How to Clean Shark Vacuum, Dust Cup, Filters, Rolling Brush?

Owning a vacuum cleaner is an essential part of any household. No matter your cleaning style and preferences; nothing takes care of the dust, pet hair or any other bits and pieces you find on your living room carpet.

In case you are a new user of the Shark vacuum family, or you’re planning on becoming one soon, it’s important to know how to properly clean your vacuum.

There is no need to invest in a new one every couple of years and spend tons of money on a quality product- by following this guide you’ll increase the life span of your vacuum cleaner with just a few easy steps.

There are numerous Shark vacuum models; and with that being said, there are some differences regarding the process of removing and accessing various parts of individual vacuums.

However, your Shark vacuum needs to be regularly cleaned, for it to perform; there is no way of going around it. So, before we start, I advise you to check the manual of your model- so you’ll be able to easily access any part of your vacuum and quickly follow this guide.

When Should You Clean Your Vacuum

First of all, everything you need to know about your vacuum cleaner is written in the owner’s manual. However, I brought this up just for you to remember, in case you experience a serious problem.

In all honesty, most of us never actually read the manual, and that’s OK – since you can find just about anything you need with a quick Google search. That being said, you should clean your Shark every three to four months – in order to keep it working perfectly.

Signs your vacuum needs a bath

  • In case you smell an unpleasant, awkward odor coming from your vacuum, once you turn it on.
  • If you see that it’s not performing as it should, and you find yourself having to cover the same area multiple times.
  • If you hear weird sounds coming from your vacuum cleaner.
  • In case you noticed your vacuum experiencing loss of suction.

To be fair, the Shark manufacturer states their vacuums never lose suction- but I take that with a grain of salt since that is predicated on responsibly cleaning your vacuum’s filters, canister, and rotating brush.

Odor Coming From Your Vacuum Cleaner

In case you’re just experiencing a foul odor coming from your Sharkie- there can be several causes for it. I would like to go through some of them; in case you cleaned your vacuum recently there might not be a need for doing it again.

People often forget the most obvious solutions, so bear with me while we check some of the possible reasons for a foul odor to occur- and how to get rid of it!

Firstly this problem can occur if you haven’t cleaned your vacuum regularly. Without cleaning your vacuum you allow the particles of dirt to get stuck within your vacuum.

To prevent the odor from happening you need to make sure you’ve washed the canister thoroughly, and left it to dry completely before putting it back. If you inserted even a partially wet dirt cup it could lead to mold forming inside of your Sharkie. So make sure you left your container to fully dry.

Another thing that you can do is leave your vacuum out in fresh air. Unfortunately, we can’t control everything; there might be some underlying issues in a vacuum itself. In case the smell persists it could be a sign that you need a new vacuum. If you’re generally sensitive to bad odors you can also consider using air freshening while you vacuum.

Thirdly the issue might not be with the vacuum at all. Check your carpet- it could potentially be the culprit. Maybe there is some moisture trapped underneath it causing your floors to become damp, and smelly! Damp surfaces are infamous because of the smell they produce.

Maybe your vacuum sucked in some of the damp and moldy particles; so before cleaning it make sure your floors are damp-free.

Furthermore, you can check the hose of your vacuum. It is known that the smell can build up in the vacuum’s hose; however, there isn’t much you can do about this issue besides keeping your vacuum in a clean condition. You could wash the hose with soap and water every few weeks, preventing that horrid smell from build-up.

Lastly, check the cup. You don’t need to clean it after every use, just make sure that it’s empty. If your vacuum is working with a full container it can give off the smell of dust.

Once you empty the cup, start your vacuum again; if there is still a putrid smell- there could be a problem with the filters. If you’ve used the same filters for years, maybe it’s time to replace them.

If everything fails, conduct comprehensive research. If you find yourself unable to find any other cause of the problem than the vacuum itself- it’s probably time for a new vacuum cleaner.

The process of buying a new Sharkie might be tougher than you think; so make sure to check the reviews and users’ experiences, before making a purchase. Give yourself enough time to get to know the product in which you’ll be investing.

Further Read:

How to Clean Dust Cup:

Firstly, I need to mention this, in order to prevent any possible hazard- you should unplug your vacuum from any power outlet it may be attached to. Sounds obvious, but sometimes we overlook the simplest of things. For example- emptying our dirt canister.

