How to fix a stinky vacume cleaner?

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Just wondering if there is anyway to get the stink out of an old vacume. Got one from a friend about a year ago, but haven't gotten around to checking it out until this weekend while doing some spring cleaning upstairs. It has a brand new bag, so figuring it's probably in the hoses or something. No carpet up there, so I usually just dust mop the hardwood floors.


While doing some spring cleaning, wanted to vacume out the window sills etc. WOW....not sure what the vacume had been used for but it smelled like something dead it in when I started it up. Thinking it's probably just old dog hair. She has two furbabies.


It's a great old round canister type HOOVER and I'd hate to toss it if I don't have to. Thanks a MIL in advance for any and all help. (LOL.....I just recently found this place and am already ADDICTED. So don't be surprised if it seems like my name is popping up on here a ton these days.)

  8 answers
  • Dmholt4391 Dmholt4391 on Mar 25, 2019

    Maybe put baking soda in it wherever you can get it -in it, on it, get it down in the hose, the attachments -everything. And just let it sit another long time. Take the bag out first. maybe even vacuum up some, without the bag. Good luck.

    • Roland Ronish Roland Ronish on Mar 25, 2019

      That is the best solution as well as running it without a bag and spraying a mist of chlorox from a spray bottle to kill any bacteria. Don't put too much baking soda in it as to not create a caking in the machine and ruining the bearings.


  • Nan W. Nan W. on Mar 25, 2019

    I like to put a dryer sheet in mine! Simple.

    • Llc Llc on Mar 25, 2019

      Thanks loads Nan W. As I mentioned above I'm gonna try the baking soda. But if that doesn't do enough I'll definitely try the dryer sheet!!!!

  • Denise Denise on Mar 25, 2019

    Look for filters and change the bag. The filters are probably very dirty.

    • See 1 previous
    • Llc Llc on Mar 25, 2019

      Thanks Denise. The bag is a complete new one that she put in before she gave the cleaner to me. But definitely will check for the filters. I haven't had much time to mess with it until this past weekend, so haven't had a chance to really dig into the inside of it yet.

  • Lavonne Lavonne on Mar 25, 2019

    most vacs have more than one filter. If they are sponge filters you can take them out and wash them. It will take a lot of squishing and squeezing to get the dust out but persevere!

    • See 1 previous
    • Llc Llc on Mar 25, 2019

      Hey there Lavonne. Yeah, I have a SHARK that I use for the carpeted rooms downstairs, so I know what you mean about being diligent and patient when washing those thick foam/sponge type filters. I'm pretty sure this cleaner doesn't have that type since it's probably from like the 70's. But....definitely gonna check for whatever kind of filter it's got and see what shape it's in. Thanks bunches for your help!!!

  • Janerose Janerose on Mar 25, 2019

    if that’s the issue wash them more often after first thorough cleaning...I started doing this when I bought my last vac n it’s made a big difference...I also sprinkle some baking soda down n leave for a bit before vacuuming the area

  • Shirley Shirley on Mar 25, 2019

    Run hot soapy water back and forth in the detachable hose, then hang to dry. Vacuum a handful of either Carpet Fresh or fabric softener booster beads.

    • Llc Llc on Mar 25, 2019

      Thanks Shirley. Gonna try the baking soda first as I mentioned above. But....if all else fails good ol' soap and water usually never fails huh? Thanks again for your imput!!!!

  • Jerri Jerri on Mar 26, 2019

    I have a Hoover vacuum cleaner and I have 3- dogs I had to go to Walmart and buy febreeze filter ,you google your brand of vacuum cleaner,maybe it will give you tips on your vacuum cleaner how to get rid of odor

    • Llc Llc on Mar 27, 2019

      That's FABULOUS to know Jerri!!! Thanks loads for that info. Will most definitely check into that!!!!

  • DY DY on Mar 27, 2019

    Let a small dish of ammonia sit in it for awhile. You could also wash the detachable hose with it too.

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