How To Clean Shark Vacuum: A Step-by-Step Guide

Project Overview
  • WORKING TIME: 10 – 15 mins
  • TOTAL TIME: 10 mins – 1 day
  • SKILL LEVEL: Beginner

Has your Shark vacuum cleaner lost its suction? Is it smelling odd? When was the last time you cleaned it? A dirty or clogged vacuum can cause a lot of problems when you’re cleaning.

But, don’t stress. There are some easy tips you can use to efficiently clean your Shark vacuum and its filter so that it doesn’t lose suction power. 

With the right method and maintenance tips, you can easily clean your vacuum to keep it running efficiently and increase its lifespan.

With our step-by-step guide on how to clean a Shark vacuum, your cleaner can feel like a new vacuum again. And you can get back to enjoying all the benefits of Shark vacuums.

How Often To Clean A Shark Vacuum Cleaner and Filters?

According to Shark’s support, you should clean your vacuum cleaner “as needed”. Therefore, how often you need to clean a Shark vacuum depends on how often you use it.

But, to help you out, there are some signs for when to clean your cleaner. For a good idea of how often to clean a shark vacuum, do so when:


We recommend you deep clean your vacuum at least every 3 months.

Also, clean the brushes and filters once a month if they’re very dirty. And empty the dust canister after each use as well as clean it once a week.

Before You Begin

These cleaning methods can apply to all Shark vacuums, including Shark Navigator Lift-AwayShark Rotator, or Shark DuoClean. The recommendations and cleaning process for these shark models are the same.

However, accessing or activating different parts of the vacuum may differ for each model. For example detaching the bin, filters, rotating brush head, or hose.

So make sure you check the owner’s manual to find out how to properly access these parts of your vacuum.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Microfiber cloth
  • Wire hanger, broomstick handle, or any other stick
  • Flashlight
  • Scissors


  • Cold and warm water


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Empty the Dust Cup

Before you empty the dust canister, make sure your Shark vacuum is turned off and disconnected from the power outlet.

Press the release button to remove shark vacuum’s dust canister. Hold it over your trash can while removing it so that dust doesn’t spill into your floor.

Press the latch to open the dust cup and empty the dirt and dust into your trash bag. Remove all of the dust and dirt build-ups inside of your cup.

Photo: Claire
Shark doesn’t recommend using any liquid or soapy water to clean the dust cup. But, once it’s empty, you can wipe it out with a dry microfiber  cloth.


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Clean Shark Vacuum Filters

Check the instruction booklet for your model to find out how to access your Shark vacuum filter.

Depending on the model of your Shark vacuum model, you may have HEPA filters or additional filters such as post-motor or pre motor filters.

The HEPA filter may be foam rubber filters, or felt filters. For both felt or foam filters, first, tap off any loose dirt or debris.

Rinse them under a tap using only clean cold or warm water. Do not use detergents or warm soapy water to clean your hepa filter. The solution can get stuck in the microfibers and can ruin the filters.

Rinse off all dust and dirt from the foam or felt filters until the water runs clear.

For a post-motor filter, wash with water and allow to air dry before reinserting into the vacuum.

Let the filters air dry completely.

PHOTO: Claire
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Clean the Brushes

Depending on your Shark model, there are two types of brush-rolls. You may have a vacuum head with one brush-roll or DuoClean floorhead.

Cleaning DuoClean Floorheads

DuoClean floorheads have both a bristle brush-roll and a soft brush front roller.

To clean the bristles, remove the cover according to your user manual. Remove any debris, dirt, or blockages on the bristles.

To clean the soft front roller brush, tap off any loose debris or pet hair. You can use a dry towel to wipe away any debris caught in the teeth behind the brush roll.

You can use clean water to wash away any stubborn dirt. But, make sure you remove excess water and let it completely dry for at least 24 hours before you replace it.

Cleaning Floorheads With One Brush-Roll

First, detach the floorhead from your vacuum.

Some shark vacuum models have a base section that’s removable for access to the brush roll. So check your instruction manual to find out how to access your brush roll.

Remove any debris from the bristles. You can use scissors to cut any string, hair, or debris that got wrapped around the brush roll.

Photo: Claire
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Clean the Hose

Remember to turn your cleaner off and disconnect from the power outlet before you detach the hose.

After detaching your hose completely from the vacuum, inspect the inside of it for blockages. Lay the hose flat and check all openings for clogs or clumps. You can also use a flashlight to help you see any obstructions inside of your hose.

Use a wire hanger, broomstick handle, or any other stick that fits the length of your entire vacuum hose to remove the clogs.

If there is a lot of dirt and clogs in your vacuum hose, clean it with water. Place your hose in your sink and wash it out thoroughly with cold water.

Let it air dry completely for at least 12 to 24 hours before reattaching it to your cleaner. And reassemble your vacuum properly before turning it back on.

Photo: Claire

Tips To Keep Your Shark Vacuum in Top Shape

  • Don’t dry the shark vacuum filter in a tumble dryer, microwave, or near an open flame. 
  • Avoid using any liquid or dish soap to clean the dirt container, 
  • Don’t put your dirt canister in a dishwasher, this could cause damage,
  • Sanitize the brushes with a water and white vinegar solution. Spray on a dry cloth and wipe the brushes. Don’t apply the solution directly to the brush.
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