How To Clean A Vacuum Filter?

How To Clean A Vacuum Filter?
February 17, 2022

If you consider yourself a clean and organized person similar to a commercial cleaner, then chances are you have a vacuum cleaner that you use on a regular basis. Nowadays, vacuum cleaners can be found in homes across the world, as they make cleaning easier and more efficient. 

And while vacuum cleaners are known for their countless features, this does not mean that they don’t come with their setbacks. For example, vacuum cleaners can be prone to breakdowns and can even be a fire hazard in the wrong hands. 

However, one of the biggest problems of using vacuum cleaners comes from an integral part of their mechanisms. Vacuum cleaners will often contain filters to catch the dust and debris, which can become clogged and weaken the suction of the machine. 

Fortunately, it is possible to clean your vacuum filters to reduce this problem and keep the vacuum in working order. In the following article, we are going to teach you how to clean your vacuum filter, while also showcasing the various models available. 

So if you want to keep your vacuum cleaner in good condition, this article has everything you need to get started… 

What Kinds Of Vacuum Filters Are There? 

Before you can start cleaning your vacuum filter, you will need to understand the kind of model you are working with. 

To do this, we recommend that you consider the vacuum cleaner’s manual, as this will give you a better idea of the filter and its various components. Once you can visualize the product you are going to clean, you will be able to understand what the following instructions are referring to. 

So to help you understand the different kinds of vacuum filters available, we have compiled a detailed list in the section below: 

Bag Filters 

This is considered to be one of the more standard filters available, as they can often be found in canister vacuum cleaners. The bag works not only to filter the unwanted dust and debris but to contain it as well. 

That being said, the bags themselves are commonly made from cloth or paper, which allows air to pass through them while keeping the dust particles intact. This helps to optimize the suction power, as the air doesn’t have to travel through multiple layers. 

On the plus side, the bags can be easily removed when they are full, with their clever design allowing you to throw them away. 

Foam Filters 

To reduce the amount of dust and debris getting into the inner parts of your vacuum cleaner, it is recommended that you purchase a model with a foam filter. 

While foam filters are extremely useful, they often feature as a secondary filtration system and can often be found in front of the main filters. 

Fortunately, these filters are commonly classified as washable products, which means they can be easily removed and cleaned using warm soapy water. 

Disk Filters 

These filters are said to resemble common coffee filters and are usually made from a special material or paper. 

In some cases, these filters could be seen as a slight variation of the classic bag filters, as they both look similar and even operate in the same way. 

Because of their small size, disk filters can often be found on vacuum cleaners that are cordless or robotic in their design. 

Cartridge Filters 

Cartridge filters are considered very common and can be found on most commercial vacuum cleaner models. 

In most cases, these filters are known for their efficient design, which can be made using folded paper or synthetic material plates. Because of this, cartridge filters help to increase the surface area of the filter, which produces more contact with the air. 

This works to enhance the filtration applications, especially when it comes to vacuum cleaners with cyclonic technology. 

Before You Start…

Before you can start cleaning your vacuum filters, we must confess that the process can get a little messy. 

During the cleaning process, it is common for dust and debris to rise into the air before settling on your carpets and furniture. Because of this, we have decided to share some helpful tips to save you the extra work: 

  • For the best results, we recommend that you take the vacuum outside before you clean it, as this will help the dust to settle on the grass instead of your carpets and furniture. 
  • Have the tools you need to have before you begin, as this will make the process much easier. For this, you will need a screwdriver, a bin bag and some kind of tool to aid cleaning. 
  • It is important to check if your vacuum cleaner is washable or non-washable, as you could damage your filter without this information. We advise reading your appliance manual before starting the cleaning process. 
  • When confronted with a non-washable filter, you will need a tool that can be used to remove the dust and debris. These include: paint brushes, hairdryers, and cans of compressed air. 

It is important to note that bagless vacuum cleaners will need their filters cleaned on a regular basis, as most other models come with the filter built-in. 

This is another reason why you should always refer to the appliance manual, as it will provide you with the cleaning methods that the manufacturer recommends. 

How To Clean Non-Washable Vacuum Filters?

How To Clean A Vacuum Filter

Now that you understand everything you need, let’s take a look at how you can clean a non-washable vacuum filter. 

What You Will Need 

  • Screwdriver 
  • Plastic bag 
  • Clean towel 
  • Paintbrush 
  • Compressed air 

Instructions 

  1. Take the vacuum cleaner outside and remove the vacuum bin from the main compartment of the vacuum. 
  1. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the filter section of the vacuum cleaner from the rest of the vacuum bin. 
  1. Carefully remove the filter from the vacuum bin and place it on a clean towel or plastic bag. 
  1. When the filter has been secured, take a common paintbrush and gently sweep the excess debris from the outside of the filter. 
  1. Once you have done this, separate the filter from the vacuum and use the paintbrush to clean the areas that are caked with dirt. 
  1. The interior of the filter should remain clean, so you need to use your paintbrush and compressed air to clean the outside. 
  1. When the filter is spotless, replace it inside the vacuum bin and attach the fixture to the main compartment of the vacuum cleaner. 

How To Clean A Washable Vacuum Filter?

While many vacuum filters are non-washable, this does not mean that washable filters do not exist. 

So if your appliance manual states that your filters can be washed, here’s everything you need to get the job done. 

What You Will Need 

  • Screwdriver 
  • Plastic bag 
  • Clean towel 
  • Mild detergent 
  • Container 
  • Water 

Instructions 

  1. Take the vacuum cleaner outside and remove the vacuum bin from the main compartment of the vacuum. 
  1. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the filter section of the vacuum cleaner from the rest of the vacuum bin. 
  1. Carefully remove the filter from the vacuum bin and place it on a clean towel or plastic bag. 
  1. Find a large container or bowl and fill it with warm water and a mild detergent before washing the filter. 
  1. When the filter has been thoroughly cleaned, rinse it with fresh water to remove any residual detergent. 
  1. Leave the filter in a warm place and allow it to dry thoroughly before replacing it back into your vacuum cleaner. 
  1. If you do not allow the filter to properly dry, it could remain damp and make air filtration impossible. 
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Final Thoughts 

Cleaning a vacuum filter can be a slow but rewarding process, especially if you do your research beforehand. 

If you are ever in doubt about the model of your filter, you can always refer to the appliance manual to learn more about your vacuum and the methods you can use to clean it. 

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