Have you ever wondered how your vacuum cleaner gets all the dirt and debris off your floors without getting clogged? The answer is in the pre-motor filter, which is a key part of the filtration system that makes sure your vacuum cleaner works well and smoothly.

If you already have a vacuum cleaner or are looking for one, knowing how important the pre-motor filter is can make all the difference in how clean and healthy your home stays.

In this article, I will talk about filtration systems and why the pre-motor filter is a must-have for anyone who wants to keep their home clean.

So get ready to learn about the unsung hero of your vacuum cleaner.

Understanding Pre-Motor Filters in Vacuum Cleaners

What is a Pre-Motor Filter?

A pre-motor filter is a type of filter that is used in vacuum cleaners to keep the vacuum’s suction power at its best.

It is in front of the motor and keeps dust, dirt, and other things from getting to the motor.

Pre-motor filters can be washed and used more than once.

For the best cleaning, they need to be cleaned or replaced every three to six months.

Why is a Pre-Motor Filter Important?

A pre-motor filter is a type of vacuum cleaner filter that is made to stop air before it gets to the suction motor.

The pre-motor filter keeps the vacuum cleaner’s internal parts, like the motor, from getting damaged by dirt and dust.

Without a pre-motor filter, dust and dirt can get into the motor and damage it.

This makes the vacuum cleaner last less long.

To keep the vacuum cleaner running at its best, it is important to clean or replace the pre-motor filter on a regular basis.

If the filter is dirty, the vacuum cleaner will have to work harder and use more power.

This will cause your electricity bills to go up.

Also, a filter that does not work well can let dust and dirt back into the room being cleaned, which is bad for health and cleaning results.

Types of Pre-Motor Filters

There are pre-motor filters for many different types and brands of vacuum cleaners.

For example, Eureka pre-motor filter fits for NEU522, NEU526, Miele pre-motor filter is cut to fit all Miele vacuum cleaners, Hoover pre-motor filter works with Hoover Power Drive Pet, Pro Pet Swivel, and Pet Max Complete models, and Sanitaire Commercial pre-motor filter fits SC530, SC535 series backpack vacuums.

HEPA Filters versus Pre-Motor Filters

HEPA filters can get rid of all kinds of impurities, like dust mites, pet dander, pollen, smoke, mold spores, and other airborne particles.

In particular, HEPA filters are thought to be able to get rid of at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any other airborne particles that are less than 0.3 microns (m) in size.

HEPA filters have a complicated way of filtering the air so that even the smallest particles can be caught.

The HEPA filter works by four different ways: impaction, interception, diffusion, and electrostatic attraction.

Even though they are not as good as HEPA filters, pre-motor filters are still an important part of a vacuum cleaner’s filtration system and should not be ignored.

Running a vacuum without a pre-filter is not a good idea because it makes it more likely that the motor will get damaged and that dust and dirt will get back into the air and on the floor.

Maintenance of Pre-Motor Filters

A vacuum cleaner’s pre-motor filter is an important part that helps to catch dust and dirt before it gets to the motor.

But how often you have to clean or replace the filter will depend on the type of filter and how often you use the vacuum.

Cleaning and Replacing Pre-Motor Filters

The filter should be cleaned every three months at the very least.

But if the vacuum gets used a lot or if there are a lot of people in the house, it may need to be cleaned more often.

The only exception is HEPA filters, which should be changed every six to nine months, depending on how often they are cleaned.

If a HEPA filter is very dirty, it needs to be changed right away.

  • Reusable filters can be washed under water and need to be cleaned when the vacuum cleaner shows signs of decreased suction power.
  • Cartridge filters can last for a long time with regular cleanings but cannot be washed if they are made from paper.

The best way to clean a vacuum filter is to move the vacuum to a spot in your home that you do not mind getting dirty and use a shop vac to gently clean the pleats of the filter.

Do not forget to use the shop vac to clean the pre-filter and post-filter screens as well.

It is important to read the instructions from the manufacturer to find out how often you should replace or clean your vacuum cleaner’s filter.

Consequences of Not Cleaning or Replacing Pre-Motor Filters

If a vacuum’s filter gets clogged up, the suction will not work as well, which makes the motor work harder and shortens its life.

Because of this, it is important to keep your vacuum cleaner’s filters clear by cleaning or replacing them often.

