Tuesday, 9 April 2013

How to Clean a Dyson

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You know those cleaning posts you see where the "before" pictures look like your "after", and then you feel like a complete slattern*? I think I can safely say that this post is not going to be one of them. Industry advice is that you clean your Dyson vacuum cleaner every 6 months (or at least wash the filter). I've had my Dyson cylinder cleaner for over 4 years and have cleaned it precisely twice. Both of those occasions were in the first year of ownership - I'm sure you can now do the math for how long it's been since my Dyson was cleaned. 

To be fair, my Dyson still works really well. This is despite my vacuum cleaner having to deal with a house that's gone through a kitchen renovation, two bathroom renovations, a chimney being knocked out and four rooms being plastered. That's a lot of dirt even before considering I have 2 mucky boys. But it was long over due a thorough clean.

The first thing I did was empty the clear bin, which was icky and had compacted grime at the bottom which I couldn't shake out. I then took the Dyson upstairs, dismantled it and dumped all the bits in the bath. Although the cyclone part (the bit that inserts into the middle of the bin) is shown in this picture you do not want to wash this out in the bath. It isn't meant to get wet and you could void your guarantee. After snapping a photo of the dismantled parts I took the cyclone part outside and blew it with an air compressor, which is the correct way to clean it. I didn't take the camera out with me, but it was amazing how much dust comes out.  

Next I tackled the clear bin, which is perfectly safe to wash out with soap and water. Because of the build up of dirt at the bottom I left it to soak a bit first to loosen it all,  before washing it down with a shower hose.

Once the bin was almost gleaming again I gave the vacuum attachments a good rinse too. Do not be tempted to clean out the hose - it will take days to dry out properly, and you risk making your vacuum cleaner smell bad (as nasties could grow in the damp environment) or even damage the machine. 

As I already mentioned, Dyson recommend washing the foam filter every 6 months (oops). Points for occasionally thinking about doing it?

The correct way to clean the filter is rinse it under the cold tap, squeezing all of the dirt out until the water runs clear. This will take a few minutes. Or 15 minutes if you've been as neglectful as me. Make sure it's the normal filter and not the HEPA lifetime filter you are washing - on my Dyson it is located at the top of the machine and the filter has a picture of a tap printed on it. I don't think rinsing the HEPA filter would do irreparable damage, but it is unnecessary as it is located on the outflow and should last a "lifetime" without getting particularly dirty. 

All that was left to do after this was give the outside of the vacuum cleaner a quick wipe with a clean, damp cloth. Most people can probably skip this step but with repeated exposure to building debris my Dyson was, erm, absolutely filthy a little grubby. 

Leave all of the parts to dry for at least 24 hours. I personally err on the side of caution and wait 48 hours. I don't need to tell you that sticking a damp appliance into the mains is not a good idea. 

 Anyone inspired to clean their vacuum cleaner? Can you beat 3 years when it comes to not cleaning your Dyson? 

*N.B I'm not sure if Americans are familiar with the term "slattern". So just in case, the definition is "a woman who is rather laid back when it comes to cleaning standards". 


  1. Thanks for sharing this Angela - I really need to clean my dyson too - I think I might be a slattern!. I'm following from new nostalgia. pop over and have a look at my blog too.

  2. Oh gosh, we must have had our Dyson about that long too and I have never EVER thought to clean it (bad me). I think I will today, though, since I have a little spare time. It is a good cleaner and it deserves some TLC, it may even extend its life if I do!

    1. That makes me feel better about me slovenly ways! It is definitely worth the effort. My Dyson was still doing a great job but when I reassembled it after cleaning I could hear the difference as soon as I switched it on - the suction is so much stronger now!

  3. Thank you for sharing. I really need to do this... I'd love if you'd link up to The DIY'ers. http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-diyers-and-more-curtains.html

  4. I don't have a Dyson, but I have cleaned my vacuum 1x in the last year. This is a good reminder to do it again!

  5. Thanks for the tips. I must get on cleaning mine. I don't know if the rest of the U.S. is familiar with slattern, but here in the South; you betcha. Regena in TN.

  6. My husb bought me one for Christmas and I keep seeing on pinterest how to clean and I remind myself I need to do that!

    NOW since we spent so much on a vacuum I want to take care of it. Now I must admit my older vacuums I was not the best at ever cleaning them. I think I had one for 5 years and thought why would I clean something that is for cleaning ... lol. YUP I'll blame it on being young ... yup sticking to that!

    Stopping by from Adorned From Above.

    Alexis from Running Away? I'll Help You Pack!

  7. Love this - I never think about cleaning my vacuum cleaner but it probably needs it! I am loving your blog - I'd be thrilled if you linked up this and any other frugal projects with us at Living Well Spending Less! http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/category/thrifty-thursday

  8. I've had my Dyson for about 8 years I think. I've cleaned the filter several times but was just thinking about cleaning the clear container. Mine is filthy and has gunk stuck to the bottom that won't shake out also. I have a long haired dog and have to clean the beater bar several times a year. You can use a quarter to unscrew the bottom plate. The screws are yellow and are on top - looks like slots. The bottom falls apart and you can slide out the beater bar/tube. I find hair wrapped around the INSIDE of it. Clean it off and clean the bristles on the bar. My machine works 10 times better when I do this. Thanks for the motivation to give my machine a good cleaning!

  9. Thanks for sharing these tips and tricks on how to clean your Dyson. You have definitely inspired me to finally break down and clean mine! I got mine about five years ago and have only cleaned the filter once or twice..... :( Thanks again! Stopping by from Six Sisters :)


  10. Thanks so much for sharing this fantastic tutorial at Say G'Day Saturday! I've just shared it on Pinterest and gave it a plus1 on Google.

    Hope to see you again this weekend.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  11. I've had my Dyson for almost 2 years and only cleaned it once. I was freaked out the whole time! Haha :-) Thanks for this tutorial and the reminder to give it a good wash.


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