How to clean a Dyson vacuum?

How to clean a Dyson vacuum?
© vacuumtester
In short: To maintain good suction performance, it is important to clean your Dyson vacuum cleaner regularly. In addition to cleaning, it is also advisable to replace the filter with a new filter every 12 months.

When you regularly clean a vacuum cleaner, the cleaning performance remains good. If you don't do this, a vacuum cleaner can become clogged, lose its suction power or even break. It is always good to first do research into how you can best clean a specific vacuum cleaner: you cannot wash all filters in this way.

If you have a Dyson vacuum cleaner at home, I have good news for you: I have made a complete step-by-step plan for cleaning your Dyson vacuum cleaner. Make your Dyson like new again with my steps!

What you need to clean a Dyson

Before we start cleaning, it is smart to first grab the following supplies:

  • Dyson vacuum cleaner with all accessories
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Garbage can
  • Dustpan and can
  • Cotton swabs
  • Screwdriver

Have you got everything ready? Then we can start with the thorough cleaning.

Step-by-step plan: Cleaning a Dyson vacuum cleaner

I have made an ultimate cleaning step-by-step plan: with these 10 steps you ensure that your Dyson vacuum cleaner is like new again!

1. Disconnect all parts from your Dyson vacuum cleaner

disconnect all parts from your Dyson vacuum cleaner
© vacuumtester

The very first step is to make sure your Dyson vacuum is turned off. Disconnect it from the power and check that it is no longer turned on. Then disconnect all parts of your Dyson vacuum cleaner. So the suction brush, the vacuum cleaner rod and possible accessories should all be separate from each other.

2. Empty the Dyson dust container above the trash can

Empty the Dyson dust container above the trash can
© vacuumtester

A Dyson is a bagless vacuum cleaner. So you have to empty the dust container of the Dyson vacuum cleaner above the trash can. Fortunately, this is often easy with the help of the red lever.

Keep in mind that it can be a dirty job. Do you quickly suffer from an allergic reaction? Then it is better to have someone else do this, because dust can blow up and you can come into contact with it.

3. Disconnect the Dyson filter

disconnect the Dyson filter
© vacuumtester

A Dyson vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter on the top. This HEPA filter is washable: you can simply run it under the tap to clean it. Cleaning a Dyson filter is important to avoid problems.

With a Dyson vacuum you can unscrew this filter, after which it comes loose from the handle.

4. Wash the Dyson filter under the tap

Wash the Dyson filter under the tap
© vacuumtester

Keep the filter under the tap. Provide warm-lukewarm water and hold it under a gentle stream of water. Squeeze it gently in the lower part so that the water can pass through.

5. Let the Dyson filter dry for 24 hours

Let the Dyson filter dry for 24 hours
© vacuumtester

Now pay attention: do not immediately screw the filter back onto your Dyson vacuum cleaner. It is a requirement to let the HEPA filter dry for at least 24 hours before installing it again. Place the filter in a warm place, for example near a radiator.

Is the Dyson filter still very dirty after washing? Then it may need to be replaced. Although this is a washable filter, Dyson recommends replacing it with a new filter at least every 12 months.

It is important to know which Dyson you have before you just buy a new filter. Not all filters fit every Dyson vacuum cleaner. Not sure which Dyson you have? In the article Which Dyson Do I Have? I'll help you find that out!

Dyson vacuumsType
Dyson V8 Pre- en Post-filterView filters
Dyson V10 Post-filterView filters
Dyson V11 Post-filterView filters
Dyson V12 SlimPost-filterView filters
Dyson V15 DetectPost-filterView filters

6. Clean the dust container

clean the dust container
© vacuumtester

We have just emptied the dust container above the trash can. It is strongly recommended to also wipe the dust container with a dry microfibre cloth. The dust container of a Dyson is transparent: it is therefore nice to keep it clean.

7. Check the vacuum cleaner rod for possible blockages

Check the vacuum cleaner rod for possible blockages
© vacuumtester

What people often forget when cleaning a Dyson vacuum cleaner is to check for possible blockages in the vacuum cleaner rod. A blockage can quickly occur: for example, vacuuming pine needles can cause a build-up of dirt.

With such a blockage, the vacuum cleaner suction power can deteriorate.

