How To Unclog A Vacuum Cleaner

Date Published: June 21, 2021
Author: Kylee Smith

Vacuum cleaners and their hoses can sometimes develop a clog. Clogs cause your vacuum to lose suction and even possibly overheat. To help avoid clogs, always remove any large debris from your carpets and rugs and make sure you vacuum with an empty bag or canister. If your vacuum cleaner does get a clog, it can be removed in a few easy steps and a few tools.

Vacuum Clog Removal Tools

Identifying the location of the clog is key to effectively removing the clog. You will be disconnecting the vacuum hose from the port in a minute to discover where the clog is located. After finding the clog, you will be able to remove it in one of three ways using the following tools.

Shop Vacuum

A shop vacuum can be used to clear a clog using the shop vac's powerful suction. This method is the easiest method for removing clogs in a vacuum cleaner.

Vacmaster Shop Vac 5 Peak HP 4 Gallon Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner with Hepa Filter 2-Stage Motor Auto Cord Rewind for Powerful Suction and Quiet Operation
  • 【Wet/Dry Multi-function】Vacmaster Wet and Dry Vacuums equipped with 5 Peak HP 4 gallon polypropylene tank. This Shop Vacuum is compact and has portable power to easily tackle household jobs: hard floor surfaces, carpeted stairs, dust on ceiling fan blades, removing water from clogged sinks, drain flooded dishwashers and clothes washers, clean your vehicle, boat or RV.
  • 【Powerful Performance】The vac has large quiet dual-turbo motor, 5 Peak HP dual turbo motor for ultra-effective powerful performance & ultra-quiet operation.
  • 【User-friendly Design】Front swivel casters & non-marring rear wheels for enhanced mobility. Top handle for balanced and easy transport. Accessory storage, hose organizer and auto- rewind power cord make it convenient and hassle-free storage. Power cord rewinds at the touch of a button.
  • 【Compact & Portable Design】 The vac allows over 22 FT. cleaning reach(7 ft. x 1-1/4 in. diameter hose system, 15 ft. power cord & wands) . Reducing the movement of the Vacuum Cleaner greatly and making your cleaning jobs much easier. Ideal size for virtually any household cleanup and is great for multi-surface cleaning.
  • 【Purchase Guarantee】You will gain priority to shipping service from Vacmaster's warehouse in US our delivery date will be just earlier and safe. If you have any problems during use, you can contact us by mail and our professional support team will help you solve your problem within 24 hours.Search B08CN56W1J for replacement filters.


If the clog is located within the vacuum hose, the handle of a broom can help dislodge it. You can also use a wire hanger; however, you must take care to avoid accidentally stabbing the hanger through your vacuum hose.

Kelamayi 2021 Upgrade Broom and Dustpan Set, Large Size and Stiff Broom Dust pan with 55.9 inch Long Handle, Upright Dustpan Broom Set Ideal for Indoor Outdoor Garage Kitchen Room Office Lobby Use
  • 【55.9'' Long handle broom】- The Kelamayi 2021 Upgrade Broom is up to 55.9 inches, which supports comfortable sweeping without bending any more. Four-row stiff bristles are thicker and longer, and support indoor and outdoor use in multiple scenes.
  • 【Large and Durable dust pan】- New large dustpan, 11.8 inch wide and 3.9 inch high, can hold more garbage. From product materials to product structure, we optimize and improve in all aspects, and will never fall apart again.
  • 【Truly flat Dust pan】-The dustpan doesn't flat on the ground is currently the most common complaint from customers. We are determined to solve this problem completely. The new rubber lip of the dust pan that conforms to surfaces so dust is not swept underneath it.
  • 【Self-Cleaning Dustpan Teeth】- Built in scraper and comb/Teeth for easy to Clean Broom into Dustpan , Clean Pet Hair and Human Hair with one Pull on the Teeth, no need to worry about cleaning up hair and confetti on the broom.
  • 【Powerful After-Service】- Every customer can enjoy 30 days refund or replacement, No question asked. Please contact us firstly if any questions, risk-free provides a reliable purchasing experience, your satisfaction is our boundless motivation!

Trash Bag

The trash bag is used to collect the clog once it has become dislodged. If the clog is in the vacuum hose itself, you can feed one end of the hose into the trash bag while you work from the other end.

