How to Clean the Shark Navigator Vacuum and Filters

Shark Navigator Vacuum
Shark Navigator Vacuum | Source

The Shark Navigator Vacuum is a great addition to any home. It uses the same "no loss of suction" technology as a Dyson at a fraction of the price. But what do you do if your vacuum seems to loose it's suction power? All you need to do is give it a good cleaning!

Signs of a Dirty Vacuum

A dirty vacuum is less efficient than a clean one. When the filters become blocked, it decreases the suction power tremendously. You also need to make sure that the rotating brush on the bottom is clear of materials that become wrapped around it over time.

Signs that your Shark Navigator needs cleaning:

  • There's a loss of suction
  • It's leaving dirt behind
  • It sounds different than normal
  • The vacuum leaves an unpleasant odor

If you are experiencing any or all of the problems above you will want to give your vacuum a much needed cleaning. This way you can once again enjoy the benefits of a clean home.

Cleaning the Rotating Brush

A good place to start is with the rotating brush underneath the vacuum.

  1. First and most importantly, make sure your vacuum is unplugged!
  2. Lay the it down on the floor. You may want to place a bag underneath to prevent an unwanted mess.
  3. You want to remove any material that has wrapped around the brush, like string and hair.
  4. Once all the debris is cleared, you are done with this step!

Dirty Rotating Brush
Dirty Rotating Brush | Source
Clean Rotating Brush
Clean Rotating Brush | Source

Dirt Container and Plastic Filters

The Shark Navigator is a bagless system. All of the dirt that is picked up is stored in a removable plastic container for easy disposal. This is an area of the vacuum that does need to be cleaned. The filter system can become blocked causing you to lose suction power.

  1. Remove the dirt container and empty any dirt particles into the trash.
  2. Open the top of this container and remove the filter system.
  3. Empty and dirty or dust particles out of the filter by gently tapping on the side of your trash can.
  4. Once all the loose dirt is emptied you can begin cleaning these parts with water. (I use plain tap water to clean mine.)
  5. When rinsing the plastic filter system, you will need to keep spraying with water until the water comes out with a clean appearance. Rinse the dirt container thoroughly.

Note: Allow time for it to dry completely. You'll need to allow adequate drying time (and you don't want to operate a vacuum if it's still wet!) Lay all the parts out separately to dry. Once everything is dry, you can put them back together.

Dirt Container and Plastic Filter System
Dirt Container and Plastic Filter System | Source
Emptying the Dirt Container
Emptying the Dirt Container | Source
Remove Plastic Filter System
Remove Plastic Filter System | Source

HEPA Filter Cleaning

The HEPA filters should also be cleaned regularly. Most come with two sets of HEPA filters, so it makes it easy to clean these on a more regular basis because you will not have to allow for drying time when needing to use your vacuum.

  1. Remove the HEPA filters. These can be found underneath your vacuum's dirt container.
  2. Rinse them thoroughly by hand until they become clean. (I use a small amount of Dawn dish detergent on mine every time I clean them.)
  3. Squeeze excess water from the filters and allow them time to dry. The drying time for these is longer than the drying time of plastic filters.
  4. You can wait for these to dry completely, or you can use the second set of HEPA filters to began vacuuming sooner. I generally rotate between each set.

By alternating HEPA filters with each cleaning, you are ensuring that the filters are drying completely before the next use.

Lifetime Washable HEPA Filters
Lifetime Washable HEPA Filters | Source

Once you have completed all of the steps to clean, you are ready to put it back together and began vacuuming again. You will notice a change in the suction power right from the start. This is because all of the filters are clean and free of debris. If you were experiencing any foul odors they should have also been eliminated when you cleaned your HEPA filters.

Now you can once again enjoy the "no loss of suction" technology and vacuum your way to a cleaner home!

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Comments 17 comments

lindacee profile image

lindacee 4 years ago from Southern Arizona

I am considering purchasing a Shark Navigator. Now that you have provided this easy-to-follow cleaning guide, I think I'll have to take the plunge and buy one! Thanks for tips!

JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

lindacee - I love my Shark Navigator!! It has to be the best thing I purchased in a long time. You will be happy with one! Thanks for reading and commenting. 3 years ago

I purchased Shark Navigator about a year ago. I have 3 dogs, 2 of them very hairy. This is the mosy fantastic vacuum I have owned. But now I have a problem I need helk right now----The roller brush stopped, would not move. I cleaned all of the hair and etc. Now the brush is free moving but won"t move when I turn it on. I need help FAST, PLEASE

JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 3 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

JeriLT1 - Did you try contacting Shark? You can often get replacement parts straight from them.

Joyce Bowles 2 years ago

I have a Shark Navigator Lift Away vacuum and I find that the small hose at the bottom clogs after I vacuum one room. The hose has almost no suction whatsoever, even when the collar is rotated. I checked the video to see that I was cleaning the vacuum properly and I was. My vacuum does not have one of the inserts in the top of the canister. Can you help?

JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 2 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Did you try rinsing out the filters?

rollout 2 years ago

Correction: the foam filters arent the hepa filter ... the hepa fiter is below

JR 2 years ago

I have done all of thes things and it still smells!

JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 2 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

You can try ordering new filters.

alexandra 18 months ago

The manual says not to use water to clean the canister, but it smells when I vacuum. Has this caused any problems in your vacuum?

LL 13 months ago

Water doesn't penetrate the "Hepa"/exhaust filter! I can't take it anymore I have never had one pet and yet my vacuum cleaner smells horrible when using any settings!!!

Mike B 12 months ago

This is ridiculous, I have taken all the screws from the bottom of this and it doesn't seem to come apart, it's acting like it's it's glued together. laying the navigator on the floor and cutting away the hair and nastiness is not how any other unit is, i mean you can of course but it;s not the right way to clean a beater bar. the bearings have all kinds of debri on both ends and the top inside cannot be cleaned this way. there is a clear window to the bar from the top view and its filthy.

Lynn 10 months ago

Love my Shark! Thanks for this article!!!

bossladytexas 7 months ago

Best vacuum I've owned. It's awesome!!! I have dogs, kids, etc. it's truly awesome!!!

IL 6 months ago

Make sure you remove all screws when trying to open the rotating brush section. There are some hidden ones under the small front wheels many people miss.

Fern 7 weeks ago

Just purchased the shark navigator after glowing recommendations by friends and family. Have been suffering terribly with allergies and decided to give it a try. Thought my dyson pet vacuum was doing an awesome job. Cleaned thoroughly on Tuesday with the dyson, then used the new shark. OMG! The canister was full. Love it.

Bonnie 6 weeks ago

Why does the hepa filter on the front of shark navigator vacuum come off while vacuuming?

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