How Do Vacuum Cleaners Work?

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Can you clean your house without a vacuum?

Vacuum cleaners are one of the most helpful household devices available in the market. Such a cleaning appliance is simple but very efficient to take out the dirt and dust from your living or working area.

But, how do a vacuum cleaner works?

The simple explanation is vacuum cleaner uses an electric motor that spins a fan. The suction from the spinning blades creates negative pressure inside of it – meaning there is more air being pushed out than sucked in.

This sucks up any small particles caught up within its range and pushes them into your bag or canister to create that clean feeling!

Let’s checkout the details below:

How Do Vacuum Cleaners Work

Negative Pressure

What happens when you use a straw to sip your favourite beverage? Your act of sucking creates negative pressure inside the straw.

Now its internal pressure is lower than the surrounding area. It’s the reason why the liquid flow inside the straw and travels towards your mouth.

A vacuum cleaner follows a similar process to draw dust. It creates a negative pressure inside it, which results in an inward airflow of air.


A vacuum has an inbuilt electrical motor that works similar to a fan, draws air, plus all the tiny particles with it and push them to another compartment, which is generally called a dust canister.

Now you might think that the motor will stop after a few seconds once it fills the air in the confined dust chamber.

Well, it’s where the exhaust port comes into the picture. This port releases all the air so that the motor can continue spinning.

Dust Canister

Vacuum cleaners are available with two different types of dust collectors; bagged and bagless. As you can understand from the name, one uses a bag, and the other does not need it.

Bagged models tend to be lightweight, but you need to purchase and replace dust bags frequently.

Air Filter

However, do you think that the air is released into the atmosphere without any screening?

No, all the air passes through a filter at least once. High-end vacuums use HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filters to remove all the dirt and dust particles so that you can get only safe air to inhale.

If the air passes without any purification, then it might cause severe damage to your lungs. This air contains a lot of impurities that are invisible to naked eyes. A dirt canister is not equipped enough to hold all these particles.


The motor decides how efficient and powerful a vacuum cleaner can be. Another factor that determines this tool’s capability is the size of its intake port.

If the size of its intake port is small, then the motor can generate more power because the air will travel much faster in a narrow passage.

The is the primary reason why a vacuum cleaner with small and narrow dirt sucking ports works at higher suction than their more significant variants.


We hope you now you know how do vacuum cleaner work. You will find a wide range of vacuum cleaners in the UK market, but almost all of them operate using the exact mechanism discussed above.

Such a cleaning device creates a negative pressure with the help of a fan that draws all the dust, and then the filter cleans the air before releasing it back into our atmosphere. Simple, yet effective.

About Mosabbir

As the Executive Director of Houzhold's Home Care and Cleaning department, Mosabbir brings over 12 years of experience as a consumer products expert to the table. He utilises his advanced analytical skills and writing expertise in appliances, cleaning, and housekeeping products to provide valuable cleaning and home care advice for Houzhold. Mosabbir also holds a Masters degree in business management, which enables him to oversee the department efficiently while producing insightful content for the company.