This Common Vacuum Problem Has A Brilliantly Simple Solution


If you’ve ever realized your vacuum wasn’t really picking much of anything up off your carpet, or noticed that your dishes weren’t coming out of the dishwasher as clean as they used to, then you’ve already experienced the effects of accumulated gunk and grime inside your cleaning appliances.

Our cleaning appliances do important jobs, but they can’t perform those jobs properly if they’re backed up with dirt and debris. This applies to your washing machine, your microwave, and even your dishwasher, all of which need to cleaned out occasionally to keep them running smoothly.

Your vacuum is no exception, and in today’s post, I’ll be sharing a simple solution I found to a related issue I recently encountered with my own vacuum. It’s a problem that anyone with long hair (or anyone who lives with a long-haired person) probably knows all too well!

For more about how to clean your household appliances and how often you should do so, check out this post.

Check out this simple vacuum hack in action in my video at the end of the post!


The Problem: There’s Hair Wrapped Around Your Vacuum’s Brush Roll

The problem I’m referring to, of course, is the way hair tends to get wrapped around the vacuum brush roll. We often don’t even realize it’s happening until the buildup of hair gets so thick that it starts affecting the vacuum’s performance.

This is exactly what happened to me recently, but once I realized what the problem was, I wasn’t necessarily any closer to fixing it! I tried pulling the hair off the brush roll at first, but it was too tightly wound and tangled to make much of an impact.

I knew I needed a different approach, and after some good old internet research, I finally discovered a quick and easy solution to my problem!


The Solution: Remove The Hair With A Seam Ripper

It turned out that the secret to easily removing hair from my vacuum’s brush had been sitting in my sewing kit the whole time, in the form of a seam ripper! Its curved shape and sharp blade make it perfectly suited to this particular task.

All I had to do was lay my vacuum on its back to access the brush roll, then run my seam ripper under and through the layer of hair. It took a little bit of hacking on my part, but it only took me a minute or two to slice through all that hair.


Once I sliced through the hair, it became infinitely easier to pull it off the brush roll. Now that I know how easy it is, I plan to do this around once a month moving forward to keep the amount of hair under control and keep my vacuum working effectively.

If you have been struggling to remove hair from your vacuum’s brush roll, I highly recommend pulling out your seam ripper and giving it a try for yourself! :-)


Still Having Vacuum Problems?

If you remove all the hair, string, and other debris from your brush roll and your vacuum still doesn’t seem to be working right, there’s probably a different issue that needs to be addressed. You may be able to resolve it by deep cleaning your vacuum thoroughly from top to bottom, which you can learn how to do by reading this post.

Do you have any tips or tricks for fixing vacuum issues?

YouTube video
My secret weapon for cleaning all the stuff wrapped around your vacuum roller brush is sitting in your sewing box!

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Actually, the Shark Stick Vac I bought recently has what almost looks like a rubber squeegee blade just behind the brush row, which eliminates most of the hair wrap problem. Our other Shark Stick Vac actually has a groove in the roller that serves as a guide for using a knife blade (or seam ripper) to cut the hair for removal. Even after cutting the hair, however, you still have to do some tugging to get it free of the brush bristles

    • Same here, we love the bladed roller on our Shark. I have waist length hair and we have pets, there’s always a ton of hair to vacuum up around here and the bladed roller doesn’t catch nearly as much as the old bristle one did. Sold!

  • That is to funny because I have used a seam ripper for 35-40 years on my vacuums. I have also used it for cutting out clothes labels that bother me on my neck. One of the first things I used it for was my hair brush. It cleans out the hair so fast and nice, same way as the vacuum. I also like that if I need to cut something out it works really nice. Opens magazines that are in plastic bags too. Works on dogs fur that gets matted but you just need to be careful how close you get to their skin. I have them all over my house so when I need one it’s handy. Thanks for reminding me how many uses these small things have. Great post Jillee.

    • Also, some vacs (such as our Shark) actually have a groove molded into the brush roll that serves as a guide for using a knife or, as in this case, a seam ripper, to make hair, thread, string, etc. easier to cut and remove.

      • Tes, my Dirt Devil has that, too! Also, I have actually taken off the bottom plate and removed the roller to actually wash off any excess, um…well, whatever…don’t really want to know what I washed off of there! God bless…

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