How to Clean A Shark Vacuum and Filter

How to Clean A Shark Vacuum and Filter (Step By Step Guide & Tips)

Have you ever wondered why the suction on your Shark vacuum starts to reduce and get less overtime? Well giving your vacuum and filter a bit of TLC will bring it back to life, and get it working as good as new again. So let's look at how to Clean a Shark Vacuum and Filter.

How Can You Tell When It Needs Cleaning?

1. The suction power will slowly start to reduce when using the vacuum, due to it clogging up with debris and grime.

2. You may notice that it is not picking up debris as well as it did when it was brand new. This is a sign that the rotation brushes are getting hair tangled around them, therefore limiting the amount of dirt it collects. It will then push the dirt around instead of picking it up.

3. The vacuum will start to
smell with nasty odours coming from the vents, which is more straightforward to detect if you have pets, and so will generally happen more frequently telling you its time for the Shark vacuum to have a clean.

How Can You Tell When It Needs Cleaning

How To Clean And Maintain Your Shark Vacuum And Filters?

Regular maintenance on the vacuum will prevent damage to the motor, due to reducing the suction power. Therefore it is good practice to keep on top of cleaning the vacuum.


Always ensure that the Shark vacuum is unplugged from the power supply before carrying out any maintenance and cleaning.

Dust Cup Canister Cleaning

This task will be something that you will do most of the time, as you can see when it's getting full and needs emptying.

However, even though it only takes a few seconds to tip the dirt into the trash, it's worth the extra few minutes to take it to the sink, and using soapy water, wash out the dust cup canister, and this will keep it clean and smelling fresh.

You can remove the Shark vacuum filters and clean the whole canister with warm soapy water. Plus a long brush or cleaning pad can assist with any stubborn marks or stains, and help reaches the bottom of the canister if required.

Filter Cleaning

The Shark Vacuum has a few different types of filters. 

The first filter is inside the canister is a foam cylinder filter, and underneath this, there are felt disc filters. Plus, there is a HEPA style filter at the front base of the vacuum.

The foam filter is easy to wash and can be done at the same time as the canister dust cup.

Extra care must be taken with the disc filter when removing it from the canister. There is a tab which can be used to lift it from the bottom of the cartridge for cleaning.


Depending on which filter you have, you can wash with soapy water. When doing this in the sink, you will need to rinse a few times before they will be completely clean of dust and dirt.

It's worth mentioning that it's very important to dry out the filters completely, as putting them back damp will cause mildew and mould to form, which is not advisable.

Putting the filters outside to suitably air dry would be a better approach, and leaving them out of the vacuum for a full 24 hours weather permitting.

You can leave them on the draining board next to the sink; this will serve the same purpose.

Shark HEPA Filter Cleaning

With these types of filter, you have a few options depending on if you have a washable or non-washable type of HEPA filter.

Due to the design of these filters, it's worth removing any surface visible dust and hair first. If they are washable, then use water to lightly rinse them until all the dirt has been removed.


If it is a non-washable HEPA filter, then this can be cleaned by carefully tapping it on a hard surface like floor or walls to remove the fine dust particles, which is best done outside of the house.

You can use compressed air if you have it in your garage, and you can use this to blow the dust-out. But be careful not to harm the membrane on the filter.

Again remember when cleaning a shark vacuum HEPA filter, it's vital to ensure that all elements are completely clean and air dried before returning into place on the front of the Shark vacuum.

Note: Check your user manual for which types of filters you have with your Shark vacuum model.

Rotating Brush

Usually, when a vacuum has stopped working, the brushes on the cleaning head are the first place you need to check.

Because of how these brushes rotate, causing them to collect dust from the floor and carpets, they can gather strands of hair and debris that can tangle and wrap around the roller.

There are several ways to remove and free up the roller. A sharp pair of scissors can be used to carefully cut across the rollers and then unwind the tangled hairs, or you can use a special tool that is designed to cut through the mess.  These are sometimes supplied with the Shark vacuum cleaner.

