When your vacuum cleaner smells, it’s a good sign that it’s time to take it apart for deep cleaning. All types of vacuum cleaners can harbor harmful bacteria, mold, and more. Yes, that includes popular vacuum cleaners too. So, if you start to get whiffs of a musty smell or foul odor coming from your vacuum, it’s time to get to cleaning.


  • When a vacuum cleaner begins to smell, there are several different culprits, which could include mold, mildew, or clogs.
  • Always look to the instructional manual to figure out how to clean your vacuum properly and schedule regular maintenance accordingly,
  • The process of providing regular cleaning maintenance to your vacuum cleaner is simple and should be put into play.

How to Cure Vacuum Cleaner Smells

Knowing that your vacuum cleaner smells is one thing. Getting to the root of the problem, and solving it, is entirely another. You can try a few cleaning hacks to help solve unpleasant odors and leave behind a pleasant, fresh scent.

Insider Tip

Using mild baking soda and white vinegar is a great way to clean out mild cases of mold or mildew.

Finding the Source of Bad Smells

There are a few ways to figure out what has your smelly vacuum cleaner in its current state. Here are a few of them:

  • Check for clogs in the vacuum hose
  • Ensure there isn’t build-up from pet hair (it’s important to know how to get hair out of vacuum roller)
  • Make sure mold isn’t growing inside of it
  • Take your vacuum entirely apart to check thoroughly.

Fixing Foul-Smelling Vacuum Cleaners

Once you’ve found the source of any funny odors, it’s time to fix the problem. The approach to vacuum smells that you take will always depend on the make and model. Make sure to check with the instruction manual it came with for more guidance.

Cleaning Mold or Mildew

When it comes to mold or mildew, you need to act fast. You can quickly go from a couple of dime-sized spots to a full-blown infestation. This can ruin your vacuum cleaner. Using mild baking soda and white vinegar is a great way to clean out mild cases of mold or mildew. For anything more than that, it’s time to differ to a professional-grade cleaning solution. Mold can come back, so you need to get it all in one go.

Solving Problems With Pet Odors

Whether it’s pet urine, pet hair, or any combination of the two, that type of smell sticks with you and your vacuum. If you know how to use a steam vacuum, you can get rid of strong odors, so they don’t stick to your vacuum. There are specially formulated cleaners out there that you can look into. Sometimes just a mixture of white vinegar and water will do the trick. If you are dealing with pet odors, you need to make sure you’re cleaning out foul-smelling content as soon as you’re done vacuuming.

Insider Tip

If you are dealing with pet odors, you need to make sure you’re cleaning out foul-smelling content as soon as you’re done vacuuming.


How to Deodorize Vacuum Cleaners?

Whether you can deodorize your vacuum cleaner or not depends on what type of vacuum that you have. Those with vacuum bags can treat the bags themselves to be less smelly. Otherwise, just keep up with maintenance as required.

How to Eliminate the Pet Odor Smell Coming From Your Vacuum Cleaner?

You will only be able to get rid of pet odors from a vacuum with a lot of hard work. After all, it’s what picks up all stray pet hair, messes, and more. The smell is bound to linger a little. Using white vinegar on the detachable, plastic parts helps. Pet-related cleaning hacks will tell you to use white vinegar to get out bad smells. They aren’t wrong!

How to Prevent Bad Odors

There are odor control measures out there for different brands and types of vacuums. For the most part, you want to make sure to clean your vacuum regularly. Whether it’s a floor head attachment, the vacuum hose, or the entire vacuum itself, make regular cleaning maintenance a priority.

Why Does Vacuum Smell Bad?

Several reasons could be in play. Storing it in an environment for mold growth could be one or the accumulation of pet hair and odor. Taking your vacuum cleaner apart and checking is the only real way to know.

STAT: With up to 30 percent of Americans showing allergies to cats and dogs, all of these tips will help reduce allergy symptoms, too. (source)

Christen Costa

Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *