Cleaning Tips, Guides & Resources

How to Unclog a Vacuum Hose and Clean Out the Mess!

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When you find a drop in the suction power of your vacuum cleaner, that indicates that there is a problem somewhere. Now, most homeowners will check the bag or canister for overfilling which can, in fact, cause the vacuum cleaner to lose suction and underperform until emptied out. If, however, the bag is barely filled, it is very likely that the problem lies in the vacuum hose.

Clogs in a vacuum hose are not uncommon because, over time, any buildup in the pipe can cause hair and fibres to stick inside which, in turn, trap larger debris thus causing a blockage and subsequent drop in suction. Other times, you may accidentally suck up a large piece of debris or an object that has gotten stuck in the hose without even realising it. Of course, if you are unsure of whether your vacuum hose is clogged or not, there’s on one way to find out.

How to Inspect a Vacuum Hose for Clogs

black vacuum hose curled up on the floor on a white background

First, you will have to detach the hose from the handle and vacuum cleaner. Next, ask someone to hold up one end of the vacuum hose while shining a flashlight through it; grab the other end so that the hose is horizontal and steady. Check for dark areas along the hose; these are the spots that either have clumps of debris coating the interior of the hose, or a blockage in the form of large debris or an object. This is a good time to also inspect the hose for cracks as any type of damage can also lead to reduced suction power. While the flashlight is still on, check if there is any light leaking through the exterior of the hose; if so, this will indicate that there is a crack or hole in the pipe. In this case, your old vacuum hose will need to be replaced.

If you are, in fact, dealing with a clog, take a look at the simple cleaning guide below to unclog a vacuum hose and clean out the mess inside!

Steps to Unclog Your Vacuum Cleaner

black vacuum hose curled up on the floor on a white background

There are various ways in which you can unclog a vacuum cleaner hose. While some of them are slightly more complex than others, MaidForYou recommends this straightforward method to clear out blockages and clean the inside of your vacuum hose for consistent, high-powered suction! Read on.

Step One: Remove the Hose

Depending on the type of model you have, there may be a specific way to detach the vacuum hose from the main body. Refer to the user manual if you are unsure of how to remove the hose. For standard conventional vacuum cleaners, the vacuum hose is generally connected from the top of the appliance and either clips or screws on to the exterior. At this point, you should also remove the extended wand that is connected via the handle. 

WARNING: Before you begin, make sure that the vacuum cleaner is unplugged from the power socket.

Step Two: Thread the Hose With a Broomstick End

Lay the hose on a flat surface and straighten it out. Now, take the end of a broomstick and slowly push it through the hose. If you feel any resistance, that’s the blockage that needs to be pushed out. Again, do this slowly and gently to avoid damaging the vacuum hose. Be sure to move the broomstick around when inside the hose to loosen or push out smaller debris that may be clogging the pipe.

Step Three: Clean Out With Vinegar and Baking Soda

Carry the hose to the kitchen and place one end inside. Depending on how long the vacuum hose is, pour ½ - 1 cup of baking soda into it and distribute it evenly by shaking and twisting the hose. Next, coil up the hose in the kitchen sink and lift one end up; pour 1 cup of white distilled vinegar down the hose and adjust the rest of it so that the vinegar travels to the other end of the hose without draining out (keep it slightly raised if needed). Allow the vinegar to sit inside the vacuum hose and react with the baking soda for a few minutes. This will break down stubborn grime and debris.

Step Four: Flush it Out

While the vacuum hose is still in the kitchen sink, run hot water through it to flush out the debris and other buildup that has been loosened by the vinegar and baking soda. Do this from both ends to rinse out the vacuum hose thoroughly. If you are worried that you may have missed out on some spots, fill the kitchen with water and dunk the hose in it to get water inside. Allow it soak for a few minutes before draining the sink and running water through the hose one last time to rinse it out.

Step Five: Leave to Dry

It is important to allow the hose to dry completely before reattaching it to your vacuum cleaner as you could get shocked if water gets into the appliance. The best way to dry your unclogged and washed vacuum hose is by draping it over a shower so that both ends hang down and allow water to drip. Leave it to dry overnight or for as long as it takes to dry completely. Double check that the hose is dry inside by shaking it before you reattach it. If you want to speed up the drying process, wrap a small hand towel or absorbent cloth around the end of your broomstick and gently push it through the hose to dry up the inside.

That’s really all it takes to unclog your vacuum cleaner hose with the added benefit of cleaning out buildup and debris from inside it. There’s no need for special tools or products that compex the steps to unclog a vacuum hose; simply follow the instructions above and you will be thoroughly satisfied with the renewed suction power your vacuum cleaner offers!

Adriana Aziz is the operations manager at MaidForYou. With over 6 years of experience managing cleaning operations, she knows all the best hacks when it comes to cleaning residential and commercial buildings. With expert experience in managing house cleaning operations, interior design and logistics. She spends her free time with her family and as a freelance food critic.

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