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I love Shark vacuum cleaners, and steam cleaners, as well as pretty much everything that they create and produce. They’re one of my favourite brands because they are so reliable, and that’s something I can easily appreciate.
Of course, like any appliance, it also needs to be cleaned regularly; namely the brush bars and the filter. Failing to do so can cause a number of different issues to occur, from loss of suction to complete breakdown.
Knowing how to clean a Shark vacuum is an important part of owning one, and that’s why I created this little guide to help you out.
What are the Signs Your Shark Needs Some Love?
It’s actually pretty easy to tell when your Shark vacuum needs a little TLC. Below, you will find all of the signs that you should be looking out for:
- Loss of suction
- A bad odour
- Dirt being left behind while cleaning
- Strange noises
How to Clean Your Shark HEPA Filter
The HEPA filter is the one you need if you have asthma or allergy sufferers in your home as it is able to trap 99.7% of allergens within it. Nearly every Shark vacuum cleaner has one, and just like any other filter, they need to be cleaned.
You will normally find it located near the motor, but some models are different so make sure to refer to the owner’s manual before you try and find it. Once you have removed the HEPA filter, rinse it with cool water and rub it gently with your fingers to get all the dust and dirt out.
While some people use detergent or soap while cleaning their filters, it is not normally recommended as it can affect the filter’s functionality over time. Cool running water is usually the best and most effective method.
After you have cleaned the HEPA filter, it will need to be left out to dry. It is essential to note that any filter must be completely dry before it is put back in the vacuum.
Not just because it can cause the machine to break, but also as it could lead to mould and mildew growing on the filter. When it is dry, put it back in the vacuum and continue to use it as normal. You should notice any bad smells or issues with suction are now resolved.
Cleaning HEPA Filters
An important thing to note while you are cleaning the HEPA filters is that while Shark says they only need to be cleaned once a year, if you live in a home that is dusty or has pets, you should do it twice a year instead.
They tend to be built to hold more and last longer before they need to be cleaned, which is why you don’t need to wash them as much. You can also buy doubles and replacements if you want to be able to switch between filters while one is drying, so you are never without your vacuum.
How to Clean Your Roller on Your Shark
You will find that the soft roller comes with the Shark duo-clean models, and this particular bar has been designed to pick up fine dust and dirt from hard floors. It’s a really efficient tool, even working well with pet hair, but cleaning it is something you should do regularly.
Due to its soft build, it really soaks up the dust, and so gets dirty quite quickly. Thankfully, this particular brush roll can be removed, and all you need to do is lay the machine down and remove the soleplate to access it.
Pop it out from its position at the front of the head and take it to the sink or bin. All you really need to do is brush it down. The bar is soft enough that the dust and dirt should just fall out nicely.
There isn’t really any need to wash it unless it has run over something really gross or sticky, so you don’t have to worry about it being wet and left to dry.
Of course, if you do make the choice to wash it, do so with regular tap water only and leave it to dry completely before you place it back in the machine. Otherwise, you could end up damaging the floorhead or even causing the whole vacuum to stop working properly.
How to Clean the Rotating Brush
This brush can get manky quickly, and the worst part is that Shark has not made them removable, so you have to really reach in there with a pair of scissors. The good news? The actual cleaning isn’t too tricky or time-consuming; it’s just a little awkward.
All you need to do is lay the vacuum cleaner on the floor so that you can see the underside of the head. Then, remove the soleplate and the soft roller (if you have one) so that you have better access to the brush.
Once there, grab a pair of scissors and start cutting away any tangled hair and dirt that may have wrapped itself around the brush. Use your hands to get the little pieces, and make sure the brush is completely clean before you finish up.
Further Reading: Shark Vacuum FAQ
Once you are satisfied, you can replace the soleplate and get back to using the vacuum cleaner. It’s important to make sure you get everything off because then you won’t have to repeat the process too quickly, and can instead wait a little before you need to get back to it.
Also Read: Difference of Shark S6003UK & S6001UK
How to Clean the Dirt Container/Canister and Plastic Filters
You should be emptying the canister after every use, otherwise, it will end up getting clogged, and you won’t be able to suck anything else up. However, in addition to this, you should also take the time each month to really scrub it and get it clean.
All you need to do is open both ends of the dustbin (if it has more than one) and wash it thoroughly with soap and warm water. Once you have cleaned it, you can then rinse it off and leave it to dry.
As with anything else that attaches to an electrical appliance, you must ensure that it is completely dry before you put it back. The plastic filters are also quite easy to clean and have a very simple process.
You will find that the main filter is a large cylindrical sponge, and it is able to absorb way more dust than you would expect. Even so, it should be washed once a month instead of every three months (as Shark suggests) as this will keep it in the best shape and also ensure that you don’t lose suction.
When you have removed the filter, simply rinse it under cool water in order to clean it. While there are some who use soap, I advise against it as it can impact its effectiveness in the future. Plain water from the tap works perfectly to get it clean.
Just make sure you leave it on the side to dry for at least 24 hours after washing, and never place a filter that is even a little damp back in the vacuum.
You can also wash the felt filter, but remember that this requires a delicate hand as they are more fragile than the foam ones. You will notice the foam filter is a lovely white when you first get it, and over time it is likely to become discoloured even after washing.
This does not mean it is dirty or damaged, and it is a normal part of the process when you have a while filter, so don’t be alarmed. Whether a regular filter or a HEPA model, it is also very possible for you to pick up spares and replacements as and when they are needed.
This can be really beneficial when you want to use your vacuum while one filter is drying, and having a spare also means you never need to worry if one of them is damaged and need replacing.
I hope that this has been able to show you how important cleaning your vacuum and filters is, but also how easy the process can be.
It doesn’t take a great deal of time, and most of it only needs to be carried out on a monthly basis, which means that there isn’t too much hassle involved.
Even if it can be slightly inconvenient at times; isn’t it worth it to ensure there is a fully functioning vacuum cleaner in your home?
What did you think of our guide to cleaning your Shark vacuum and filters? Did it give you everything you needed, or are there areas you felt could have been improved? We love hearing from you, so leave us a message in the comment section below.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.