Rainbow vacuum cleaners are different from most other brands because they use a water chamber to collect dust and debris, instead of a bag or wind chamber. There’s a lot of great advantages for owning a Rainbow vacuum cleaner, unfortunately the one disadvantage is that the machine can pick up a mildewy odor if not cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.
If your Rainbow vacuum cleaner smells mildewy, here are some simple tips for removing that mildew odor.
1. Clean the water chamber and hose intake thoroughly. Most of us will rinse out the water chamber after use, but often neglect to clean the hose intake tube. This crookneck shaped intake tends to be a catchall for fuzz, hair, and dust bunnies and often the source of the mildew odor. Hot soapy water usually does the trick, if not, rinsing the chamber and intake with vinegar will kill that odor causing mildew.
2. Sprinkle a box of baking soda onto your carpet and vacuum it up. Baking soda will not only remove carpet odor, but often remove faint mildew odors in your Rainbow vacuum cleaner.
3. Pour a cup of charcoal into the empty water chamber while in storage Charcoal is great at eliminating odors, even a disagreeable mildewy odor. What I’ve done in the the past to lift odors from my Rainbow vacuum cleaner is to pour some charcoal into the dry water chamber, before reassembling the vacuum cleaner for storage. Before using, the charcoal is dumped and the chamber rinsed with clean water.
4. Fill the water chamber with vinegar or bleach and water, and let run for 5-10 minutes. If the mildew odor is strong enough that baking soda or charcoal just won’t work, you will have to try something stronger. A gallon of warm water with either a cup of white vinegar OR 1/4 cup household bleach (not both!!) usually fixes the problem permanently.
a. Pour the solution into the water chamber.
b. Assemble the machine as usual, and let run in the “on” position for 5-10 minutes. Minute particles of treated water will be absorbed in the center compartment, which will eliminate mildew as well.
c. After 10 minutes, shut off and empty the water chamber. Rinse and let air dry. Store the base separate from the canister until the next time you vacuum.