How to Make a Bagless Vacuum Cleaner Smell Better

Vacuum cleaners that don’t have bags can develop a smell over time. The smell is often caused by dust, pet hair, and other debris caught in the vacuum’s filters and motor. If not cleaned regularly, this debris will rot and produce an unpleasant odor.

I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t say I like the smell of a bagless vacuum cleaner. It’s like a mix of dirt and stale air that won’t go away. Fortunately, there is a way to make your vacuum smell better – and it doesn’t involve buying any expensive products. So read on to find out how to make your bagless vacuum cleaner smell better again.

In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of vacuum cleaner odor and ways to remove it and prevent it from happening again.

What Causes a Bagless Vacuum Cleaner to Smell Bad?

Many people ask themselves what causes a bagless vacuum cleaner to smell bad. If your vacuum starts to smell bad, there’s a good chance that the issue is a blockage somewhere in the machine. Blockages can develop anywhere from the dustbin to the hose attachment.

Before we offer some solutions, let’s explore the sources of these bad odors and why your vacuum might be smelling funky.

Dirty Filters

Poor quality filters can also cause bad smells. Over time, the dust and dirt sucked up by the vacuum will start to break down the filter, and bacteria can build up in any machine, releasing a foul odor. To prevent this, be sure to use high-quality vacuum filters.

Water Accumulation

Stagnant water in the tank can also cause a bad smell. If the water is not emptied after each use, it will develop a musty smell coming from your vacuum cleaner, a sign of mold or mildew growth.

Canister Full of Dirt

Not emptying the canister after each use can also cause a bad smell. It’s because the dirt and dust sucked up by the vacuum get trapped in the canister, and over time it will start to smell. Dust mites are another common allergen that can live in your vacuum; their feces can cause an unpleasant odor.

Allowing Pet Hair and Other Debris to Accumulate

Your dog and cats are cute, but they’re also the source of hairs everywhere and dander, pets hair in the vacuum can also cause bad smells. This is because the hair and debris will break down over time and release a foul odor. To prevent this, be sure to clean out the vacuum regularly.

Burnt Belt

If the smell persists, there’s a good chance that the problem is with the belt. The vacuum belt helps power the brush roll, and if it’s damaged or broken, it can cause a burning smell. To check the condition of the belt, first shut off your vacuum and unplug it from the outlet. Then, remove the brush cover and look at the brush roll. If you see a blackened or charred area on the belt, it’s probably time to replace it.

How to Make Your Bagless Vacuum Smell Better?

If your vacuum smells terrible, don’t worry, it’s not just your vacuum that smells. Vacuum cleaners are perfectly normal to emit unpleasant odors after a few months of use. People who own a bagless vacuum know that sooner or later, it will start smelling like dust and dirt sooner or later. And while that may not be the most pleasant smell in the world, it’s better than the alternative – having no vacuum!

So, if your vacuum is starting to smell funky, don’t worry – we’re here to help. Just follow these simple steps, and your vacuum will be back to smelling fresh in no time! 😉

Clean or Replace Filters

As anyone who has ever done a deep clean of their home knows, one of the most important steps is cleaning or replacing the filters in your vacuum.

Depending on your vacuum type, there are different instructions for cleaning or replacing the filters correctly. For example, many bagless vacuums have a washable filter that can be cleaned with baking soda and dish soap.

The main culprit is all the dust that gets trapped in the filters. The good news is that there are a few easy ways to get rid of the stink,

  • To start things off, we recommend beating out large particles by using a small brush (toothbrush) instead.
  • Next, take the filter to the sink, use dish soap, and run it under running water.
  • Let it air dry completely for 24 hours before reattaching it.

Other bagless vacuums with a disposable filter should be replaced regularly.

Tip: Use home solutions like white vinegar or baking soda instead of soap. If you’re unsure how to remove your vacuum filters properly, check the owner’s manual.

Clean the Canister

Over time, the vacuum develops a foul odor, even after you empty the canister. So if you notice that your vacuum isn’t smelling so great, it’s time for a good cleaning.

  • Start by unplugging the vacuum and removing the canister.
  • Empty any debris inside and give it a quick rinse with soapy water. Next, rinse the canister thoroughly and dry it.
  • Once the canister is dry, fill it with hot water and a generous squirt of dish soap.
  • Swish it around to remove any lingering dirt and debris, then rinse well and dry thoroughly.
  • The hot water will help eliminate any tough odors that have built up over time.

Be sure to check your canister model for specific instructions. For example, some models require that you detach a hose before cleaning, while others have an easy-to-clean filter system.

Tip: You can add a few drops of essential oil to the canister before you start vacuuming. Or, sprinkle some baking soda on your carpet before you vacuum. The baking soda will help to absorb odors.

Clean or Replace the Hose

Cleaning the hose is an excellent idea for many reasons.

  1. First, it will remove any debris stuck in the hose—for example, dust, dirt, and even pet hair.
  2. Second, it will help to remove any unwanted smells from the hose. If you have ever vacuumed with a dirty hose, you know how unpleasant it can be.
  3. Finally, it will help to keep your house clean. A clean hose is one less thing you have to worry about when cleaning your home.

There are a few simple steps you can follow in cleaning your hose,

  • First, use a broom handle or other long object to sweep out any debris stuck in the hose.
  • Next, use a dust bag or vacuum attachment to remove any remaining dirt and dust.
  • Finally, wash the hose with soapy water to remove any lingering scents.

