Why is my vacuum spitting stuff back out?

As an Amazon affiliate, we earn a commision from qualifying purchases.

Today we will help you in fixing your vacuum if it is spitting stuff back out.

Read on for a comprehensive guide on how you can fix your vacuum if it’s spitting back out.

Why is my vacuum spitting stuff back out? [How to fix a vacuum that spits out dirt]

For the most part, this is caused by a clogged part in your vac.

Yeah, it is possible that the vac has gobbled up debris that is too big for it to suction all the way through.

So if your vac is spitting stuff back out instead of vacuuming it up even though the vacuum system is running, here’s what you want to check.

ALSO READ: Your Shark vacuum won’t turn on? Here is what to check…


Is the dustbin/bag full?

This is perhaps the most common reason that leads to vacuum spitting dust back.

And the solution is straightforward- be sure to empty the dustbin or remove the bag if it is indeed full.

If that doesn’t help, there are other possible culprits when it comes to a vacuum that keeps spitting debris out.


Check the air filter for clogs

In addition to the vacuum spitting back out, a clogged air filter will reduce the suction power of your vacuum cleaner.

That means you need to check if it is clogged…

Now, to inspect if the air filter is the cause of your vacuum spitting stuff out, first access the air filter (the procedure varies depending on the vac’s exact model).

Quick Tip: If you are not sure where the filter is located, you can always confirm from the owner’s manual that came with the vac.

Moving on…

If the air filter is actually clogged, try to clean it.

Quick Tip: Note that if you own a bagless model, you will have to replace the filter as a whole (For nearly all bagless models, it is recommended that you replace the filter every one to six months – depending on how often and how much you vacuum).

Now, to clean your air filter, gently tap it to dislodge and remove any debris that could be stuck.

Next, you will need to rinse it with running water until the water turns clear and then let the filter fully dry before you reinsert it.

Before we proceed, allow me to mention one or two maintenance tips that are good to keep in mind when cleaning your filter (or any other parts of your vac for that matter)…

  • Never use soap when washing your vac’s parts – it attracts dirt easily not forgetting that it is pretty difficult to rinse away.
  • Regularly clean your brush roller/agitator from any hairs and fibers. While at it, clear the bearing caps too. We recommend that you do this monthly.


Why is my vacuum spitting stuff back out? What else to check

Check if the wand/hose is clogged (has obstructions)

This is yet another common cause if you have a vacuum that keeps spitting dirt back out.

You see, when there is a blockage in the wand/hose, it could impede airflow. This can, in turn, make the vacuum spit out the suctioned debris.

Here you will want to make sure that you can see through your wand. If you can’t, there’s a chance that it is indeed clogged.

Now, to fix this, remove and inspect the wand/hose for any obstructions – say a piece of clothing or even a stuck toy- also check to see if the vac’s powerhead is clogged.

If any of them is clogged, try to dislodge the debris that is stuck in there.


Well, to clear the obstruction, simply push it out from the top through the bottom using a strong piece of wire (a straightened coat hanger does the trick).


Is the brush roll tangled?

The next part you ought to inspect is the brush roll-It could be that it is tangled with pet hairs or fabrics.

Now, if you note that your brush roll is entangled, try to untangle it – you can use a soft brush to remove any knots that may be stuck on the roll.

Quick Tip: You can use scissors to cut any complex tangles.


Get a battery replacement – for models that have a battery

Yep, you heard that right.

In some cases, it could just be that your battery is faulty- there is a possibility that the battery lacks enough power to fully run the motor.

And that might result in the vac lacking enough suctioning power.

Subsequently, the sucked up debris could start ending up not being contained in the dustbin/bag – and as a result, they will be spat out.

Note that before you buy a new battery, it is important to first check and get rid of any clogs as explained above.

In short, only consider trying a new battery if there is no blockage.


Why is my vacuum spitting stuff back out – final words

If you note that the dirt is coming from the base of the cleaner head, chances are that some part of your vac is clogged or the dustbin/bag is full.

And since the head can be detached from the rest of the unit, it makes it easier for you to identify the clogged part.

On the other hand, if the dust is leaking from around the body of the vac, you should first check the bag/dustbin-It could be that it is damaged.

Otherwise, it could be a sign of a faulty motor in which case you would need to get a replacement motor for your model.

If you follow the above steps, you could get your vac cleaner to start running smoothly again in no time.



Shark vacuum roller brush starts then stops [Fixed]

Shark vacuum no suction loud noise [Fixed]

Best orbital sander with vacuum attachment [Reviews]


Leave a Comment