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How to Fix a Smelly Vacuum - Bagless

It's really annoying when your vacuum leaves you with a lingering dusty smell. In this video, Josh explains the most common reasons why a vacuum might be smelly and how you can clean it to get it smelling fresh again.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Josh from eSpares.

Now, if you've got a smelly vacuum, I'm going to show you how to fix it and the most common places you can find the smell, these can be in the canister, the filters, the hose and the brush roll.

Safety first, make sure you unplug your vacuum before performing any maintenance work on it.

The first thing we're going to look at are the filters. This Dyson DC33 has two filters a pre-motor and a post-motor filter, and this is largely the same for all manufacturers of bagless vacuum cleaners.

The filters are designed to perform two functions. The first is to stop harmful dust and particles from getting into your machine and causing problems with the internal workings of it, such as with the motor.

The second reason is to stop bad smells from re-circulating back into the room while you're using your vacuum cleaner.

So, to access the pre-motor filter, release the housing from the vacuum cleaner, like so. Inside we find the pre-motor filter, this comes in two parts, the filter sponge and the filter case.

Most manufacturers recommend cleaning these at least every six months, but Dyson recommends every three months.

To clean the filter sponge, simply rinse it out under cold water and give it a good squeeze to remove any excess moisture, and similarly with the filter case, wash it under cold water and give it a good tap to remove any trapped dirt. Then leave them both to dry for at least 24 hours so there's no moisture remaining.

While these are designed to be washed, there will be a time when they'll need to be replaced altogether, and here we have a replacement pre-motor filter. Although it does look slightly different to the one that came with your machine, it performs exactly the same function. We can replace this by simply putting it back in the housing and replacing the housing back in your vacuum cleaner.

Next, we have the post-motor filter. In most bagless vacuum cleaners the post-motor filter is usually housed near to the canister or underneath it.

In this DC33 we can access the post-motor filter by pressing this canister release button here and removing it altogether, before lifting this catch and lifting the lid and underneath we have the post-motor filter.

This is an all in one unit and can be cleaned in broadly the same way as the pre-motor filter, by washing it under cold water and giving it a good tap to remove any dust and dirt before leaving it until it's completely bone dry.

While it is designed to be washed, if it's starting to become less effective it's probably a good idea to replace it with a new one. As this one's okay, I'm going to pop it back in.

Next, we have the canister. As this is the part of the vacuum where the dirt is stored it's a very likely place for smells to build up. Before you perform any cleaning on your canister, it's a good idea to remove any electrical or mechanical parts from it first. 

To separate the canister on this DC33, press the button at the top before pressing this bin-release assembly here. The canister can be washed in warm soapy water or sprayed and wiped down with disinfectant, but if it's really scratched or quite old it's probably more likely to harbour bacteria and therefore it's a good idea to replace it with a new one.

The cyclone unit can be tapped very gently to remove any trapped dust, you can also check any crevices for any trapped dust as well. Brush down to clean the venting holes as much as possible. Once you've done this the entire unit can be reassembled- like so- before being replaced on your Dyson.

The next places we're going to look at are the hose and the attachments. As these are the first parts of your vacuum to come into contact with dirt, they're very likely places for smells to build up. Most bagless vacuum cleaners are designed to have the hose removed – either for cleaning or replacement and on this Dyson this is achieved by doing the following.

First, press this catch on the top which pulls the hose away from the body of the vacuum cleaner and turn it round and press this button on the back to remove the wand from the hose. Then we can remove the canister in the usual way, before finally pressing this little button behind to remove the hose from the body altogether.

Once you've removed the hose and the attachments these can be cleaned in exactly the same way as with the canister, by leaving them to soak in some warm soapy water. However, if any of them do contain any metal parts it's probably a better idea to wipe them down with some disinfectant to prevent any rusting. Once you've done this make sure they're completely dry before replacing back in your machine.

The final part we're going to look at is the brush roller. The brush roll has a tendency to gather up bits of hair and carpet fibres, which can get wrapped around it and in turn, trap additional amounts of dust and dirt. So, I'm just going to remove the cover for the brush roll by undoing these three screws here.

The best way to clean the brush roll is by cutting off any of the hair or trapped materials which may have been wrapped around it before giving it a quick spray and a wipe down with some disinfectant.

Once you've done all of these things with your vacuum cleaner there are a variety of products available to keep both your machine and your home smelling clean and fresh, ranging from products such as these which you place directly in the vacuum cleaner itself to powders which you sprinkle on the carpet before you vacuum it.

eSpares stocks a range of these products as well as spares for Dyson and a variety of other bagless vacuum models.

Thanks for watching.

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