How Do You Clean a Shark Vacuum?

You will agree that Shark vacuums are good at ridding your floors of all sorts of dirt. Now that your floors are clean, your vacuum must have gotten a beat. Since you’re here, we assume you’re looking for how to clean a Shark vacuum.

In that case, you have come to the right place. At Vacuum Cleaners Advisor, we don’t stop at helping you choose the best vacuum for your needs, we follow you through its use.

Shark makes different types of vacuums but the uprights and cordless are the popular ones. So, those are the ones we will focus on for now.

We will first tell you how to clean the uprights, then move on to the cordless. Without further ado, let’s get on with it.


How to clean a shark vacuum – Uprights

Shark upright vacuums are of two main types: the navigator and the rotator. Whichever type you have, you can rest assured this cleaning method will work for you. Most importantly, it’s easy!


Cleaning the dust cup

Before we move on, some Shark uprights allow you to detach the dust cup area and use it as a handheld canister vacuum. Those ones have “lift-off” somewhere in their name.

Whichever type you have, emptying the dust cup is the same. All you have to do is push a button (sometimes two simultaneously) and pull the dust cup out.

Take it to the trash can and then push a button near the bottom to open the dust cup at the base to let the dirt out.

Likewise, you can push a similar button near the top of the dust cup to open it from the top and let out dirt. This is useful in case there’s dirt still hanging on.vacuum for pet hair -- shark rotator

Wash the dust cup

Often times, emptying the dust cup is not enough. Dust and smaller dirt will stick to the surface of the dust cup. Clean buffs like us just can’t live with that.

Since the dust cup is plastic, we can wash it! You only need to take it to the sink and run some water through it.

Scrub it a bit to clean stuck in dirt off the surface. Once you’re satisfied, leave it to air dry. You can wipe it with a dry cloth to shorten the drying time.

It is important to note that there might be a mesh filter in the dust cup. If your Shark vacuum has one try as much as you can not to get it wet or at least wipe it dry immediately.



How to clean Shark vacuum foam filters

Most of the upright vacuums from Shark use a combination of foam filters and a HEPA filter. These filters are responsible for trapping the dust and allergens you vacuum.

When you pull off the dust cup, you will reveal a cylindrical hollow that houses the foam filter. Pull it out as well as the thin felt filter underneath.

clean a shark vacuumDepending on how many times you’ve used the vacuum prior to cleaning, the dirt on the foam might scare you. Now you can appreciate its efficacy.

Before washing the filters, you have to separate it from its plastic base. To do that, just twist it and pull off.

First, pat the filter to remove dust from it, then let it absorb water and squeeze it out. Do this a few times.

Apply a few drops of liquid soap and rub it on the filters for a good wash. Keep it till the dirt is all gone.

Leave both the filters and the dust cup overnight to completely air dry before fixing them back onto the vacuum.

Let’s not forget the HEPA filter. That one is located at the base of the dust cup area just above the brush head. It is covered with a mesh bearing “Rotator” or “Navigator” on it.

Push the button below to open and pull it out. In most cases, this filter does not get as dirty as long as you clean the one above often enough.

To clean it, all the same, you just need to run a soft brush over it to get the fine dust out. Alternatively, if you have a blower, you could just blow some air from the side with the plastic. That’s it!

You can use a damp cloth or paper towel to wipe the dust off the area (on the vacuum) the dust cup was sitting.

That’s about it to clean a Shark upright vacuum. Now, let’s move on to the cordless ones.


How to clean a Shark vacuum – Cordless

In this case, we will start with the brush roll. We decided to push this segment down here because the brush rolls on the uprights and cordless are quite similar.

The DuoClean brush roll, that consists of both bristle and soft roller brushes, can be found on both vacuum types.

clean a shark vacuumBefore we explain how to clean them, we need to clear something up. How you access the brush rolls might be slightly different depending on the model you have.

The main thing is to locate where the dual button for opening the lid or ejecting the fluffy brush roll is.

Shark suggests that you wash it with just water. Furthermore, leave it for a full 24 hours before using it again to avoid moisture getting sucked into your vacuum.

Shark vacuums have powerful suction so, if the brush roll still has some moisture, it might end up in the motor which is not what we want.

The bristle brush roll, on the other hand, does not need washing. There’s a plastic hook you can use to remove hairs and fibers stuck on the bristles.

Don’t worry, it won’t be much work. Most Shark vacuums have a mechanism that helps the brush roll self-clean.

The entire process is pretty straightforward, in fact, intuitive, so you won’t have any issues getting it right.


Cleaning the foam filters

The process of filter cleaning is basically the same as what we explained above for the uprights.

The main difference is the size of the filters and their location.

The filters on Shark stick vacuums (Shark Rockets look like cordless vacuums but they’re corded) are at the handle where the motor is.

  • Firstly, you want to be sure the vacuum is not plugged and the battery is removed (for the cordless).
  • Also, disconnect the handle from the tube that connects it to the brush head.
  • Now, pull on the latch to remove the cover which reveals a cylindrical foam filter.
  • Pull off the back of the vacuum, just above your grip (for Shark Rocket). As for the cordless ones, the post-motor filter is underneath your grip.
  • Just follow the same process for cleaning the upright. Remember to let it dry out for 24 hours.

Cleaning the dust cup

This process is easy too and the action also takes place around the handle.

  • Separate the handle unit from the rest of the vacuum.
  • Take it to the trash can and push the button beside the dust cup.
  • It will open up at the base or at the front (depending on the model) to let the dirt out.
  • You can wipe the insides with a paper towel to remove the dust for a sparkling dust cup.


The best way to get optimal performance all the time is to clean your Shark vacuum regularly. Dirty filters, clogged dust cups, tangled brush rolls will always reduce your vacuum’s efficacy. That won’t be your case if you follow these pro tips on a regular basis. Kindly let us know how well they work for you and if you have any questions.












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