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How to clean your vacuum

Keeping your vacuum filters clean is vital to getting top performance and suction every time you vacuum your home. 

Clean filters and beater bars allow air to move freely through the vacuum and enable moving parts to operate properly, so suction power stays strong and you clean more efficiently. 

BLACK+DECKER vacuums are designed to make routine vacuum maintenance - like emptying dirt bowls and cleaning filters and brushes - fast and easy. Here, we’ve put together all the information you need to maintain like-new suction from your vacuum cleaner, so vacuuming goes faster and your home stays dust-, dirt-, and allergen-free.  

Washable filter for thorough cleaning feature of Dustbuster Advanced Clean Pet Cordless Hand Vacuum with Scented Pre Filter. 

BLACK+DECKER vacuums feature washable, reusable dirt bowls and filters, so you don’t have to buy and throw away disposable vacuum cleaner bags. Instead, you’ll simply empty your dust bowl into the trash and wash the bowl and filters as needed. Both tasks are very easy and will make a big difference in your vacuum’s performance. 

When to empty the dust bowl 

Translucent dust bowls make it easy to see when the bowl is full and needs to be emptied. Ideally, you should empty the dust bowl every time you clean so your vacuum is ready to go the next time you use it. Advanced cordless vacuums like the powerful BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES PRO feature a unique dust compactor, so it can hold more dirt, and you can empty less often. 

When to wash the dust bowl 

Any time you notice a loss of suction or you see dust or dirt caking to the sides or bottom of the bowl, take a minute to thoroughly clean it. You can easily wash out your dust bowl with warm soapy water. Be sure to air-dry the bowl completely before you replace it in the vacuum. In fact, you should never let any liquid get inside your vacuum or immerse any part of the vacuum (other than washable bowls and filters) into a liquid. If you want to be able to clean up both dry and wet messes and spills, use an all-in-one wet/dry vacuum like the BLACK+DECKER dustbuster™ Wet/Dry Vacuum. 

Clean hands tip: vacuums like the BLACK+DECKER dustbuster® Hand Vacuum feature easy-empty dust bowls that keep your hands away from the mess. 

Cleaning vacuum filters – don’t toss it, wash it! 

The days of replacing disposable vacuum cleaner bags are over. BLACK+DECKER vacuum filters are washable and reusable and need only be replaced every six to nine months depending on how frequently you vacuum. 

Maintaining and cleaning your reusable vacuum filters is very easy and will ensure your vacuum delivers maximum performance. Be sure your filters are always clean and positioned properly in your vacuum for effective filtering and suction. 

When to wash your vacuum filter 

Any time your vacuum is fully charged but you notice a loss of suction, it’s probably time to wash your filters in warm soapy water, let them air-dry completely, and return them to your vacuum. 

Filter cleaning tip: the brush attachment on your vacuum is a great tool for cleaning filters, especially pleated filters that have deep crevices. 

Replacing your vacuum filters – when and how 

Every six to nine months, you’ll want to put a fresh filter in your vacuum to maintain peak performance. Setting a reminder on your phone will help you remember. Even better, set up automatic ordering on an e-commerce site like, so you’ll always have a new filter when you need it. 

You can find the right replacement filter for your BLACK & DECKER vacuum here. 

How to clean the beater bar on your vacuum 

The beater bar is a rotary brush that helps loosen debris, hair, and pet fur from carpets and upholstery so it can be removed more easily by your vacuum. Hair, small threads, and pet fur can accumulate on this bristly brush, and it’s important to keep it clean as possible to allow it to spin freely and clean properly. 

On BLACK+DECKER vacuums, you can completely remove the brush for thorough cleaning.  Simply push the release button, and the brush unit will pop out from its locked position so you can remove it from the floor head. Removing the end pieces from the bar will make cleaning even easier. 

Cleaning the brush can typically be accomplished using just your fingers, and you can use ordinary scissors to cut any stubborn thread caught between the bristles. Once you’ve removed all the debris, replace the end pieces, put the beater bar back in the floor head, and you’re ready to vacuum. 

Have pets? Choose the right beater bar 

If you have pets in your home, you likely have big vacuuming challenges - from fur that floats under furniture to pet hair that sticks stubbornly to your sofa cushions. BLACK+DECKER pet vacuums like this POWERSERIES™ PRO Cordless 2in1 Pet Vacuum offer specialized features to keep your home fur-free, including anti-tangle rubber bristles on the beater brush that keep pet hairs from tangling, so you can clean the brush less frequently.