Why Does My Vacuum Smell?

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Do you ever find yourself wondering "why does my vacuum smell?" It can be a difficult problem to diagnose and solve, but it doesn't have to be.

In this article we'll discuss the causes of odors in your vacuum cleaner as well as how to fix them so that your home remains smelling fresh and clean. We'll cover burning smells, pet odors, mold/mildew prevention tips and general maintenance advice for keeping your vacuums free from unpleasant scents. 

Causes of Vacuum Smells

Vacuum cleaners are a great way to keep your home clean and free of dust, dirt, and debris. But sometimes they can start to smell bad. There are several possible causes for this unpleasant odor, including burning smells, pet odors, and mold or mildew buildup. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of vacuum smells so you can take steps to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Burning Smell

A burning smell coming from your vacuum cleaner is usually caused by an overheated motor or worn-out belts that aren’t spinning properly. If you notice a burning smell when using your vacuum cleaner, turn it off immediately and unplug it before attempting any repairs yourself.

You may need to call in a professional if the problem persists after replacing any worn-out parts or cleaning out clogs in the hose or brush roll area.

Pet Odors

why does my vacuum smell of dog?

Pet odors can be one of the most difficult types of smells to get rid of in your vacuum cleaner since pet hair often gets trapped deep inside its components over time. To help reduce pet odors coming from your vacuum cleaner:

  • make sure you change out its filter or bag regularly; 
  • use an odor neutralizing spray or powder on carpets before vacuuming them up with your machine; 
  • check the brush roll/ beater bar and remove any pet hair wrap; and
  • make sure you clean out both the canister and hose regularly, so no built-up fur accumulates inside them either. 

Mold and mildew growth

Why does my vacuum smell of mold?

This is typically caused by moisture getting trapped within its components due to infrequent use or not emptying out its canister after each use session (especially if it was used on wet surfaces). To prevent mold and mildew growth inside your machine’s components, which could lead to serious health risks:

  • always empty out the canister after each use session;
  • keep it dry when not in use; and
  • consider using an anti-mold solution on hard surfaces like tile floors before vacuuming them up with your machine.

The best way to ensure that all these issues don't become problems down the line is by performing regular maintenance checks on your machine such as: checking for clogs and blockages, keeping moving parts lubricated, and replacing filters, bags, and brushes as needed. Doing so will help extend its life span significantly while also ensuring optimal performance at all times.

How to Fix a Burning Smell in Your Vacuum Cleaner

If you notice a burning smell coming from your vacuum cleaner, it is important to take the necessary steps to fix the issue.

Check the Motor and Belts

The first step in fixing a burning smell in your vacuum cleaner is to check the motor and belts for any signs of wear or damage. If either of these components are worn out, they will need to be replaced before further use. Be sure to unplug your vacuum before attempting this repair.

Replace the Filter or Bag

Another potential cause of a burning smell could be an old filter or bag that needs replacing. A clogged filter can cause overheating which leads to an unpleasant odor when vacuuming. Make sure you replace both filters and bags regularly as part of routine maintenance on your machine.

Clean the Brush Roll and Hose

vacuum cleaner brush hair wrap

Finally, if there is still a lingering burning smell after checking all other components, then it may be time to clean out the brush roll and hose of your vacuum cleaner. This should help remove any debris that has built up over time which could potentially be causing an unpleasant odor when using your machine. Be sure not to forget about cleaning out any crevices where dirt can get stuck as well.

Key Takeaway 

To get rid of a burning smell coming from your vacuum cleaner, check the motor and belts, replace the filter or bag, and clean out the brush roll and hose.

How to Get Rid of Pet Odors in Your Vacuum Cleaner

Having pets in the home can be a great source of joy, but it can also lead to some unpleasant odors. Vacuum cleaners are an essential tool for keeping your home clean and free from pet odors, but they need regular maintenance and cleaning to keep them functioning properly. Here are some tips on how to get rid of pet odors in your vacuum cleaner.

1. Change or clean Filter/ Bag/ Bin Regularly

A full smelly vacuum canister bin

Pet hair and dander can quickly build up inside the filter or bag of your vacuum cleaner, trapping odor-causing particles that will eventually make their way back into the air when you use it.

To prevent this from happening, change out or wash the filter and replace the bag or empty the bin. Your vacuum user manual will provide guidance on how to do this and the recommended frequency. Pre-motor filters need to be cleaned or changed more frequently than post-motor filters. 

Washable filters must be fully dry before being put back in the vacuum, or they can damage the motor. You should physically feel them to check for moisture before reinstalling. 

2. Use a carbon or Charcoal filter if Possible

Vacuum filter change to prevent smells

Replacing your regular filter with a carbon or charcoal filter can help neutralize pet odors in your vacuum and home. Carbon and charcoal filters are made of activated carbon granules which absorb odor molecules from the air passing through them.

This type of filter is not available for all models of vacuum though so you will need to check. For example, the regular AirClean filters on Miele C1, C2 & C3 canister vacuums can be swapped out for Active AirClean filters containing active charcoal for neutralising unpleasant pet odors.

As with regular filters, these types of filters should be replaced regularly for optimal performance; typically every 3-6 months depending on usage frequency and type of filter used (carbon vs charcoal).

3. Use an Odor Neutralizing Spray or Powder

If you’re dealing with particularly stubborn pet odors, try using an odor neutralizing spray or powder specifically designed for vacuums after changing out the filter/bag/ canister bin. These products help break down any lingering smells so that they don’t become trapped in your machine over time and cause further issues down the line.

