How Do I Get Rid Of Dog Smell In My Vacuum Cleaner

Alex Mcil author
Alex Mcil

It seems to me pets were never this trendy! Everybody has one, and don’t get me wrong – they are awesome!

But, what’s not so great is the pet hair you keep finding around and the smell they leave behind.

You’ve tried vacuuming to get rid of the smell, but let me guess, the smell still persists?

removing pet odors form vacuum cleaner

Well, it might be because you have simply transferred the smell to your vacuum cleaner. If your vacuum cleaner smells, this is how to get rid of the foul odors!

Quick answer

To get rid of dog smell in your vacuum cleaner, pour 30 drops of an essential oil in your cannister or bag. Alternatively, you can use baking soda, deodorant or natural herbs.

“It’s crucial to keep your cleaning appliances in right shape because our pets rely on us to provide them with a clean, fresh and safe environment. As with all stubborn smells, the more you can physically remove, the less there is to deodorize. Therefore, empty out your vacuum after each use and let it air out before the next use to limit odour accumulation in the vacuum cleaner.”

Dr. Petra Germaine, PhD, Animal Sciences

1. Essential Oils

Is a house smelling fresh and your vacuum too your greatest desire, pet owner?

Well, essential oils can be a quick fix in eliminating dog odor from your vacuum cleaner.

Not only do they eliminate the odors, but also spread the pleasant smell all over the place so your home will no longer smell bad.

The simple procedure includes you pouring 30 drops of essential oil, more or less into a spray bottle (32 oz.) that already contains water and a teaspoon of baking soda.

If you wonder which essential oils to go for, thyme or lemongrass would be the best option.

But, suit yourself with anything else if you like!

Once the mixture is ready, squirt a few times over the vacuum bags, or a dust bag, depending on how many vacuum cleaners you have.

This will give a fresh smell to your vacuum cleaner soon and as a precaution, repeat the procedure every once in a while.

essential oils to remove smells from vacuum cleaner

But, suit yourself with anything else if you like!

Once the mixture is ready, squirt a few times over the vacuum bags, or a dust bag, depending on how many vacuum cleaners you have.

This will give a fresh smell to your vacuum cleaner soon and as precaution, repeat the procedure every once in a while.

2. Baking Soda

This one seems to be the universal solution for everything.

Besides being used in the food industry, baking soda is a great tool in eliminating foul odor from your living space.

Moreover, if you want to get rid of unpleasant smells from your vacuum cleaner too, you can use baking soda.

The simple trick includes adding at least two tablespoons of soda inside the dust bag.

neutralize odors with baking soda

Another instance where baking soda comes in handy is when drying a wet carpet, especially after dog and pet urine in general.

You will just have to sprinkle water with 2-4 spoons of baking soda all over the wet place and let it dry for 24 hours.

Moreover, note that sprinkling baking soda will speed up the drying and so the bad smell in your vacuum (spreading from the dust bag and other parts) will be even prevented.

3. Commercial Deodorants

Believe it or not!

Commercial deodorants, when added to your vacuum bag will soon eliminate any vacuum smells, regardless of whether they come from your pets or any other source. We recommend a deodorant with active carbon.

The good thing with these means is that they come in different ranges of smell available and so once you add them inside the dust bag, you will have your vacuum smell nice for a change.

So, say goodbye to pet odors spreading around from your vacuum bag (AKA, dust bag).

4. Fabric Softeners

The fabric softeners function similarly to the essential oils.

Once you smell bad odors coming out of your vacuum cleaner (or, vacuum cleaners), put a fabric softener sheet inside the dust bag. You can purchase a pack for only $20 dollars.

Moreover, you can apply the same principle and put the sheet inside the dust bin or even inside the interior compartment.

Once you turn your vacuum cleaner on, the pleasant smell will just spread around and you will finally have your house clean in no time.

5. Herbs and Spices

The fragrant ones, of course!

As opposed to the chemical means, you can go for the natural solutions.

Eliminating unpleasant smells and unpleasant odor from your vacuum cleaner in this way is effortless.

Just like with baking soda, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of powdered cinnamon in the dust bin, or dust bag.

