Ever peeked into your Vacuum hose? We usually only tend to do this when it gets blocked during a vacuum session. But the truth is, vacuum hoses can get really dirty, with most of the gunk settled into their little accordion-type folds.
I had carried an article on how to clean your vacuum cleaner where I mentioned the importance of deep cleaning your vacuum once in a while.
An integral part of this deep cleaning session is the act of cleaning the vacuum hose. In this article, I’m going to tell you how to clean a vacuum hose in the most effective and efficient manner, so it’s as good as new.
When is the Best Time to Clean a Vacuum Hose?
The best time to clean your vacuum hose is at least once a month. Ideally, make this a part of your vacuum’s deep cleaning routine, so that you have all the mess done with in one day. If you make heavy use of your vacuum cleaner, then your sessions might need to be done more frequently than just once a month.
Besides that, you’ll know it’s time to clean out your hose when you hear strange noises during vacuuming, as that would signal a blockage in the hose’s airway.
A bad smell coming from the vacuum hose could also signal fungus accumulation inside the hose, possibly resulting from food items that have gotten stuck inside and are starting to rot. Either way, you know it’s time to clean out that pipe.
Materials Needed when Cleaning a Vacuum Hose
Here’s a list of things you should keep at hand before you start the cleaning process:
- A tub of hot water – the water level should be enough to completely submerge the pipe.
- Liquid soap
- Bleach – powder or liquid form. If you don’t want to use bleach, you can use a combination of vinegar and baking soda instead.
- A wiping cloth
- A garbage bag
- A pair of gloves
- An old toothbrush
- A pipe cleaner or long brush
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How to Clean a Vacuum Hose?
Vacuum hoses usually come as part of canister vacuum cleaners. Cleaning this part of the vacuum is usually a little more time-consuming than the other parts.
That’s mainly because the vacuum hose pipes have been built to be flexible with little accordion-like grooves to facilitate this.
It is inside these grooves that a lot of dirt gets accumulated and cleaning these out is not as easy as just soaking them in warm soapy water.
So here are the steps you need to follow to clean a vacuum hose:
Step 1: Detach the Hose
The first step in cleaning the hose is to unplug the vacuum cleaner from the power outlet. You don’t want any unsolicited shocks! Next detach the hose from the vacuum cleaner.
The technique you use to detach the hose depends on the make and model of your vacuum cleaner. In most cases just giving it a twist and a pull is enough.
My advice to you would be to consult the manual that came with your vacuum cleaner. If you’ve misplaced the manual, don’t worry.
You can always find it online. Just google your vacuum cleaner model and the word “Manual” and you should be fine. In any case, avoid applying force. You don’t want to risk breaking a vital vacuum cleaner component!
Step 2: Unclog the Pipe
Once your hose is detached, it’s time to check for anything clogging the hose’s passageway. Take a peek through one end of the hose to see if you can see through to the other side. If not, then you obviously know that there is something that’s stuck in there.
If that’s the case, you need to unclog the pipe and remove the obstacle. One cool trick is to use a stick, a mop handle or just about anything with a long handle to push through the length of the hose.
This helps take out anything that’s stuck even right in the middle of the hose, which can be quite hard to reach.
As mentioned before, avoid excessive force. Hose pipes are quite fragile and can easily break. So avoid pushing too hard, lest you end up poking a hole into its wall.
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Step 3: Soak in a Cleaning Solution
Next, fill a tub with warm soapy water. Try to keep the water temperature a little higher than warm. You can even add some bleach to the solution.
This will ensure removal of any smell and can help loosen the dirt. Make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves during this process. Submerge the hose completely in this cleaning solution and let it soak.
Swirl it around once in while so the water goes inside. While the solution is slightly warm, use a cloth or old toothbrush to clean the outer portion of the pipe. Make sure you reach inside the folds too.
Once you feel it has soaked enough to loosen the stubborn dirt, use a pipe cleaning brush or even an old bottle cleaning brush (which you don’t plan to use again) to get into the nooks and crannies and bring the dirt out.
Step 4: Rinse and Flush
It’s time now to rinse the pipe and flush out all that soap solution and dirt that it loosened up. The best way to ensure a thorough rinse, along with a little extra disinfection is to use running hot water.
If you have a water spray that can squirt water at pressure, then even better. While you let the water through, make sure you hold the hose in a U-shape once in a while.
Shake the pipe once in a while too so that the water swishes through the crevices of your pipe and takes the dirt out along with it.
Pass the running water through the pipe until you see no more soap solution or dirt coming out the other end. At this point you should see a significant change in the look and smell of the pipe.
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Step 5: Allow to Dry
Once your hose is clean both inside and out, you can leave it to dry. To let air pass though the folds of the pipe, it’s a good idea to hang it from a shower curtain rod or a cloth drying wire. Let it dry for a couple of days so that you’re sure there’s no sign of any moisture inside.
When your hose is completely dry it is time to test and see if the cleaning worked. Attach it to the vacuum cleaner, switch it on and take it for a test drive.
You should see a substantial improvement in performance. The vacuum will suck better, sound better and hopefully smell better too!
In this article, I tried to show some practical steps that you can follow to make sure your vacuum hose is squeaky clean inside out.
You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference one deep clean session can make to the performance and longevity of your vacuum cleaner.
Before I end I would like to once again stress on the importance of cleaning out your vacuum hose frequently. There’s no need to replace it, unless it has holes or tears in it. Just a nice deep clean is all that it needs.