4. Clean out the dirt canister and hose

In addition to changing out filters/bags and using odor neutralizers, it is important to clean out both the canister and hose of your vacuum cleaner on a regular basis. This will help remove any built-up debris that could be causing unpleasant smells within these components, as well as preventing clogs which could impede suction power over time if left unchecked.

To do this effectively, start by emptying out any collected dirt from both parts. Then use a damp cloth (or even just compressed air) to wipe away anything else stuck inside them. Allow everything to dry completely before putting them back together again.

Key Takeaway 

To prevent pet odors from lingering in your vacuum cleaner, regularly change or wash the filter and replace or empty the bag/ bin. Furthermore, try swapping to carbon or charcoal filters and use an odor neutralizing spray or powder. Additionally, clean out both the canister and hose to remove built-up debris that could cause unpleasant smells.

How to Prevent Mold and Mildew in Your Vacuum Cleaner

Mold and mildew can be a real nuisance when it comes to your vacuum cleaner. Not only does it make your home look dirty, but it can also cause serious damage to the machine itself. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent mold and mildew from taking over your vacuum cleaner.

1. Empty the Dirt Canister after Each Use

The first step is to empty the canister after each use. This will help keep moisture from building up inside the machine, which is one of the main causes of mold and mildew growth. Additionally, if you have pets or children in your home who shed hair or fur, emptying out the canister regularly will help reduce clogs that could lead to moisture buildup as well.

2. Keep the Dirt Canister Dry

Another important step for preventing mold and mildew is keeping the canister dry when not in use. If possible, store it in an area with good air circulation so that any excess moisture has a chance to evaporate before settling on surfaces where mold spores may grow.

You should also avoid storing it near humidifiers or other sources of high humidity as this could increase chances of condensation forming inside the machine’s components and leading to further problems down the line.

3. Use an anti-mold solution

Finally, using an anti-mold solution on hard surfaces such as countertops or floors around where you store your vacuum cleaner can help kill off any existing spores before they have a chance to spread throughout your home environment. 

This is especially important if these areas tend to stay damp for long periods of time due to lack of ventilation or sunlight exposure (e.g., basements). However, be sure not spray directly onto electrical components.

Key Takeaway 

To prevent mold and mildew from taking over your vacuum cleaner, empty the canister after each use, store it in an area with good air circulation, avoid storing near sources of high humidity, and use anti-mold solutions on hard surfaces.

FAQs in Relation to Why Does My Vacuum Smell

How Do I Stop My Vacuum From Smelling?

To stop your vacuum from smelling, start by emptying the dust bin (or replacing the dust bag) and cleaning out any debris that has accumulated. Additionally, use a damp cloth to wipe down the outside of the vacuum cleaner and all removable parts such as filters or hoses.

Finally, try adding a few drops of essential oil into the filter bag for a pleasant scent while vacuuming. With regular maintenance and cleaning, you should be able to keep your vacuum smelling fresh.

Why Does My Vacuum Smell When I Vacuum?

Vacuum cleaners can start to smell when dust, dirt and other debris build up in the filter or bag. If you don't regularly clean your vacuum cleaner's filter or empty its bag, these particles will accumulate and create an unpleasant odor.

To prevent this from happening, make sure to regularly check your vacuum cleaner’s filters for any blockages or clogs that may be causing the smell. Additionally, if you have a bagged vacuum cleaner, make sure to empty it after each use so that no odors can build up over time.

What Can I Put In My Vacuum To Make It Smell Better?

Adding a few drops of essential oil to your vacuum bag or filter can help make it smell better. Make sure to use an oil that is safe for the material of your vacuum, and avoid any oils with synthetic fragrances as these may damage the machine.

Additionally, you can sprinkle baking soda on carpets before vacuuming to absorb odors and freshen up your home. Regularly cleaning out the dustbin and filters will also help keep your vacuum smelling fresh.

Why Does My Vacuum Make A Weird Smell?

Vacuum cleaners can sometimes produce a strange smell due to dust and dirt buildup in the filter, hose, or other parts of the machine. This is usually caused by not cleaning or replacing filters regularly enough.

To get rid of this odor, make sure you clean your vacuum thoroughly at least once a month. Empty out all compartments and remove any clogs from the hose. Clean or replace the filter as recommended by your manufacturer’s instructions. Finally, use an air freshener to help eliminate odors that may still linger after cleaning your vacuum cleaner.


Get your vacuum smelling of roses

In conclusion, it is important to take the necessary steps to maintain your vacuum cleaner and keep it smelling fresh. If you are dealing with a burning smell or pet odors in your vacuum cleaner, there are ways to fix the problem.

Taking preventative measures such as regularly cleaning out the filter and checking for clogs can help reduce bad smells from occurring in the first place. So if you're asking yourself "why does my vacuum smell?", now you know what causes these odors and how to get rid of them!

Are you frustrated by the unpleasant smell that your vacuum cleaner emits? Do not let it ruin your cleaning experience!

At Home Vacuum Zone, we provide comprehensive reviews and information on all types of vacuums to help you make an informed decision when selecting a new one. We also offer helpful tips and advice on how to keep your vacuum in top condition so it can continue working optimally without emitting bad odors.

Visit our website today for more details and start enjoying clean air again!

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