How to Clean Your Vacuum Filters

Mimi Huang, a Product Manager for BLACK+DECKER Home Products reinforced the importance of cleaning your vacuum filters, sharing that “clean filters maintain strong suction and help pick up dirt and debris effectively. Filters that are clogged may severely impact a vacuum cleaner’s performance.”

She adds, “we recommend checking and cleaning your filter when emptying the dustbin. It’s also important to replace your filter every six to nine months depending on your cleaning frequency. Keeping your vacuum cleaner free from blockages ensures a top performing vacuum cleaning system.”

Let’s start by addressing all of the types of vacuum-like appliances you may have at home, and the filters you’ll probably encounter the most:

Your everyday vacuum: It might have a bag, or it might be bagless with a foam filter, and it could also have a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter.

Handheld vacuums: Often bagless with small cartridge filters

Workshop vacuums: often fitted with a large cartridge filter, filter bag, reusable disc filters, or foam sleeves

Some basic information to keep in mind:

  • You can definitely extend the life of a filter by cleaning it regularly; manufacturers will suggest that you replace (purchase) new filters with regular frequency, but it’s not always necessary.
  • HEPA filters are an exception. Made of tightly-woven materials, cleaning a HEPA filter can damage the fibers, rendering it less effective at blocking microscopic allergens. Purchase a HEPA-quality replacement filter from the manufacturer for the best guarantee.
  • Maintaining a vacuum goes beyond monitoring the filter, but a congested filter and dirty components will contribute stress to the motor, which in turn can affect the life of the appliance.

Specific cleaning examples, by filter, can be seen here at DIY Network.

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