How Do You Clean a Vacuum Cleaner Filter?

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You’re doing your weekly home cleaning and realize that your vacuum cleaner isn’t working as it should? There could be a myriad of causes; however, the most likely one is that of a dirty filter. How do you clean your vacuum filter? Learn the best tips/tricks to ensure your vacuum is in top shape.

A dirty filter can make vacuum cleaners less efficient. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure your filter gets regularly cleaned.

Different models of vacuums have various filtering methods; it’s essential to know how to properly care for each of them so that you don’t have to change them as often. This guide has been put together to assist you in cleaning your vacuum filter.

How Often Do You Clean the Vacuum Filter?

filter f

The frequency determines the frequency of cleaning for the vacuum filter you utilize and the degree of dirtiness in the area you’re cleaning.

Suppose you have dirty filters and will have a stale smell right away when you turn on the vacuum. You’ll also notice less suction while working.

In areas with high traffic, filters may have to be cleaned at least once a month. In most homes, the vacuum filter should be cleaned at least once every three months.

How Do We Get Rid of the HEPA Vacuum Filter?

The consensus is that HEPA filters should not be replaced but cleaned. Many vacuum cleaner makers recommend this; however, should you have to clean the HEPA filter, there are two ways to accomplish this, based on the kind of filter you’ve got.

It is possible to clean a washable HEPA filter by washing it in cold water. However, take care not to let the material of the filter get in contact with any water.

The filter should be dry before putting it back in the vacuum cleaner. This means you might have to let the air remain dry for up to 24 hours.

If you own a HEPA filter classified as washable, you can clean it lightly with an additional vacuum. This will remove dust/debris from the exterior of the filter. Water mustn’t get into these filters.

How Do You Clean Foam Vacuum Filters?

foam filter

Certain vacuum cleaners, like most models manufactured by Shark, have a thick foam filter and a HEPA filter. To clean this kind of filter, wash the foam with cool water. Be careful not to harm it.

Most manufacturers advise that you avoid using soap on filters for foam. However, you must be aware that it generally requires a significant amount of rubbing to clean it.

Then, you should let the foam filter dry completely before putting it back into the vacuum cleaner to keep out mildew and mold.

How to Clean the Cartridge Vacuum Filter?


Like with HEPA and foam filters for vacuums, do not submerge a cartridge filter in water. To clean the filter, remove it from the vacuum and then scrub it until you get rid of all debris and dust.

Filters of this kind have to be replaced frequently, but they can generally extend their life span by removing the dust and sweeping them thoroughly before disposing of them.

How to Clean the Vacuum Filter?

Most vacuum cleaners have at least one washable filter, so you should begin by determining where the filter is and then removing it.

Start by rubbing it against an un-porous surface to eliminate any large dust clumps. It’s always best to perform this task outdoors so that you don’t need to tidy up following the process.

You then run the filter with hot water in a lukewarm manner, ensuring you do not use detergent or soap.

Let the filter dry completely for a minimum of 24 hours before putting it back in the vacuum. Read the instruction manual for your vacuum cleaner before cleaning the filter.

How Do You Dry a Vacuum Filter?

The most effective method to dry the vacuum filter is to let it do it naturally for 24 and 48 hours. If you want to utilize your vacuum cleaner faster, you can speed it up by placing it on flat surfaces in one location and allowing drying to take between 10 and 12 hours.

If you require the filter earlier, you may also place your hairdryer in the low setting. Blot dry the filter by holding it at least 4 inches away from the hairdryer and then moving it in a circular motion to avoid scorching.

Can We Wash the Filter?

wash filter

Certain vacuum cleaner makers suggest cleaning the filter by using water. We would never recommend this. It isn’t easy to know which are suitable for water use and which aren’t.

In addition, when you wash with water, you may push tiny particles further into the filter, increasing the risk of damage.

The best option is to replace the filter with the latest model. They aren’t expensive and result in the better air quality at home.

Why Shouldn’t You Neglect Cleaning Your Filters?

Clean vacuum cleaners are effective vacuum cleaners. In this regard, it’s vital to ensure that you keep your filter clean and not just when you suspect you’re experiencing issues with your filter’s operation.

If it is not maintained properly, a vacuum cleaner that is not maintained properly won’t be able to do its job perfectly and is essentially only good for moving dirt and dust. If a blockage occurs within the filter, it will quickly overheat and take a long time to remove dirt from carpets and floors.

When the filter is blocked by dust, the machine will lose much of its performance.

If you own an appliance you purchased to eliminate particles, either because you are allergic or to get rid of your pet’s hair; then it’s crucial to keep the filters in good condition.

Besides wasting time and effectively, clogged filters may cause damage to your vacuum due to overheating. It is important to stay clear of vacuuming specific items to ensure that your vacuum cleaner’s filter does not get blocked.

Avoid cleaning soil and plant debris since the moisture can quickly clog your vacuum cleaner’s filters.

Other things you shouldn’t be touching with your vacuum are sharp objects like a broken wine glass, such as ashes, any form of liquids, and sticky things, like sparkles or glue.

Final Thoughts


If your vacuum isn’t as effective as it was the day you purchased it, you should examine its filters and take them out for cleaning.

If you’re wondering how to clean a filter on your vacuum, the most effective method is to study the manufacturer’s manual and ensure that you wash the filters in a manner that won’t damage the machine.

Certain filters for vacuum cleaners are washable in warm water. However, using soap or detergent on most filters is not recommended.

Certain vacuums come with two filters, and the instructions to clean them can differ. If you’ve cleaned your vacuum filter, but the performance isn’t improving, you should consider buying an entirely new filter.

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