Daily Deals 💰💰💰

Save up to 40% on your favourite vacuum cleaners & other home products.

Daily Deals 💰💰💰

Save up to 40% on your favourite vacuum cleaners while supplies last. Click to Order Now!

How to Make Your Vacuum Cleaner Smell Nice?

Published by: Katherine Frame

How Often to Vacuum for Fleas

If not maintained appropriately, your vacuum cleaner can turn out to be a nightmare as it will start contributing to dirt, dust, and foul odors at your home.

As the vacuum cleaner’s job is to suck up all the grime and dust particles present in your home, it is evident that these particles will affect your vacuum’s health as well. 

A clogged vacuum cleaner will not only smell bad, but it will also stop performing its job accurately. In this guide, we’ll discuss the basic tips for making your vacuum cleaner smell nice, and we’ll also go through the reasons why your vacuum cleaner smells like that. Let’s start! 

How to Make the Vacuum Smell Good

A vacuum cleaner has become an essential tool in the cleaning process, and we count on it to keep our home clean and tidy. Imagine if the vacuum cleaner starts giving out bad smells. Sounds scary, right? 

As mentioned above, a vacuum cleaner can smell bad due to various reasons. It mainly happens when we don’t maintain our vacuum cleaner at regular intervals. In this section, we’ll discuss ways in which you can make your vacuum cleaner smell nice. 

1. Regular Checkup 

It would be best if you kept an eye on all the crucial parts of the vacuum cleaner, such as the brush roller, motor, and vacuum belt. If you see anything odd or any particles stuck to these parts, clean them before using the vacuum. They should be cleaned immediately because they can cause that foul smell later. 

If you clean these parts of the vacuum and then use it, chances are you won’t experience a bad smell. However, if the vacuum still smells, you should get the motor checked by a professional. 


You should also make sure to clean the dirtbag if you have a bagged vacuum cleaner. In the case of a bagless vacuum cleaner, be sure to clean the dust basket. It would help if you didn’t forget about cleaning the vacuum filter as well. 

Once you’re done checking everything, it’s time for you to follow the steps given below to clean the vacuum cleaner properly:

  1. Change the vacuum bag: The vacuum bag needs to be replaced once it gets old. We request you to buy the bag from an authentic manufacturer as it makes all the difference. It is recommended to replace the bag twice a year. If you have a bagless vacuum cleaner, just empty its basket, wash it, and dry it properly. 
  2. Clean the parts: Take a wet cloth and wipe the vacuum’s surfaces properly. Don’t forget to wipe the filter and hose among all the other parts. 
  3. Replace the filter: Your vacuum cleaner’s filter plays a vital role in eliminating all the dust particles and allergens. You should be replacing the vacuum filter once a year if you don’t use it often. If you use it regularly, replace the filter quarterly. If your vacuum comes with a washable filter, be sure to wash it frequently. 
  4. Perfume pads: Once you’re done cleaning the filter, take a perfume pad and put it on the top of your vacuum’s filter. 

Once you’re done cleaning everything, you’ll also want to use something to give it a fresh smell. You can do that by using these deodorizers: 

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda comes with the power of absorbing odors. Take a little baking soda and just put it inside your vacuum bag. It is basic, easy, and efficient.

3. Essential Oils

Essential oils act as great deodorizers. The tones of thyme, lavender, and lemongrass will leave a very soothing fragrance in your home. 

Make vacuum smell nice with Essential Oils

Moreover, these oils prevent the occurrence of mold as well. For this, take 20-30 drops of essential oil of your preference and mix it with 10L water. 

Add some baking soda to this mixture and put it in a spray bottle. Spray this in your vacuum cleaner for the best results. 

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another well-known spice that is easily found in our kitchen. Apart from its uses in the kitchen, cinnamon acts as an incredible deodorizer. It is also cost-effective, and it performs well.

Cinnamon to make vacuum cleaner smell nice

To use cinnamon, just take a stick and put it inside your vacuum bag. Cinnamon gets rid of germs and bacteria as well. 

5. Vacuum Fresheners

If you have the budget to spend on more effective and better fresheners, several commercial fresheners are available in the market. These come in a variety of scents, and they last long. They also prove to be highly effective in terms of getting rid of odors and killing germs & bacteria.

Causes of Vacuum Cleaner’s Bad Odor

To prevent a foul smell or to get rid of it completely, you first need to understand where it’s coming from. In this section, we’ll talk about a few main reasons behind your vacuum cleaner’s smell.

1. Pet Hair

Pets are loving and cute, but they are also a huge responsibility. Not to mention the pet hair that your house gets filled with all the time. Pet hair can be the main reason behind the foul smell of your vacuum cleaner.

Other than pet hair, pet urine is another cause of the problem. When the pet urine gets soaked in by your carpet, it creates a blend of foul smells mixed together. 

