How to Empty Shark Vacuum Cleaner – Step by Step Guide

Vacuums suck, well, because that is what it is supposed to do. That said, there is nothing as annoying as a vacuum that won’t do the sucking properly. For a vacuum to consistently maintain a powerful suction, regular maintenance and cleaning are essential. Part of the cleaning involves emptying dirt from the dirt bin.

Shark vacuums come with a plastic dirt bin that carries dirt and debris, unlike other vacuums that use vacuum bags. So, there is no need to get new bags for the vacuum but you do need to empty the dust bin from time to time to prevent the cleaner from getting clogged or the loss of suction.

According to its manufacturer Shark, the vacuum should be emptied after being used every time or any time the bin gets packed while vacuuming a particularly large or dirty area. Find out how to empty a Shark vacuum, including HEPA filters, its rotating brush, and other vital components.

When Should You Empty Your Shark Vacuum?

Here are a few indications that your vacuum needs a clean-up.

Shark Navigator Deluxe (Nv42)

Loss of Suction Power

Loss of suction is the major sign. In such cases, your vacuum will not perform as good as before. When the filters are dirty and clogged, you will see the suction power getting weaker. The suction power could also get a hit if there is an accumulation of too many debris or other substances with time on the rotating brush positioned at the bottom.

Change in Sound

If you find the vacuum making a kind of sound that is different from what came from it before during cleaning, it could mean that the vacuum needs to be emptied as soon as possible. It might become powerless to suck in all the debris.

Bad Odor

If an unpleasant odor is coming from the vacuum, it could be telling you of a buildup of dirt, debris, dust and other pollutants in the cleaning tool. After you clean the vacuum, the smell should go back to normal.

How to Empty Shark Vacuum?

How can you empty a shark vacuum? You can just follow these simple steps to clean your vacuum completely.

  • Step – 1 First things first, you need to make sure the vacuum is disconnected from the AC outlet. Now, take the plug out and place the machine in a spacious place for cleaning purposes.
  • Step – 2  Grab the handle placed at the top of the dust bin of the Shark vacuum.
  • Step – 3  Press the button located on the handle’s front end using your thumb. Take out the dust bin and take it away from the vacuum.
  • Step – 4 Now, hold the bin over the trash can to empty all the trash from within.
  • Step – 5 Press the button found on the side of the bin, close to its bottom. It will make the bottom of the bin open up and allow the dirt and debris to get released and emptied into the trash can.
  • Step – 6 Press the bottom of the bin using your hand to close it. Restore the bin to the vacuum.

How to Clean the Rotating Brush on the Shark Vacuum?

  • In case the vacuum is plugged into an AC outlet, unplug it.
  • Make the cleaner stand on a level, firm surface, with a plastic bag or cover under its base. This is because the                  process could get a little messy.
  • Get rid of any fiber, hair or debris that is stuck on the brush.
  • Clean the plastic filters and the dirt container.

How Should You Clean the HEPA Filters on the Shark Vacuum?

  • In most of the Shark vacuum, there is a bag-less system. Thus, all the dirt and debris that you have vacuumed is contained within a plastic container. You can remove it and get rid of the dirt easily. You need to clean up the area regularly to prevent blockage of the entire filter system. Here are the steps you can follow to clean up the filter.
  • Take off the dirt container. Empty the accumulated dirt in the container into the trash can.
  • Open the dirt container. Remove the HEPA filters.
  • Get rid of any dirt or dust particles that entered the filter. This can be done by making soft taps on the filter located on the side of the can.
  • After this, you can use water to clean these parts. Keep cleaning your filter system until you see clean water coming out. Until you can get them completely clean, keep rinsing the filters in a proper way. You can use a little amount of neutral detergent to make the cleaning process most effective.
  • Before you put them back to the vacuum give each and every part sometime to get fully dry. In any case, you shouldn’t use the vacuum while its components are still moist. Squeeze the filters to get rid of all the excess water and give them a few hours to dry. Keep in mind, HEPA filters take longer to dry compared to plastic filters.

How To Cleaning Different Models of Shark Vacuum

1. Emptying the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum

To empty this model, start sliding the dust cup release tabs at the top of the dust cup to detach the dust cup. Now, hold it over the trash bin to release the dirt. Simply press the lower release tab to open the dust cup from the bottom.

To ensure that all the dirt and debris has been emptied, press the upper release tab to open the dirt cup from the top. Now, just rotate it upside down over the trash bin. Once you are done, just restore the dirt cup back into position.

2. Emptying the SharkFLEX Vacuum

At first, turn off and unplug the machine from the power outlet. Now, you can either separate the dust cup from the hand vac or separate the hand vac from the vacuum’s wand. It all relies on what you find easier.

Either way, the next step is holding the dust cup over a trash can and pressing the release button to empty the debris and dirt. Once you are done, just put the dirt cup back into position.

3. Emptying the Shark Rotator Lift-Away Vacuum

First, detach the dust cup from the rest of the unit. Depending on the particular vacuum type, this will either done by pressing the

dust cup release button or by pulling up on the dust cup release latch. These are usually placed near the top of the dust cup.

Next, to empty, place the dirt cup over a trash can and press the bottom door release button positioned on the front side. If needed, you can turn the dirt cup upside down as well as press on the top-door release button. Make sure you properly close the dust cup before putting it back into position. 

4. Emptying the Shark APEX DuoClean Vacuum

As with any other model, make sure you turn off the vacuum and unplug it from the power outlet. Now, simply press the release button located near the wand to separate the dust cup from the unit.

Once you remove it, hold it over a trash can and press the lower release tab to empty it over a trash can. If needed, there is a release tab on the top part which you can press and hold the dust cup upside down to empty it on the trash can. Then, restore the dust cup back into the unit.

5. Emptying the Shark ION

First, press the power button on the handle to turn off the vacuum. Then, remove the battery. Press the release button to separate the hand vac from the wand. Now, while holding it over a trash can, find and press the release button of the dirt cup to empty the dirt and debris.

It is actually that simple. Lastly, close the dirt cup and restore the hand vac back into its original position.


Final Thoughts on How to Empty Shark Vacuum

As you can see from the above step by step guide, the process is easy. The only challenging part is locating the release button or latch of the dirt cup. However, these are usually easy to locate as they are always located next to or on the dirt cup.

If you are really unable to find the release button, look at the given manual for directions. The next steps are really a walk in the park. All you need to do is hold the dirt cup over a trash can and press the release button to empty the dirt bin. Lastly, once the dirt cup is empty or dry after wash (in case you need to wash it), restore it onto the unit. The bottom line is, even the best Shark vacuum cleaners need to be properly maintained and cleaned for optimal performance.

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