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How often should you clean the filter in your vacuum cleaner?

February 16th, 2021

Vacuum cleaner store
Vacuum cleaner store

Did you know that clogged filters can impact your vacuum cleaner’s performance? When you clean your filter regularly, your vacuum’s suction remains strong and is more effective at picking up dirt and debris. Depending on how much you use your vacuum, we recommend cleaning the filter at least once a month as part of your vacuum cleaner maintenance routine. If you’ve had a project that required vacuuming sawdust or other heavy debris, we recommend cleaning the
filter straight away.

Not all vacuums are made the same. There are of course different brands, models, types, and sizes. Whether you own a canister vacuum, a handheld, stick, or an upright model, it’s important to read the owner’s manual carefully for that particular model’s recommended use and upkeep. In this article, you’ll find some helpful tips on how to clean the most common types of vacuum filters.

Cleaning a vacuum cartridge filter

Many vacuum models come with cartridge filters, including handheld vacuums and even some heavy-duty shop vacuums. These disposable filters are made with synthetic materials or pleated paper and can last for a very long time if cleaned regularly.

To clean a cartridge filter, remove the cartridge and tap to loosen the dirt between the pleated material. Try to get as much debris out as you can. Some cartridge filters can be washed under warm water and left out to dry; however, refer to the owner’s manual before doing so. If you’ve cleaned your filter regularly, but you still notice that your vacuum’s performance is not as powerful, we recommend changing the filter.

Cleaning a foam vacuum filter

Beneath a canister or bagless vacuum is a foam filter that catches dust. To clean this type of vacuum filter, submerge it in water and squeeze. You’ll likely see the water turn musty as the dirt and debris are cleaned out. Wait until the filter dries completely before reinstalling it.

Cleaning a HEPA filter

If your HEPA filter is not labelled as “washable”, it shouldn’t be cleaned! A HEPA filter is made of tightly-woven fibres and are designed to clean 99%+ of microscopic particles. Washing these special filters can impact the condition of these fibres. We recommend investing in a new HEPA filter from a specialized vacuum cleaner store when needed.

Final thoughts

The amount of times your vacuum filter needs cleaning depends on the frequency of use and the type of particles you’re vacuuming. Cleaning or replacing your vacuum filter is part of proper vacuum cleaner maintenance, helps extend the life of your vacuum, maintains the suction power of your vacuum cleaner, and the air quality in your house.

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