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How to Clean a Shark Cordless Vacuum Dust Cup

Written by Kaylee Barber |

Cleaning a Shark dust cup

Does your dust cup need a clean? Here’s a simple method for cleaning a Shark cordless vacuum dust cup and freshening up your vac.

Cleaning your Shark vacuum is important for maintaining suction and preventing bad odours. Unfortunately, while many people know they need to clean a vacuum’s filters and brush roll, the dust cup is often overlooked.

The good news is that cleaning the canister is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your Shark’s dust cup and eliminating bad smells.

Note: This guide is based on the Shark Rocket series, although the process is similar for all Shark cordless vacuums. Check your manual for specific instructions. You might also be interested in our guide to cleaning Shark cordless vacuums.

How Often Should You Clean a Shark Dust Cup?

We recommend giving your vacuum a deep clean at least once per year. A deep clean should include the dust cup, along with the brush roll and other areas of the vacuum.

You’ll need to clean the dust cup more often than this though. As it holds collected debris, the dust cup is one of the dirtiest parts of your vacuum.

For this reason, we recommend cleaning the dust cup every 1-2 months. This keeps the dust cup clear and helps remove any build-up before it can cause issues.

You may need to clean your dust cup more frequently if it starts to cause a bad odour or becomes covered in grime though.

Tip: Shark recommends cleaning pre-motor filters once per month and the post-motor filter once per year.

How to Clean a Shark Cordless Dust Cup

Step 1: Empty the Dust Cup

Before cleaning the dust cup, it’s important to get rid of all the loose debris and hair inside.

As you’re going to be doing a deeper clean, fully remove the dust cup by pressing the button with an arrow on it and tilting the cup away from the main body. Hold it over a bin and use the slider to empty the dust cup.

Don’t rely on gravity alone when emptying the vacuum before cleaning the cup. Put on a pair of gloves and pull out any clumps that are stuck inside the dust cup.

Step 2: Remove the Pre-Motor Filters

After removing the dust cup, you should be able to remove the pre-motor filters located at the top. Make sure you do this before rinsing the dust cup.

This is also a great time to check whether the filters are becoming blocked with dirt or other debris. If the filters need to be cleaned, take a look at our guide to cleaning Shark vacuum filters.

Step 3: Rinse the Dust Cup

You shouldn’t use any detergent or soap when cleaning the dust cup.

Instead, rinse it in cold water and use a soft microfibre cloth to wipe away any debris or grime.

Give the dust cup a good shake off to remove excess water, then dry it with a different microfibre cloth.

Important: Never clean the dust cup when it’s still attached to the main body of the vacuum. Doing so risks getting the electric motor wet, which could permanently ruin it.

Step 4: Allow the Dust Cup Plenty of Time to Air Dry

It’s vital that the dust cup is fully dry before reattaching it to the vacuum cleaner. Any moisture inside the dust cup could allow mould to grow. Turning the vacuum on could also suck water into the motor, which will ruin it.

Leave the dust cup on its side and keep the lid open when drying. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours before reassembling the vacuum.

Step 5: Reassemble the Vacuum

Once the dust cup is dry (and the filters if you washed them), re-install the pre-motor filters and attach the dust cup back onto the machine.

Shark vacuums usually have a satisfying click when putting the various components together, so it should be obvious when the bin is correctly fitted.

What Other Cleaning Tasks Are Important for a Shark Cordless Vacuum?

Cleaning the dust cup is only one part of maintaining your vacuum cleaner. Some of the other tasks to perform include:

  • Cleaning the filters. Filters need to be cleaned regularly to maintain your vacuum’s suction. As we mentioned earlier in the article, the pre-motor filters should be cleaned at least once per month (or more for heavy usage). Post-motor filters can be cleaned once per year. Check your vacuum’s manual, however, as these timings may vary depending on which model you own.
  • Clean the brush roll and floorhead. String, hair, and rug fibres can get caught around the brush roll, which may stop it from turning. Clogs can also form at the inlet to the main wand, making this one of the most important areas to clean. If you need help removing the brushes, read our guide to removing the brush on a Shark DuoClean.
  • Clean the wand. Clogs inside the wand can have a big impact on your Shark vacuum’s suction. Detach the wand and use a torch to check for any partial or full blockages.

Tip: Your Shark vacuum’s manual will contain specific cleaning instructions for your model, so make sure you read it. You should also be aware of the what the various indicator lights mean on your Shark vacuum.


Washing your Shark cordless vacuum’s dust cup is an important part of maintaining your machine. Dirt or grime build-up inside the dust cup can lead to bad odours when vacuuming, which is something you definitely want to avoid. A dirty dust cup may also make clogging or blockages more likely.

Cleaning a dust cup is a relatively easy process. Make sure that the dust cup is removed from the machine, then rinse it in cold water and wipe with a microfibre cloth. Don’t use detergents or soaps when cleaning your Shark vacuum’s dust cup and allow at least 24 hours for it to air dry before reattaching.

Do you have any questions about how to clean a Shark cordless vacuum cleaner’s dust cup? Or would you like to learn more about maintaining your Shark vacuum? Please let us know in the comments section.

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