What Should You Do When Your Vacuum Smells Like Dog? Reasons And Solutions

Your home vacuum smells like dog, and you think it is gross? If so, then you are not the only one because I also have a dog and I used to have this problem before. 

People often turn to their vacuum cleaners to clean up dog hair, crumbs, or other messes. Unfortunately, the smell of vacuuming can be unpleasant and even worse if you’ve just used it on pet fur! 

There are so many reasons for this problem, and in my blog, I will show you the most common reasons for your vacuum to smell bad and what you should do to solve it!

How to clean dog smell from vacuum (source)

Why Does Your Vacuum Smell Like Dog? 

If you have a furry animal, your vacuum tends to smell as their hair may be one of the main causes. Pet fur will carry around an odor inside its container, which could end up being quite bothersome for some people who use these devices regularly.

Even if you keep up with regular maintenance and cleanings, the smell of dog hair in your carpet can make its way into the vacuum’s filter.

Besides, the smell of your pet’s urine may also be another big problem. It is something that most people, including myself, can’t stand, and this odor can also stick in your vacuum. In my case, this bad smell seems to stick around for days after I am done cleaning my space with the vacuum.

Read: Can Vacuum Cleaners Kill Cockroaches And Other Insects?

How To Get Rid Of Vacuum Smell Like Dog?

How to make vacuum not smell like dog (source)

Empty The Dust Bag Or Bin

You should replace your vacuum cleaner’s dust bag if it has one. Sometimes, the smell is coming from there, and that will need a new bag replaced! Some models do not have these bags, so check first before moving to other options like bins or filters.

To keep your dustbin looking fresh and new, apply baking soda or white vinegar to the corners. Make sure you wash every angle of it properly!

The bin can get coated with a thin layer of dust even after you empty it. This is because the bagless models are not able to capture all particles in their path. In this case, it can leave behind smelly residue that lingers around for some time before eventually going away on its own or being removed by professional services such as steam cleaning. 

If you want to keep your vacuum cleaner smelling better, ensure you wipe down its interior with a damp towel after using it. 

Wash Or Replace The Filter

Vacuum cleaners are a great way to keep your home clean and dust-free. Yet, with time, they can get dusty too! If you have an older model with filters, make sure they’re washed regularly, or their efficiency will decrease greatly in cleaning power.

A variety of filters are available for use. Some need to be replaced on the recommended schedule given by their manufacturer, while others can be rinsed and reused or washed before reuse in your tap water system. On average, you should replace the filter once a year.

Clean The Brushes 

You may think that your vacuum’s rotating brushes are self-cleaning, but you’ll need to clean them at least once every six months. The bristles on these tools can accumulate dirt from being used in carpeted rooms and rugs often as well!

Sometimes, the brush will get clogged with your hair, pet hair, or debris. This can reduce suction and even stop it from spinning at all! Flip over your vacuum to check for anything that might be blocking airflow before you start cleaning up any stuck wads of fur.

To keep things running smoothly throughout their lifetime: Vacuum cleaners should receive regular maintenance every 12 months.

Wash out the Hose

The hose is the first place that dirt passes through before getting to your filter or dust bag. Small particles can get stuck in the folded inner part of a dirty hose which causes them to be clogged up with all sorts of gross stuff! To get rid of the bad odor, you will need to wash the hose properly. 

Also read: What Time Is It Okay To Vacuum In An Apartment – Avoid Disturbing Neighbors

How to Prevent Bad Odors

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a well-known ingredient that has been used for its cleaning properties for so many years. It can be added to the dust bag or bin to absorb the bad smell also. To use it, you can sprinkle some baking soda on the carpets before vacuuming. 

Essential Oils

Having a clean vacuum with a relaxing smell is like eating an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. The fragrance of essential oils will keep you coming back to your home for more and soothe your senses in ways that only pure air can do! 

We recommend adding essential oils to make it even better. However, some people are sensitive or allergic, which may cause problems when exposed directly. So, do not use too much essential oil and always pay attention if your body reacts negatively to the smell.

Fragrant Spices Or Herbs

If you want your home to smell great, consider sprinkling powdered cinnamon or lemon verbena on the carpet before vacuuming. The spice will fill the air with a fragrant aroma and prevent bad smells from visiting you. 

Commercial Deodorants

Commercial deodorants are convenient, efficient, and easy to use. They release a nice fragrance when the air passes through. These products come in many different scents, so there’s bound to be one perfect fit depending on your and your family members’ preferences. 


Vacuums are lifesavers for me, but they can also be a source of bad smells like dogs’ hair and urine odor. 

After providing you with my tips and tricks to do when your vacuum smells like dog, I am confident that you will be able to get rid of this smell and give a fresh smell back to your space.

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