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.

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Broom

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.

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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.

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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.

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Screwdriver

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

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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.

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