My Vacuum Smells Like It’s Burning: Here’s What To Do

If your vacuum cleaner smells like it’s burning, then stop using it, unplug it, and try to find where the smell is coming from.

  1. Check the suction and beater bar area to see if the smell is coming from that.
  2. Check the bag and canister area to see if the smell is coming from there.
  3. Check the cord to make sure it’s not melting or damaged.
  4. Place the vacuum cleaner outside your home to make sure the smell is coming from it and not something else in your home.

From my experiences, if you detect an odor emanating from the beater bar and suction region at the front, it’s quite likely that your belt or motor is the culprit. Trust me, it’s a warning sign.

On the other hand, if the scent is coming from the bag or canister area, it might be due to the motor – especially since some models house their motors in this area. Alternatively, you might’ve vacuumed up something particularly pungent, or a blockage might be making the motor strain and overheat, leading to that off-putting aroma.

Now, if the cord is the source of the smell, that’s a red flag. Damaged cords can be dangerous. If I were you, I’d get it inspected and fixed by an expert immediately.

Lastly, a quick tip: if you’ve taken the vacuum outside and the smell persists inside your home after an hour, then the vacuum probably isn’t to blame. Sometimes, our noses can trick us, so I always recommend getting a second opinion – invite someone over to double-check if the scent is real. You’ll be thankful you did.

New Smell =/= Burning

It is not normal for a new vacuum to smell like it’s burning. If your new vacuum smells bad, it needs to be looked at by a vacuum cleaner repair shop.

It’s not uncommon for a new vacuum to have a slight smell because of the materials used in the manufacturing process (the new vacuum smell). This should go away after a few uses, but it also shouldn’t be overpowering or smell like something is burning.

If the burning smell does not go away, or if the vacuum starts smoking, then there is definitely something wrong, and you should stop using it immediately.

Can Catch On Fire

A vacuum cleaner catching fire is not a common event if used and maintained correctly.

However, if the vacuum’s motor overheats or the belt burns up, it can cause a fire.

This is why it’s important to get the vacuum repaired as soon as possible if you notice either of these problems.

It’s also important you service your vacuum cleaner often, change the filters and change wear and tear items when it’s time.

How To Replace Belt

If it’s the belt of your vacuum cleaner that has burned up, you can easily replace it.

While every vacuum cleaner is different, this video below does a great job of showing you how to change the belt on your vacuum cleaner.

Most vacuum cleaners only need a Phillips head screwdriver and 5 minutes to replace the belt.



Hello, I'm Lee from ""! Launched in 2016, my site addresses the online information gap about "robot vacuums" and "vacuum cleaners," areas where I have hands-on experience. Got questions about a post or topic? Feel free to comment or contact me (contact)!

2 thoughts on “My Vacuum Smells Like It’s Burning: Here’s What To Do”

  1. Help! I removed the bag from my Miele vacuum and forgot to put in a new one the next time I vacuumed my house. Now the motor is making a strange noise. I tried to clean it out inside and also put in new bag and filters, but it is still making the strange noise. Can something like this be serviced/repaired, or is the vacuum doomed? Thank you!!

    • The vacuum cleaner can be serviced and repaired after all of this, I would talk to your local vacuum repair shop first before you get a new vacuum cleaner.


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