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My Vacuum Smells Like Burning What Do I Do?

Vacuum cleaners are essential household appliances that help keep our homes clean and free from dust and dirt. However, it can be alarming when you notice a burning rubber smell coming from your vacuum cleaner. This is a common problem, and there could be several reasons why your vacuum smells like burning rubber. In this article, we will explore the possible causes of this problem and what you can do to fix it.

Possible Causes of a Burning Smell from Your Vacuum Cleaner

Overheating Motor

why does my vacuum smell burnt

One of the most common causes of a burning smell from your vacuum cleaner is an overheating motor. The motor is responsible for powering the vacuum’s suction, and when it overheats, it can produce a burning smell. This could be due to a clogged filter, a full dustbin, clogged hose, or a malfunctioning motor. An overheating motor can be dangerous, and if left unchecked, it could cause a fire.

Clogged Filter

why does my vacuum smell

A clogged filter can also cause your vacuum cleaner to produce a burning smell. The filter is responsible for trapping dust and dirt, and when it becomes clogged, it can restrict airflow and cause the motor to overheat. A clogged filter can also cause your vacuum cleaner to lose suction power, making it less effective at cleaning.

Full Dustbin

If your vacuum cleaner’s dustbin is full, it can also produce a burning smell. When the dustbin is full, it can cause the motor to work harder, leading to overheating and a burning smell. It’s essential to empty your vacuum cleaner’s dustbin regularly to prevent this from happening.

Worn Out Belt

vacuum burning smell

The vacuum belt is the component responsible for driving the brush roll, which helps to agitate and pick up dirt and debris. If the vacuum belt is worn out, it can cause the brush roll to stop spinning, leading to overheating and a burning smell. A worn-out vacuum belt should be replaced immediately to prevent further damage to your vacuum cleaner.

Malfunctioning Motor

vacuum smoking and burning smell

If your vacuum cleaner’s motor is malfunctioning, it can also produce a burning smell. A malfunctioning motor or burned part can be caused by a variety of factors, including worn-out brushes, faulty wiring, or damaged bearings. It’s essential to have a professional diagnose and repair a malfunctioning motor to prevent further damage to your vacuum cleaner.

What to Do If Your Vacuum Smells Like Burning

1. Turn off the Vacuum Cleaner

The first thing you should do if you notice a burning smell from your vacuum cleaner is to turn it off immediately. This will prevent any further damage to the appliance and reduce the risk of fire.

2. Check the Dustbin and Filter

vacuum cleaner burning smell

After turning off the vacuum cleaner, check the dustbin and filter. If the dustbin is full, empty it, and if the filter is clogged, clean or replace it. A clean filter and dustbin will improve the airflow and reduce the risk of overheating.

3. Check the Belt

If the dustbin and filter are clean, check the vacuum belt. A worn-out vacuum belt should be replaced immediately to prevent further damage to the vacuum cleaner. If you’re unsure how to replace the belt, refer to your vacuum cleaner’s user manual or seek professional help.

4. Check the Brush Roll

vacuum smells like burning rubber

If the belt is not the issue, check the brush roll. Make sure it’s clean and free from any debris. If the roller brush is damaged or not spinning correctly, it should be replaced.

5. Check the Motor

If none of the above steps have resolved the issue, the problem could be with the motor. A professional should diagnose motor issue and repair a malfunctioning motor. Do not attempt to repair a failing motor yourself, as this could be dangerous.

Preventing a Burning Smell from Your Vacuum Cleaner

Regular Maintenance

why does my vacuum smell burnt

Regular maintenance is essential to prevent a burning smell from your vacuum cleaner. This includes emptying the dustbin, cleaning or replacing the filter, and checking the belt and brush roll for any damage or wear. It’s also essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining your vacuum cleaner.

Avoid Overheating

To avoid overheating your vacuum cleaner, avoid running it for extended periods or overloading it with debris. It’s also crucial to let the motor cool down before using it again after it has overheated.

Use the Right Tools

Using the right tools for the job can also prevent a burning smell from your vacuum cleaner. Make sure you’re using the correct attachments for different surfaces, and don’t use your vacuum cleaner on wet surfaces.

Professional Servicing

Regular professional servicing of your vacuum cleaner can also prevent a burning smell. A professional can clean and maintain your vacuum cleaner, replacing any worn-out parts and ensuring that it’s working correctly.

New Vacuum Smells like Burning

If you’ve just bought a new vacuum and you’re noticing a burning smell, it’s important to take action. While it’s normal for a new vacuum to have a slight odor due to manufacturing materials, a strong burning smell is a sign that something is wrong.

Continuing to use a vacuum that smells like it’s burning could be dangerous and potentially lead to a fire. It’s crucial to take immediate action to prevent the appliance from any further damage.

vacuum smoking and burning smell

One option is to take your vacuum to a repair shop that specializes in vacuum cleaners. They can inspect the machine and diagnose any issues that may be causing the burning smell. In some cases, a part may need to be replaced or repaired.

If the burning smell is accompanied by smoke or other signs of damage, stop using the vacuum immediately and consider reaching out to the manufacturer for assistance. They may offer a replacement or a refund if the vacuum is defective.

In Short, if you’ve purchased a new vacuum and it smells like it’s burning, don’t ignore it. Take action to have it inspected and repaired by a professional or contact the manufacturer for further assistance. It’s important to prioritize safety and prevent any potential hazards.


Why does my vacuum smell like burning?

A burning smell coming from your vacuum can be caused by several issues, such as a worn or damaged belt, a clogged filter or airway, an overworked motor, or trapped debris in the brush roll.

How do I fix a burning smell in my vacuum?

First, unplug your vacuum and allow it to cool down. Then, inspect the belt for signs of wear or damage and replace it if necessary. Next, clean or replace any clogged filters or airways. If the motor appears to be overheating or the brush roll is obstructed, consult your owner’s manual to learn the correct way to clean or service these components. Remember, it’s always best to consult a professional if you are unsure about how to proceed.

How can I prevent my vacuum from smelling like burning in the future?

Regular maintenance is key to preventing this issue. Make a habit of cleaning filters and checking belts periodically. Keep an eye on your brush roll for any trapped debris that could cause friction or blockages. Avoid overworking your vacuum by emptying the dustbin when it reaches capacity and giving it rest periods during extended cleaning sessions.


Burning smell from your vacuum cleaner is a common problem that can be caused by several factors. If you notice a burning smell, turn off your vacuum cleaner immediately and check the dustbin, filter, belt, brush roll, and motor for any issues. Regular maintenance, using the right tools, avoiding overheating, and professional servicing can prevent a burning smell and ensure that your vacuum cleaner is working correctly. If you’re unsure about how to fix the issue or don’t feel confident doing it yourself, seek professional help.

Callum Stokes is a renowned house cleaning expert with over a decade of experience in the industry. As a lead writer for, he shares invaluable insights on innovative cleaning solutions and the latest vacuum technologies.

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