Do You Clean Your Cleaning Tools?

posted by Andrea | 08/6/2012

As you might imagine, I have a mini arsenal of cleaning “tools” — most of them gifts from companies who have sponsored giveaways or advertised on my blog.

I have 2 vacuums (one for each floor, I guess), a pretty powerful shop vac, a cordless stick vacuum, and a dust-buster to name a few. They are all useful for different things, and we honestly do use them all on a weekly basis.

However {as we learned the hard way after ruining our first shop vac and almost ruining one of our other vacuums} they all require cleaning and maintenance to continue running smoothly.

When was the last time you changed the bag in your vacuum?

Or, if you have a bagless vacuum, when was the last time your cleaned/changed the filters?

Did you even know that your vacuum had filters… and that you had to clean them?

I’m guessing that if you don’t know the answers to these questions… it’s probably about time to clean your cleaning tools! 

And in case you never got around to reading the manuals that came with your cleaning tools {I never read mine until recently} you should probably dig them out again and glance over the part about “maintenance and care”.

You might be surprised at what you find!

As I mentioned above, we learned all of this the hard way when our first shop vac stopped working only a few months after we purchased it. Apparently we didn’t realize how often we were supposed to clean the filter, and basically the entire motor was clogged with dust and debris {we were cleaning up construction dust on a daily basis}.

Of course, since we didn’t follow the instructions in the manual, we didn’t qualify for the warranty and had to buy a brand new shop vac {yes, we now clean the filters regularly!}

I figured I had learned my lesson with the shop vac, so when we received a new bagless vacuum last year, I continually reminded myself to clean out the filter every time I emptied the canister… which I thought was the right thing to do.

However, after wondering why our vacuum didn’t seem as powerful, I finally decided to read the manual and realized there were actually TWO other filters I was supposed to be emptying and washing out with water on a regular basis.

OOPS!

Thankfully, I realized this before the vacuum was ruined and instead of trying to clean the overly dust-crusted filters, I simply contacted the company and purchased 3 brand new filters for around $20 total.

Our vacuum runs like new again!

.

So, if you’re like me and never took the time to actually read the manuals that came with your cleaning tools, you might just want to do that.

Who knows how much money you might save by sparing your cleaning tools from an early “death”!

Oh, and if you’re wondering where I keep my manuals… they’re tucked neatly away in my filing cabinet {sorted alphabetically under “Manuals”} I know — I’m a dork!

When was the last time you cleaned your cleaning tools?

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9 comments

  1. Ramona

    08/06/2012

    Hi Andrea,

    I had purchased a carpet shampoo-er, it was about $200.00. One of our friends had asked to borrow it to shampoo their living room. I gave them very detailed instructions on how to use it, how to clean it, etc. We got it back from them and the motor wasn’t working properly. My husband tore it apart (the wonderful mechanic that he is) and he noticed that they only swished water around in the tank to clean it, not take the unit apart as we had asked and the solution that was left in the machine crystallized. The whole thing is now junk as the magnetics inside the motor do not work anymore, even after it was cleaned.

    I guess I learned my lesson on this one, but this just goes to show that it does pay off to read the maintenance and cleaning section of the manuals…when things go bad, things can go really bad!

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  2. Jessi @ Practically Functional

    08/06/2012

    I clean our vacuum cleaner about once a month. With all the dust and cat hair it sucks up, I have to or it basically stops working! Luckily, it’s really easy to do. I can just take it apart and stick all the pieces in the sink or tub under some running water and that basically cleans it :-)

    [Reply]

  3. Patty@homemakersdaily.com

    08/06/2012

    I don’t have many cleaning tools and the only one that really needs tended to is my vacuum cleaner. I got a bagless vacuum about a year ago and I’m not sure whether I like it or not. It was a lot easier to just replace the bag periodically on the old one. On this one, I have to clean the filter EVERY TIME I VACUUM – which is DAILY! I have a black lab and a yellow cat so there’s a lot of pet hair around here. If I don’t clean out the filter daily, the vacuum doesn’t work well. So after I vacuum, I remove the cannister, take it over to the garage trashcan, dump it and then use a paint brush to brush out the filter. Every three or four months I have to buy a new $20 filter (I actually go about 6 months). I think the vacuum with bags was a lot easier and cheaper!

    [Reply]

  4. Jamie

    08/06/2012

    We had a similar experience with our vacuums. We had one that worked very well and we were pleased with it. We cleaned the filter on a pretty regular basis but then all of a sudden it started shutting off after running it in only 1 room. We were past the 1 yr warranty so we tossed it (stupid!). We purchased the same exact model and thought we couldn’t possibly get a 2nd one that did the same thing. Sure enough same thing. My husband took it all apart and finally discovered a 2nd filter that we were unaware of. He cleaned it and now the vacuum works well again. We discovered around the same time why my A/C in my car stopped working…the cabin filter was clogged. Cleaned it and it is working well again. Keep those filters cleaned. :)

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  5. Jennifer

    08/07/2012

    I have 2 bagless vacuums. I empty dust cup after each room is cleaned. The ‘cyclonic’ chamber is shaken out weekly and washed monthly. The washable filters are also washed monthly (I have 2 sets.) With both my daughter and my self having long hair, I clean the beater bar also monthly. Twice a year or so I clean the hose and attachment pieces. I vacuum an average of 3x a week.
    As for other cleaning items, I clean my washer and dishwasher every month too.

    [Reply]

  6. Amy

    08/08/2012

    I barely finished reading this post before I went searching on Amazon and finally purchased a replacement HEPA filter for our 5-6 year old vacuum, plus a motor filter, and ended up purchasing 10 replacement bags. All of this cost a whopping $14! We had never replaced the HEPA filter before due to the cost, and we didn’t even know there was a motor filter!

    We have a Eureka Boss Smart Vac and love it. I can’t wait to see how much better it performs after replacing the filters.

    Thanks for the tip!

    [Reply]

  7. Sanya

    08/27/2012

    hi,
    i had a question- how long have you been using the stick vacuum?. Is it still good?. my hoover broke today :(. plz share your opinion abt the cordless vacuum from hoover. Can you use it frequently or once a day?
    Thanks
    Would really appreciate it .

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Sanya,
    Well, I personally haven’t had tremendous luck with any of my stick vacuums or dust-busters. The hoover one that I have is really nice — but I only use it a couple times a week and after a year, I can already tell that it’s losing power. So not sure if that helps you or not!

    [Reply]

    Sanya Reply:

    Thanks for the quick reply.
    mine was just a little more than a year now. i used to clean the filter every now and then.
    it did a great job, enough to clean with a baby!. so now i’m wondering if i try other brands. any suggestions?

    [Reply]

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