Try not to overdo it since cinnamon is known for its strong smell.

You want to eliminate the vacuum smells from your vacuum cleaner not to drown in cinnamon dust!

By the way, to enhance the prevention of unpleasant odors spreading from the vacuum cleaner, you can even sprinkle the powdered cinnamon or even lemon verbena over carpets darker in colour.

You don’t even have to let it rest, you can sprinkle immediately before the vacuuming.

I would like to list orange peel as well (carefully cut to small pieces and put into dust bag and/or dust bin) since it can be observed as a spice.

6. Wash It

If you’re using a vacuum unit to get rid of pet hair or other pet filth, then it gets smelly.

Note that even if you follow all the tips listed above, your vacuum will still absorb odors, regardless if it is a bagless or not. Some pet hair will inevitably stay inside and will cause this unpleasant odor you desperately want to get rid of.

Therefore, you must include washing your vacuum parts under regular cleaning maintenance, every 3 to 6 months depending on how much hair falls off your pet. The vacuum filter (preferably one that is washable), vacuum hose, dust bin, rotating brushes, etc – all of these can be washed.

For the best cleaning solution, you should make a mixture of 5 cups of hot water (cold water is a no-no), 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 spoons of dish soap.

Hot water will eliminate the bacteria and other pests that may have reached the vacuum from your dog, white vinegar will be a great disinfectant too and the dish soap will help that your vacuum smells like new.

Pay attention to the brushes, since it is here that most pet hair will pile up, as well as any dust that will reach the bag and other parts of your vacuum.

Finally, make sure to completely dry your vacuum cleaner. To dry it faster than usual (air dry), wipe it with a paper towel or dryer sheet, let it sit outside for 3 hours.

It is understood that you have to empty the canister first to make sure no small particles remain in the vacuum.

Your pet’s hair can be a problem. Use the right filter system.

Pets are truly great, there’s no denying that.

What is not great, though, is having your vacuum smell like a dog.

While the first 5 tips are more of a prevention matter, the last one is a straight solution that will make sure your vacuum cleaner smells like dog no more.

If you still have bad odor issues with your unit but don’t want to go as far as washing all the attachments, then here are some other things you can put in your vacuum to make it smell good and fresh. Make sure to let us know if this does the trick!


7 thoughts on “How Do I Get Rid Of Dog Smell In My Vacuum Cleaner”

  1. Avatar
    Fletcher Kentucky

    I’ve tried a special pet hair vacuum and then cleaning it thoroughly after each use, seems to be working pretty well so far.

  2. I have four dogs and three cats at home, and I concur that regular cleaning of the vacuum is an absolute must. Similarly, I discovered that regularly bathing your pet and cleaning their lounging areas helps control the odor, which reduces the smell that gets into the vacuum.

  3. The vacuum isn’t just for your floors, folks. I have discovered that regular grooming of my pets using a pet-friendly vacuum cleaner dramatically minimizes loose fur and the common “animal smell” often associated with pets.

  4. In my opinion, regularly grooming your pets is only half the battle won; a deep-cleaning of the vacuum cleaner itself is crucial too. Over time I’ve noticed that bits of fur, dander, and dirt build up in the vacuum filter or bag, contributing to that lingering animal scent. So besides just vacuuming my living space, I make it a point to thoroughly clean my vacuum at least once every two weeks, it truly makes a difference with the smells!

  5. Kadence, spot on about regular cleaning of the vacuum! If it doesn’t get cleaned properly, it’s just redistributing that doggy smell around the home – basically defeating its purpose. A solid deep clean every fortnight as you mentioned is indeed a game-changer; I second that notion based on my own experience.

  6. Greyson, it’s true that cleaning the vacuum on a regular basis can eliminate the pet smell. But another effective technique I found during my days with Chuck and Norris is to add some baking soda into the vacuum bag. That can also help neutralize the smell whilst preventing them from spreading back out.

  7. I often like to equate cleaning a vacuum cleaner to training a stubborn puppy – it’s all about consistency and patience. Just as you’d repeatedly work with your pup to teach good behavior, you need to clean your vacuum on a regular basis to eliminate the smells completely.

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