Self-Help - Vacuum Maintenance Guide

Over six million electrical items are thrown away every year in the UK, including our precious household vacuum cleaners. What most people don’t realise is that the majority of the time a ‘broken’, ‘old’ or ‘failed’ vacuum cleaner is anything but! Some of the most common reasons vacuum cleaners lose suction power are air leaks, clogged filters or objects obstructing the flow of air in the vacuum.

To help you save money on replacing a perfectly functioning vacuum and to avoid contributing to unnecessary electrical waste, we’ve compiled a list of valuable information on how to keep your vacuum cleaner in top working condition for years and years to come. Everything you need to know from replacing parts to removing foul odours from your machine. Use our DIY vacuum maintenance guide to fix a poorly running machine or to keep a powerful vacuum performing at its best.

NOTE: Check whether your vacuum cleaner is in warranty before carrying out any maintenance to ensure you don’t do anything that may void the warranty.

Check and remove blockages

An easy way to determine where a blockage may exist in your vacuum cleaner is to attach different nozzles to your vacuum and test suction power. If suction improves after removing a specific nozzle, then this attachment has a blockage that needs to be removed. You can also test this for the rest of the machine by removing and inspecting tubes and hoses to reveal any objects or buildup that may be reducing suction power.

Clean agitator / brush roll

The brush in the bottom of your vacuum is designed to ‘agitate’ your carpet and loosen the dirt in the fabric for a deep and thorough cleaning. If your agitator is wrapped and covered in hair, then it isn’t able to do its intended job of removing dust and dirt from your carpets. You can cut away the hair from your agitator brush and oil the bearings if needed to improve performance.

Remove bad odours

If you can smell an unpleasant odour coming from your vacuum cleaner, then the usual suspect is a bag or canister full of old, foul-smelling dust and grime. However, if replacing your bag or emptying your bagless canister doesn’t improve the scent emitted by your machine, check for any clogs in the machine and clean the filters, tubes, and canisters with a mixture of baking soda and water. For a fresh scent, try placing a dryer sheet or orange peel in the new vacuum bag or the filter cavity in your bagless model. This will spread the lovely scent throughout your home with each use.

Clean or replace filters

Filters are designed to effectively remove dust from your vacuum’s air stream, even cyclone vacuums have filters to capture very fine dust, and they will naturally get blocked, reducing your vacuum’s performance in the process. Regularly cleaning or replacing your vacuum’s filter is essential for maximum suction performance

With your vacuum cleaner unplugged, remove the filters. Tap them to remove excess dust, then use a brush to gently remove the remaining dirt. If your filter is also washable, wash it under cold running water and then leave it in a warm place until it is completely dry.

Replace the clean/new filters back into your machine.  

Check for and repair air leaks

With your vacuum cleaner on, inspect the hose, tubes, and any parts of the vacuum cleaner that air flows through to see if you can hear or feel an air leak in any part of the machine. If you find a leak in the hose, you may need professional help to repair the leak or replace the hose. Other air leaks can occur as a result of putting your vacuum together incorrectly. Ensure all components have been clicked, popped or screwed into place firmly and securely.

Replace parts - brush roll, belt, filters, hose

Good manufacturers will always make spare parts readily available for their vacuum cleaners. Generally speaking, they are very simple to replace but as every manufacturer and vacuum model is different, be sure to follow the instructions found in your vacuum cleaner’s user manual or call the manufacturer for support. Never replace items with your machine plugged in and seek professional guidance if you need to replace or repair anything electrical.

If you own a Vacmaster or Cleva household vacuum cleaner, you can find each vacuum’s replacement parts on its individual page. If your vacuum cleaner is no longer in production, you can find information about our discountinued products here.

A little care and attention can keep your vacuum cleaner running like new for years to come.

If you’re looking for a vacuum upgrade, you can browse our wet and dry Vacmasters here, or if you’re after something more portable, you can explore our cordless collection here. Alternatively, if you already own a Cleva vacuum cleaner and need help with maintenance tips and advice, then please email us at

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