How To: Deep Clean Your Dyson Vacuum

The chances are high that you use a vacuum to clean your carpets in your home on a regular basis. But have you ever stopped and thought about giving the vacuum itself a deep cleaning job? If you have a Dyson vacuum, we will show you all the tips and tricks to getting a deep clean – which, in turn, ensures a better cleaning job on your carpets!

Need a new Dyson Vaccum?


 

Materials Needed:

 

  • Water

 

 

  • Scissors or knife

 

 

  • Flathead Screwdriver

 

 

  • Dish soap and paper towel

 

 

 

  *Steps 1-5 should be done outside*  

Step One:

Empty the canister of any debris. Remove the outer canister shell by pressing the button on the back between the two red pieces.  

Step Two:

Open the bottom flap and remove the foam filter. Put aside for later.  

Step Three:

Flip the vacuum upside down, and using a flathead screwdriver, remove the bottom roller cover. Use scissors to remove any hair that may be trapped on the roller. When clean, use the compressed air to blow out any dust or dirt trapped in visible spaces. Put roller cover back on.  

Step Four:

Put cyclone part of the vacuum over a deep trashcan, and use the compressed air on every single tiny hole (this part is super messy! Beware!) Make sure that you turn the cyclone part over, and blow the air on the inside as well.  

Step Five:

Clean the canister section using the compressed air. *Gather the cyclone, canister, and sponge filter and move inside to water source.*    

Step Six:

Run the sponge filter under water and squeeze until the water coming out is clear.  

Step Seven:

Run water through the canister.  

Step Eight:

Wash the canister thoroughly with dish soap.  

Step Nine:

Use a damp paper towel to wipe off the cyclone section, and make sure that all the tiny holes are clean, and not plugged.  

Step Ten:

Make sure that all sections that came into contact with water are laid out to completely dry. (At least 24 hours.) Leaving any form of moisture in the canister or cyclone part will cause dirt to clump in the holes, and make routine canister emptying much more difficult. Additionally, Dyson does not recommend running the cyclone section directly under running water!

Don’t like Dyson?

Here are other proven and tested alternatives:

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We suggest deep cleaning your vacuum once every 3-4 months. It will both elongate the life of your Dyson vacuum, as well as make sure that your carpeting is getting properly cleaned. Having any part of the cyclone clogged will not allow proper air circulation, and will, in turn, not allow the maximum amount of suction for your flooring.

Are you interested in more cleaning tips, check out this post on Spring Cleaning: Frequently Forgotten Items

Photo Credits: The Memoirs of Megan

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Megan

Megan lives in Michigan with her husband, daughter, and son. Her days are spent hanging out and doing family projects on her real-life farm, and spending time on the Great Lakes. She loves swimming, celebrity gossip, University of Michigan and Denver Broncos football, trashy reality TV, and writing. In addition to being a Mommy and self-proclaimed urban-farmer, she owns a photography business located in Southeast Michigan, Memoirs Photography.

Comments (55)

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    Kathy

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    I am with Gina & Stacey ! I was ready to throw mine out because of the smell.It would gag you. “Nothing to lose”, so I took the tunnel part outsde and used the water hose to it.You would not believe what kind of filthy water came out of it! Amazing. I gave it a few days outside to dry and when I tried it out,it was like new! Desperate measure yes,but it was going into the garbage otherwise!

    Reply

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      Shauna

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      When you say “tunnel part” do you mean the cyclone part with the holes? I have a DC33 which is needing a really thorough clean! I know its a long time since you posted, but your thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you.

      Reply

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    Elizabeth Davis

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    How do you take off the house? I couldn’t believe what came out my vacuum! And I was wondering why my house wasn’t smelling fresh!!! Please get back to me!
    Thanks

    Reply

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    Bob

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    We have a DC-19 and a DC-25 animal ball vacs. You forgot the “Dyson Stick” for step one. You may need a 12″ or so stick or similar to get out the hair that rapidly builds up in the upper point of the canister. It can be difficult to empty at times.
    When you empty the canister I suggest a dust mask due to the dust. If I’m using it for the whole house at once, I kow I’ll be dumping it several times. To keep down the dust, I spray water in the trash bin to keep the dust from previous cleanings down.
    I use the Dyson but I hate it! With a passion! By the time I’m done vacuuming, I’m in a foul mood what with battling the cord, the fact that one side cleans baseboard much better than the other meaning it takes two passes to get the baseboards truly clean and to use a crevice tool requires pulling out the unwieldy long metal tube and putting it back.

