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Can You Clean Shark Vacuum Filters and Canisters?

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Vacuum cleaners are a huge help when it comes to cleaning dust, dirt, dander, and small debris. And Shark is one of the most reliable vacuum cleaner brands around because of its strong suction and cutting-edge technology. But what if it is your Shark vacuum that needs cleaning?

You can clean your Shark vacuum’s filters and canisters once it starts losing suction power. In fact, cleaning these parts regularly is a part of your vacuum’s maintenance to keep it functioning well. However, you should learn how to do it correctly to avoid any damage to your appliance.

This article will talk about when to clean your Shark vacuum filter and dust canister. You will learn about what signs to look out for to know that it’s time to clean your vacuum. You will also learn the correct way to clean your unit to ensure that it continues to perform well.

How To Tell if Your Shark Vacuum Needs Cleaning

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You need to clean your vacuum cleaner regularly, especially if you use it all the time. The pre-motor filters, for one, need to be cleaned every three months, according to the Shark user manual. Meanwhile, the dust canister should be emptied after every vacuuming session and cleaned periodically.

However, work and daily life tend to get in the way and, more often than not, users would forget to do it as part of their vacuum’s routine maintenance. Homeowners usually neglect their vacuum cleaners until they sense that something is wrong.

As such, it is important for you to know what signs to look out for so you could tell when your Shark vacuum cleaner needs some attention. You shouldn’t wait until your vacuum starts malfunctioning or stops working altogether, and you would have no choice but to have it checked and repaired by a professional. You can avoid serious problems and additional costs if you know when it’s time to clean your vacuum.

Here are the telltale signs that your vacuum’s filter and canister are dirty:

  • Your Shark vacuum cleaner starts to lose suction power. If your vacuum does not suck in dirt, dust, dander, and other debris as efficiently as it used, this means its filter is probably blocked by too much accumulated dirt.
  • Your Shark vacuum emits an unpleasant smell. Vacuum cleaners are supposed to make your house smell clean and fresh, so if you notice a funky or unpleasant odor while you are cleaning, it’s worth investigating. It could be pieces of food that have gotten bad or moldy inside your vacuum bag, or it could be dirt and pet hair clogging the filter.
  • Your Shark vacuum makes loud or unusual sounds. If you can hear your vacuum producing loud gasp-like noise, it could mean that its filter is clogged. This leads to your vacuum working harder than usual just to create suction.
  • Your Shark vacuum’s motor overheats or abruptly turns off. Clogging in the filter can obstruct the airflow and cause your vacuum cleaner’s motor to feel hot to your touch or to just turn off mid-cleaning.

Can You Clean or Wash Your Shark Vacuum Filters?

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You can, and you should, clean or wash your Shark vacuum filters to keep them working effectively and efficiently. It’s even recommended that you do this regularly to prevent clogging.

But first, you should take note that there are different Shark vacuum cleaner models available. While all Shark vacuums operate in the same way and share the same basic parts, the removable components, such as the filter, may be placed or positioned differently. As such, it would help if you keep the user manual for your specific Shark vacuum model and refer to it when finding and removing the filter.

How To Clean or Wash Your Shark Vacuum’s Filters

Before you start cleaning your filter, you will need to prepare these items:

