The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Smelly Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner Odors

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Bagless vacuum cleaners have been around since the 1990s, thanks to inventor James Dyson. While they've made the cleaning process much more convenient, a common problem with these machines still remains — residual odors after vacuuming a dirty rug or carpet. If strong enough, these odors can make an entire room reek after vacuuming. Yuck! 

You'll want to clean your vacuum to make sure the smells don't linger among its components. The best way to address this issue is by first identifying the exact location (or locations) of the stench. Then, clean those areas out as best you can. You can also use a fragrant or deodorizing product — or both — for your vacuum and carpet.

Several things can make your floors smell funky such as dog or cat urine, food, and an excessive buildup of dirt, hair, pet dander, and dust. Even after emptying the contents of the vacuum canister, the odor from those contents can still linger in various places of your vacuum, including the hose and brush roll. This is especially true after vacuuming a damp carpet, but by thoroughly cleaning your vacuum and adding some type of freshening agent, you can say goodbye to those foul smells.

Thoroughly clean your vacuum cleaner

The first and most obvious way to get rid of bagless vacuum cleaner odors is by cleaning your vacuum from the inside out. Check every component, including the filters, canister, hose, attachments, and brush roll, but make sure the vacuum is unplugged before you begin taking it apart. The canister is the first area you'll want to clean. After removing and emptying it, you can clean it using warm soapy water and a small towel, sponge, or cleaning brush. You can also spray it with a disinfectant spray.

Next are the filters, most of which can also be removed and cleaned with water. Refer to the user manual if you have any questions about the filters and how to care for them. Run the filters, one at a time, under lukewarm water (if you're sure that they're washable) to rinse them out. Squeeze them a few times until the water runs clear. Then ring them out well before setting them somewhere to air dry. Once they're completely dry, place them back in the vacuum cleaner.

Other parts of a vacuum that can collect odors are the attachments and brush roll. You can remove the attachments and wash them with soap and water as well. As for the brush roll, this area of the vacuum is typically where you'll find an accumulation of hair and lint. Use scissors or a razor blade to cut and remove any tangles in this potentially odor-causing buildup. Remove the base with a screwdriver if necessary.

Add a fragrant or deodorizing agent

After you've meticulously cleaned your vacuum cleaner, you may want to add a freshening or deodorizing agent. The Good Home Co. or Fresh Wave vacuum odor-eliminating beads are one option. These beads are designed to be added to your vacuum canister to banish exhaust odors and provide a fresh scent while you vacuum. Some people also use fabric softener sheets in the canister.

Other options include those that are designed to be placed on the carpet to be vacuumed, like Glade Carpet and Room Powder and Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh Dry Carpet Cleaner. You can also use scented tablets like EnviroCare Vacuum Cleaner Scent Tablets that can be crushed and sprinkled on the carpet before vacuuming.

Don't want to deal with beads, powders, or tablets? Try adding essential oils or natural substances like baking soda to your canister instead. Essential oils come in many different fragrances, allowing you to rotate the scent from week to week. If you have pets, though, you may want to choose another method as essential oils may be hazardous to their health. If you want to just focus on eliminating odors without adding fragrance to your vacuum or carpet, use baking soda, which absorbs odors. Regardless of which fragrance or deodorizing method you choose, it's best to thoroughly clean out your vacuum cleaner first.