8. Clean the floor brush

clean the floor brush
© vacuumtester

Time to clean the floor brush. A floor brush can quickly become full of pet hair or tufts of dust, especially when it comes to a motorized brush. With a Dyson vacuum cleaner, you can easily unscrew the brush from the floor brush.

You can easily loosen the brush with the help of a screwdriver:

You can easily loosen the brush with the help of a screwdriver
© vacuumtester

Once you've removed the brush from the floor brush, you can hold it over the trash can to remove pet hair and other stuck-on debris.

You will see that there are a lot of hard-to-reach places in the floor brush. My tip: use cotton swabs to clean them properly. For a thorough cleaning, you can also consult my Dyson brush cleaning manual.

use cotton swabs to clean them properly.
© vacuumtester

9. Clean other accessories

clean other accessories
© vacuumtester

Do you also use other Dyson parts, such as a brush for animal hair? Then you should of course also clean it. If there is a motorized brush, just like the floor nozzle you just saw, you can often unscrew it and repeat the process.

10. Prepare the Dyson vacuum cleaner for use again

prepare the Dyson vacuum cleaner for use again
© vacuumtester

Now that you've cleaned everything, your Dyson will be like new again! You can reconnect all parts to your Dyson vacuum cleaner and make it ready for use. So make sure that you have let the HEPA filter dry for at least 24 hours and that it is really dry before you run it on the Dyson vacuum cleaner again.

Do you think this is too extensive a step-by-step plan for cleaning your Dyson vacuum cleaner? Then take a look in your trash can afterwards!

In summary: cleaning your Dyson vacuum cleaner goes further than just emptying the dust container. In addition to cleaning your Dyson regularly, it is also important to buy a new filter at least every 12 months.
Robbert Tigchelaar

Robbert Tigchelaar

Robbert Tigchelaar is the founder of and is a true vacuum cleaner guru. With more than 10 years of experience in the world of electronic devices, he knows better than anyone what is important in a vacuum cleaner. When a new vacuum cleaner appears, he is eager to test it extensively.

  1. Hello,

    I need your advice please. I have a Dyson V12 Slim.. During my cleaning spree, water may have gone into the cyclone section ( the steel part above the bin)… that whole section is emitting bad smell. What do I do ?

    Would love to hear from you.

    • Hi Adya,


      It is best to let the Dyson dry for a very long time and well in these cases. Do not accelerate the drying process (for example, do not place it on the heating). Do not turn the Dyson back on until you are sure it is completely dry.

      If it still smells bad you could buy a new filter.

      In the future it is smart to keep the Dyson itself well away from water. This can also result in a defective Dyson and of course we don’t want that :).

  2. Hello, i am so frustrated. i have done all these steps and the air coming out of my Dyson still smells. i swear it smells like this beagle that stayed with us for 7 months. its awful.
    How is this possible? i have cleaned all the parts mentioned above. even replaced the filter completely. help…

  3. I totally agree it’s hard to make the Dyson smell nice. I empty after each clean, wash the filter monthly, spray the clean filter with freshners. The Dyson is still under warranty. Had to loan it to daughter while she was waiting on a replacement part for her Dyson. The whole family complained of the dog smell from the vacuum. The cannister was washed, made no difference. Because the body of the cleaner is at face level, I have to hold my breath while using it. The disturbing part is that the dog hasn’t been allowed in the house for the past 8mths.

  4. completely useless article, tell you nothing other than to use common sense and i have done all the aforementioned things incing soaking all the parts in warm soapy then rinsing under warm water yet it still smells like a dead dog, so how do you clean the machine to prevent this smell, try adding this to the article

    • Hi Howard, I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment. I certainly get your point about a smelly vacuum cleaner. However, I do explain that in my manual for cleaning a Dyson filter. I will reread my article and consider expanding it to avoid bad smell. Thanks again for your feedback!

  5. Hi,

    We empty the dust container after every vacuum use, we have wiped the parts down fairly regularly and cleaned the filter many times and let it dry properly. Our Dyson Animal began to smell like dog anyway. I ordered new filters and the smell was actually worse. I’ve taken it apart as far as I am able, but it appears the smell is coming from the actual motor area of the vacuum that I can’t get to. Very frustrating for such an expensive vacuum.

    • Very sorry to hear Andrea. May I ask if you have already checked the vacuum cleaner for blockages in the air duct (including the air duct near the motor)?

    Leave a reply

    Enable registration in settings - general