Make the awful smell go away from dyson vacuum cleaner
August 26, 2022 11:49 AM   Subscribe

I have had this Dyson Vacuum Cleaner for more than a decade and it works perfectly fine.But recently, my husband must have used it to clean something(I don’t know), now it smells awful every time he uses it.He removed and cleaned all the filters with dish soap.But the smell is still there. Is there a way to get rid of the smell?
posted by SunPower to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So, I'd see how far down you can basically field strip that dyson. I know that the thing I've enjoyed about their products over other stuff that tries to replicate their aesthetic for less cost is that they're fairly good at being user serviceable. After you do that I'd scrub every surface you can with a soapy rag and dry them all separately before reassembly. You can likely buy replacement filters as well.

As an easier thing to try, maybe spill a box of baking soda on the ground and vacuum it up. Let that sit in there for a bit before dumping it all out.
posted by Ferreous at 12:15 PM on August 26, 2022 [11 favorites]

Letting dis-assembled parts sit in the sun in a well-ventilated place might also help, if the smell is due to something that needs to dry up/diffuse off.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 12:59 PM on August 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

Can you try to describe the smell you're smelling?
posted by bananana at 1:21 PM on August 26, 2022 [4 favorites]

My go-to for smelly things is white vinegar. Clean it again with a mix of white vinegar and water. If that and/or the baking soda doesn’t work, you could try vacuuming up instant coffee crystals.
posted by amanda at 1:25 PM on August 26, 2022

Suck up a pile of baking soda with a few drops of vanilla extract or essential oil on it.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 1:35 PM on August 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

Another avenue to explore if the smell isn’t actually trapped in the machine - Is there hair or string or anything else wrapped around the spinning brush(es) that can be removed? We had a different model vacuum for years that reached a point of accumulation where it started to heat and produce smoke when in use, which was very smelly, and slightly terrifying. Once we removed it by cutting it all loose it was fine.
posted by valleys at 1:40 PM on August 26, 2022 [3 favorites]

This is entirely a happy accident but I spilled a bunch of ground clove and now every time I run my vacuum it smells like pumpkin pie. I have no idea if this is a long term solution or it's worth using that much clove in something that isn't food, but it works.
posted by kingdead at 2:16 PM on August 26, 2022 [7 favorites]

Response by poster: Bananana It’s like a smelly drain.

Baking soda is a great idea.Will do it.
Cloves…hmm .I love that idea of pumpkin pie smell :))
posted by SunPower at 2:44 PM on August 26, 2022

When I used Nonscents carpet odor eliminator, it has the wonderful side effect of removing every trace of a smell from my vacuum. It's basically sorcery.
posted by mostlymartha at 3:23 PM on August 26, 2022 [2 favorites]

They make odor eliminator carpet dust stuff for pet odors, designed to neutralize the smell so that puppies won't think "oh, this must be my pee spot" -- that might actually work for your needs. Arm and Hammer makes one, called Pet Fresh, and Nature's Miracle works well, too. Some are available as a spray if you want to wet down areas that seem funky.

I have also had good luck cleaning a funky rug with clove and baking soda. It was a while ago and I don't remember specifically what was going on but I do remember that for a long time after it smelled like cloves whenever I vacuumed.

However, I have a big caveat here: my vacuum and sewing repair shop has a big alarming sign warning that a lot of these powders can damage your filters or your motor and you shouldn't be vacuuming them up. The sign is very cute, like "It's good for our business and terrible for your vacuum."
posted by amandabee at 5:12 PM on August 26, 2022 [1 favorite]

I know exactly the smell you're talking about. **Defintely don't use any of that Carpet Fresh-type stuff or powders/baking soda!!** It will screw up the HEPA filter. I know exactly the smell you are talking about. I have an 18-1919yo Dyson Animal that gifted me with the same scent. I went as far as taking the Cyclone section apart and rinsing water through it, in addition to cleaning both the filters. It was absolutely disgusting and the water was brackish on all counts. I thought it would do the trick (it helped a little bit).

The vacuum wasn't working properly in addition to being stinky (the attachment suction isn't strong and there is a 45-60 second delay for it to actually start suctioning rugs), and I was getting fed up. After reading that their actual life span is supposed to be only 10 years or so, I thanked the Dyson gods and just bought one of the new cordless ones. Oooooh boy, I didn't realize just how much it wasn't working well!

Of course, after searching the Dyson site and finding the old manual, I discovered that you can buy new filters.

I will probably see if I can disassemble the Animal and get it going again. There is probably hair, dog hair, and who knows what stuck in it. If that can get it to smell better, I will likely send the vacuum to live with mini dancinglamb in college. It's a heavy beast, but a vacuum is a vacuum.
posted by dancinglamb at 3:17 AM on August 27, 2022

I have had this issue with my vacuum, and I would start with replacing that 'lifetime' filter. Remove both the brush bar and the internal hose and these are the two parts I give a good cleaning or just consider replacement. Dyson a re very sensitive to keeping a proper seal - so if suction is down I would check all the seals, especially the duct seal.

The fact that I can't point to these things on a exploded part chart or that the bar brush and duct seal are no longer easily available show that Dyson is not particularly interested in the serviceability of their gear.
posted by zenon at 8:01 AM on August 27, 2022

Sounds like your filter(s) are growing mildew or bacteria. Just replace them and it will be fine. Tell him not to vacuum up anything even slightly moist, as once that gets into the filter you can't really clean it and have it work effectively afterwards.
posted by ananci at 12:00 PM on August 27, 2022

The hoses are corrugated and can be cleaned. Dyson machines can normally be disassembled down to their frames with simple tools. Dysons are a bit unique in that parts and insertions are freely available. I’d skip the perfumes, replace the filters, and clean out all the air ways using a bottle brush

You can find instructional videos on YouTube and full parts diagrams by searching for the model number

Youtube video
Parts diagram
Parts on Amazon
posted by pdoege at 8:52 PM on August 27, 2022 [2 favorites]

I'd just wash the filter a really well. If there was something stinky in the hoses, I would think the hose would be discolored where the stain is sticking to it. So i'd concentrate on the internal filtering and the wash the dirt collection receptacle out with a water hose.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:31 AM on August 29, 2022

pdoege brings the parts chart - that makes finding replacements and a general idea of the scope of the tear down much easier. I take back my mean comment about serviceability - it's something I consider and am glad to know Dyson make an effort, even if I can't sort it out.
posted by zenon at 11:57 AM on September 26, 2022

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