How to clean the Brush Roll on a Vacuum Cleaner

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Your vacuum cleaner doesn’t need very much attention, but a little simple maintenance will keep it working and cleaning as efficiently as it can. Maintaining your vacuum cleaner properly can also head off more costly repairs or replacement.


How to clean the Brush Roll on a Vacuum Cleaner

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Your vacuum cleaner doesn’t need very much attention, but a little simple maintenance will keep it working and cleaning as efficiently as it can. Maintaining your vacuum cleaner properly can also head off more costly repairs or replacement.


Clean the brush roll. Also called a beater bar, this is the spinning brush underneath that brushes dirt out of the carpets. Look under the machine and locate the brush roll. Generally, it will be across the front of the bottom. If it is full of hair, thread, or other debris, it is time to clean it.


Remove the clips on the bottom plate


Remove the bottom plate. It may have a couple of screws holding it in place. Don't lose the screws.


Notice the direction that the brush roll goes in. Usually, there will be a belt on one side and a corresponding track or space on the brush roll for the belt. This will help you to identify the direction.


Remove the brush roll. Generally, it will pull out of a slot on either end, then slide out from under the belt.


Use scissors or just your fingers to clean the brushes. They don't need to be spotless, but you should remove any hair or string that is wrapped around the brush. Pay special attention to the ends near the bearings and to the area around where the belt engages. A seam ripper (you can get one at a sewing goods store) works very well to cut the thinnest of hairs and strings wrapped around the brush.


Spin the brush roll on its axle with your fingers, to verify that it spins freely. If it doesn't, you may need to clean out the bearings more thoroughly, lubricate the bearings, replace the bearings, or replace the entire brush roll (in ascending order of expense). Unscrew the cap on either end of the brush roll. You will need to hold the cap on the opposite end.


Remove any debris around and in the bearings. Before you take the bearings out, notice which way they went so you can put them back in correctly. Remove the cap on the other end. Both caps are usually on one long axle, so you may need to hold the end of the axle still to remove the second cap. Clean and lubricate the bearing on the other end. Replace both bearings in the direction that they were before and replace both end caps.


Put the brush roll back through the belt. It may be very tight. Replace the brush roll in its slots. Make sure that the belt is still over both the brush roll and the drive shaft.


Replace the cover plates, reversing the process you used to remove them. Done - sorted!


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