A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Clean a Shark Vacuum
Is your Shark vacuum losing suction? One of the major reasons why this is happening may be attributed to how often you have cleaned it. While many of us love our vacuums, we tend to ignore them until something goes wrong.
Well, there is no need for that anymore. Why spend cash on repairs or replacements when we only need to care and maintain it properly?
In this article, we will be sharing a step-by-step guide on how to clean a Shark vacuum. By the time we are done, you’ll have picked up a few tips and your vacuum will be back to its usual efficient self.
How Often Should You Clean a Shark Vacuum?
According to the owner’s manual, which many of us don’t bother referring to, filters should be cleaned every three months.
The HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter can run for two years without any trouble. In case you find its efficiency dwindling, you may want to clean or replace it sooner (source).
In essence, you’ll need to remember to clean your Shark vacuum four times yearly for it to do its job well. Then again, even with a Google calendar reminder, you might miss a date or two.
There are some signs that you can pick up from your Shark that say it’s time to clean the cleaner. These include:
- Reduced suction power.
- Unpleasant odor coming from the vacuum.
- The vacuum produces gasp-like sounds.
- The vacuum leaves dirt behind during cleaning.
The manufacturers boast that the Shark vacuums never lose suction, so if yours is, you may want to check how dirty it is.
Step-By-Step Guide on How to Clean a Shark Vacuum
There are several Shark models on the market, and it’s likely that the removable components are located in different places. You’ll need to consult your model-specific manual to know where to find these parts and how to remove them.
That said, the cleaning process is the same and will work for most models. Let’s get started.
- Mild detergent.
- Water and access to a sink or basin.
- A pair of scissors.
- Microfiber cloth.
- Soft brush.
- Two cups of vinegar and three tablespoons of baking soda.
- Gloves to protect your hands.
1. Unplug and Disassemble
Start by unplugging your vacuum cleaner. Ideally, you should clean the vacuum outdoors as there is dirt involved. Where possible, place a sheet or any other covering underneath the vacuum to avoid creating a messy heap.
Tip: As you remove various parts from the larger vacuuming component, memorize how they fit back in. It will save you precious time that will otherwise be used figuring out what part goes where.
2. Empty the Dust Canister
Next, remove the canister from the unit and dispose of the dirt into a disposal bag. Soak the canister in soapy water and wash it using your microfiber cloth. Rinse it in cold water and allow it to air-dry.
Be sure the canister is completely dry. This may take around 24 hours.
Tip: Avoid reassembling the vacuum if any of the washed parts are still wet. It can cause mold to grow which may, in turn, cause respiratory problems and other allergic reactions (source).
3. Clean the Filters
Having removed the dirt canister from the larger vacuuming component, you’ll find the filters. Depending on your Shark vacuum model, the filters may be made of foam rubber. Additional filters may be made of felt.
Dunk the foam filters in soapy water and wash them thoroughly. It’s likely that the filters will look stained even after a good scrub. The important thing to remember is that they are clean.
Shark doesn’t recommend washing felt filters as they can get damaged easily. Tap them gently to loosen the dirt and wipe them clean.
If you choose to wash yours, soak them in soapy water just like their foam counterparts but wash them lightly and carefully. Remember you’ll be doing this at your own risk.
Rinse the soap off the filters until the water runs clear. Any soap that lingers in the filters will attract dirt fast and your filter will clog again in no time. It’s just the way soap works (source).
Lay the filters flat and allow them to air-dry for at least 24 hours. In case the filters are worn out, this would be a good time to replace them. Be sure to buy a filter that is specific to your model.
Do HEPA filters require any special cleaning instructions? Not really, you just soak them in soapy water and clean them. You only need to remember that it may take longer for a HEPA filter to dry compared to the usual filters.
Tip: At the rinsing stage you may be tempted to wring the filters to get rid of excess water. Avoid doing so as they can start cracking wear out faster. Squeeze them gently, instead.
4. Clean the Brush Head
The rotating brush bears the brunt of the cleaning and you’ll find debris stuck on it such as hair, strings, and other dirt. Here is how to clean your rotating brush.
Start by separating the floor attachment from its handle. The floor attachment on most models will have a button at each end. Press these buttons to release the brush head for better cleaning.
Use your scissors to snip debris that’s tangled in the brush. Use your hands to gently pull out all the debris and be careful not to damage the bristles in the process.
Use a soft brush to remove stubborn dirt or soak the brush in water and scrub it thoroughly. Allow the brush to air-dry for at least 24 hours before re-attaching it.
5. Clean the Hose
Check the hose for any clogs that may be obstructing movement. Dislodge the hose from both ends. Carefully inspect the ends and the entire length of the hose.
If the hose is clogged, put the hose on the hot water tap and run it. Close one end of the hose with your hand, remove the hose from the tap, close the other end. Give the hose a good shake.
Next, mix the baking soda and vinegar in a pot and pour it into the hose. As with the hot water, you’ll need to cover one end with your hand and the other as well. Shake well for a couple of minutes.
Let the mixture go and run warm water through the hose followed by cold water. The baking soda and vinegar mixture helps unclog the hose and removes bad odor. Plus the hot water helps loosen and remove the dirt.
Lay the hose flat and allow it to dry. Once it completely dries reattach it to the unit.
6. Clean the Motorized Floor Nozzle
Once you detach the hose from the connector, check the opening for any blockages. Turn the floor nozzle upside down. Tap it gently to loosen any dirt, then use an old toothbrush to remove it.
A small hose that often gets forgotten during cleaning is the lower duct hose attached to the motorized floor nozzle. Detach it and check it for blockages. Inspect the openings for clogs as well.
Clean it in the same way as the main hose and brush down the openings as shown above for each.
7. Reassemble the Vacuum
The cleaning process is almost done. Reassemble all the parts taking great care to ensure every component is completely dry. We can’t overemphasize this point.
With everything intact, give the entire vacuum a good wipe down to ensure the exterior is as clean as the inside.
8. Spread a Fresh Scent
Is the dog smell on your floor or other odors getting on your nerves? You can place mildly scented tabs in the vacuum right before vacuuming and spread a fresh scent. Ground cinnamon or ground coffee beans will achieve the same effect.
If you find other scents a little overpowering you can try the Oreck fresh air tabs that will leave your home and Shark vacuum smelling fresh.
Mistakes to Avoid
I’ll be the first to admit that I can get absent-minded when running the vacuum and that can have adverse consequences. Here are some mistakes to watch out for (source):
Here’s to Better Cleaning
There you have it. We have shared our tips on how to clean a Shark vacuum so as to ensure it remains in good working condition.
Inspect your vacuum cleaner periodically looking for signs of damage or wear and tear, particularly to the electrical cord. With proper maintenance, your Shark vacuum may last you a long time which will save you money. Don’t forget to let everything dry completely before assembling again.
Do you have any questions or comments? We would love to hear from you and remember to share.