If you want to gain access, first remove the cover to the brush roll, then release the cleaning head by pressing the floor nozzle button on the side of the unit.


Once released you can turn the head over, and by using a coin or screwdriver, turn it to the right to unlock and remove the protective cover, which will then give you full access to the brush roll.

There is a groove along the length of the brush roll, which can be used as a guideline for your scissors. Once all the hair has been removed, replace the cover lock the screws back into, and you are good to go.

Hose Blockages

The hose can get clogged if you accidentally suck up a larger item like a sock, or kids toy, that may get stuck in the pipe. This can cause problems with reduced suction of the vacuum, can damage the motor and could eventually burn it out.

To prevent this checking the hose for blockages is important.

If you happen to have a blockage with the hose, these are the steps you need to follow to clear and remove the item.


1. Remove the hose from the Shark vacuum and hold it in a upright position.
2. Shake the hose to see if the object will come out on its own.
3. Use a long object like a mop or broom handle, and poke down the hose to release the offending item.

How To Remove Blockage From Hose Port

If the hose is clear and no obstructions are found and you still have a suction problem with the vacuum, then you next need to check the hose port on the shark vacuum. To do this, first lay the vacuum down so you can gain access to the underneath of the cleaning head, and using a screwdriver or coin, unlock the retaining screws.

This will release the hose port and you will able to see if there is any objects blockage the passage way. The diagram below will give you a step by step guide to how to remove the blockage.


NOTE: It's important for safety to unplug the vacuum from the power supply before doing any maintenance on the unit.

For common hose and general problems and fixes with your Shark vacuum cleaners, this video explains in detail how to clean and clear any blockages:

General Cleaning

Keeping your Shark vacuum in the best condition can be done by following some of the tips we have run through today. However, there are a few more tricks you can do to ensure its kept clean.

Wiping the outside of the vacuum with a damp cloth or soapy sponge every so often will keep it looking fresh and clean, making sure to clean underneath the protective cover of the cleaning head.

Read More: How Regularly Should I Vacuum?


How often you clean your shark Vacuum and Filters will depend on you. We all have busy lives and time is not always readily available to do these tasks. Therefore cleaning it more frequently after using the vacuum will help keep the machine in great shape for many years.

What About shark replacement filters?


Filter Pack for Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV350, NV351, NV352, NV355, NV360, NV370, UV440, UV490, UV540

The filters you need for your shark vacuum can be purchased from many retail outlets. All you need is the model number of the unit you have for reference when purchasing replacements.

The cost of the filters for example are usually for a 4 Pack which would include, three Foam & three Felt Filters plus one HEPA filter for around $12.99 which is pretty well priced. 

Common Questions

Q: How to get rid of the pet smell when vacuuming?
A: ​Emptying the vacuum after use will reduce the pet smell. You could also try Febreze or essential oils, like tea tree or lemon on paper, and let the suction vent draw in the fresh scent which can work well.

Q: What's the best cleaning solution for cleaning the canister of the vacuum?
A: Soapy warm water or a good strong disinfectant put on with a cloth. Also, alcohol wipes can be used to get rid of stubborn marks on the plastic areas on the body, like the canister.

Q: Any ideas on how to clean the inside of the hose on the Shark vacuum?
You would need to use a long brush with a long pole. You can also use a pressure washer to clean the inside of the hose, or perhaps an air compressor which will remove any dirt or dust particles trapped down the hose.

will This work on all shark vacuum Cleaners?

So depending on which model of Shark vacuum you have, the same principal will apply. The way the canister is detached from the body may be slightly different, and the filters may be in different positions to the ones illustrated above. However the guidelines for cleaning the shark vacuum and filters will stay generally the same.  

Here Are More Resources That May Be Helpful:

About the Author David Perez

I have a passion for clean floors and living areas, so it is no surprise that I know a lot about vacuum cleaners and how to clean different surfaces. Sharing this knowledge gives me a lot of pleasure which is why I started this blog and I hope everyone who needs help will find the help they are looking for here.