How to Clean Vacuum Filter

Vacuum filters are those part in the vacuum that is responsible for picking up particles and dirt. The filter makes sure that the dirt and particles don’t flow back into the surrounding during the vacuum process.

Among the numerous vacuum filters in the market, the most popular type is the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. This filter is reputed to having the capacity of keeping off over 95 percent of even the smallest particles.

The filter performance is dependent on how clean it is after every use, since not cleaning the filter may make it not to perform correctly. Therefore, it is important to always keep it clean and free from all dirt and allergen.

In this article, we will be showing you steps to follow to keep your vacuum filter clean and free from dirt, particles, and allergens.

Vacuum Cleaner and Filter Types

Vacuum cleaner and filter

Vacuum cleaner filters come in different models and types, and this includes the single-use, the disposable types, and the washable vacuum filters.

It is important, therefore, to find out the type of filter that your vacuum cleaner comes with before cleaning the filters. Some of these vacuum filters come in the form of a cloth filter, a foam filter or a disk filter.

Note: these types of filters can be cleaned and reused.

Facts to Note

Here are some essential points to note.

  • Vacuum filters can be messy and might raise a lot of dust when cleaning
  • The filter must be taken outside when cleaning. This helps to prevent the dust from settling on the rug or carpet.
  • All the tools needed, such as a screwdriver to unbundle the vac, should be made available.
  • Get handy tools that could help you to clean other non-washable filters such as hairbrushes, air duster, and a paintbrush.
  • Read the manufacturer and appliance manual before cleaning to prevent spoiling the filters.

Essential Tools for cleaning of the filters

In cleaning a vacuum filter, some necessary tools are needed to give an excellent job. These tools include the following

A Pair of Scissors

A pair of scissors

This is one of the most important items or tool that will be required when cleaning your vacuum filter. The scissors will help you to remove or cut off hairs and tangled fibers from the rotating brush of the vacuum filter.

Warm Water

Warm water

A bucket of warm water is another essential item that will be required while cleaning the filter. Remember to soak the dirty or removed filter inside a bucket of lukewarm water.

Mild Detergent

Mild Detergent

It is also important to use non-abrasive detergent while cleaning the filter. Check if it is an antimicrobial agent type or detergent that is designed to kill the germs.

A Screwdriver

A Screwdriver

A crosshead screw will be required to unscrew the vacuum cleaner since most of them are screwed-up.



A toothbrush is necessary as it is used to get to places that are hard to reach.

A Microfiber Cloth

A microfiber cloth

This is useful for trapping specks of dust.

Things that need to be cleaned on the filter

In keeping the vacuum filter clean, some critical areas to note are:

1. The Rotating Brush

Rotating Brush

Unplug the vacuum cleaner and check out the rotating brush that is placed at the back of the vacuum cleaner. The primary reason why a vacuum cleaner may stop cleaning might be as a result of strands of fabrics and tangled hairs.

It is, therefore, necessary to remove these unwanted items using a pair of scissors.

But if the debris is tied around the brush, then it is necessary to unbundle the housing plate and unlock the drive belt.

By unclipping this part of the vacuum cleaner, one can now easily remove all the tangled strands and blockages.

After removing all these debris from the rotating brush and you are sure that the dirt is removed, you can now clip back the loosed parts. Also, make sure that that the drive belt is attached correctly or firmly to the rotating brush.

2. The Foam Filter

foam filter

It is necessary to ascertain if the vacuum cleaner comes with a plastic filter or a foam filter since most modern cleaners comes with either of them.

The plastic filter is known as a secondary filter and can be rinsed in a bowl of warm water. But if it comes with a foam filter, then it is not recommended to wash it, because it might damage the foam filter.

Depending on the type or model of the filter, one wishes to clean up – It is important to bring them out first. And always make sure you remember the order from which you removed them.

The filter must be entirely dried up before placing back to prevent the growth of mildew or mold spores from growing on the filter.

3. The Dust Canister

Dust Canister

This is another essential item to clean when one is cleaning the vacuum filter. The dust canister is expected to remain clean because this part of the vacuum cleaner is the place where most dirt and dust are collected.

It is, therefore, necessary to keep it clean if the filter is expected to work well. It is expected that you empty the canister at a regular interval to avoid a breakdown.

To remove this dirt, tap the canister on the side of the bin after detaching it to allow the debris and dirt to fall off. A brush should be used to clean other parts of the canisters.

It is important to note that the canister should be cleaned using warm soapy water.

Simple Steps for Cleaning the Vacuum Filter

Here are some simple steps to follow while cleaning your vacuum filter.

  • Read the manufacturer manual to ascertain the type of filter the vacuum cleaner comes with and the procedure of cleaning the filters.
  • Unscrew the vacuum cleaner to locate where the filter is placed in the vacuum.
  • Remove the filter outside so as not to stain the floor.
  • Tap gently on the side of the garbage can to remove the excess dirt inside the filter.
  • If the filter is a plastic one, gently wash it with a mild detergent and swill thoroughly.
  • Avoid the use of brush directly on the filter so as not to damage the delicate part of the filter.
  • Dry thoroughly to avoid bad smell and growth of mold spores.
  • Re-clip the filter after drying.
  • Make sure you follow the step you followed in unclipping it.


It is important to reiterate here that not all vacuum filter can be washed. Avoid washing a non-washable filter such as the foam filter, as this will either damage the filter or reduce the effectiveness of the filter. It is therefore essential to clean your vacuum filter as much as possible to save you the cost of replacing or buying a new vacuum cleaner or filter.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: