The vacuum cleaner is perhaps the most important weapon in the battle to keep your home free of dirt, allergens and other debris. But as is the case with any weapon or tool, the vacuum cleaner too needs regular cleaning and maintenance. Regular maintenance also prevents unnecessary vacuum cleaner repairs and keeps your unit functioning for years without trouble. In keeping with that, here are five tips to help keep your vacuum cleaner in tip-top shape.
1) Regularly replace the bag
Top of the vacuum cleaner maintenance checklist is replacing the bag regularly. There is a thought, which is wrong of course, that a vacuum cleaner’s bag needs replacement only when it’s full. However, to ensure the machine’s optimum functioning, it’s better to replace the bag when it’s 80% full. A full bag cannot store any more debris, which reduces the efficiency of the vacuum cleaner significantly.
How does one know if the bag is full? Well, the machine itself offers plenty of clues. For instance, you’ll find that the area you just vacuumed is layered with debris that previously wasn’t there. A weak suction is another sign that the bag is close to being full and needs replacing.
This advice holds (albeit in a different manner) even if your vacuum cleaner is of the bagless type. The cup where the dust is collected should be emptied regularly lest it strains the vacuum cleaner. Emptying the cup after each use helps to keep the vacuum cleaner in good condition.
2) Clean the brush roll
The brush roll is a handy thing to have when it comes to cleaning carpets and rugs. But with constant usage, the roll can get wrapped up by certain things (hair, string and even floss) that impede its spinning movement.
While you can clean the roll without removing it from the machine, detaching it allows you to clean it deeper and better. However, remove it only if you know how to put it back.
Once you are able to see the debris, simply remove it by hand or use a pair of scissors to cut through. You can also wash it off using soap and water after you’re done removing any tangles. And if you do end up detaching the roll from the machine, also clean its bearings, caps and other visible and accessible parts.
3) Check the brush roll belt
Once you are done cleaning the brush roll, inspect its belt too. If it’s not holding the roll tightly enough, replace it. The belt should also be replaced if it’s frayed, narrowed or stretched out. Vacuum cleaner maintenance best practices suggest replacing the brush roll belt once every six months. Goes without saying that this depends on how frequently you use the cleaner. If you vacuum every day, the belt should be replaced once every couple of months.
4) Clean the filters & hoses
Many of today’s vacuum cleaners come equipped with filters whose function is to pick up particulate matter. These particles can potentially contaminate the air quality in your home, which is why it’s important to regularly clean or replace the filter in your vacuum cleaner. If the filter is made of plastic, you can simply wash it with soap and water. If it’s of the paper or fabric variety, just shake off the impurities or use a powerful air blower to do the job.
At times, large objects tend to get trapped inside the hoses of vacuum cleaners. An obvious sign of such a blockage is when the hose doesn’t function as usual. If you continue to use the hose without removing the blockage, the vacuum cleaner will need to work extra hard. An easy way to clear any blockage in the hose is to use a hook or stick to pull out the object. Common causes of hose blockages in vacuum cleaners include underwear, socks and small toys.
5) Follow best practices
In addition to the aforementioned points, there are several other things you can do to keep your cleaner functioning well for years together.
- In addition to cleaning it on the inside, also wipe and maintain the machine’s exterior.
- If you own a bagged vacuum cleaner, check if the bag is attached properly before every use. If it’s a bagless vacuum cleaner, empty the cup after each use.
- Handle the machine’s cord carefully and avoid using the automatic rewind button if the cord is obstructed or tangled.
- When storing the vacuum cleaner, make sure the hose is not bent at any point. Also, keep it away from water damage or extreme temperatures.
- Do not use the vacuum cleaner if it overheats. Switch it off for 30 minutes and rectify the cause of the overheating before using the machine again.
- Avoid using the vacuum cleaner outdoors or to clean up liquid spills, unless it’s explicitly approved by the machine’s manufacturer. Also, use your hand to pick up large debris instead of using the vacuum cleaner.
- When you attempt to clean the machine, follow the instructions as laid out in the operating manual or booklet. If in doubt, do not hesitate in going for a professional vacuum cleaner cleaning service.
The vast majority of domestic appliance repairs can be avoided by following regular maintenance practices and it’s no different with vacuum cleaners. Spending a few minutes every week maintaining your vacuum cleaner is enough to increase its life by a few years at least.