Why Your Vacuum Smells Unhealthy (and How one can Repair It)

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

Whereas it’d seem to be magic, the truth is that each one the gross belongings you vacuum up should go someplace, and journey by way of the equipment to get there. Over time, this course of could make your vacuum begin to scent unhealthy. Listed below are a few of the most typical causes of vacuum odor, and do away with the stench.

Why does my vacuum scent unhealthy?

Most unhealthy 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 collected inside the bag or filters. Mould thrives in moist environments, so for those who vacuumed a carpet whereas it was moist or damp, that might be the offender.


You probably have furry pets that roam free all through your property, then you may assume that your flooring are coated of their hair, dander, and urine particles. Whenever you vacuum and these supplies accumulate inside, their odor could linger—even after emptying the canister or altering the bag.

Extreme mud

Sure, vacuums are designed to do away with mud, however for those who don’t empty and clear the equipment commonly, that mud can construct up and begin to scent terrible. Mud itself is fairly disgusting, provided that it’s made up of flakes of lifeless 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 dirt mite physique fragments. So when it accumulates, it’s not exhausting to see why it may well 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.

How one can do away with unhealthy vacuum smells

If it will get to the purpose that your vacuum stinks, then it’s completely in want of a radical cleansing. It’s not only a matter of residing with the unhealthy 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 scrub your vacuum: It’s a multi-step course of that requires permitting components to air dry. This Lifehacker publish from 2022 breaks down the varied steps concerned within the course of, however when unsure, verify your vacuum’s proprietor’s handbook for particular directions.

When you’ve cleaned and reassembled the vacuum, give it a whirl. If the unhealthy scent remains to be current, you doubtless have to take it to knowledgeable, or put money into a brand new one.