it.
If you don’t like the smell of cinnamon, you can try out other ingredients like dried orange rinds or coffee beans, or any other sweet scented spices.
The bottom line is, do not forget to regularly maintain your machine. You can fully enjoy an amazing odor-free clean environment by ensuring that your vacuum cleaner is in good working condition. Be creative when choosing scented perfume pads or when using spices. Experiment and share your story below.