Generally speaking, when the canister is full, your vacuum will start to perform with less efficiency- so always remember to empty the cup after each use. In case you have a small flat, and you feel this is too frequent, the rule of thumb is to empty it once it’s half full, or at least to 3- quarters, just don’t allow it to be completely full.

For cleaning the dust cup all you need is warm water and soap. You can do this either in a sink, or a bucket. If you want to be through- you can use a brush too! Using a brush allows you to access all of the crevices, and make sure your canister is completely cleaned.

Washing your Sharkie with a brush isn’t necessary; however, I would recommend doing so, at least once a year. An inefficient vacuum causes more harm than good- so better safe than sorry.

In case you have the Shark Rotator or a model similar to it; you probably have a metal grate in the canister. If left uncleaned this grate can get clogged and affect Shark’s suction. For cleaning this piece you can use a toothbrush or any small brush; and like with the canister, clean it with warm water and soap.

After you rinse your canister (and metal grate, if you have it) make sure you get rid of any water with a dry cloth, before placing the cup in your vacuum. You can also leave it to air dry- and remember to leave both ends of your dirt cup open.

How to Clean Vacuum Filters:

If you removed your canister, you should see multiple filters made of foam rubber; depending on your model you might have additional filters – as I said, different models have different features but don’t worry, if you follow the manual this should be super easy.

Most models use two types of filters; the first one, made from foam, and the second one, made from felt. These are the pre-motor filters. You also have a post-motor filter. Now, you can wash the pre-motor ones first, or take everything out. If you do the latter, it is useful to take notes in which order you removed them.

The cleaning procedure is the same for both of these filters, so the order of removing them is completely up to you. It might be easier to clean both of them at the same time since you’ll be getting your hands quite dirty if you haven’t washed them in a long time.

I know that most people wash them with warm soapy water; however, I prefer to wash them under running cold water. These parts are fragile, especially the ones made from felt- so I try not to damage them with adding chemicals into the cleaning process. I try to clean the pre-motor filters once a month, but if you find this to be too frequent, you might want to use soap when washing them- because of the dirt built up.

So, after you hand-washed the filters in cold water, make sure they are completely clean. The post-motor filters can be cleaned once every 8 to 9 months, so make sure you’ve cleaned them thoroughly.

Before putting them back, let all of your filters air-dry for approximately 24 hours. This might seem extensive, but the last thing you want is to have mold or mildew growing inside your Sharkie.

Don’t expect your filters to look brand new once you cleaned them, some stains might be unwashable. But the good news is: unless they are broken or torn they will work perfectly.

So, bear in mind to be gentle when cleaning them. It is important to note that the filters will wear out at some point, no matter how much you clean them. On the bright side, they are easily replaceable, as long as you purchase ones made for your Shark model.

How to Clean Rotating Brush:

A rotating brush is one of the dirtiest parts of your entire vacuum. So for a Sharkie to work properly you need to provide them with maintenance too. In case you are reading this part first, before you start, ensure that your vacuum isn’t plugged into any electrical outlet

You can start by separating the handle from the floor attachment. To make it easier, lay your Sharkie on the floor- to see the rotating brush. Next, you should remove the garbage your brush accumulated over time. To avoid half of your living room getting dirty, you can place a trash bag or old newspaper underneath the handle to catch any dirt you’ll release.

Getting the dirt off your rotating brush can get messy; you’ll probably see hair or strings wrapped around your brush. To avoid touching it you can use gloves, and if you suffer from allergies make sure to cover your mouth and nose- there will be a lot of dust!

To cut off whatever is around the brush you can conveniently use a pair of scissors. However, you might also need to pull some dirt out; I know it’s a hassle but it shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes. This will probably be the hardest and most disgusting part of your whole cleaning experience- but once it’s done there isn’t much left to do.

In case this is your first time cleaning your Shark vacuum there will probably be debris build-up. Although it’s no pleasant experience make sure you’ve removed the dirt completely. You can do so by taking the soft roller off and washing it under running water; this should clean all the build-up and prepare your brush for its next use.

Once your roller dries fully you can pop it back into position; along with the garbage cover. Finally, you’re done!


To get the best service from your vacuum, you need to clean it regularly. If you think about it, it’s kind of a tit for tat situation. You use your Sharkie to clean your floors, either at home or in the office- and for doing all that work efficiently, you sometimes need to take care of it.

I hope that I’ve covered all the questions you had and provided some additional tips that could potentially help you. Now, since you know how and when to clean your vacuum you shouldn’t have any issues with it serving you for years and years!



Leave a Comment