How To Clean Vacuum Brush Bristles

Updated on August 26, 2022

Are you wondering how to clean a vacuum brush? Here’s the deal. You’ve finally decided to clean your whole vacuum, but you’ve encountered a problem with the vacuum brush. Let’s just call it a “hairy” problem.

Oh yes, the not so pleasant moment when you look at the bottom of your vacuum brush and you find something that resembles a hairy animal wrapped around it. Now you’re wanting to clean it out, but not quite sure how to go about it. It looks like a pretty impossible situation, right?

Before you think about throwing the whole brush away, just stop for a minute and wait. The good news is that it is possible to get rid of all the hair tangled up in the bristles. It’s actually quite an easy process once you know what you’re doing and you have the right tools.

Why You Need to Clean Your Vacuum Brush

The truth is, besides all of the hair lingering in your vacuum brush, it’s also home to lots of dirt and allergens. That’s not to mention that it could be harboring different germs and microbes.

Also, in order for your vacuum to properly clean your carpets and floors, it’s very important for the brush bristles to be clean.

If they are dirty, then all your vacuum is going to do is push dirt and hair all around your home. So much for “cleaning”. The good news is that cleaning your vacuum brush can be done easily and only takes a little bit of your time.

While this method is typically for an upright machine, you can find plenty of portable vacuum ideas for that type of model.

What You’ll Need

To clean out the vacuum brush, there are a few tools that you will need:

  • Water
  • Soap
  • Small brush
  • Scissors
  • Gloves (optional)

Step 1: Detach the Vacuum Brush

The first thing to do it to remove the brush from your vacuum. Most vacuum cleaners will allow you to pop out the brush, but it’s possible that you won’t be able to. If you are unable to remove it, you can still follow some of the steps below.

However, make sure you read through the instruction manual that came with your vacuum (if you lost the manual, you will probably be able to find it online).

If your brush is removable, you should be able to simply twist and pull it off (once again, make sure you are referencing your instruction manual).

Step 2: Cut off the Hair

Alright, now it’s time to take care of that mane of hair wrapped around the brush. All you have to do is take a pair of scissors and carefully begin to trim away the hair. Make sure you are being careful and don’t cut any of the actual vacuum bristles (or you’ll end up having problems when you try to vacuum).

Once you’ve cut away a good amount of hair, you should be able to pull out the rest with your hand and throw it away into the garbage. If there’s any hair left on the brush, go ahead and take your small brush (a toothbrush works great) to remove it.

Watch this short video if you’re not quite sure how to start cutting off the hair.

Step 3: Wash the Brush

Before you throw your vacuum brush in the sink full of soapy water, make sure you read your manual to see if it’s okay to get the brush wet. If your brush is okay to use in water, then go ahead and place it in some warm, soapy water.

Leave it to soak for a few minutes to help loosen up any dirt or debris that is lingering on the bristles.

Once the stubborn dirt has loosened up a bit, you can gently brush the rest away. Pay attention to any hard-to-reach spots at the bottom of the bristles and make sure you remove all dirt buildup.

Step 4: Rinse it Out

Although it may sound like a no-brainer, this step is important. You want to be certain that you thoroughly rinse out the brush so that there is no dirt or soap residue left on it.

Step 5: Dry it Off

The last step to the brush cleaning process is a simple one. Lay your brush flat to dry and don’t even think about putting it back in your vacuum until it’s completely, 100% dry. If you’re wanting it to dry out faster, then you can take a cloth (a microfiber one works well) to soap up and remove any excess water that is on the bristles.

Run the cloth through the bristles and over the whole brush to pick up as much moisture as possible. Then go ahead and leave your vacuum brush air dry completely. That’s it, you’re all done cleaning your vacuum brush.