There are often those particular smells that, for some unfathomable reason, make people feel calm and relaxing. And they usually come from the strangest things.
Some people say they like the smell of tar, the smell of new clothes, the smell of a hairdryer or new machine such as a car. You may find a surprisingly pleasant smell in anything and anywhere, really.
A very popular one is the smell that vacuum cleaners produce. Many people have posted on social media and blogs about how they find that unique smell pleasant but have no idea what exactly it is or what’s causing it. So we did the research, and here is what we know.
What Do Vacuums Smell Like?
Although hard to describe, many people have simply described the smell of a vacuum cleaner as “fresh” or “clean”. It has also been described as a neutral odor, much like how clean clothes or fresh air smell.
There is also that smell of “heat,” which people have described as a warm smell reminiscent of plastic. For a machine such as a vacuum cleaner which is used frequently for cleaning purposes and contains components partly made of plastic or rubber, this is an ideal smell.
As long as you’re cleaning the vacuum and maintaining it regularly, it should produce any of the odors that we have described above, which are pleasant to many people.
Can It be Unpleasant Too?
Of course, your vacuum can also smell bad (and this can get really bad.)
There are various things that can cause an unpleasant odor, ranging from a burnt belt or motor to moldy waste remnants in the vacuum’s container.
A vacuum cleaner is meant to clean your home and leave it looking and smelling clean. This is why a neutral, pleasant smell is important, as a bad smell may indicate something wrong with the vacuum and that it is not working properly.
Why Do Vacuum Cleaners Smell Good?
The good smell of a vacuum is generally attributed to the internal parts that make up the vacuum cleaner itself.
Like many other machines, vacuums generate heat while they work, and this heat, combined with the material of the parts, which usually have rubber or plastic, creates a smell that many find pleasant.
Another good example of a machine that creates this smell is a hairdryer.
3 Reasons Why They Smell Good to You
Take a look below and solve this big mystery!
1- Memory Trigger (Good Childhood Memories)
It is common for people to associate certain things, scents, and places with memories, whether sweet or bad, and this can be the case for the smell of a vacuum.
Vacuum cleaners have been a staple in homes for decades, and many people grew up watching their parents use vacuums around the house.
So, for them, that familiar scent may be something that reminds them of home, those days with their parents cleaning, or of years that have gone by.
This will inadvertently make them like such a scent that triggers those good feelings and memories.
2- Represent a State of Cleanliness
Just like the way people associate the scent of freshly cut grass to a neat lawn or field, so do they associate the smell of a hoover to a clean home.
Having a clean, tidy home is something to be pleased and happy about, so having that clean smell of a vacuum can signal to their brain that the cleaning was well done, triggering pleasing emotions and good feelings.
3- Dry & Clean Feeling
According to some people, the attraction to the smell of dryness and cleanliness (aka the smell of a vacuum) is an evolutionary advantage that humans developed to keep their bodies in healthy living conditions.
It also apparently explains why the smell of damp and mold is so unattractive to many people.
Is Inhaling Vacuum Dust Bad for You?
The dust that a vacuum produces or picks up is full of dirt, debris, and other harmful and toxic waste that is meant to be disposed of properly. It is very harmful to inhale vacuum dust into your body.
Coughing bouts and shortness of breath and Hayfever are some common side effects of inhaling dust. This is even more dangerous when you have pre-existing health conditions such as lung diseases, asthma, and other breathing issues or have a high risk of developing them. (Source)
How to Keep Your Vacuum Cleaner Smelling Good?
Of course, if you like that fresh and clean scent that your vacuum cleaner produces, you’d never want it to change and produce foul smells.
The only way to do this is by properly cleaning and maintaining your vacuum.
Here are some things you can do to keep your vacuum operating at its best and smelling good.
1- Clean the Body of Your Vacuum
It is easy for dust to accumulate on the outer part of your vacuum, and you need to remove and prevent buildup to keep the vacuum functioning properly. You can do this with a damp cleaning cloth.
2- Change Your Vacuum Bag Regularly
The filter is an important part of the vacuum that keeps the dirt, dust, and allergens that the vacuum picks up out of the air.
If your vacuum uses a washable bag or canister, you should clean it thoroughly after every use.
If it is the type that needs to be replaced, then you should replace it every two months regardless of whether it is almost full or empty.
Leaving your vacuum bag for long intervals can produce nasty smells.
3- Retire Old Vacuums
If you have a vacuum that has served you for a long time, then maybe it is time that you put the poor machine to rest.
As they age, the parts wear out, and the scent they produce with each use slowly fades away.
If you really like this scent (that is, unfortunately, fading away) and your old vacuum isn’t doing the job well, then try out new ones and bring back that clean scent into your home.
Additional Tips for Good Vacuum Smell
If you want to add a bit of scent to the smell that your vacuum cleaner leaves, here are some suggestions that you can try out.
1- Perfume Pads: You can place these scented pads over the filter, and when your vacuum is on, the air that passes through the filter will catch and carry the scent of the perfumed pad into your home.
2- Food Items Like Cinnamon, Dried Orange, Rind, or Coffee Beans: Sprinkling a little bit of any of these items into the bag or canister in your vacuum will help to counteract any foul smell that the debris inside may cause. They will also enhance the scent that your vacuum leaves in your home.
3- Baking Soda: This general home remedy for many issues is also very useful for vacuum scents.
Sprinkle a teaspoon into the bag or canister of your vacuum, and it will neutralize any foul odor that may be developing in the vacuum.
It also has a natural, fresh scent that works well with the natural clean scent of your vacuum. You can mix it with any of the above items (Cinnamon, Dried Orange, Rind, or Coffee Beans) for increased efficiency.
You now know and understand what exactly the smell that your vacuum produces is, the reasons why you find the smell pleasing to your nose, and how to maintain and enhance it.
Equally important is that information on vacuum dust. To protect and maintain your good health, you must ensure that you dispose of the dust properly (trying to do it from a distance and without touching the dust) and reduce the inhalation to as little as possible.