By Samuel Williams

Vacuum cleaners are excellent at keeping our surroundings tidy and free of dust. This super magical gadget can spare no dust and grime particles. It has made cleaning so much easier. But despite its amazing capabilities and adaptability, have you ever noticed that your home begins to smell bad rather than fresh after vacuuming? You may even be thinking: why does my vacuum smell like vomit?

If that’s the case, you do not need to worry, as we are here to help you identify the main cause of your vacuum’s nasty vomit odor and provide tips on keeping your vacuum fresh. So let’s get started.

Why Does My Vacuum Smell Like Vomit

– 8 Reasons

A smelly vacuum cleaner might have several causes that we are going to immediately enlist in this section. So let’s investigate the causes of the odor coming from your vacuum:

  1. Dirty bag or canister
  2. Clogged filters or old filters
  3. Worn parts
  4. Burnt belt
  5. Dirty brush
  6. Clogged hose
  7. Mold or Mildew
  8. Dust container with old dirt

How To Get Rid Of Bad Smells Coming From Vacuum Cleaners

After reading the causes mentioned above, which are the obvious reasons why your vacuum cleaner smells like vomit, you must be eager to find their solutions. So, there is no need for you to look anywhere else because this section will inform you of all the options to free you and your vacuum cleaner from this unpleasant situation. So let’s find out:

  • Empty the bag or canister
  • Replace the filter
  • Clean the brush
  • Replace the hose
  • Replace the belt
  • Clean and dry the vacuum 

Empty The Bag Or Canister

The typical cause of a vacuum that smells like vomit is a filthy vacuum bag or canister. The bag or canister of your vacuum accumulates dirt and debris as you use it, and if you don’t regularly empty the bag, it can start to smell.

So if your vacuum has a bag, see if it contains any dirt, whether it is half full or not. Replace the bag and see if the odor goes away.

If it’s a canister, disassemble it into two components and drain the dirt. Clean the container-like component and blow the dirt from the other part. Then for the next step, reassemble the components and insert them into the vacuum.

How To Cure A Smelly Vacuum Cleaner

Replace The Filter

If the former approach doesn’t work, there is an equal chance that your vacuum cleaner’s filter is faulty. The filters in your vacuum are responsible for removing dirt, dust, and other debris, but they cannot do their job effectively if they become clogged. As a result, dirt and other debris may gather inside the vacuum, giving it an unpleasant odor.

To fix this problem, clean or replace the filters in your vacuum. The user manual has instructions on how to carry this out. Make sure to clean or replace the filters often to prevent this issue from happening again.

Clean The Brush

clean the vacuums brush

The fact that you have used your vacuum to clean up vomit is the third most common cause of a vacuum smelling like vomit. So if that has happened, we advise removing the brush from the floor head attachment if it is detachable. Carefully cut and remove any hair lodged inside the bristles using scissors. 

Avoid cutting the bristles by accident. Now wash the brush in soapy water. Spray with water and vinegar if it is not easily accessible, and remove it. Let the brush air dry for 24 hours, and then put it back only after it has completely dried.

Replace The Hose

Many people ignore the part a damaged hose might play in a smelly vacuum. Before reaching the filter, dust bag, or bin, dirt flows via the hose, among other places. Hoses are also susceptible to becoming blocked because small particles frequently become lodged in the inner layer of tubes. These particles may decompose and produce an unpleasant odor over time.

Remove the hoses connecting the inlet of the canister or bag to resolve the problem. Let the hose soak in the bathtub after filling it with hot water and dish soap. Never immerse the entire vacuum cleaner or anything electrical; only put the plastic hose in the water.

Remove the hose once it has soaked and let it dry in the sun for the entire day. You need to clean the hose since it’s the dirtiest part next to the beater brush.


  • Replacing a damaged hose can contribute to eliminating unpleasant odors caused by trapped dirt particles and decomposition.
  • A new hose ensures unobstructed airflow, maintaining optimal suction power for effective cleaning.


  • Replacing a hose incurs a cost, which might not be ideal for those on a tight budget.
  • The process of removing, soaking, cleaning, and drying the hose can be time-consuming and requires effort.

Replace The Belt

Another factor contributing to the bad odor coming from your vacuum cleaner is a belt issue. Therefore, if the solutions mentioned above do not fix your problem, it may be time to replace the belt on your vacuum. It enables your vacuum to work like new and aids with odor removal.

You can use the vacuum’s model number to find the right belt on the manufacturer’s website because purchasing a new belt and replacing the old one can seem a little complex. Next, look for YouTube videos about belt replacement.

