Kirby Vacuum Belt Keeps Coming Off [SOLVED]

Most vacuum belts are made of rubber, a material that allows the belt to stretch so that the roller brush can spin. 

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But, as time goes by, a belt can overstretch to the point that it becomes too loose. This can cause the belt to slip.

If your Kirby vacuum belt keeps coming off, however, there are other possible reasons why it is happening.

In this post you will learn:

  • The many reasons why your Kirby vacuum belt may be coming off
  • Things to try to keep the belt in place
  • When it is time to change the belt
  • And more! 

Kirby Vacuum Belt Keeps Coming Off – Explained

Your Kirby vacuum belt can come off if it has overstretched or it has recently been replaced with one of the wrong size. The belt could also slip due to the roller brush being out of line, the vacuum head front panel not being tight enough, an obstruction in the brush roll, or the bearings being damaged.

Things To Try To Prevent Your Kirby Vacuum Belt From Slipping

From installing the wrong size belt to having a badly aligned brush roll, there are multiple reasons why your Kirby vacuum belt can slip.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to stop this from happening:

1. Check If The Brush Roll Is Out Of Line

Whenever the roller brush is not correctly installed, the belt will struggle to make the roller spin, making it difficult to clean carpeted areas.

If you notice that the brush roll is out of line, remove and reinstall the brush roll by following the instructions below (valid for most Kirby vacuum models. Consult the user manual if the head of your vacuum looks different):

  1. Lift the cover at the top of the head (where the head connects to the rest of the vacuum)
  2. Turn the front panel all the way around until the belt comes off
  3. Release the latch that keeps the vacuum head attached to the rest of the vacuum
  4. Detach the vacuum head
  5. Undo the two latched underneath the vacuum head (this allows the soleplate to come off)
  6. Remove the roller brush 
  7. Re-install the roller brush, ensuring that everything clicks into place

Watch this video to see exactly how to remove the brush roll and put it back in place:

2. Ensure The Front Panel Is Correctly Tightened

When looking at solution number 1, we saw that the vacuum head has a panel at the front that needs twisting in order to release the belt.

If the panel is not correctly tightened, your Kirby vacuum belt will likely slip or come off.

Make sure that the panel is always correctly tightened and faces the right way up.

3. Remove Any Obstruction In The Brush Roll

Debris accumulating in the brush roll can make it difficult for the vacuum belt to sit on the roller correctly.

Once you have removed your Kirby vacuum roller brush, do the following to clean it:

  1. Use scissor to remove any tangled hair
  2. Remove any visible debris
  3. Wash the bristles with warm water and mild dish soap
  4. Rins with water
  5. Let the roller brush air dry before putting it back in your Kirby vacuum cleaner

Don’t take obstructions for granted, as they can even cause your Kirby vacuum to overheat!

cleaning Kirby brush

4. Inspect The Belt and Replace If Stretched

Kirby recommends replacing vacuum belts every 3 to 6 months, depending on how often the vacuum is used.

If you notice that your Kirby vacuum belt has major signs of wear and tear or appears overstretched, then it is most definitely time to replace the belt.

An overstretched belt won’t sit on the roller brush correctly, meaning that the brush will not spin, making the vacuum useless on carpets.

Make sure you check your user manual or browse the internet with the exact make and model of your machine to purchase the correct Kirby vacuum belt.

5. Inspect The Brush Roll Bearings and Replace If Damaged

The bearings located on either side of the brush roll could be damaged, causing the brush to become loose and, as a result, leading the belt to come off.

You can easily find replacement brush roll bearings on the internet.

Alternatively, call Kirby as they will be able to help you find the correct ones for the make and model you own.

Replacing Kirby brush roll bearings

6. Check You Are Using The Correct Belt

If you have already replaced the belt in your machine, you may have purchased the wrong one.

If you bought a belt that is too big, then your Kirby vacuum belt will come off.

Check your user manual or browse the internet with the correct make and model of your vacuum to purchase a belt that fits correctly.


Should A Kirby Vacuum Belt Be Tight?

An overly tight Kirby vacuum belt can put strain on the machine’s motor or bearings. This, in turn, can cause your Kirby vacuum to break. However, the belt should not be too loose either, because this will affect the speed of the brush roll. A loose belt can also slip. Make sure you use the correct belt for your Kirby vacuum so that the performance of your machine is not jeopardized.

Are All Kirby Vacuum Belts The Same?

No, Kirby vacuum belts vary in shape and size, especially when compared to older Kirby vacuum models. However, you may find that some belts will fit several models for the same make. When looking for a new belt online, make sure the description specifically states that the belt is compatible with your Kirby vacuum make and model.

What Happens If You Kirby Vacuum Without a Belt?

On hard flooring, your Kirby vacuum can work perfectly without a belt as long as you don’t try to pick up large debris. Your Kirby vacuum brush roller won’t spin without the belt, which means the brush is prone to clogging. Additionally, a belt is a must if you want to use your Kirby vacuum on carpet because without one, it won’t have enough suction power to do so.

How Do You Know If You Need A New Kirby Vacuum Belt?

If your Kirby vacuum belt needs replacing, you will notice reduced suction power, a high pitch noise, or a trail of debris on the floor. When a belt is stretched out, it will no longer wrap around the brush roller correctly, leading to suction, dirt trails, and noise issues.

How Long Should A Kirby Vacuum Belt Last?

A Kirby vacuum belt should last around three to six months, depending on how often you use your machine. Inspect the belt after three and six months to check for major wear and tear or stretching of the belt to determine exactly when it should be replaced.


Funny how strong, yet so fragile, vacuum belts are! With so many reasons for them to become loose, it can be hard to pinpoint the culprit.

To recap, here are the steps you can try to prevent your Kirby vacuum belt from coming off:

  1. Ensure the brush roll is in line
  2. Tighten the vacuum head front panel
  3. Clean up any obstructions found in the brush roller
  4. Replace an overstretched belt
  5. Replace damaged bearings
  6. Ensure your new belt is the correct size and type for your Kirby vacuum