Shark Vacuum Smells Like Dog [SOLVED]

We are so used to associating vacuums to the word “clean”, but we all know what happens if these machines are not properly maintained!

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Bad smells can accumulate in your Shark vacuum and you may even be able to tell exactly what the smell is.

For example, if you are a dog parent your Shark vacuum may start smelling like a dog.

But, don’t worry!

In this post you will learn:

  • Why your Shark vacuum has a pungent dog odor
  • How to get the dog smell out of your Shark vacuum
  • And more! 

Why Your Shark Vacuum Smells Like Dog

If your Shark vacuum smells like dog it is probably due to poor maintenance. As a dog parent, you should always empty the vacuum dust cup and regularly clean the machine, including the brush roll and hose. Poor maintenance of your Shark vacuum will cause the dog smell to spread in the air every time you use it. Vacuuming wet dirt and having old filters in place can also exacerbate the smell.

How Do I Get The Dog Smell Out Of My Shark Vacuum?

Below I have listed 8 steps you can take to stop your Shark vacuum from smelling like dog:

1. Change or Wash Your Shark Vacuum Filter 

All Shark vacuum cleaners come with filters, but the type and number of filters vary depending on the machine.

Most Shark vacuums, however, feature 3 filters:

  • 2 pre-motor filters
  • 1 post-motor filter

Some Shark vacuums have 1 HEPA filter instead of a post-motor one.

All filters need to be washed with water only and air dried for 24 hours before use.

You should:

  • Wash pre-motor filters every 3 months
  • Wash post-motor filters every 9 months
  • Wash HEPA filters every 12 months

Make sure you always read your Shark vacuum user manual first to check what type of maintenance applies to its filters.

Here are 2 videos showing how to clean Shark vacuum filters:

Change your Shark vacuum filter if it looks damaged or if large debris makes it impossible for you to wash the filter thoroughly.

Don’t attempt to use your Shark vacuum without a filter!

This will enable dust and dirt to spread around your house.

2. Put Down A Bit Of Baking Soda On Your Carpet

If you have carpet in your home, then chances are your dog smell has embedded onto it.

Sprinkling a small amount of baking soda and vacuuming it up will help you remove the dog smell, since baking soda is known to absorb odors.

Just make sure you let the baking soda sit for a while before vacuuming it up! 

Here is the step by step process:

  1. Ensure your pets are in a different room
  2. Insert a new dust bag or empty your Shark vacuum dustbin
  3. Sprinkle baking soda over your carpet
  4. Let the baking soda sit on your carpet for at least 1 hour
  5. Shark Vacuum the baking soda up

Only use baking soda on your carpet in small quantities and only when really necessary, since too much of it can clog your Shark vacuum filters.

Then, empty your machine immediately and wash the filters to maintain their function.

Shark vacuum and baking soda

3. Sprinkle Cinnamon on Your Carpet

If you own a bagged Shark vacuum, then you can add a little bit of cinnamon directly into the bag. 

This will allow you to Shark vacuum everywhere in your house, including hard flooring, and spread the lovely scent of cinnamon.

Alternatively, sprinkle cinnamon on the carpet, just like you would with baking soda.

Let it sit for 1 hour and vacuum it up.

Cinnamon will absorb dog smell and replace it with a lovely scent instead.

Only use cinnamon in small quantities and only when really necessary, since too much of it can clog your Shark vacuum filters.

Then, empty your machine immediately and wash the filters to maintain their function.

4. Wash Your Shark Vacuum Hose

Hoses can get clogged with all sorts of dirt and debris, causing it to retain certain odors such as dog smell.

Follow these steps if your Shark vacuum hose smells like dog:

  1. Detach the hose from your Shark vacuum
  2. Tap the hose into the trash can to get rid of clogs
  3. Fill up your sink with a mix of bleach and dish soap
  4. Submerge the hose in the sink
  5. Let the solution run through the hose
  6. Once clean, rinse the hose with running water
  7. Let your Shark vacuum hose dry
Washing Shark vacuum hose

5. Unclog Your Shark Vacuum Roller Brush

Your Shark vacuum roller brush may have caught your dog’s hair and is now clogged.

This will cause dog smell to be released on your carpet and in the air every time you Shark vacuum.

Clearing such clogs is an important part of maintaining your Shark vacuum!

6. Empty Your Shark Vacuum Cleaner Regularly

Letting your Shark vacuum dustbin fill up is not only detrimental to the motor, but it also allows more bacteria to accumulate.

If the dustbin fills with dog hairs, your Shark vacuum will smell like dog.

The smell will get even worse if you accidentally vacuumed water and let the contents of the dustbin get wet.

If your Shark vacuum model comes with a bag, make sure you change it regularly to avoid the same issue above.

7. Wash Your Shark Vacuum Dustbin

Simply emptying the contents of your Shark vacuum dustbin is not always enough.

The dustbin will still have a thin layer of dust around it even after emptying it.

As a result, odors will still be present until you completely wash the dustbin.

To wash it:

  1. Remove the dustbin from your Shark vacuum cleaner
  2. Empty the dustbin as best as you can
  3. Remove the filter and the cyclonic unit from the dustbin
  4. Fill up the sink with liquid detergent
  5. Submerge the dustbin in soapy water and wash it thoroughly
  6. Fully dry the dustbin before putting the cyclonic unit and the filter back in
  7. Re-assemble your Shark vacuum

8. Avoid Vacuuming Damp Dirt

Vacuuming damp dirt will cause smells to linger into your Shark vacuum cleaner.

Avoid doing so and immediately empty and wash the dustbin if this occurs.

What Can I Put In My Shark Vacuum To Prevent It From Smelling Like Dog Again?

Here are a few things you can put in your Shark vacuum so it does not smell like dog:

  1. Grab a bit of paper towel and spray some nice essential oil on it. Then, tear the paper towel and vacuum it up. Let your Shark vacuum cleaner sit for a few hours and empty the dustbin when you are happy with the smell.
  2. Spray essential oils into your Shark vacuum bag
  3. Put a fabric softener sheet inside your Shark vacuum dustbin. Let the Shark vacuum sit for a few hours before removing the sheet. Though many people say it is ok to use your Shark vacuum with the sheet in the dust bin, several manufacturers recommend not to

Will Baking Soda Ruin My Shark Vacuum?

If used often and excessively, baking soda can ruin your Shark vacuum.

That’s because too much baking soda can compromise the filtration system, making it easier for the powder to make its way to the motor.

That’s why you should only sprinkle baking soda on your carpet in small quantities and only when really necessary.

As mentioned earlier, empty the Shark vacuum immediately and wash the filters after vacuuming baking soda.


As you can see, if your Shark vacuum smells like dog it is not the end of the world!

There are a few things you can do to get rid of the odor.

To recap:

  1. Change or wash your Shark vacuum filter
  2. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and vacuum it up
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon on carpets and vacuum it up
  4. Unclog and wash your Shark vacuum hose
  5. Clear your Shark vacuum roller brush
  6. Empty your Shark vacuum dustbin or replace the bag
  7. Wash your Shark vacuum dustbin
  8. Remove damp dirt from your Shark vacuum