Vacuum cleaners start to smell because they’re constantly exposed to pungent dirt and grime, which breaks down and becomes even more stink-ridden when it’s trapped inside the machine!
Things like food, hair, poop, dust, mould, and urine can really make your machine stink. But luckily, there are multiple solutions to your problem. Find out what they are below.
However, it’s worth pointing out that if the smell coming from your appliance is more of a burning smell rather than a dirty sort of scent, you may have a mechanical issue on your hands.
If this is the case, you should look into what could be causing a smoky type of smell on your appliance and find a way of fixing it.
In some cases, it might be worth asking a professional for help with this matter. If your vacuum cleaner smells of smoke, don’t try the methods below until you’ve sorted out this issue!
Note: You try the options below at your own risk. If you’re not careful, you could damage your vacuum cleaner or void the warranty.
How to Make Your Bagless Vacuum Cleaner Smell Good
Option 1: Start by washing the dust canister
The simplest way to eradicate foul odours from your vacuum cleaner is to remove all the gunk inside the canister and wash it with warm soapy water.
In many cases, this simple action can eliminate a whole host of problems, including smell-related ones.
Not to mention that by emptying your canister regularly, you’ll also improve the machine’s performance!
Option 2: Clean the filter out
The job of the filter inside a vacuum cleaner is to catch particles before they have a chance of escaping back into the air.
This isn’t the cleanest of jobs, which means the filter gets dirty quickly!
In many cases, the filter can be removed and cleaned. But in other cases, for example, if you have a HEPA filter installed, you will need to replace it when it’s heavily soiled.
Manufacturers usually have guidelines on how to remove and clean filters, so check your user handbook and follow the advice you’re given.
As a quick guide, you usually remove a washable filter and run cold water all over it to clean it (no soap should be used during this process).
If you cannot remove the filter, try and remove obvious dirt from it carefully (stuff that would likely clog it).
Of course, if your filter isn’t washable and it’s obviously stained and caked in grime, it’s a sure sign that you need a new one.
Just remember to dry washable filters thoroughly before replacing them inside a vacuum cleaner, because wet filters can become quite pongy when they’re stuck inside a machine!
Option 3: Test out some vanilla powder
Add a teaspoon of vanilla powder to the canister on your bagless vacuum, and hoover away!
As you move around the house with the cleaner, the smell will start to permeate, and you’ll be left with a pleasant aroma.
You can use a different scent if you like!
Option 4: Utilise some Unstoppable power!
A little unconventional, but you could drop a few Lenor Unstoppable beads into the canister on your bagless vacuum cleaner and allow their aroma to fill the room as you hoover.
Lenor’s beads come in many different scents, from Spring Awakening to Gold Orchid, so there are plenty of smells for you to choose from.
Option 5: Use some bicarbonate of soda to make your vacuum smell nice
There are two ways you can approach this method, but keep in mind that this only really works on carpeted surfaces:
Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) all over your carpeted surface and hoover the powder off the carpet to help neutralise odours.
You could also mix a few drops of your favourite smelling essential oil into the bicarb and then spread it over the carpeted surface to make the aroma extra fancy for you.
Bicarbonate of soda is known for being an odour neutraliser, so why not sprinkle a teaspoon of bicarb into your bagless vacuum’s canister and allow the powder to work its magic and remove foul odours for you?
Of course, you may not get delightful odours, like vanilla or lavender, in return, but the poorer smells will be removed.
That being said, if you add a few drops of essential oil to the canister alongside the bicarbonate of soda, you’ll end up with a scented powder.
But you must remember that you do this at your own risk, as most manufacturers stipulate that you shouldn’t carry out such actions.
Note: If you decide to use essential oils, be aware that they can stain surfaces, so test the product out before coating an entire surface in it.
Option 6: Opt for some discs!
If possible, you could pop a single hoover disc inside your vacuum’s canister and allow it to scent your home!
Option 7: Essential oils
For a quick fix, look no further than essential oils! All you need to do is drop some essential oil of your choice onto a little tissue paper, then rip the tissue paper up and place it on the floor.
Once you’ve done this, you can hoover the smelly tissue paper off the floor, and your hoover will start to smell nice!
Just make sure that the tissue paper in question doesn’t clog up the machine. It is worth cleaning your vacuum cleaner out more often if you are going to use this method – to ensure there are no blockages.
Option 8: Suck up a scented carpet cleaner to make your vacuum smell nicer
If putting something in your bagless vacuum cleaner to make it smell nice is a bit too much hassle for you, you can always pop some scented carpet cleaner or carpet deodoriser on a carpeted surface and hoover it up.
The aromas in the carpet cleaner can sometimes waft through the house as you hoover.
Interested in giving this a go? Try Glade Shake & Vac Fresh Lemon Carpet Freshener. All you need to do is sprinkle the contents of the tube onto a carpeted surface and hoover it up.
Not only will it remove the stench of smoke, cooking aromas, and pet scents from the carpet, but it can make the vacuum cleaner smell more pleasant too.
Of course, the scent may not be as long-lasting as you’d like, but it’s a trick worth trying.
Option 9: Make sure you clean the whole vacuum cleaner
It’s easy to forget that you have to clean the whole vacuum cleaner frequently! People sometimes assume that emptying the canister is enough to keep the machine in top form and smelly clean! But this isn’t the case.
You must clean your bagless vacuum cleaner – and you need to maintain it regularly!
Your cleaner sucks up a whole load of gunk and grime from the floors and surfaces in your home, so show the machine a little TLC by giving it a thorough clean.
All manners of dirt can get trapped in the machine, from hair and sweets to general rubbish, and as it ages and decays, it gets more aromatic! Yucky!
By cleaning the whole machine, you’ll not only have a fresher-looking appliance, but you’ll be able to unclog the device, improve its lifespan, and make it smell better!
To do this effectively, you will have to remove the detachable parts from the appliance and wash them as per the advice you’re given in your instruction manual.
You should also clean the brush bar (remove the buildup of hair), check the pipe that empties grime into the canister, and wipe down the attachments you use.
When you have cleaned each part, make sure that every single piece is dry before you reassemble the vacuum cleaner. If you put wet components back inside the machine, they can attract mould and become smelly!
A Few Tips to Remember for the Future
- Don’t vacuum over any wet substances because they will start to smell inside the cleaner. Things like mud and food should be allowed to dry on the surface, and when they’re solid, they can be scraped off and only then can the area be hoovered.
- Stay on top of the general maintenance, and you should be able to prevent blockages, odours, and problems from occurring too often or on a large scale!
- As well as using the methods above to make your bagless vacuum cleaner smell nice, you could also have candles, potpourri, scent sticks, air fresheners, and other scented items around your home to help you deal with troubling smells.
Bethan has a passion for exploring, reading, cooking and gardening! When she’s not creating culinary delights for her family, she’s concocting potions to keep her house clean!