How to Clean a Shark Vacuum [Detailed Guide 2023]

Published by Ahmad Jamal on December 13, 2021 | Last updated on June 14, 2023

The quality of any vacuuming chore will be reduced to the least effective if the vacuum isn’t as clean as it should be from the inside. You may wonder: my cleaning device needs cleaning? Yes, it’s the most susceptible to dirt since it’s the first line of defense against dirt, dust, and different debris types.

Moreover, the dust and dirt stuck inside the vacuum can significantly reduce the air quality of your environment, which is a dangerous sign for your family’s health.

Since Shark Brand is one of the finest in the vacuum markets, in this guide I’ll show you how to clean a shark vacuum, regardless of its type, as a first step towards eliminating any stuck hairs, debris, and dust inside your vacuum.

Scrolling through this CleanersAdvisor article, I shall show you in a great detailed manner, how to clean a shark vacuum filter, and how to clean the hose of a shark vacuum, in addition to the tools and materials needed for this cleaning chore.

Why Did I Choose to Talk about Shark Vacuums?

Compact, Straightforward, Advanced are the Shark Vacuums, according to thousands of users around the world.

They are also well-known for their high durability standards, according to my study on how long do vacuums last.

Moreover, Shark provides a large variety of products and vacuums with a larger scale of tasks, with the goal to cover the widest range of customer needs.

Shark Rocket DuoClean HV382 is the Best Vacuum for Vinyl Floors, indicating how perfect the shark vacuums can really be.

I even have a specific list comparing the best shark vacuum for pet hair, as the brand has already produced many vacuums specializing in that specific task.

What Are the Signs Indicating that A Shark Vacuum Needs Cleaning?

Although there are specific dates when you should start considering cleaning a shark vacuum, sometimes you miss an appointment or two, that’s when the signs start to appear, indicating that it’s time to clean your shark vacuum, and those include:

  • Performance Change: When you notice that there are debris left on the floor or on the carpet, after sweeping it with your shark vacuum multiple times, this means that the performance of you vacuum started to decrease, duo to the need to clean the debris path into the vacuum from dust or dirt.
  • Decreased Suction Power: If you’re used to hearing a signature sound out of your vacuum, and before even starting to vacuum, you heard a lower level of noise, this means that it’s clogged with dirt and the suction power isn’t working at its highest.
  • Strange Noise: When you hear a strange noise coming out of the vacuum during your daily vacuuming, it’s a sign that something was vacuumed but not as properly as it should’ve been. It’s a sign of dirt blocking the air flow to the dustbin.
  • Abnormal Debris Type: You have finished vacuuming the pet hair in the living room, and then moved on to the children’s room where the pet doesn’t come. However, after starting vacuuming the carpet, the vacuum started leaving pet hair there, this is a sign that the motor head is clogged and the pet hair doesn’t get sucked inside the vacuum.
  • Unpleasant Smell: When there is stinky dirt inside the vacuum that doesn’t get through the dustbin, you’ll most probably be facing unpleasant smell inside the room when you start your vacuuming chores.

How often should I clean a Shark vacuum and filters?

There’s a small misunderstanding when it comes to the reasons behind cleaning a shark vacuum, mainly due to the fact that it’s not a lovely thing to do on regular basis.

Despite that, I believe that on a consistent basis, if you carry out regular cleaning of your vacuum, you can make the vacuum last longer than when you ignore this step.

This comes down to preserving the motor’s expected lifetime, through carrying out a consistent cleaning routine, in addition to fixing any errors as soon as possible.

As for the routines, you’ll be required to clean the filters on monthly basis, and clean the dust canister and brush roll every quarter, while the HEPA filters and Post-Motor filters should only be cleaned once a year.

What Tools Do You Need Before Cleaning the Shark Vacuum?

To make the task easier for you, I’ve divided the needed tools into 2 categories: Mandatory Tools for Cleaning, and Optional Tools.

