• Erin Griffith

I am a serial killer...of vacuum cleaners

I am a serial killer of vacuum cleaners. No, don't try to make me feel better about it...I'm totally serious. I can bring any vacuum, regardless of claims or price, to its dirt sucking knees. In my almost ten years of marriage I have killed, maimed, or destroyed no less than 6 vacuum cleaners (poor bastards). Then I met my Dyson DC 41, a gift from my mother, after the untimely passing of my Panasonic (it's ok...he is vacuuming for the angels now).

To say that I have never maimed my DC 41 would be a lie. I actually sucked up a sock once, which broke something inside the cleaner head. I called Dyson and because I sent in the little warranty card, I have a five year warranty on my DC 41!! So they sent me a new cleaner head - no questions asked.

Let me say that I am in no way affiliated with Dyson and Dyson only recommends some of the steps that I am going to show you. What I am going to show you is what has worked for me as a serial killer of vacuums to make my vacuum last more than two years (which is the average life span for one of my vacuums). My DC 41 may be different from other Dyson models.

The nice thing about the Dyson DC 41 is that there are no bags...the bad thing is that you do NEED to clean it to make sure that the advertised cyclone style suction power remains at full strength. Some websites recommend cleaning every three months, some six months - it all depends on how much you vacuum. If you vacuum daily, maybe every three months. If you are a once a week and as needed vacuumer like me, maybe every six months.

Here are my steps to cleaning the DC 41. Your components will need to dry for at least 24 hours. My filter took over 48 hours to fully dry after the last cleaning due to the humidity, so make sure that all components dry completely after washing.

1. Unplug your DC 41. Remove and empty the collection container.

2. Open the top. Remove the filter. Wash the filter according to the instructions provided on the filter itself. (rinse with water, wring it out, and let dry)

3. Find the gray tab on the side of the collection bin, it can sometimes hide under the red release assembly. Press in gently and remove the top portion of the collection container. You now have two parts - the collection container and the "cyclone assembly"

4. You will want to rinse out both parts of the container, I started with the collection container itself. Do not use soap, just water. Keep in mind that the electrical components of the vacuum are located in the ball at the bottom, so you can actually rinse out the entire collection container. Make sure to give the rubber seals a good gentle wipe down so that they are free of dirt. There are some crevices around the seal that will need some attention as well. Then, wipe out the inside of the collection container. Set it aside to dry.

5. The "cyclone assembly" portion of the container will contain the most dirt. There are mesh filters that need to be rinsed out. Take your time, some of the dirt can be stubborn, use warm water and sprayer if you have one. The mesh cannot be removed or moved, so this can be tedious, especially if you have a dusty house like mine.

Rinse down the middle (where the filter sits) and up the bottom portion (sounds bad-but you know what I mean). You will be amazed at the amount of dirt that comes out of the bottom and center of the "cyclone assembly"

6. Make sure to clean the outside of both parts just to be thorough and set all the components aside to dry (the filter could take 48 + hours depending on the level of humidity in your house).

7. I also take a damp microfiber cloth or paper towel and wipe off the standing portion of the vacuum. I get the rubber gasket that connects to the collection bin, the "duct hatch" assembly and gasket, and wherever else there is standing dust. The electrical components are in the ball portion of the vacuum so be careful when wiping. Your cloth should be damp, not dripping.

8. Again, make sure all components dry thoroughly before reassembling the vacuum. I know that many of you will be devastated that you cannot vacuum for a day or two ; ) Your DC 41 suction should be improved and you should be a happier person for the experience.

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