Clean And Dry The Vacuum

Mold and mildew can also cause vacuums to smell like vomit. If your vacuum is maintained in a humid area or gets wet, mold and mildew can grow inside, making it smell bad. You’ll need to clean and dry the vacuum to fix this problem. The user manual has instructions on how to carry this out. Make sure to keep the vacuum in a dry place when not in use to prevent this issue from happening again.

mold and mildew

How To Keep Your Vacuum Cleaner Smelling Fresh

Now that you’ve successfully cleaned or changed the problematic parts of your vacuum, it’s time to put in a little extra effort that will not only be great for getting rid of that disgusting vomit smell from your vacuum but will also help you to leave and maintain a refreshing smell in your home and your vacuum. You can accomplish this job by using the following:

  • Washing powder
  • Baking soda
  • Essential oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Vacuum cleaner deodorizer

Washing Powder

washing powder

The stuff you pick up with your vacuum can affect how it smells. Therefore, sucking up anything that smells pleasant would be a good idea! Right? So the same way, vacuuming up washing powder is a helpful and secure tip.

Sprinkle some washing soda on the floor, then use the vacuum to remove it. Your entire home will smell like flowers after vacuuming.

Baking Soda

An old but well-known cure known for its cleaning abilities is baking soda. This granular substance will absorb any unwanted smells. Pour a few teaspoons of the liquid inside the dust bag’s hole. Scatter it across the bin’s walls if your device includes one.

Essential Oil

We advise adding essential oils for further benefit. Thyme and lemongrass are well known for their health benefits. They are excellent at battling mold and making your vacuum smell fantastic.

A 32-ounce spray container should have roughly 30 drops of essential oils. Add a teaspoon of baking soda and water to it. Spray a little mist inside the container or bag. A few squirts will do the job, as we don’t want to wet the area too much, and it should dry soon.


cinnamon powder

Cinnamon can be an excellent addition if you want to use the spice in your kitchen. Put a spoonful of cinnamon powder into your vacuum’s dust bag. Cinnamon has antimicrobial properties and may slow the spread of harmful bacteria. Additionally, it will give your vacuum a lovely scent. 

Vacuum Cleaner Deodorizer

We are happy to tell you that specialized deodorizers are also available for vacuum cleaners. These come in a variety of forms. Add scented pearls and sticks to the dust container to ensure a more pleasant aroma. It frequently has a similar result as vacuuming washing powder, but it may be slightly more efficient. Therefore, if you’d like, you may also get such deodorizers for your vacuum and take advantage of a fresh, inviting home.

Preventive Measures To Protect Your Vacuum From Smelling Bad

That adage, “Prevention is better than cure”, must be familiar to you. You may simply avoid having a vacuum cleaner that smells like vomit by giving it extra care. The likelihood that your vacuum cleaner will continue to smell terrible in the future is low if you follow the below checklist:

  • Empty the dustbin more frequently so that nothing can decay and produce unpleasant scents. A canister vacuum cleaner with a bag maintains greater airflow and offers stronger suction.
  • Wash and change the filters on schedule, ideally every two months. 
  • Verifying the complete vacuum cleaner is a good idea to routinely check your vacuum for obstructions. Your complete vacuum cleaner remains clean with regular cleanings!
  • After a messy clean-up, clean the components with mild soap and water.
  • Use a particular vacuum, depending on the sort of filth you wish to remove. For instance, if you have a dog, using a different vacuum cleaner from the one you use for your home to remove pet hair is a wise choice.
  • Do not vacuum up feces, urine, or vomit.

Why Does My Vacuum Smell Like Feet

why does my vacuum smell like feet

After why does my vacuum smell like vomit, this is another problem that many users encounter. So don’t be concerned; we are here to care for that problem. In any situation, the sweaty, filthy, and dirty feet smell is overpowering. It makes sense that you might be perplexed and worried if it is coming from your vacuum. It typically happens when bacteria from sweaty soles spread throughout the house and eventually get stuck within your vacuum.

How To Get Rid Of The Smell

To get rid of the smell inside your vacuum, you’ll need to do some steps. If someone in your household frequently goes barefoot, you might need to deep-clean your carpets since they could hide a ton of nasty bacteria.

You can use dish soap or disinfectant to clean the bristles and detachable parts of your vacuum. But the easiest technique to stop the odor from getting into your vacuum is to clean the area of this bacteria. 

To absorb any remaining smells, you may put a few drops of vanilla extract on a cotton ball and drop it inside the container before fastening it to the vacuum.

Why Does My Vacuum Smell Like Poop

We also have some unlucky people here whose vacuum neither smells like vomit nor feet but poop. That’s terrible, right? But do not worry; we have got you covered. There is probably a rather clear explanation for why your vacuum smells like poop; fecal matter may be inside the vacuum. 