    Reply

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      Val

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      Ditto!

      Reply

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    Tommy

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    I have two Dyson DC41’s one is a multi-floor model and the other the animal model. Both work EXACTLY the same they just have different attachments according to there model. But i’ll tell you all something right now. When i got my re-furbished animal model on Ebay which mind you was an absolute steal and looks like a brand new model. What i was NOT expecting was the noxious odor coming from the machine while in use. So i emailed the seller who told me she had a cat and two dogs but barely used the machine. I thought too myself; “barely used the machine”…? Then why was the post hepa filter which is the circular disk that screws into the ball paneling part so FULL of animal hair…!!! Luckily i’m still under warranty from Dyson. So they were able to send me out two new filters the circular one as mentioned above. And the cone shaped one that goes on top. Also, along with the two new filters i received a new cyclone assembly and dust bin as well. So at this point i felt like i was getting a brand new vacuum. Since you can have a scratched up or fogged dust bin and it wouldn’t matter so long as your cyclone assembly is new. Considering that’s pretty much the guts of the vacuum besides the motor itself. This all said, i just was NOT expecting to smell this moldy animal hair like stink. So i thought too myself how can i get rid of this…? Well i’ve done just about everything one could do to resolve this issue. I sprayed the inside of the telescopic wand with Lysol, sprinkled baking soda/carpet freshener for pets and sucked that up. I even put scented “gel style” bath beads inside the cone-shaped filter that sits on top and inside of the cyclone assembly. And honestly that seemed to work for a bit but not so much anymore. So i’m basically at my wits end trying to solve this stinky issue. And my theory is that the smell is either coming from inside the ball itself. Or inside the cyclone tubes of the assembly. However, the only problem with that is i’m not sure how to go about taking those two parts apart. To check and see if there is any pet hair or otherwise causing this stink. It’s really baffling too me that all of my efforts thus far haven’t solved this issue. Since i am VERY vigilant about keep my machines super clean. For example, once or twice a month i take my gas leaf blower and blow out the entire cyclone assembly. Now that may sound odd but let me just say it works TEN TIMES better then a bottle of compressed air…!!! Simply and obviously because of the stronger wind force to really blow everything out thoroughly. So in closing, if anyone out there has been through this with there Dyson’s. Or have any ideas on how to get rid of this awful smell for good PLEASE let me know ASAP. Because it’s an AWESOME machine that works flawlessly. But i really don’t want to pay in having it professionally serviced if i can help it. Especially, considering what they would charge me to clean it themselves. So if anyone has any good “ideas or suggestions” on how to get rid of this terrible odor i would GREATLY appreciate it. That all said, please email me at the following address below. tomtalker2000@yahoo.com Thank you.

    Regards, Tom

    Reply

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      Bill

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      Hi, try sucking up a box of baking soda, then cleaning the machine again. I have the animal one and I use it for everything.i even use it in the garage like a shop vac. I would highly recommend days on. You really do get what u pay for.

      Reply

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        Jennifer Brown

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        Using the baking soda will void the warranty and damage the filters, specially the HEPA one in the Animal. Using the Dyson Zorb instead works better on the carpet and the Dyson.

        Reply

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      Monica

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      How to clean a dyson vacuum plus model on you tube they will instruct you step by step. I had the same exact smelly ordor coming from my dyson. And with youtube. I was able to break down the parts and clean throughout. What a difference runs like new. Remember to let vacation dry at least 2 to 3 days.

      Reply

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      JOhn

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      Take the cyclone assembly apart and wash the plastic parts in dawn. I wouldnt recommend the dishwasher due to the heat, but. i do it once a year… in between I use an electric leaf blower to “blow out” all the dust that stays in the cyclone part. That is what is causing the odor, its all the old dust that stays in the machine. The hose has to be cleaned as well. A long skinny “bottle brush” does the trick.

      Reply

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    Patti

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    Nice! I am pulling mine apart right now to start the deep clean!!!! 🙂

    Reply

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    Stephanie

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    Can’t Dyson make a solution that can b vacuumed up to sanitize and clean?? Kinda like drano?!?! Some of us don’t have a have a day to take the dang thing apart often. I also have no help and right now a broken hand. I don’t want my cat to thing he can poo or pp anywhere if I use vacuum as in my new place! Is there a quick fix until I can tackle tackle this full on! Need to vacuum!!! Would the baking soda work for now? I did take it apart about 6 months ago and cleaned it inside and out bug all these tips are great if I had two hands and time at the same time! Thanks!!!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Patricia R.

