What Kind of Maintenance Does a Vacuum Need?

Although we are constantly using a vacuum to maintain the cleanliness of our living spaces, you may ask yourself, what kind of maintenance does a vacuum need? With a combination of steps that you can do at home or with a specialist’s help, you can maintain a well-made vacuum for up to as long as 20 years. 

What Kind of Maintenance Does a Vacuum Need?

Everyday Maintenance

Use Nozzle Attachments at the Right Height

Sometimes, it is tempting to connect your nozzle attachments directly to the floor as it can seem like you are giving the surface a deeper clean. However, because vacuums depend so heavily on the direction and volume of airflow, it is important to keep your nozzle attachments the correct distance off of surfaces when in use. For reference, the bristles of the nozzle attachments should barely touch the surface you are vacuuming when in use for peak performance. 

Correctly Attach the Bag

Attaching the bag to your vacuum can be intimidating when you do it for the first time with the combination of hooks, clips, and other closures that may be involved. Take special care to read your vacuum’s manual and properly secure the bag. One major pointer is to make sure the bag is attached to the nozzle of the vacuum. In addition to this, be extra careful when purchasing replacements as they may not all be compatible with your machine. 

Store the Vacuum in a Dry Place

Although the plastic or metal frame of your vacuum may be indifferent to varying climates and temperatures, the longevity of the belts in your vacuum is dependent on a dry environment as moisture may lead to cracking. 

Monitor Overall Vacuum Performance

A good warning sign that something needs maintenance in your vacuum is a decline in performance, whether that means it is clearing less debris or even something as drastic as it is beginning to produce smoke. In either case, you will want to stop usage immediately and follow some of the following steps in order to ensure that your vacuum is working, and will continue to work at full power. 

Cleaning to do Regularly

Replace the Bag or Empty Models with No Bag

This maintenance step will depend on the model of vacuum that you own. In the case of a vacuum with a detachable bag, you will want to remove the bag when it is around 75% full. Some vacuums even have an indicator light to alert you when it is time to empty. However, some models have forgone the bag, in which case you must empty out a chamber in the vacuum when it is similarly full at around 75%.

One benefit of this type of machine is that you do not need to depend on an indicator light as you can usually see the amount of debris in the vacuum through the clear plastic. Some may even have a fill line letting you know how full the chamber can safely be before it needs to be emptied. 

Clean the Roller Brush

Arguably one of the most important maintenance steps in the process of keeping your vacuum running smoothly is cleaning out the roller brush located at the bottom of the vacuum. There are two approaches in which you can do this, one being by removing the tangled hair and other string-like objects while the roller brush is in the vacuum, and the other is by removing the roller brush from the vacuum and cleaning it separately.

In both cases, it is important to remove anything that has been able to wind itself around the brush as that may prevent the best range of movement in the future. Removing the roller brush can be complicated, and although you get a better and deeper clean, this is only recommended for those confident they understand how to get the roller brush correctly in and out of the vacuum. 

Keep Attachments Clean

Similar to the roller brush, it is important to remove debris that may have gotten stuck in your vacuum attachments. Since these are easily able to be removed from the vacuum itself, you can clean larger debris with your hands or scissors and then use water or a wet cloth to remove other smaller particles. What Kind of Maintenance Does a Vacuum Need? You should be able to get to most spots on the attachments once they are separated from the vacuum. 

Identify and Clean Blockages

If your vacuum suddenly loses a large amount of cleaning power, chances are that you are suffering from a blockage. It is important to then turn off the vacuum and determine where the blockage is coming from. Common places to find a blockage include the hose and wand. Once found, simply remove the blockage with your hands or a pair of scissors. 

Less Frequent Cleaning Maintenance

Replace the Belt

Crucial to the rotation of your roller brush, the belt on your machine is subject to stretching and will eventually be less effective than when initially installed. In general, it is smart to try and replace the belt on your vacuum every six months, but it can usually last up to a year. Failure to replace it may cause the roller brush to fall out of place or to stop rotating. It is easy to replace the belt on your machine and can usually be done at home with the help of manual or online resources. 

Check and Replace Filters

Filters are a recent addition to the vacuum makeup and are responsible for clearing out some of the finer particles in your space that may be found in the air. These need to be cleaned and replaced, with cleaning happening every few weeks and replacement happening every three months to three years depending on the frequency of use of your vacuum. When using filters that can be cleaned, cleaning can be done by simply rinsing underwater or even simply shaking.

What Kind of Maintenance Does a Vacuum Need That You Can’t Do at Home?

Get Your Vacuum Serviced at the Shop

When you are unable to determine the cause of a problem with your vacuum, it may be time to take it to a shop or specialist. From replacing parts to solving more in-depth issues, a specialist can usually get your vacuum up and running like usual in around 48 hours depending on the store. It may also not be a bad idea to service your machine regularly even when there are no glaring problems to ensure the longevity of your vacuum. These services are usually relatively inexpensive and quick. 

What Kind of Maintenance Does a Vacuum Need?


A vacuum is a household tool that is heavily relied upon to keep surfaces clean of debris, hair, and other things found on the floor. When relying so heavily on a tool, it is important to take care of it and ensure a positive long-term use. Through some simple steps that can be done both regularly and annually, you can ensure that your vacuum runs smoothly for a long period of time. Overall, with these tips, you can become an expert in what kind of maintenance a vacuum needs. 

Written by Tess Howard

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