Glad ForceFlex Protection Series Tall Kitchen Trash Bags, 13 Gal, Fresh Clean with Febreze, 110 Ct (Package May Vary)
  • 13 GALLON PLASTIC TRASH BAGS: Glad Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags with stretchable strength, traps, locks and neutralizes odors to keep your kitchen smelling fresh with a Fresh Clean scent; Package may vary
  • LONG LASTING ODOR CONTROL: Be the champion of trash with these durable bags that keep your kitchen free of noxious trash odors with a steady release Fresh Clean scent with Febreze Freshness
  • FORCEFLEX TECHNOLOGY: Glad’s patented dual-layer protection is designed to give extra flex as it expands around sharp edges and heavy loads while resisting punctures, rips and tears
  • RIPGUARD AND LEAKGUARD PROTECTION: Designed with double side seals and a reinforced bottom to uniquely trap liquids and prevent leaks, and is strong enough to handle the heaviest load
  • Multi-use fit: Comparable to simple human H, Q, K, M, N, J liners and fit simple human trash cans. The durable drawstring ensures that the bag stays in place

Industrial Pipe Cleaners

Industrial pipe cleaners are another tool that can be used for clearing vacuum clogs. These pipe cleaners can be used to dislodge clogs in both canister and bag vacuums.

Mantello Soft Bristle Pipe Cleaners - 4 Bundles, 176 Count - 100% Cotton Steel Wire - Glass Metal Ceramic Pipe Cleaner - Wrap Cable - Wire Management - Crafts Projects
  • Material: Steel wire and 100% cotton, bendable, and flexible. Soft and fuzzy, Lightweight. 6 Inches Long, 5/16 Inches (4 mm) in diameter uncompressed, 1/16 Inches (2 mm) compresse. Comfortable to touch and easy to twist, lasting a long time use
  • High-Quality. Extra Absorbent, 100% Cotton Filler, 44 Cleaners per Bundle x 4 Bundles = 176 Total
  • Restore your Pipes. Removes resin, tar, moisture and residue from smoking pipes and accessories
  • Multi-Purpose: Our durable Soft pipe cleaners offer non-abrasive removal of dirt and debris so glass, plastic, and metal surfaces remain scratch-free. In addition to the cleaning abilities they can be used as craft pipe cleaners for kids' art projects, as improvised hair ties, to organize phone charging cables, and to prevent liquids from dripping down the necks of drink bottles
  • Clean & repair old antique tube radios. TV's, ham radios, receivers especially from 1918-1965


A screwdriver can be used in place of the industrial pipe cleaners for working a clog out of a vacuum port.

SUNHZMCKP 8 in 1 Screwdriver, Portable multi-purpose screwdriver,High- Strength Bits, Phillips, Slotted, Torx,Suitable for outdoor and daily repair tools, The best tool gift for a man
  • ☞ High-end handle design, slip resistant grip reduces hand fatigue
  • ☞ Four sizes of bits : PH2 CR-V 1/4 and PH1 CR-V 3/16 T15 CR-V T20 and T25 CR-V T30
  • ☞ Suitable for home, auto repair, outdoor and other working occasions without additional screwdriver, a group of 8 in 1 screwdriver solve all your troubles
  • ☞ High-end steel is used, the drill bit after precision processing and heat treatment is more rigid and durable
  • ☞ Easy to carry out outdoor use, give men the best tool gifts

How To Remove A Clog from Your Vacuum

Vacuum clogs create suction problems and can lead to more issues if not properly addressed. It can be frustrating if you begin vacuuming only to find that your vacuum cleaner has a clog. You want to finish the cleaning task at hand, but that is impossible if your vacuum is not working properly. This quick guide is designed to help you identify the location of the clog and remove it in a few easy steps.

Step 1: Locate Clog

First, you must identify where the clog is located. Disconnect the vacuum hose from the port. If there is a clog in the port, you may be able to remove it with your fingers. Use an industrial pipe cleaner if the clog is stubborn.

If the clog is not in the port, it may be in the vacuum hose itself. This is where your other supplies will come in handy.

  • Pro Tip: Be gentle when disconnecting the hose and tinkering with your vacuum. Vacuum repairs are expensive, and you do not want to turn a cumbersome clog into a larger issue using excessive force and disregarding directions.

Step 2: Clog Removal

If the clog is located within the hose and not within the vacuum port, you can use a shop vac, broom, or wire hanger to clear the clog. Many times, a shop vac is powerful enough to pull out the clog; so try this method first if you have a shop vac on hand.

If using a broom or wire hanger, place one end of the hose in an empty trash bag. Grab the other end, stick the broom handle down the hose to dislodge the clog.

  • Pro Tip: Remember to check the clog for any important missing and/or valuable items. Your vacuum may have picked up a lost item on accident, causing the clog.

Step 3: Test Your Vacuum

Carefully reassemble the hose by reattaching it to your vacuum cleaner. Test your vacuum to ensure it is working properly. Discard the trash bag and put the rest of your tools away. Now you are done and ready to get back to cleaning.

  • Pro Tip: A simple mesh net (like from a bag of oranges) secured around the end of a vacuum hose can prevent your vacuum from picking up large items. Consider doing this to help you avoid future vacuum clogs.

Final Thoughts

Vacuums work hard day in and day out picking up dirt and other debris. Clogs happen occasionally, and vacuums are quite sensitive to them. If your vacuum becomes clogged, use the easy-to-follow instructions explained above to help remove the clog and have your vacuum running as good as new.

Clean It Advisor is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved!