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Most vacuum cleaners available today have vacuum filters, whether single-use, washable, or disposable ones.
The most popular kind of filter is the High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. It is able to remove up to 99% of the smallest particles in the air.
This filter, including micron and allergen filters, can be thoroughly cleaned by simply following manufacturer’s instructions.
The following steps will show you exactly how you can clean your vacuum filter. We did the research for you and have come up with these six simple steps to help you clean your filter:
1. Locate the filter. Refer to the cleaning your vacuum manual and also take note of the recommended cleaning procedures.
2. Clean your filter outdoors. Dust particles may spread around when you remove the filter from the vacuum.
3. Remove excessive dirt inside the filter by gently tap it on the side of the garbage can. This will make most of the trapped dust fall inside.
4. Carefully wash the filter with cool to lukewarm water and swill thoroughly. Do not brush the filter as this may damage it. Do not use soap or any abrasive material to clean your filter.
5. Leave the filter to air dry for 24–48 hours.
6. Put the filter back in the vacuum once it is completely dry.
The filter has to be clean because this will affect the suctioning capability of your vacuum cleaner over time.
When you filter is dirty, your vacuum cleaner will have to work harder to absorb and eliminate dirt and allergens from you home. Dirt can clog the motor and other parts of your vacuum, which can lead it to malfunction and leave you with no other option but to replace it.
- Know when to wash your filter. It is recommended that a filter be washed and cleaned after 3–4 uses, but on the average, a filter is changed once a week if it is used daily or once a month if it is used weekly.
- Know whether your vacuum filter is washable or not. Only wash filters that are washable!
- Do the cleaning outside your home to avoid dust from transferring on surfaces.
- Most vacuum filters have a specific lifespan, even with regular cleaning. A vacuum filter may take 3 to 6 months before it needs to be replaced. Refer to you vacuum’s manual for the specifications required for filter replacement. Older, more traditional vacuums may have disposable filters that can last from 6 to 12 months depending on the how often the vacuum is being used.
- Know what vacuum model will best suit the cleaning you need. You can maximize the value of your vacuum when you are using the right one for the right use.
- Do not wash a single-use filter. This will affect its vacuuming process and might even damage your vacuum.
- Do not brush your filter with any abrasive material or scrub your filter between pleats.
- Do not use soap in washing your vacuum filter.
- Do not put the filter directly on hot surface to dry.
- Do not put the filter back on the vacuum unless it is fully dry. Electricity and water never mix!
If you notice that you are cleaning your vacuum filters too often, it might be that you are using the inappropriate model for your cleaning demand.
It is also very important that you choose the correct model for a specific cleaning job. There are many vacuum cleaner models today that you can choose from.
For instance, a car vacuum might not be advisable if you need to vacuum even as confined a space as a closet. If you have pets, get a pet friendly vacuum.
So, regularly clean your filter to extend the life of your vacuum cleaners. There are many helpful tips online that can guide you in maintaining your vacuum cleaner.
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.