Once you vacuum the carpet, you’ll end up vacuuming the urine indirectly, further giving your vacuum cleaner that musty smell. 

2. Mold

Pets are not the only problem contributing to the bad smell of the vacuum cleaner.

When the dirt and dust stay stored in the vacuum bag and don’t clean it on time, moisture and humidity can lead to mold development inside the vacuum bag. This mold accumulated inside the bag can also lead to a foul smell. The smell can also get out of hand after you vacuum a wet carpet. 

3. Burnt Vacuum Belt

A vacuum cleaner’s belt is made of rubber, and it performs the job of rolling the vacuum brush so that all the dirt and dust particles can be collected properly. If you overuse the vacuum belt, it can burn and become the significant reason your vacuum smells the way it does. 

A metal vacuum belt is durable compared to the one made of rubber. To prevent the belt from burning, you should clean the vacuum brushes regularly. 

How To Dispose Of A Vacuum Cleaner

Moreover, it would be best if you also changed the rubber belt once every year because rubber belts get damaged quickly and easily. To check if this is the cause of the bad smell, you need to unplug the vacuum and check the vacuum’s brush. 

If you see pet hair, fiber, and other particles stuck to it, clean them immediately and then plug it back in. A burnt rubber belt gives out the smell of burning plastic. 

4. Dust Particles 

Dust particles follow us wherever we go. It is almost impossible to get rid of them. This is the reason why we clean our homes regularly so that we keep dust particles at bay.

If not cleaned on time, the vacuum bag’s accumulation of dust and debris can lead to a foul smell. Dust and dirt particles don’t just harm us, and they are also dangerous for the vacuum cleaner. 

To eliminate the smell caused due to dust and debris, you need to unplug the vacuum cleaner and take a look at its roller. Remove whatever is stuck on the roller, and you’ll be good to go. 

5. Motor 

The motor is known to be the most important mechanism of a vacuum cleaner. If the motor gets burnt, it can cause an unpleasant smoky smell.

To check whether the vacuum motor is causing the issue or not, you need to take a look at the brush roller and rubber belt first. If both of them are in good condition, it means that the motor is having trouble. In case the motor is damaged, you should be calling for professional help. 

How Often Should You Clean the Vacuum Cleaner?

Now that you know how to clean your vacuum cleaner, you must be wondering how often you need to go through with the cleaning process. The answer to this question depends upon various factors such as:

  • Your home’s size
  • Whether you have pets or kids in the house
  • Whether you have carpeted flooring or hardwood flooring etc. 

Considering the standard use of a vacuum cleaner at home, it is recommended to clean the vacuum cleaner properly 3-4 times a year.

However, if you use the machine more than a normal household, you will also have to clean the vacuum cleaner more often. If you have pets at home, we suggest you clean the vacuum cleaner every month. 


If you’ve tried everything in your hands to get rid of your vacuum’s smell, but you still haven’t been successful, the vacuum may not be the problem at all. In that case, you need to check your rugs and carpets. Other than that, this guide touched on various important points, and we recommend you take your sweet time to go through them. 

You should avoid cleaning anything liquid with your vacuum cleaner as it can cause bacteria and mildew to occur inside the vacuum. Lastly, maintaining the vacuum regularly using the tips given by us will allow you to keep the vacuum smelling fresh and looking clean at all times. 


My vacuum smells like a dog. What should I do?

Please take a few teaspoons of baking soda and add it to the dust bag of your vacuum cleaner. You can also add essential oils or nice-smelling herbs & spices to do the job. Moreover, using fabric softener sheets or commercial deodorants is also an effective way of making your vacuum cleaner smell good again.

Is it okay to put a dryer sheet in the vacuum cleaner?

Yes, ½ a dryer sheet can be added to your vacuum cleaner. Doing this will make your house smell fresh while you vacuum it. The dryer sheet is not very strong, and hence, it cannot change the air’s scent. However, it is good enough to make your home’s air smell and feel fresh and clean.

What is the lifespan of a vacuum belt?

To ensure the effective performance of the vacuum cleaner, you should change the vacuum’s belt once every three months. The belt can look like it’s in good condition, but you’ll not realize when it starts putting pressure and stress on the vacuum cleaner.

My vacuum has a smelly hose. How to clean it?

The best way to clean a smelly hose is to mix white vinegar with warm water and pour it into the hose. When this mixture flows through the vacuum’s hose, it will clean the hose properly. It would help if you let it stay in the hose for about 5 minutes before you start rinsing it. If you wish to sanitize the hose as well, just add a little bit of baking soda to the mixture, and you’ll be good to go.

Photo of author

Article by:

Katherine Frame

Katherine Frame is a professional writer and reviewer who worked in higher education for eight years before working on The Hardware Hub. She has written for multiple home magazines and blogs.

Leave a Comment