Once you have finished cleaning the hose, store it in a safe place so it does not become dirty again.

Unclog the Beater Brush

Check the rotating brush for any build-up of dirt or hair. If your rotating power attachments aren’t spinning properly, there are a few things you can do to clean them.

  • Disconnect the power attachment from the vacuum cleaner and use scissors to cut away the hair and debris.
  • If the clog is unmanageable, then try cutting the brush teeth short.
  • Once the brush is clear, reattach it to the vacuum cleaner and turn it on.

If the problem persists, try replacing the beater brush with a new one.

Clean the Whole Vacuum Exterior

As any vacuum owner knows, exterior cleaning is essential to keep the vacuum in good working condition. Not only does this help keep the vacuum smell fresh, but it also helps to extend the life of the vacuum.

Here are some simple steps for cleaning the vacuum exterior:

1. First, disconnect the power attachment. Use a paper towel or wipe down the exposed surfaces with a damp cloth. Make sure to get rid of any dust or dirt on the surface.

2. If your vacuum has a plastic case, use a mild soap and water solution to clean it. Be sure to rinse the soap off thoroughly to avoid damaging the plastic.

3. Use a soft cloth to buff away any fingerprints or smudges for metal vacuums. You can also use a metal polish if desired.

4. Once you have finished cleaning, give your vacuum a pleasant scent by spraying it with your favorite scents.

Finally, if your vacuum cleaner still smells bad, you should do a deep cleaning. You can learn more about how to clean a vacuum cleaner from our site.

How to Prevent Smell in the Bagless Vacuum?

Regular maintenance is key to preventing smell in the bagless vacuum. With a little effort, you can enjoy a fresh-smelling home without worrying about unpleasant odors. Here are a few simple tips to keep your cleaner odorless.

  • Clean the filters regularly.
  • When cleaning the exterior, use a crevice tool to clean all the nooks and crannies.
  • It’s essential to keep the dust in check. Use a damp or microfiber cloth to remove any built-up dust or dirt on the vacuum regularly.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner designed for pet hair.
  • Empty the canister or dustbin after each use. Emptying the dustbin and washing the filter will help to keep the vacuum cleaner smelling fresh.
  • Using scented tablets or sachets can help to mask any lingering odors. For a touch of luxury, try using your favorite one.

Use Products or Homemade Solutions

You can buy products designed to make vacuum cleaners smell nice or use homemade solutions. Either way, the goal is to add a pleasant scent to counteract bad smells.

Tablet Deodorants

One popular method is to put one tablet in the vacuum cleaner bag. The tablet will slowly release a pleasant scent as you use the vacuum cleaner.

Essential Oils

You can also put a cotton ball with a drop or two of essential oil in the vacuum cleaner chamber.

Air Fresheners

Air fresheners are one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your vacuum cleaner smell nice. You can buy air fresheners designed explicitly for vacuum cleaners, or you can use a more general air freshener.


If you’re looking for a more natural way to make your vacuum cleaner smell nice, try using cinnamon or orange peel. Before vacuuming, place a piece of cinnamon or a few orange peels in the dust cup or bag. As the vacuum cleaner suction pulls in the dirt and dust, it will also pick up the aroma of the cinnamon or orange peel.

Orange Extract

You can also try using orange extract instead of essential oils in an Air Freshener Dispenser. Just be sure not to add too much, as this could make your vacuum cleaner smell more like a cleaning solution than a pleasant perfume.

Perfume Pads

Perfume Pads are an effective way to make your vacuum cleaner smell nice. These pads are placed inside the filter and work by releasing a pleasant scent as you use the vacuum cleaner. Perfume pads are available in a wide range of fragrances, so you can choose one that suits your taste.

Tip: In the case of bagged vacuum, pads can be placed in the vacuum bag.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I put a dryer sheet in my bagless vacuum?

Yes, some people have found that putting a dryer sheet in their bagless vacuum cleaner helps remove the smell. However, you should test this in a small, discreet area first to ensure it doesn’t damage your vacuum cleaner.

Can I put a dryer sheet in my vacuum canister?

You can put a dryer sheet in your vacuum canister to help remove the smell. You can also try using a mixture of water and vinegar. Just pour the mixture into the vacuum canister and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming again.

Do dryer sheets absorb odors?

Yes, dryer sheets can absorb odors. They work by trapping the scent in the fabric of the sheet. This is why they are often used to keep clothes smelling fresh.

Can you use a dryer sheet as a filter?

Yes, you can use a dryer sheet as a filter. It will help to remove the odor from the vacuum cleaner.

Which vacuum is better for carpet cleaning?

The answer to this question is a bit complicated. In general, bagless vacuums are better for carpet cleaning because they don’t require you to change the filter as often as bagged vacuums.
However, bagless vacuums can sometimes create more dust and dirt than bagged vacuums, leading to more allergies. If you have allergies, you may want to consider a bagged vacuum. Ultimately, the best vacuum for carpet cleaning is the one that works best for your individual needs.

Wrapping Up

So, there you have it. If your vacuum cleaner smells bad, it might be one of the reasons mentioned above. Luckily, most of these problems are easy to fix- follow our simple guide. And if prevention is more your thing, we’ve got a few tips for you too.

So, go forth and clean (your house and your vacuum)! Do any lovely readers have any questions about why or how to make a bagless vacuum cleaner smell better? Let us know in the comments below!

Meta: Why do bagless vacuums smell, and what can be done about the bad vac odors? Find out why vacuums smell and how to fix a bad smell.

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