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    I’ve had my dyson d65 animal for about 3 years now. the only cleaning I’ve ever done to it is clean the filter. (I know, gross, ). Thank you so much for this post. I didn’t think you could get some of the parts wet. It makes sense that you can because they are not the motor. dyson will tell you if you get the canister and the part that goes in the canister wet, you void the warranty. today, my dyson got a deep cleaning. when I tell you, the dirty, black, gross water. Omg, I cannot believe how dirty it was !! a dyson repairman in Boston, Ma, where I live told me if it starts to smell, (you know that dirty smell?) you can take out the filter and spray one or two spritzes of perfume or cologne on it. but only do it if absolutely necessary in between cleaning the filter. again, Thank you so much for this post. Btw, my dyson thanks you too !!!!!

    Reply

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    Maxine Lowe

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    I have a Dyson dc40 & I sucked up a little dog treat by acident. Now the suction is blocked a little. How do I take the thing apart to find treat? I took apart beater brush & canister but no treat. Help! Thanks

    Reply

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      Megan

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      You can follow the photos to remove the brush bar- but I’m not quite sure about that particular model, so I’d give Dyson a phone call. Their customer service is great!

      Reply

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    dave

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    My Dyson smells also,
    I have deep cleaned it several times. I have developed a new theory about it, I think the Dyson vacuum vortex is sooo fast (the air inside moves at nine hundred and twenty-four miles per hour, according to Dyson).

    That it literally ‘sucks the moisture’ out of the spinning air and traps it in the machine. Therefore, I am assuming the insides of the vacuum are ‘wet’ after each use. I am going to take off the canister after use and let it ‘dry out’, and let the rest of the vacuum tubing dry out for a few days.

    I think this simple trick will get rid of the damp moisture smell.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Pam B.

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    If you have a stinky Dyson, don’t lose hope – I can help!

    I realize this was an older subject, but I wanted to post my experience & tips, so it may help someone else. We have a DC33 that was purchased in early 2012, and I’m ashamed to admit, never cleaned. We have 3 indoor cats, and we’ve had a loss of suction and odors to the point that we were about to purchase a new vacuum. The dry “blowing out” type cleaning is great for maintenance, but if you truly want to get rid of odors, you are going to have to do a wet, deep clean of the vacuum.

    I completely disassembled the vacuum – all of the filters, the 2 “traps,” the canister, even taking the top off the cyclone portion, the hose, everything. Wiped the entire vacuum (everything I could not take off) with Clorox wipes. Pine Sol, Simple Green, or some other cleaning solution on a rag would also work. Removed hair off beater bar with scissors & wiped it down thoroughly as well as the area around the bar. Rinsed out the filters until clean. Washed every single removable part with hot water & a mild soapy bleach solution. This includes the canister, attachments, plastic traps & anything else I could take off & wash by hand. I sprayed out the cyclone portion with hot water so the holes were clear – it was filthy & this took probably 15 minutes. (Note: Dyson does not recommend using water on the cyclone portion, but mine is out of warranty, and it is only plastic inside once you remove the upper hinged cover – there is a thin paper-type filter in that area. So long as you let it dry thoroughly, it will be fine.) I also removed the hose & let it soak in hot, soapy bleach water for 6-8 hours. If you have a stinky Dyson, especially from pets, this is absolutely key! The hose will hold a LOT of odor. I just submerged mine in the sink with hot tap water, Dawn dish soap, and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of bleach, & let it soak all day while I was at work. Rinse & hang dry for at least 48 hours. (Use the blowdryer on low heat or cool shot through it for a few minutes before reinstalling to ensure it is completely dry.) I let everything dry for several days in our hot Texas garage. You MUST make sure everything is completely, 150% dry, or you can end up with odors or worse yet, suck up damp dust which will ruin your motor. I would suggest a bare minimum 48 hours dry time. I disassembled mine on Saturday & did not reassemble until the following Saturday, so several days of dry time. After all of this, our machine not only runs like new, but looks & smells great!

    If you still have odor issues or are particularly concerned, you can also use a few of those Downy Unstoppables in the canister for fragrance.

    Reply

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