Things You'll Need
Just because a vacuum helps create a clean home doesn't mean it doesn't need cleaning, too. Your vacuum removes dirt, debris and other stain-causing substances from floors and furniture on a regular basis. Vacuumed debris may contain bacteria or mold, so it's important to clean and disinfect the vacuum cleaner on a regular basis to ensure bacteria and mold spores don't spread to other areas of your home. You can kill germs, bacteria and mold and maintain a clean, sanitary vacuum with simple supplies and procedures.
Toss out the old vacuum bag. Place the bag in a plastic trash bag and seal it to prevent mold or bacteria from transferring to other surfaces.
Spray the inside of the vacuum with disinfectant spray to kill germs. Wait two to three minutes before putting a new vacuum bag inside and closing the vacuum. If there are any fabric-covered areas on the vacuum, spray them with the disinfectant spray, too.
Pour 1 qt. undiluted white vinegar into a bucket. Wet a clean cloth with the vinegar and wring out the excess moisture.
Clean the exterior of the vacuum by wiping it off completely with the vinegar. Rinse the cloth as dirt and stains are removed. Apply more vinegar and continue to clean until you've cleaned the entire vacuum. Dry the vacuum with a clean cloth.
Dampen a clean cloth with rubbing alcohol. Disinfect the vacuum cleaner by wiping it off with the rubbing alcohol. Allow the vacuum to air-dry so the alcohol can kill any bacteria or germs left behind.
Disinfect the vacuum handle and other areas commonly touched each week. Give the entire vacuum a cleaning once each month. Increase cleaning and disinfecting, as needed, when there's been exposure to illness or mold.
Always unplug the vacuum and any other electrical appliance before cleaning.
- University of Missouri; How to Prevent and Remove Mildew-Home Methods: Removing Mildew: Upholstered Articles, Mattresses and Rugs; Wanda Eubanks, Betty Feathers; April 1998
- "Mother Earth News"; Green Cleaners: 5 Ingredients for Less Toxic Cleaning: Vinegar; Annie Berthold-Bond; April/May 2004
- Environmental Law Centre: The Five Basics for Non-Toxic Cleaning
- Good Housekeeping; Germ-Proof Your Home; Carolyn Forte
- Reader's Digest South Africa: Natural Disinfectants