  • Mild soap or dishwashing liquid
  • Water
  • Basin or sink
  • Microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Soft brush
  1. Make sure that your vacuum cleaner is turned off and unplugged.
  2. Take your vacuum outdoors. It is best not to do the cleaning inside your house as there will be dirt and dust flying around when you open your vacuum and take out the filters. You can also place a newspaper or any sheet under your vacuum to catch whatever dirt falls off.
  3. Remove the filters. Open your vacuum and take out the filters. Shark vacuums usually have pre-motor filters made of felt and foam rubber. Removing them typically requires you to remove the dust canister first.
  4. Soak the foam filters in a basin with soapy water. For filters that are made of foam, wash them gently but thoroughly. Position them under running water and squeeze the dirt and water out multiple times until the foam is clear. Your filters won’t look as white and as clean as they used to be, so it’s okay if they will look grayish, off-white, or stained. Just make sure they’re thoroughly cleaned.
  5. Wipe felt filters clean. If your filters are made of felt, Shark does not recommend that you wash them often. Their fibers can get damaged easily. Instead, you can tap them to loosen the dust and dirt, then wipe them with a moist clean cloth. They’ll get worn out eventually, and you would need to replace them with new filters. However, if you really want to wash them, dip them in a basin with soapy water and wash them lightly.
  6. Rinse off the soap. Gently dip your filter in a basin or sink with fresh new water to wash off the soap.
  7. Dry your filters. You can lay your filters flat and let them dry out completely. It is best that you air-dry them for around 24 hours.
  8. Put your filters back in. After you dry the filters, place them back in your vacuum in the same proper order.

How Do You Change the HEPA Filter in a Shark Vacuum?

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According to Shark’s user manual, your vacuum cleaner’s HEPA filter will need to be replaced every three months with normal usage. But vacuuming large amounts of fine dust over a long period of time may require you to change the HEPA filter more often.

To replace the HEPA filter, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press in the lock tabs and pull the cover of the filter away from your vacuum.
  2. Remove the HEPA filter.
  3. Insert the new HEPA filter. The seal should be to the inside of your vacuum.
  4. Reattach the cover.

Here’s a video demonstrating how to change your Shark vacuum cleaner’s HEPA filter, as well as the foam and felt filters:

Can You Run a Shark Vacuum Without a Filter?

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According to the Shark user manual, you should never operate your vacuum cleaner without the pre-motor filters in place. You should also not operate your vacuum with filters that are still wet. As such, if you washed and cleaned your pre-motor filters, make sure to dry them completely. It is best practice to leave it for 24 hours to air-dry.

Shark Vacuum Filter Keeps Popping Off

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If your Shark vacuum filter keeps popping off, there are a couple of things you may want to check. First, make sure that you have secured your filter tightly and that the hooks are still intact. If one of the hooks is broken, that could be the reason.

You should also make sure that the seal of your filter is intact. If the seal is worn out, it is time to replace your HEPA filter.

Can You Clean or Wash Your Shark Vacuum Canisters?

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You can wash and clean your Shark vacuum’s dust canister. In fact, you should do it regularly.

The simplest way to tell that your vacuum’s dirt canister needs emptying is when the dirt is almost the same level as the max fill line. If it does not reach the max fill line, you should remember to empty it every after use. Meanwhile, washing and cleaning the canister does not have to be done after each use, but it should be done from time to time.

To clean your vacuum canister, you will also need water, basin, or sink, a long-handled soft brush, a mild dishwashing detergent, and a microfiber cleaning cloth.

How To Clean or Wash Your Shark Vacuum Canister

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean and wash your Shark vacuum canister:

  1. Turn off your vacuum and unplug.
  2. Take your vacuum outdoors.
  3. Open your vacuum and carefully take out the dirt canister by pulling on the release button.
  4. Empty the canister over a trash bin by pressing the button on the bottom.
  5. Take your canister to a sink or basin with warm soapy water.
  6. Scrub your canister clean with a long-handled brush and cleaning cloth.
  7. Rinse off the soap with cold water.
  8. Allow your canister to air-dry or use a dry and clean microfiber cloth to wipe off excess water.
  9. Put the canister back into the vacuum.

Here’s a video tutorial showing how to clean your Shark vacuum, including how to disassemble your vacuum, empty the canister properly, clean the filter, check the blockages, and put everything back together:

Here’s a video demonstrating how to deep-clean your Shark vacuum:

Final Thoughts

Cleaning and washing your Shark vacuum filters and canister are important for proper functioning. Doing this will prevent dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris from clogging and from blocking the air. Without cleaning your filters and canister, your vacuum’s suction power will weaken, and this will eventually damage your unit if left unattended.

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