Mandatory Tools:

  • A Cleaning Cloth (Easy to Handle Cloth)
  • Chemical Cleaning Solution (Preferably Soap)
  • A Scissor (New and Sharp)
  • Water Source (Preferably High Pressure)
  • Soft Brush (Preferable with a Long Handle)
  • Screwdriver (To Disassemble and Reassemble the Vacuum)


  • Alcohol (For extreme cleaning)
  • Gloves (If you can’t keep your hands off the dirt or want to get personal)
  • Bucket (Large enough to put any large components inside)

How to Clean a Shark Vacuum: A Short Answer

If you’re not interested in reading 7 or 8 detailed steps on how to clean a shark vacuum, I’ve got a better solution for you, a shorter way to get around the cleaner faster.

Disconnect your vacuum from the power, then start removing the dust canister and the filters.

Once filters are removed, remove all the obstructions using only your hand or a cloth, no water should be used here.

Empty the canister from dirt and dust, then sink it in the kitchen sink or in a bucket full of water and soap.

Clean the motor’s filters as precisely as mentioned in the handbook that comes with each vacuum.

Last but not least, clean the hose with powerful water and a tall brush, then let them dry for hours.

Reassemble then get back to vacuuming again.

How to Clean a Shark Vacuum: The Whole Process

Step1: No Power Source Connected

For precautions, if you have a corded Shark vacuum, then you have to make sure it’s not connected to any power source at all, this is a serious matter and can sometimes be a life or death matter for the vacuum.

If you have a Shark cordless vacuum or a Shark handheld vacuum, you have to unplug the battery, and treat them differently while cleaning, a small splash of water can mess things up really hard.

This guide will mostly be on the canister and upright vacuums, if you have one, let’s keep going.

Step2: Start Disassembling Vacuum Parts

This is when the screwdriver comes in handy (no pun intended), use it to remove screws on both ends of the dirt canister, then remove the canister to the side, and empty it as soon as possible inside the kitchen’s trash can.

Put aside –also- both the external filters, in Step4 you’ll get to them soon.

Step3: Clean the Canister

Once you’ve already got done with the trash can, it’s now time to clean up the canister.

Now, sink the canister in the bucket filled with water and soap, wait for a bit, then proceed to clean it with your soft brush.

You can leave the canister to dry, but it’s preferred to clean it with a piece of cloth.

Step4: Remove Filters’ Obstructions

Back to the external filters, once you’ve removed them upon disassembling the vacuum, you now have to attend to them, but only shortly.

You only need to remove the obstructions on the filters, using decently powered slaps with your hand, or using a piece of cloth.

Are the filters ready yet? No, in the next step you’ll completely clean them.

Step5: Clean the Filters

If you’re asking how to clean a shark vacuum filter, it isn’t simple, but it isn’t hard neither.

Start by rinsing the default filter in clear water, don’t use soap for this step, then after a little while, proceed to squeeze the filters to get it clean.

My advice would be to put enough effort to make it clean, rinsing then squeezing can get it back in shape, but not as good or clean as new, those are the results I usually get.

As for the HEPA Filters, it’s not different at all, just search for its place carefully, use the user manual or handbook, get it out, and clean it similar to the default filter.

In conclusion, the steps on how to clean a shark vacuum filter don’t feel different from a default filter to a HEPA filter, it’s only a matter of locating the HEPA since you’ll spot the default filter easily.

Step6: It’s Roller Brush’s Turn

Finished with filters? Let’s move on to the roller brush, but here it’s very simple.

Make sure the brush isn’t dropping any type of debris while you’re moving it, so put it above the trash can while you clean it.

Look for any hair tangling, and get rid of it by cutting it in halves with a sharp scissor.

Step7: How to Clean the Hose on a Shark Vacuum

Prepare another bucket of water, put in some soap, wait a bit, then sink the hose inside the bucket until it’s filled with soapy water.

