How to Dispose of Vacuum Cleaners Responsibly

If you want to get rid of your old vacuum cleaner that is gathering dust in your storage room, there are more than one way to do it. The following paragraphs explain everything you need to know about how to dispose of vacuum cleaners properly with minimum impact on the environment.

Depending on their condition, the following are the best and most responsible ways to dispose of vacuum cleaners instead of just throwing them away in a garbage bin.

  1. Donate It to Someone.
  2. Recycle the Unit.
  3. Approach a Repair and Sale Shop.
  4. Get in Touch with Vacuum Cleaner Collectors.
  5. Discount Exchange Offers or Swapping Events.
  6. Auction Off the Unit or Its Parts.
  7. Start a DIY Project.

From the above options, you can choose the ones that are most feasible to you.

Can You Throw Away a Vacuum Cleaner?

If you have a vacuum cleaner that’s lying around that cannot be used no matter what you do, you can throw it away. You can throw away your vacuum if it cannot suck up dirt and dust any more even after you clean out the bag or the filter. You can also throw it away when there is an electrical issue with it and it’s not worth spending money on for repairs. There’s no point in having a broken vacuum.

But as explained in the paragraphs below, there are better ways than to just throw it away in thrash.

Before You Decide to Dispose of Your Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum cleaners have a lot of moving parts and a lot can go wrong with them causing them to stop working. The most common problems being loss of suction, broken belt and automatic shut-off (only vacuums with temperature protection features).

Generally, all these issues are easy to fix and do not require you to replace your unit. So, consider the following before you make the final decision to get rid of your existing vacuum cleaner.

Check if it is Still Under Warranty

One of the best ways to ensure your vacuum is properly serviced and maintained for a long time, is by only getting it repaired at service centers authorized by the manufacturer.

If your vacuum cleaner is still under warranty, the manufacturer will take care of all repair costs for free, or at a nominal charge. Getting it serviced at any repair shop that is not authorized by the manufacturer voids warranty.

Of course, you are still free to dispose it after, but recycling should not be the option in this case. Instead consider doing this.

Are Repairs a Feasible Option?

If your outdated (or new) vacuum cleaner has suffered any physical damage, you can replace the damaged part only and get it to work. Manufacturer warranty will not apply in such cases most of the time.

Depending on how difficult it is to find parts for your vacuum cleaner model, the cost of repairs can really go up. For really old your vacuum cleaners, you may need to buy a complete replacement vacuum cleaner same as your vacuum cleaner model.

As we will see below, auction sites are the best place to find or sell replacement parts and spares for old vacuum cleaners. Now it is up to you to decide whether to repair or buy a new machine instead.

You do not have to do this if you know your vacuum is in working condition and are just planning to upgrade to a newer model.

How to Dispose of Vacuum Cleaners Properly

In any case, you must always check and confirm that your vacuum cleaner is not repairable before you decide to throw it away or attempt to recycle it.

Once you are sure that your vacuum cleaner is not repairable, sadly, it is time to get rid of it. Below, we will discuss how to dispose of vacuum cleaners depending on their present condition.

Disposing of Functioning Vacuum Cleaners

Let us first talk about how to dispose of vacuum cleaners that you have no use for but are still in working condition.

Donate a Working Vacuum Cleaner

This is probably the best way to dispose of vacuum cleaner that you no longer use. There are many people who would like to have a working vacuum cleaner and put it to good use. So, consider donating your vacuum cleaner if you no longer have use for it. But how to dispose of vacuum cleaners by donating and where?

You can contact charity organizations in your area and let them know about it (you may need to call a few). You can also ask your friends and family if they, or someone they know could use an old vacuum cleaner that is in good working condition.

Calling on your vacuum cleaner company can also be a solution. There might be a chance that they have a program or ties with such organizations that will allow you to donate vacuum cleaners.

Exchange Your Old Vacuum Cleaner

If you want, you can exchange your old vacuum cleaner for a discount on a new one. For example, most major retailers will offer some percentage off when you buy a new vacuum cleaner if you bring in the old one.

  1. Call the company’s customer service line.
  2. Ask about exchange program for old vacuum cleaners.
  3. They will tell you what is required and where to send it. Usually, they need a copy of your receipt, and that you ship it back in an approved shipping box.

The better the condition of your vacuum cleaner, the better the discount you may get. So, watch out for such offers. If there is no discount available, you should consider taking the unit to a local repair and sale shop.

Another way to exchange your old vacuum cleaner is at appliance swapping events. At such events you exchange your old (or new) vacuum cleaner with someone else’s old vacuum cleaner, or any other similar value item. You both exchange without paying, but also without getting something extra in return.

You will be able to exchange many different types of vacuum cleaners. Swapping companies who arrange these events are often very helpful and offer special discounts on exchange of their own vacuum cleaner as well.

Take the Vacuum Cleaner to a Repair Shop

Many companies have their own vacuum cleaner repair shops. So, they will be glad to reuse old vacuum cleaner and clean it up to sell again. All you need to do is simply drop-off your used vacuum cleaner to such repair shops and they will do the rest.

