Why Does My Hoover Smell? 6 Ways To Get Rid Of Vacuum Smells

Why Does My Hoover Smell? 6 Ways To Get Rid Of Vacuum Smells

Have you noticed a bad smell coming from your Hoover?

Noticeable odours after vacuuming can be a cause for concern – after all, your Hoover is meant to make things feel cleaner! Luckily, most of the time, there's an easy fix.

If your vacuum isn't feeling as fresh as you'd like, we're detailing the reasons behind bad Hoover smells and six ways you can solve the issue.

Why does my Hoover smell?

There are a few reasons why you may notice smells when using your vacuum, and the solutions can vary depending on the issue. Here are some of the most common reasons behind Hoover smells:

A clogged filter

One of the most common reasons people notice a smell coming from their Hoover is a clogged filter. If a filter absorbs too much dirt and dust, it can also trap bacteria, which could lead to mould if not cleaned regularly. The problem can be even worse if you've been vacuuming crumbs, mud or food debris, which will all contribute to bad smells.

If the filter becomes clogged, this can lead to an old, musty smell when using your vacuum.

Trapped dirt or debris

Similarly, larger dirt or debris can become stuck in the filter, the vacuum hose, or the brush. If larger fragments of perishable dirt, like old food, are trapped, they can begin to rot, leading to an unpleasant smell when you use your Hoover. If you're in a household with young children and regularly vacuuming food debris, you may encounter this problem more frequently.

Pet hair

Those with pets in the home, particularly cats and dogs, may notice an older or musty smell coming from their Hoover after prolonged use. This is because pet fur and hair can accumulate within the brush, hose and filter and trap additional dirt, creating blockages and increasing the chance of unpleasant smells.

Hoover issues, such as an overheating motor

If your vacuum is an older model or one you've had for a while, you may notice more smells as it ages. This is because the belt of a vacuum can wear out over time. If the belt is worn, the motor has to work harder and can overheat. This overheating itself can cause a musty, burnt smell, and can also exacerbate any smells from trapped dirt, debris or pet hair.

Should I be worried if my Hoover smells?

Generally, an older or musty smell coming from your Hoover is unpleasant but isn't something to worry about, as cleaning can fix it. However, if you are noticing more of a burning smell, this can be a cause for concern.

If your Hoover smells like burning while you're using it, turn it off straight away and try to locate the issue. If the smell is due to a worn-out belt, this can lead to the motor burning out altogether, which you'll then need to replace. Identifying the problem early on means you can simply replace the belt, avoiding more costly repairs or replacements.

How to make your Hoover smell nice

Once you've figured out the source of the bad smell, you can work on solving it.

Here are six ways you can ensure a clean, fresh-smelling Hoover.

1. Empty the dust bag

Older and musty smells are usually due to a build-up of dirt or debris inside the Hoover. Empty the Hoover bin or dust bag regularly and wipe down the inside of the vacuum to eliminate old smells.

2. Clean or replace the filter

If your filter is clogged, your Hoover will smell during use. Depending on your filter type, you can either clean or fully replace it to solve the problem. Some models can also be compatible with scented filters, which can give your vacuuming a fresh scent.

3. Be careful with what you're vacuuming

As we've mentioned, hoovering up larger bits of dirt or food debris can lead to a bad smell from your vacuum. If possible, try to avoid vacuuming debris that could cause smells. Instead, use a dustpan and brush to pick up larger debris before using your Hoover to clean up dust and smaller particles.

4. Check and clean the internal components of your Hoover

From the hose to the dust bag, there are multiple areas within your Hoover where dirt can become trapped and lead to a bad smell. You should clean your vacuum to remove any dirt or dust that has accumulated inside. Empty the dustbin after each use and wipe down the inside of the vacuum regularly.

5. Consider where you store your Hoover

If dirt or debris does become trapped inside your Hoover, it can lead to a musty, mouldy smell. If your Hoover is stored in a small, dark place, this could encourage mildew and bacteria growth. If possible, store your Hoover in a cool area with good air ventilation to keep bad smells at bay.

6. Use scented carpet powders

Depending on the product and your vacuum model, it can also be an option to use vacuum-up carpet powders or even baking soda. These are designed to make carpets and floors smell pleasant but can also help neutralise and improve the smell of your Hoover.

However, be careful not to overdo it – vacuuming up excessive amounts of carpet powder can lead to more blockages, worsening the problem. You should double-check your manufacturer's instructions if you're unsure about whether you can use vacuum-up powders with your vacuum.

How to stop your Hoover smelling of dog

Anyone with a pet knows that extra cleaning needs to be done to keep everything smelling fresh – and it's no different with your Hoover. The above steps can all be applied to a home with pets, and you may need to carry them out more regularly than those in pet-free homes to keep on top of bad odours.

You should regularly brush and groom your pet to manually remove as much hair as possible. This reduces how much pet hair you're hoovering and helps combat issues with filters or internal components of your vacuum becoming clogged.

If you have a pet, we'd also recommend keeping the home as well-ventilated as possible to improve air circulation and disperse odours before you vacuum.

How do you get the smell out of a Hoover filter?

If you think your bad Hoover smell is due to a clogged filter, you should:

  • Remove the filter.
  • Begin by shaking out any larger, loose debris over the bin.
  • Next, use a soft brush or another small vacuum to remove leftover dirt or dust.
  • If your filter is washable, wash it according to the care instructions. We'd usually recommend using cool or lukewarm water rather than hot and sticking to a mild detergent.
  • Always allow filters to air dry naturally.
  • If your filter isn't washable and doesn't feel clean after a brush and wipe down, you should replace it.

A bad smell from your Hoover can be unpleasant, but it's usually an easy fix. If the above steps haven't addressed the issue, consider replacing any accessories in your Hoover, such as nozzles, cylinder bags, or filters.

If you have an older model and think the bad odour could be due to a burnt-out motor, it may be time to upgrade. For a next-level clean, take a look at the Hoover collection of vacuums, including upright Hoovers, cordless vacuums and cylinder vacuums.