"Sorry, I can't. I'm cleaning my vacuum."
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Of course, we empty the canister when it's full, remove any brush-rotation interference, and even occasionally bang the filter against the side of the trash can, but could we be doing more for the machine that works so hard for us? Probably so. Day in and day out, our bagless vacuum hits the ground cleaning, sucking up every last bit of dog fur, dirt, grime, and even random Cheerios the baby hid under the couch for later. It's only right that we keep things running smoothly by giving our bagless vacuum a good clean. If you're doing a little research on maintenance before choosing between a bag vs. bagless vacuum, let us applaud you for your forethought and initiative. We've outlined exactly what kind of routine cleaning a bagless vacuum needs to run most efficiently—whether you already have one or are thinking of making the switch.

  1. Clean the Canister: Empty the canister, then wipe the interior down with a microfiber cloth. The best-case scenario is washing the entire canister in warm soapy water. It will remove all remaining dirt, dust, grime, and hair most efficiently. Let it air dry completely before returning to your machine. If your owner's manual recommends not submerging or getting the canister wet, thoroughly wipe down both the interior and exterior using a microfiber cloth. This should work just as well as a full soak, though it might take more time and elbow grease. A can of compressed air can help force out any dirt or debris that's stuck within grooves or crevices.
  2. Clean the Filter: Your vacuum will most likely have a number of filters, including a HEPA filter, which should typically be replaced every six months. Some filters are washable while others just need to be replaced when showing signs of buildup. Refer to your owner's manual for best practices. When washing a filter, first remove any debris by gently knocking it against the trash bin. Rinse the filter under water until the water starts to run clean.  
  3. Clean the Floor Brush: Remove the floor brush from the machine. Using a scissor, cut any caught string or hair. Wipe out the area behind where the brush lives before reattaching the brush.
  4. Clean the Attachments: Remove the hose from the vacuum. Gently insert a dryer vent brush into the tube to clear out debris. Take special care not to damage the hose in the process. To clean brush and tool attachments, wipe them clean and remove any caught dust or hair from bristles. You can use the same dryer vent brush to clean longer attachments like the extended crevice tool.

And before you pat yourself on the back for emptying the canister every time it looks full, let us leave you with this little tidbit: It actually should be emptied when it's only halfway full in order to maintain maximum suction.