When to clean or change your Vacuum Cleaner Filter?

When your vacuum starts to lose suction the first thing many people do is to change the vacuum bag. However, a clogged or old filter could equally be responsible for a decrease in your vacuum's performance.

If your vacuum bag is relatively empty and you are still experiencing problems, it is advisable to check your vacuum's filter. Filters are easy to remove, clean and replace, but if your filter is clogged up with dust and debris it will cause your vacuum to lose suction and be less effective in keeping your floors dirt-free.

Many vacuums also have a "high efficiency particulate air" or HEPA filter, which filters out the finer dust particles such as dust mite droppings and pollen, which are often a trigger for asthma and allergy sufferers. Because of the nature of the dust they collect, HEPA filters should be changed every six months.

If your filters are old and/or showing signs of wear and tear, it's time to replace them with new ones. You can find the correct filters for your vacuum in our Vacuum Cleaner Filters section.

Finding the right Filter for your Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum Filters

When it comes to buying replacement filters for your vacuum cleaner, there are a few options to consider before you purchase. The first is whether to opt for a genuine replacement or a pattern filter.

Genuine Replacement Vacuum Filters

Genuine vacuum filters are made by the original manufacturer of the vacuum cleaner and are designed to be 'like for like' replacements, specifically developed for your model of vacuum.

Pattern Replacement Vacuum Filters

Our pattern vacuum filters are manufactured to the highest standards to provide comparable quality to the genuine alternative. They are specifically designed to offer fantastic value for money.

You also need to make sure that the vacuum filters are suitable for your model of vacuum cleaner. Our quick finder is the easiest way to find the right vacuum filter for you. Simply enter the make of your vacuum cleaner and the vacuum cleaner model number, which is usually printed on the casing, base or rear of the vacuum. This will show all filters that are compatible with your cleaner.

How to remove and clean a Vacuum Cleaner Filter

Vacuum cleaners usually have two filters; the pre-motor filter which protects the motor from dust, and the post-motor filter which stops any dust particles that do pass through from circulating back into out the room.


Open up the compartments in which the filters are housed. These usually have a clip or lock that will need to be released in order to get to the filter. Remove the filters from the vacuum body; if they appear soiled it is advisable to clean them so that they don't restrict the performance of your vacuum cleaner.

Different vacuum cleaner filters have different recommended methods of cleaning, and it may be advisable to refer to the manufacturer's handbook for the best way to clean your particular filter. Often, the excess dirt and dust can initially be removed by shaking, brushing or pounding the filter. The more ingrained dirt can then be washed away using warm soapy water.

Filters should not be used in the vacuum cleaner unless they're completely dry, so it is recommended to have a spare set for use while the original set is being cleaned and dried.

Don't just replace the Filter…

Vacuum cleaners usually have two filters; the pre-motor filter which protects the motor from dust, and the post-motor filter which stops any dust particles that do pass through from circulating back into out the room.

Replace the vacuum bag

Make sure that the vacuum bag is checked regularly and is changed once it becomes around ¾ full, as an overly-full bag will restrict the air flow in the vacuum and restrict suction power. Some vacuum cleaners have an indicator light which will let you know when it's time to change the bag. Changing a vacuum bag before it's full is better for the vacuum cleaner and can help extend its lifespan.

Check the agitator brush

The agitator brush is used to work the dirt and debris out of the carpets. Over time bits of thread and hair can become tangled around the agitator and the brush can become clogged, resulting in the vacuum losing suction power. You may be able to carefully remove the debris to restore the brush; otherwise it will need replacing.

Check the drive belt

If your vacuum cleaner is leaving dirt behind and there is no clear obstruction in the hose or blocking the agitator, then it is likely the drive belt has snapped or worn out. Vacuum cleaner drive belts are usually inexpensive but you need to make sure you get the right belt for your vacuum cleaner model.