How to Unclog a Vacuum Hose

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How to Unclog a Vacuum Hose

Even the hardiest and most robust vacuum cleaners get clogged from time to time and many want to know how to unclog a vacuum hose. They’re generally one of the most-used cleaning tools in many homes and the frequent use coupled with common mistakes like vacuuming damaging objects, not emptying the bag or canister often enough, and using your vacuum on the wrong setting can easily cause the vacuum to become clogged, preventing it from working to its full capacity or in some cases, stopping it from working altogether.

Luckily, more often than not these clogs can be removed relatively easily at home, so your vacuum should be back in fully working order pretty quickly.

Here, we’re going to take a look at how to unclog a vacuum hose without causing any further damage or having to pay out for a whole new vacuum.

How Do You Know if Your Vacuum Hose is Clogged?

The most common telltale sign that there is a blockage somewhere within your vacuum’s hose is a distinct lack of suction. By placing your hand over the end of the vacuum hose, you should be able to tell whether it’s working to its full capacity or not. You’ll probably notice it’s no longer picking up dirt effectively or is spitting the dirt back out as you vacuum.

At this stage, it’s a good idea to empty the vacuum bag and check the filter as it might need cleaning or replacing entirely. If, after completing these steps, your vacuum is still not working properly and suction is still low, the chances are you have a blockage somewhere in the hose or head of your vacuum.

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What is Causing the Clog?

Next, you’ll need to establish which part of the vacuum is clogged and what is causing the blockage before you unclog a vacuum hose.

There are three main areas you’ll want to check. Even if you’re fairly certain that the blockage is located in the hose itself, it’s a good idea to give the entire vacuum a once-over to make sure there are no further blockages.

To check your hose, unclip the attachment and look through it from one end. If the hose is clogged you might be able to see the blockage itself or you might not be able to see light through the hose.

Next, check the head of the vacuum. To do this, flip your vacuum over and have a look for any visible blockages or hair and debris that are preventing the brushes from spinning effectively. While you’re here, it might be a good idea to remove any hair or lint that has gotten wrapped around the vacuum head.

Finally, check the body of the vacuum. Clogs commonly form in the area where the hose attachment meets the vacuum itself, so grab some gloves and have a feel around for anything that might be causing the blockage. 

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How to Unclog a Vacuum Hose

Once you’ve found your blockage, the next step is removing it. Vacuum cleaners are typically pretty robust, but nevertheless, you don’t want to risk causing any damage to the machine, so tread carefully here. If the clog can’t be reached by hand then you’ll need to use some basic tools to remove it.

The chances are, that removing the clog is going to require some hands-on work, so it might be a good idea to grab some gloves first.

Use your hands to remove as much of the blockage as you can. If you can’t reach the clog by hand, use a blunt tool such as a pipe cleaner or the handle of a mop to push the clog out.  

Once you unclog a vacuum hose, give the whole vacuum another once over to ensure there are no more clogs or debris hidden within the mechanisms.

Finally, test the vacuum out. If it seems to be working well again, you’re good to go. If not, there may be some other internal issues with the machine and you might need to seek help from a professional repair service.

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When to Seek Help from a Professional

If you notice any smoke coming from your vacuum cleaner whilst you’re using it, stop vacuuming immediately and take your vacuum to the repair shop. This might be caused by an issue with the motor or could be something to do with the electronics. The risk of fire means that you should not use the vacuum cleaner until you have had it serviced and repaired by a professional.

Similarly, if you notice any sparking or any issues with the electrical cables or plug socket on your vacuum cleaner, stop using it and contact a repair shop or the vacuum manufacturer.

Finally, if after completing each of the steps listed in this article on How to Unclog a Vacuum Hose, your vacuum cleaner is still not picking up dirt or is blowing dirt back out of the hose or canister, your best option is to have the vacuum serviced and repaired by a professional to fix any internal issues without risking your warranty or causing any further damage.

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Tips For Preventing Future Clogs

1. Clean the Vacuum Regularly

By regularly checking your vacuum for any build-up of debris and dirt or for any hair that has become wrapped around the head, hose, or body of the vacuum, you should be able to prevent any future clogs. Do this after each use or after every couple of uses to keep your vacuum in prime condition.

2. Change the Vacuum Bag and Filter Regularly

The frequency with which you need to empty or change your vacuum bag and filter will vary based on the make and model of your vacuum. It’s typically advised that this is done after every 3-4 uses, but check your manual for detailed instructions. Reusable, washable vacuum bags and filters are likely to be your most cost-effective choice and are also much more eco-friendly than disposable options.

3. Avoid Vacuuming Harmful Objects

The majority of issues people have with their vacuum cleaners are caused by vacuuming up objects that are potentially damaging to the vacuum mechanisms. Avoid vacuuming large or sharp objects and only use your vacuum on indoor surfaces.

Related: Best Vacuums for Pet Hair

Final Thoughts on How to Unclog a Vacuum Hose

Vacuum clogs can be frustrating and removing them can be time-consuming and inconvenient.

By having a basic understanding of how best to identify and how to unclog a vacuum hose effectively and following these basic tips to prevent future blockages, you should be able to avoid any major damage to your vacuum or the need for any potentially costly repairs in the future.