Isn’t it enough that we find time to vacuum? Sure it is! But you might also consider proper maintenance of your floor cleaners to keep them in top shape, increasing their cleaning effectiveness and reducing your frustration and/or the cost of regularly replacing your home cleaning equipment. With regular maintenance and care for beater bars, hoses and belts, by caring for your cords, and by replacing filters, bags, and cleaning the canisters you can prolong the life of your vacuum, increase your air quality, and allow the motor to freely move air through the machine giving it a chance to more effectively to pick up dirt, pollen, dust, pet hair, and debris.
Maintenance For Home Vacuums
Your vacuum can be your most important cleaning tool because attachments are your friends! Perfect for corners, tight spaces, upholstery and more. Not to mention the function of the vacuum itself for the actual floors. So in order to increase its longevity, keep it from damaging floors and carpets, allow it to always work efficiently on dust and debris, and stop it from ever reducing the air quality in your home, it’s important to keep it running in tip‐top condition. If you still have it, check the owner’s manual for your personal vacuum for the best maintenance details for your model.
Vacuum Roller Bar Care
Elbow grease is important in cleaning, and so it’s the same for vacuums. In this case, an upright vacuum’s roll bar (aka: beater bar) is designed for extra elbow grease in that its specially placed bristles are used to literally agitate anything it touches. When your machine’s bristles are on, it loosens soil and debris from carpets and rugs and kicks it (rolls it) back to where the machine then uses the motor to suck it into the bag or canister.
This elbow grease applied by the bristles can be sluggish or ineffective if the roller bar is not kept in top condition. If it doesn’t turn correctly or is a tangled mess of strings and hair, it won’t clean properly and the stress of the tangles can actually cause fatigue on the vacuum motor and cause it to eventually burn out. This costs your home budget too much in repair or replacement.
Most uprights have a release point to remove the roller bar for easier cleaning. Get a small air of sharp scissors and or just nimble fingers, and unwind any threads or hair and release any caught pieces of debris from the roller brush as part of your regular maintenance routine. Checking the roller bar once cleared also gives you an idea of when it will need to be replaced due to wear, cracks, or if it’s broken.
Belts May Be Holding You Up
Especially if your vacuum is an older model, you may need to replace the rubber drive belt. Sometimes every few months, so you’ll need to pay attention to it in order to keep the motor running well. Newer models do not have as many issues with belts. A search online if you don’t have your user’s manual could turn up a manual or at least a number where you can get one. Otherwise, if you’re adventurous, you can usually disassemble the roller bar area and find it yourself.
You’ll be checking that the belt turns the roller bar in the correct direction, allowing the machine to suck up the debris that the bar has agitated out of your carpet fibers. Check the belt for areas where it’s worn or cracked. Should you find the need, you can slide the belt from the motor pulley and replace it.
The Hose Knows
Sometimes your vacuum isn’t sucking properly and it could be from a simple clog in the hose. Detach the hose from your vacuum and use a coin or something similarly sized at one end. If the item doesn’t come out the other end, you’ll need to use a broom handle or thick dowel to push through the hose, removing the debris that’s causing a lack of suction.
Two Important Plug Reminders
Always unplug your vacuum by pulling on the plug itself and not just the cord. While most vacuums have grounded plugs for protection, pulling on the cord instead of the plug can loosen the connections, possibly causing an electrical short, essentially ending the use of your machine and wasting your investment.
If you have a retractable cord where you need only to press the button for the cord to rewind, you should hold the cord in your hand to help guide it into the unit and/or onto the reel instead of allowing it to whiz itself into place, possibly causing it to go off track.
Keep Suction Strong
Vacuum canisters make it easy to see when they’re getting full and need emptying, but you can actually clean the canister itself, do so. Where the dust enters the canister can get clogged and need some poking to release debris and dirt. Likewise, if something was a bit damp when it was sucked up, it can clog and dry in place and need some removal.
Vacuum bags should be removed when they’re 3/4 full by checking it yourself and not waiting for the “check bag” indicator light. Allowing a bag to become too full actually decreases the sucking power of your home vacuum, so even if everything else is well-maintained, you’ll not have the effectiveness you need to get the loosened dirt into your machine.
A Final Word On Filters
And to close out our home vacuum maintenance and care blog, we’ll talk about filters, which are very important to both you and your vacuum. For you, filters that gets clogged won’t remove enough allergens and will decrease your home’s air quality by allowing things agitated from your rugs to escape into the air. That means allergens in your lungs and more dust on your furniture.
For your vacuum, filters protect the machine’s motor and other parts from grime. Most filters can be easily removed, but you should check your owner’s manual or the vacuum brand’s website for exact instructions and recommendations on how many filters there are, where they are, and how to replace and check them. While they will not be replaced as often as a bag is or a canister emptied, they will need checking often and replacement when they’re clogged, torn, or show signs of wear. Note: HEPA filters may need more frequent cleaning.