Why Your Vacuum Smells Unhealthy (and Easy methods to Repair It)

Even when vacuuming is one in all you least-favorite chores, when you think about what life was like earlier than the equipment existed—beating rugs and sweeping flooring manually—you must admit its capability to make messes disappear is fairly superb.

Whereas it’d seem to be magic, the fact is that every one the gross stuff you vacuum up should go someplace, and journey by the equipment to get there. Over time, this course of could make your vacuum begin to scent dangerous. Listed here are a number of the most typical causes of vacuum odor, and the right way to do away with the stench.

Why does my vacuum scent dangerous?

Most dangerous smells coming from vacuums are the results of these 4 sources:


A musty scent coming out of your vacuum may imply that mould has grown and/or amassed inside the bag or filters. Mould thrives in moist environments, so if you happen to vacuumed a carpet whereas it was moist or damp, that might be the offender.


When you’ve got furry pets that roam free all through your private home, then you possibly can assume that your flooring are lined of their hair, dander, and urine particles. While you vacuum and these supplies accumulate inside, their odor might linger—even after emptying the canister or altering the bag.

Extreme mud

Sure, vacuums are designed to do away with mud, however if you happen to don’t empty and clear the equipment frequently, that mud can construct up and begin to scent terrible. Mud itself is fairly disgusting, on condition that it’s made up of flakes of useless pores and skin (from people and pets), pollen, textile and paper fibers, dried meals particles, microscopic specks of plastic, soil particles, micro organism, mud mite droppings, and mud mite physique fragments. So when it accumulates, it’s not arduous to see why it might reek.

A burnt belt

When a vacuum hasn’t been cleaned shortly, all of the hair, string, and different supplies wrapped across the bristles could cause its brushes to cease rotating, and the rubber belt to burn.

Easy methods to do away with dangerous vacuum smells

If it will get to the purpose that your vacuum stinks, then it’s completely in want of an intensive cleansing. It’s not only a matter of residing with the dangerous scent: The stench is the signal of a much bigger downside that, if left untouched, may harm your vacuum cleaner and shorten its lifespan.

Put aside a good chunk of time to wash your vacuum: It’s a multi-step course of that requires permitting elements to air dry. This Lifehacker submit from 2022 breaks down the assorted steps concerned within the course of, however when doubtful, verify your vacuum’s proprietor’s guide for particular directions.

When you’ve cleaned and reassembled the vacuum, give it a whirl. If the dangerous scent remains to be current, you possible must take it to an expert, or spend money on a brand new one.