How to Unclog Your Vacuum Cleaner: Remove Blockages Easily

It can be hard to tell whether a vacuum cleaner has stopped working or if it was simply clogged – unless the entire machine is opened up. 

Clogged vacuum cleaners – often caused by the accumulation of small items and dirt sucked into the machine – can weaken the suction power of the machine, causing it to stop working properly.


If your vacuum cleaner suddenly stops picking up dirt and replacing the filter with a new one does not seem to do the trick, it could be because it has a clog.

Fortunately, clogs are very easy to handle and you do not have to send your machine to the repair shop right away. You can save yourself the expensive fees by doing the repair yourself.

How exactly do you unclog your vacuum cleaner? Before you even try disassembling your vacuum cleaner, try to determine where the clog might be located. For example, you can replace the attachment hoses to see if all of them have no suction power.

If at least one of them has a problem sucking dirt, then the clog is clearly located at the attachment hose.

Removing blockages in hoses is very easy: all you need to use is a broom handle or a bent hanger to push the clog out. What about cleaning out clogs for other parts of the vacuum cleaner?

Check out the easy-to-follow steps below:

remove blockage in vacuum

Step 1:

Double-check other areas where the vacuum cleaner could be clogged.

Do not proceed with the next steps unless you have made sure that the machine still does not work efficiently even after replacing its cleaner bag or cleaning the attachment hose.

Step 2:

If you suspect that the clogging is in the attachment hose, use a broom handle or other long and narrow devices to push the blockage out of the tube.

Step 3:

Another possible place for a blockage to occur is in the underside of the cleaner head (or the bottom of an upright vacuum cleaner). When checking this part, make sure that the band which drives the beater roller is still in its proper place.

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To unclog this part, you can use a stick or a bent wire to force the dirt out.

You might also want to see if there are clumps of small items or debris at the base of the machine. Simply remove the underside of the machine to gain access to these ports.

Step 4:

Disconnect the bag from the vacuum cleaner. It is highly likely that the blockage is located just right below the bag connection. When that is the case, these clumps of dirt can be easily pulled out from the opening without much effort.

Step 5:

Another place where blockages are common are in the inspection panels. If you are unsure where this is located in the vacuum cleaner, check out a manual or handbook. It is likely that the blockage is located behind one of these panels.

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Vacuums may have different styles and designs but their parts are basically the same.

Open up the machine and remove the necessary parts to see if there is a clump of dirt, debris and small items somewhere.

Make sure that you are able to return them in their proper places.

To remove the blockage, you can use the broom handle technique or use a stick or a bent wire. Gently push or pull the dirt to get it out of the tube or machine part.

If it becomes very hard to remove, try your best to avoid using a lot of force as this might destroy your machine. In addition, avoid using water on parts that have wires and motors attached to them to prevent any further damage – even if it is a wet vacuum cleaner.

When removing parts in your vacuum cleaner, always make sure that your machine is unplugged to avoid any untoward incidences.

Last Updated on February 14, 2021 by Gemma Tyler Protection Status