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How to to Clean a Vacuum Hose: Step-by-Step

You’d be surprised just how dirty your vacuum hose can get — it’s time to clean.

You use a vacuum to clean your home — but do you ever clean your vacuum? Like any other appliance, a vacuum has to be taken care of to work at its best.

In particular, the hose is a part of the vacuum that many people use for direct cleaning, and over time, it’s going to get dirty. There’s even a chance that the hose may become blocked if you don’t keep up with regular maintenance.

That’s why we’re going to show you how to clean a vacuum hose so you’ll be able to keep cleaning your home efficiently.

Key Takeaways

  • Clean your vacuum hose once per month to maintain efficiency and prevent foul odors.
  • Detach the hose, unclog and remove clumps, then wash it out using mild detergent or baking soda and vinegar.
  • Use a bottle cleaning brush for stubborn grime and rinse the inside thoroughly with water.
  • Allow the hose to dry completely before reattaching it to the vacuum.

How Often Should I Clean the Vacuum Hose?

On average, you should clean your vacuum hose around once per month. But it may be more or less than this depending on how often you vacuum.

So, it’s best to visually inspect the inside of the hose after a deep clean. This way, you can check for any obvious clogs that will affect the performance of the vacuum during your next use.

Signs Your Vacuum Hose Is Clogged

Most of the time, it’s going to be obvious that your vacuum hose is clogged. There will be a loss of suction, and you’ll have trouble picking up dirt and debris. Also, look for your vacuum blowing out dust or making a strange noise when you use it.

Additionally, if you notice a bad smell coming from your vacuum hose, this indicates that food has become stuck and started to rot.

Thankfully, all of these problems don’t necessarily mean your vacuum hose has to be replaced. This is only necessary if a hole or rip is causing an air leak. It likely just needs a good scrubbing.

How to Clean a Vacuum Hose

Now you know there’s an issue, you need to know how to clean a vacuum hose properly. Let’s go through the six steps.

  • Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

1. Detach the Hose

To begin cleaning, the first step is to detach the hose from the vacuum. How you do this will vary depending on the brand and model. Usually, it will involve twisting out the hose or pressing a button.

The most important thing is to avoid using excessive force. It’s not designed to be difficult — if it doesn’t feel right, there may be another way to detach it. If you’re unsure how to remove the hose, stop and check the user manual.


Always switch off and unplug the vacuum before detaching its hose.

For safety reasons, make sure your vacuum is not connected to a power outlet. This way, you’ll avoid electric shocks or your vacuum suddenly switching on when you’re trying to disconnect the hose.

2. Unclog and Remove Clumps

Next, it’s time to remove any debris and clumps of dirt visible in the hose. Simply lay your hose out flat and straight on the floor or a table to do this.

You can use something thin and long to push any clumps out from inside. We’d recommend using the handle of a broom or mop for this. This should force out anything wedged in the middle that you can’t easily reach.

Just be careful as a vacuum hose is made from a flexible, lightweight material. The last thing you want to do is cause a hole by being too forceful.

3. Wash It Out

An excellent way to get rid of the dirt sticking to the inner folds is to wash it out. You can fill up the sink with around 4 inches of water. Then mix in one or two squirts of dish soap or a mild detergent.

It’s best to totally submerge the hose. This lets water move through the inside and cleanse the material. You can also clean the outer hose with a damp cloth. It’s wise to avoid using harsh chemicals in case this damages the material.

Do you want to sanitize your vacuum hose? Try using baking soda and distilled white vinegar for this job. These common household ingredients are a good way to get rid of bacteria and germs without choosing strong bleaches.

For example, the acetic acid found in vinegar can help to kill bacteria and prevent you from getting E. coli (1). Try mixing half a cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar with some water. Simply pour it through the hose and enjoy the magic fizzing.

4. Use a Bottle Cleaning Brush

If your vacuum hose is really dirty, there may be some stubborn grime you can’t get rid of. This is going to be mainly inside in the folds you can’t reach easily. So, for help with this job, you may want to use a bottle cleaning brush.

The bristles on this type of brush might be just what you need to scrub lingering and awkward dirt. They’re thin and long — just the right size to get into the middle.

5. Rinse the Inside

After cleaning and scrubbing the vacuum hose, it’s time to rinse it out. Take advantage of the water pressure directly from the faucet for this task.

Let the water run through the hose to flush out any loose dirt or grime. You may want to hold the hose in a ‘U’ shape. This way, you can shake the water around before it runs out the other side.

6. Let it Dry

Before connecting the hose back into your vacuum, it’s best to let it dry. To allow water to move out of the inner folds, you can hang it up.

This can be over a shower curtain rod or somewhere similar around the home or yard that allows excess water to drain out. You can also give it a quick shake too. Allow the hose to dry for several hours before fixing it back into place.

Then, it’s time to see if your hard work has helped. Hopefully, you should turn it on and notice a difference in suction or that there’s no longer a bad smell. If there’s still a problem with your vacuum, there may be another problem that needs to be repaired.

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How Do You Clean a Moldy Vacuum Hose?

The best way to clean a moldy vacuum hose is to detach it from the vacuum. Insert a brush handle into the hose to dislodge any stubborn dust. Use a feather duster to clean the inside of the hose.

Mix baking soda with water and wash the hose to remove mold. Once clean, leave it to dry before reattaching it to the vacuum cleaner.

What Can I Put In My Vacuum to Make It Smell Good?

The best way to make your vacuum smell good is to add a couple of drops of essential oils to the dust canister. You could also add scented beads like this vacuum air freshener Clean & Block.

You could also add white vinegar to the inside of your vacuum to disinfect and kill the bacteria that create odors.

Why Does My Vacuum Keep Getting Clogged?

Your vacuum keeps getting clogged because the filter needs cleaning. Once the filter gets blocked, it reduces airflow, which kills the suction power of your vacuum.

Adopt a regular cleaning regime to keep on top of maintenance because it will limit the lifespan of your vacuum.

Why Has My Vacuum Lost Suction?

Your vacuum has lost suction due to a cleaning issue. The filters get clogged, which affects airflow and suction. You may also have a blockage in the system, restricting airflow.

In Conclusion

Cleaning your vacuum hose is a necessary task to complete around once per month. This can encourage correct air movement and allow you to vacuum your home more efficiently. It can prevent foul odors too.

Remove any blockages with a broom or mop handle before flushing out the inner hose. Baking soda and vinegar may be a good combination for sanitizing. A bottle cleaning brush might be good for tough grime. Then you’ve just got to rinse and let it dry.

It only takes around half an hour, and it will provide you with much better cleaning all month long.

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About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy Anthony is a cleaning expert, author, and contributing writer for Oh So Spotless, a leading online resource for all things related to cleaning, organizing, and maintaining a spotless home. With over 15 years of experience in the cleaning industry, Amy has gained extensive knowledge and expertise that have made her a trusted authority on best practices, efficient techniques, and innovative cleaning solutions.