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Who do Vacuum Cleaners Smell?
Vacuum cleaners can do wonders to freshen your house, but what about when you turn one on and a revolting smell suddenly permeates the air? What causes a vacuum cleaner to give off such an odor? There are several different possibilities for the origin of that stinky air coming out of the vacuum.
If you have a dog in the house, dog hair and dander is the most likely culprit. It collects in the bag, or waste collection chamber-for bagless models, or just the internal surfaces of the vacuum cleaner, and can make the unit stink when you turn it on. The smell caused by this phenomenon is usually similar to that of a wet dog. Unfortunately, it is a fact of life for most dog owners. Minimize it by adding potpourri or scented tabs to the bag or chamber will create a pleasant aroma when it's activated by the heat of the vacuum cleaner motor while you work.
If you've used your vacuum cleaner to suck up a mess made by food, it's possible that the food has spoiled inside it. The only way to correct the problem is to take as much of the vacuum apart as you can, wiping all components with a clean rag soaked in a warm water solution of household cleaner, vinegar, or baking soda. Always unplug the unit before attempting to clean it. Make sure to check the manufacturer's instructions on how to clean the unit in the best way.
If the smell begins suddenly, while you're using the vacuum cleaner, and has the odor of burning rubber, there is probably a problem with the belt. Sometimes if the edge of a rug or other item gets hung in the roller brush, the belt will get too hot or come off its track, causing the burning smell. Unplug the unit, turn the vacuum cleaner over, and examine the belt path. Remove any obstructions you find there, or reposition the belt if it has left the track.
Another burning smell may come from the overheating of the motor. This odor may remind you of burning plastic or wiring. Occasionally, overuse of the vacuum cleaner can cause this problem, but that is more likely to happen in an older model. When dust accumulates in the motor chamber, it causes a bad smell. This particular odor is not a cause for concern, as the motor is likely burning off the grime. If it persists, a trip to your local vacuum repair shop is in order.
A musty smell emanating from the vacuum cleaner can indicate the need for a new bag. If you use a bag when it is too full, the smell of the dirt and the particles you collected during earlier cleaning sessions fills the air when you use it. Try putting a bit of baking soda into the new bag before you install it. This helps remove the smell from the tubes and hoses on the unit.
There's nothing quite as frustrating as a bad odor coming from a vacuum cleaner. When you're cleaning your house, the goal is a clean, fresh scent, not an unpleasant one. Clean the accessible surfaces of your vacuum cleaner regularly to minimize the possibility of a bad smell.
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