It can happen quite easily if you have young children or indoor pets in your home. Even old cat litter can contain trace amounts of feces, eventually releasing an offensive stench.

To Get Rid Of The Smell

Fortunately, removing the poop smell is simple and efficient. Disassemble and soak the removable plastic parts of the vacuum in a bleach and water mixture. Warm water and one cup of bleach per gallon will work well without fading colors.

Use a damp towel to wipe the vacuum’s interior after soaking it in the solution and wringing it out until it is dry. Never go near an electrical outlet. If the odor persists in the bristles, wet them and wipe them with a fabric cleaning solution using a sturdy cloth.

The vacuum should be completely dried, and any remaining moisture can be wiped with a dry absorbent cloth. However, if the weather is warm, you can also leave it to air dry outside.

Other Most Common Vacuum’s Smelly Odors

most common vacuums smelly odors

Even though we discussed the most common unpleasant odor a vacuum cleaner encounters, here are some more odors you might notice coming from your vacuum cleaner. Let’s also find out what produces these odors:

Burning rubber: If your vacuum produces a burning rubber smell then know that any vacuum cleaner’s component might need to be changed.

Burning odor: A worn component may be the cause of the burning odor from your vacuum cleaner.

Musty odor: The dust container frequently has old, clogged filters or dirt which produces a musty odor.

Rotten Eggs: The dirt in the dust container may be the source of this issue.

Can Cheap Vacuum Cleaner Be The Reason For Nasty Smell

After listing all the causes of the unpleasant odor coming from your vacuum cleaner, there is one more thing you need to be aware of. A cheap vacuum is another hidden cause of unpleasant vacuum odors like vomit, in addition to all the above-mentioned issues.

You will need to clean frequently if you have a family with children and pets, and using a cheap vacuum is not good for the health of you or your loved ones. Because they don’t adequately filter and treat the air. Lower-end vacuum cleaners aren’t built to last and are the first to start to smell weird. Many of these cheap vacuums don’t even have a full seal, so some of the dust you collect is released into the air.

With these budget models, the dust manages to escape (the reason why they smell like vomit over time). The dust returns to the atmosphere, which can be unhealthy to breathe and has a revolting odor. A high-quality vacuum cleaner can last far longer than a cheaper model if it is constructed with quality materials.


We hope that this article has been very helpful to you in answering your query: why does my vacuum smell like vomit? Your vacuum cleaner may smell like vomit if it has mold and mildew, dirty filters, a dirty vacuum bag or canister, or any of these things.

By finding the source of the problem and implementing the appropriate solution, you may eliminate the unpleasant odor and restore your vacuum’s functioning. Additionally, you can give your vacuum cleaner a pleasant smell by using a commercial or DIY cure. We hope these tips will keep your vacuum clean and smelling good. Your home will consequently become a more welcoming place.


Why does my vacuum cleaner stink when I use it?

Sometimes odor-producing dust and dirt particles become stuck in the vacuum cleaner’s hose and degrade, which causes the vacuum cleaner to smell. Therefore, washing the hose over time is preferable to avoid this problem.

How do you clean vomit out of a vacuum?

If the device is a bagged vacuum, remove the old bag and load a new one. If the canister is without a bag, clean it with water and laundry bleach.

How do you get rid of the smell of vomit?

The foul smell of vomit can be eliminated with vinegar, a natural deodorizer. You can remove the vomit stain with a sponge or towel and a cleaning solution made of one portion of distilled white vinegar, two portions of warm water, along a few drops of dishwashing liquid.

How do you clean the inside of a vacuum?

After emptying the vacuum and throwing the contents in the outdoor trash, clean the vacuum with an antibacterial wipe. Allow it to dry completely. If the manufacturer specifies that your vacuum canister is washable, wash it thoroughly in warm, soapy water before rinsing and allowing it to air dry.

Should you vacuum vomit?

It is not a good option to vacuum vomit, but if you still do not have a choice, then first cover the vomited area with the baking soda and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then vacuum up as much of the baking soda as you can. This job can be made much easier and more productive with a wet/dry vacuum or carpet shampooer.

How do I remove bad odors from my rooms?

Remove bad odors from rooms by opening windows for ventilation, using air purifiers, and employing natural deodorizers like baking soda or activated charcoal. Regular cleaning and eliminating the source of the odor are crucial.

How would you get rid of the smell from a cat spraying?

To get rid of the smell from cat spraying, clean affected areas with an enzymatic cleaner designed to neutralize pet odors. Ensure thorough cleaning of carpets, furniture, and walls. Additionally, address any underlying issues like stress or medical concerns with the cat to prevent future incidents.

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