I’ve always felt that the soapy water can dissolve any dirt stuck inside the hose’s walls, but it’s better if you use the tall brush to make sure it’s all in the water, not stuck on the walls.

Careful not to lose the tall brush while cleaning, you’ll make a scene just to get it out, happened once, never going to let it happen again (hopefully).

Get the hose out of the soapy water, use the powerful water for once last time on the higher end of the hose, and aim with the lower end at the sink. This will be the last step to make sure the hose is fully cleaned on the inside.

Hang it in a place inside the kitchen, and let it dry for a while.

Step8: Dry then Reassemble

Leave all the parts be, wait for them to dry for at least 12 hours, I leave them for a full 24 hours, especially the parts that were cleaned with soapy water.

Dried and ready? Reassemble the shark vacuum parts, here we end the guide on how to clean a shark vacuum.

How to Clean Shark Cordless Vacuum

Cordless vacuums have this appealing power to vacuum more freely and adding to that, shark cordless vacuums have been ranking high on lists for specific tasks, as Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum ranks #1 on the list of Best Cordless Vacuums for Pet Hair.

Here’s how to clean shark cordless vacuum:

  1. Remove Batteries: We agreed that we should always work off power when cleaning vacuums, didn’t we?
  2. Remove Hand vacuum from the wand: a single press on a button and you can remove it.
  3. Empty the dustbin in the trash: just open the lower opening to the dustbin to empty it into the trash can.
  4. Access Pre-Motor Filters and Remove them: Remove the dustbin from the hand vacuum and you’ll find the pre-motor filters on the back of the dustbin.
  5. Access Post-Motor Filters: you’ll find them in the entrance of a hand vacuum, remove them too.
  6. Clean them all: use warm water only to clean them up for 30 seconds.
  7. Frequency: The Pre-motor filters should be cleaned once a month, while the post-motor filters should be cleaned once a year.
  8. Dry the filters: you should dry the filters for 24 hours before reinstalling the parts again.

How to Clean Shark Navigator Vacuum

Shark navigator vacuums also deserve more attention as their performance on fleas is perfect, it has ranked the #1 on our list of Best Vacuum for Fleas.

Similar to every vacuum cleaning guide, you should start by unplugging the vacuum off electrical power.

Then, proceed to empty the dustbin by pressing the button on top of the dustbin handle.

Access the pre-motor filters and the HEPA filter on the vacuum itself underneath the place where you removed the dustbin.

Once every month, you’ll need to clean the pre-motor filters, as the HEPA filter needs cleaning once per year.

Let it all air-dry for 24 hours before re-installing.

This video shall explain in detail How to Clean Shark Navigator Vacuum:

How to Clean a Shark Vacuum FAQ

To Wrap Up

This article explains in short and in length, how to clean a shark vacuum, using water, soap, brush, and a piece of cloth, it’s that simple but needs consistency in cleaning the parts on regular basis.

However, you still have to inspect the vacuum on regular basis as well, looking for any unusual sounds, smells, errors, loss of suction, or decreased performance.

Shark is a reputable brand and can last long with you, as long as you provide proper maintenance on time.

2 thoughts on “How to Clean a Shark Vacuum [Detailed Guide 2023]”

  1. Once I have washed and cleaned the canister and filters and hose and am putting it all back together, what can I do to stop the cleaned plastic shark canister from getting coated with dirt/dust when I start vacuuming again? I have tried using a dryer (Bounce) sheet (rubbing it on the inside of the canister), but that did NOT help at all!! Can anything be done/used to stop the dust/dirt from sticking to the inside of the canister?

    • Hello Teresa.
      Check the user manual, it’ll show the graph in which the canister is connected to other parts.
      Disassemble the canister from those parts, and check for any damages in the entrance points to the canister.
      If there’s none, then it’s at the entrance of one of those parts.
      Once you diagnose the part with the damaged entrance point, replace it with a new one, it won’t be expensive if it’s a hose.

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