Other local repair businesses may also dispose of vacuum cleaners for you. But they will charge a fee to dispose the vacuum cleaner, or for other repairs that the vacuum cleaner may need.

So do not forget to check if there are any vacuum cleaner repair shops near your house who are willing to repair it and offer it for a cheaper price.

Sell it to a Vacuum Cleaner Collector

Some vacuum cleaner collectors can offer really high prices for old vacuum cleaner models that they collect. So, if you have a really old vacuum cleaner lying around your basement, it will be well worth your time to get in touch with some of them and see if they are interested in buying your model.

Disposing of Old Busted Vacuum Cleaners

A dead vacuum cleaner is no fun. But just keeping it lying around the house is no fun either. Here is how to dispose of vacuum cleaners that do not have a warranty or any possibility of repairs.

Sell it to a Vacuum Cleaner Collector

Yes. A vacuum cleaner collector may be your best bet if you have a busted vacuum cleaner which can no longer be repaired, or if you want to sell it for parts. They can be very enthusiastic about vacuum cleaners.

You may not get as much cash as for a working unit, but it is still worth a try.

Auction Off Individual Vacuum Cleaner Parts and Spares

You be either a buyer or a seller of parts depending on what you want to do with your old vacuum. As a seller, you can auction off individual parts of your vacuum and get back some cash in the process.

There are many people like you who are searching for vacuum cleaner parts to repair their unit instead of purchasing a brand-new vacuum cleaner.

So, you can sell parts like vacuum cleaner bags, brushes, and belts individually at different vacuum cleaner outlets, like the local repair shops we mentioned above.

Online stores like eBay and Alibaba or classified advertisement websites like Craigslist also have numerous listings for such parts.

As a buyer, if you come across a replacement part for your vacuum, you can acquire it and get you unit repaired if needed.

You can find many references on such sites on how to dispose of vacuum cleaners including older models that are no longer available in stores.

Recycle Your Vacuum Cleaner Unit

Recycling vacuum cleaners in a proper way reduces e-waste. This is a good option if you have a vacuum cleaner that is totally dead and cannot be given away.

Because vacuum cleaners are mostly made from metal and plastic, they can be recycled and melted down to help make new vacuum cleaners as well as some other useful stuff.

Many retailers have their own material recovery centers that disassemble the unit and separate materials before sending them off to recycling facilities. Mostly, you will need to take your old, worn out vacuum to the center yourself.

There are also some companies like LoadUp which may have doorstep pickup service in your area. There may also be other vacuum cleaner recycling programs in your town where you can take vacuum cleaners to be recycled.

DIY Project with Vacuum Cleaner Parts

If you have time, patience, and creativity, this can perhaps be the most interesting way to put your damaged vacuum cleaner to good use. You can take all the individual parts of your unit and make them into a project of your own. For example, you might want to make something creative with vacuum cleaner hose pieces or other attachments like brushes of different shapes and sizes.

You can find many interesting ideas online which will guide you step-by-step on how dispose old vacuum cleaners yourself and use them to make something new. Here are some how-to videos to get you started.

Common Reasons for Disposing Vacuum Cleaners

Having a vacuum cleaner is convenient and they are built to last for many years. Some people might use their vacuum cleaners several times a week while others might use it once a month.

For instance, vacuum cleaners from companies like Miele have an average lifespan of two decades. Plus, some high-end vacuum cleaners and their accessories are not cheap to begin with. So why get rid of them?

Here are the most common reasons why vacuum cleaners need to be disposed.

Vacuum Is Broken and Irreparable

The vacuum cleaner has broken down and cannot be repaired due to one or more of the following reasons.

  1. Careless use.
  2. Normal wear and tear over the years.
  3. Accidents like fire or short circuits.
  4. Inadequate or improper maintenance.
  5. Natural disasters like floods and earthquakes.

Sometimes, repairs are possible. But the repair cost is too high, and it is just not worth repairing.

Investing in Cheap Vacuums

Buying cheap vacuum cleaners that breakdown easily. Vacuum cleaners from top brands are expensive but there is a good reason for that. Their build quality is top-notch, and their accessories are sturdy that will last you for years to come.

Vacuum Has Lost Its Performance

The existing vacuum cleaner is in working condition but is old and worn out. Older models may not be able to perform as well as newer vacuum cleaners on the market. So, upgrading to a newer model with better performance and features makes sense.

Model is Retired and Parts Are Hard to Find

Accessories and spares are hard to find for some older models which are discontinued by the manufacturers. Without even basic accessories like dust bags and attachments, it becomes impossible to use it.


No matter what your reason is, remember to dispose of your vacuum cleaners properly. Adding to the growing piles of trash in landfills and affecting the environment in a negative way due to improper disposal of vacuum cleaner parts, is the last thing you want.

And always check local government regulations and instructions on how to dispose of vacuum cleaners responsibly.

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