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".