How to Clean Your Vacuum Filter Properly

A dirty filter means decreases the efficiency of a vacuum cleaner. So, it is important to ensure that your filter is clean and functional to maintain the same efficiency of the equipment.

Different vacuum models have different filtering systems- some are washable while others need to be replaced once they accumulate dirt. 


Also, a vacuum may have more than one filter if it comes with bags. Plastic filters are dusted with a cloth or brush while foam filters can be rinsed under running water and replaced once totally dry. 

But, whatever your filter type is, you must clean it properly and maintain for long-term service.

How to Clean Your Vacuum Filter Properly

There are a few steps to keep the filters clean and usable for a long time.

1. Read your vacuum cleaner manual

Different kinds of filters are cleaned differently. It is highly recommended to read the manual properly to learn about how to clean the filters. 

The manual will have the details of the type of filter your cleaner uses. In the manual, there will be more instructions on how to disassemble it if possible and how to clean it. 

Follow the instructions before you begin to clean the filters. Don’t try to wash a filter if the user manual prohibits it. The manual also has intrusions on positions of the filters in the vacuum.

2. Remove excess dirt and dust

Remove the dust off your filter outside otherwise the dust and dirt will spread and settle on your furniture or clean surfaces if you try to clean the filters inside.

First, you should start by tapping the filter to remove loose dust and dirt- then use a soft brush to scrub it gently. A toothbrush could also serve the purpose to scrub the dust in order to get rid of most dust and dirt particles wedged on the vacuum filter.

3. Rinse the filter

If the filter is made with plastic or foam, you can wash it under cold running water without detergent. Then scrub it gently under running water and let it dry in air for about 24 hours before- reinstalling it to the vacuum cleaner. 

Keep washing the filter with water until you dirty water stops coming off the filter. Tap the filter to make sure there is no excess water in the filter before air drying it. Dry the filter horizontally if possible.

4. Replace the filter

replacing filter

Replacing the filter

Even if you clean, and maintain the filters regularly, filters have a specified life spanned, after which you have to replace the tool as recommended by the manufacturer. 

Therefore, do not ignore the recommended lifespan because an overworked filter can damage the vacuum cleaner more than anything else. 

Usually, old vacuum models have a filter lifespan of between 6 and 12 months, depending on how often you use the filter and how you maintain it. 

However, new model cleaner filters are designed to last long if you maintain it right. 

Reading the manual about how to replace the filter is highly encouraged to avoid the hassle.

5. Vacuum filter maintenance tips

Filters are one of those tools or features of a vacuum cleaner which should be cleaned on regular basis. Depending on your cleaning schedule, the general rule is to clean the filters thoroughly at least once a week if the vacuum is used daily and once every month for vacuums used once a week.

If you have to clean the filter frequently more than usual, it means that you chose the wrong vacuum cleaner for your cleaning needs. 

There is a specific model of vacuums which are designed to filter bacteria and odors as well as collect pet hair, so if you own pets, don’t forget to buy one of those cleaners that are pet-friendly. 

It is important to care for other vacuum parts while focusing on cleaning the filter because they work together to get the cleaning job done. 

The internal parts are the heart of your appliance hence; they should be checked and maintained often. For your carelessness - you might end up spending more money buying a new appliance. While your old one could have served you for more years if you had maintained it properly.


The importance of cleaning the vacuum filter regularly and properly cannot be ignored. A very dirty filter can result in dust particles settling on the interior parts of the machine which will lead to damage of the motor with time. 

You can avoid this expensive loss by cleaning your filter as often as recommended or as necessary. Sometimes we all get lazy or forget to take care of our appliances they way we take care of our home. 

But with just a little care and maintenance you can keep the appliance effective as well as extend its lifespan.

Theresa Lori

Theresa Lori, a Mom, a Wife, and a blog writer based in the United States. Published on Pro Vacuum Cleaner in need of a new vacuum cleaner, carpet cleaner, steam mop, or even spare parts & accessories for your beloved appliance. And also lots of Cleaning tips for your Home, Carpet, Tiles, Wooden floor.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments