Vacuum cleaners are useful household appliances, but after many uses or especially messy projects a vacuum may offer a decreased performance or release a musty odor, making vacuuming a less-than-pleasant task. There are several steps that can freshen help to clean and freshen a vacuum.
Detach any hoses and attachments from the machine and wash with a gentle disinfectant and deodorizer. The bathtub may be an ideal place for this.
Remove debris trapped on the vacuum roller. If long hair or threads are wound around the roller and trapped in the bristles, they may need to be cut off with a pair of scissors or knife.
Remove the vacuum cleaner bag, canister or filter.
Wipe the inside of the cleaner with a damp rag to remove any dust and dirt. If the inside of the cleaner has a musty odor, leave it open to air out for a few days or use a deodorizing soap to wash it out. If the vacuum is canister style, wash out the canister.
Dispose of the bag or wash the filter. Follow instructions on the vacuum cleaner or in the manual to properly wash the filter. Instructions often include soaking the filter in warm water, sometimes calling for a gentle soap and letting the filter air dry.
Add a fresh scent. There are products commercially available as vacuum cleaner scent bags, pouches or perfumes. There are also several easy and affordable home remedies that can mask a musty smell or make vacuuming a refreshing way to perfume a house. Place a handful of pine needles, balsam tips, a few drops of perfume, a dryer sheet, cinnamon, cloves or scented soaps or bath beads in the bag or canister.
Reassemble the vacuum cleaner when all of the attachments, hoses and interior is dry. Replace the canister, filter or bag.