  • Reduced effectiveness: A clogged filter will reduce the suction power of the vacuum, making it less effective at picking up dirt and debris. This means that more passes will be required to clean an area, which increases energy consumption and wear and tear on the vacuum motor.
  • Increased energy consumption: More passes required to clean an area means increased energy consumption and higher energy bills.
  • Damage to the vacuum motor: Over time, reduced suction power can lead to motor burnout.

Air Filters in HVAC Systems

In the same way, if you do not change the air filter in your HVAC system, it might not work as well and cost you extra money.

The purpose of air filters is to remove particles from the air as it moves through the system.

If you do not clean or replace a filter often, it will get clogged with dirt and dust, making it less able to catch particles.

This can cause less air to flow through the system and put more stress on it, which can lead to higher energy bills and expensive repairs.

Additional Information

Yes, you can wash the pre-motor filter by hand in warm water with a mild soap if you want to.

But you can not use water or soap to clean the post-motor filter, which is at the bottom of the tank.

If dust or other debris builds up on the post-motor filter, it can be removed by tapping it gently on the side of a waste basket.

Pre-Motor Filters and Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum cleaner filters can be universal or made for each model.

Some filters are made to fit all brands and models of vacuum cleaners, while others are made only for certain models.

Specific Filters

For instance, the Dyson pre-motor washable filter is a replacement part for the Dyson filter 905401-01 and works with the Dyson upright models DC05, DC08, DC14, and DC15. In the same way, the Dyson bagless vacuum filter 904979-02 (90497902) is a HEPA filter that fits Dyson upright bagless vacuum cleaner models like the DC07 All Floors, Animal, Carpet, and Club Exclusive.

Universal Filters

There are, however, universal filters that can be used in any brand or model of vacuum cleaner.

Vacuumsonline.net has a universal secondary and motor filter that comes with two filters and a HEPA foam filter sheet.

Any brand or model of vacuum cleaner can use this universal filter.

Locating the Pre-Motor Filter

  • To know if your vacuum cleaner has a pre-motor filter, you can check the user manual or look for information on the manufacturer’s website. If you have a Bissell CleanView vacuum cleaner, for example, it comes with two filters a pre-motor filter and a post-motor filter. To locate the pre-motor filter, follow these steps:

1. Press the tank release button and remove the dirt tank.

2. Press the filter button on the front of the tank to get to the foam filter in the tray.

Cleaning the Pre-Motor Filter

  • The pre-motor filter in a vacuum cleaner is designed to stop harmful particles from getting to and damaging the motor. A dirty or blocked pre-motor filter can significantly affect the suction power of a vacuum cleaner. Ideally, you should be cleaning your vacuum filter every three months, but if you have pets or allergies, you may need to clean it more frequently.

1. Remove the filter from the vacuum cleaner.

2. If you want to, wash the filter by hand in warm water with a mild soap.

3. Let the filter dry completely in the air before putting it back in the vacuum.

Importance of Pre-Motor Filter

  • The airflow specification is the most important specification in terms of determining the cleaning ability of a vacuum cleaner. Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and it is the force of this airflow across a surface that picks up dirt and moves it to the dust bag or container. A dirty or blocked pre-motor filter can reduce the airflow, which affects the suction power of a vacuum cleaner.

Cleaning your vacuum’s pre-motor filter on a regular basis will help keep its suction power up and make it last longer.

If you do not know if your vacuum cleaner has a pre-motor filter or not, you can also ask customer service.

They will be able to tell you about your specific model and answer any questions you may have about maintenance and changing filters.

Multi-Stage Filtration: The Importance of Pre-Motor Filter in Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum cleaners are essential household appliances that help keep our homes clean and free from dust and dirt.

However, not all vacuum cleaners are created equal, and some are more effective than others.

One crucial feature that sets high-quality vacuum cleaners apart is their multi-stage filtration system.

Multi-stage filtration is a process that involves several filters working together to capture and trap dust, dirt, and other particles.

The pre-motor filter is a critical component of this system, as it captures larger particles before they reach the motor, preventing damage and prolonging the life of the vacuum cleaner.

Without a pre-motor filter, the motor can become clogged, leading to reduced suction power and decreased efficiency.

Therefore, when choosing a vacuum cleaner, it’s essential to consider the quality of its multi-stage filtration system, including the pre-motor filter.

For more information:

Maximize Clean: Multi-Stage Filtration for Vacuums

Benefits of Pre-Motor Filters

HEPA Filters and Indoor Air Quality

Air filters are a good way to cut down on air pollution inside and make the air quality better in homes.

Compared to other types of filters, HEPA filters are very good at getting rid of small particles in the air.

Researchers at Intermountain Healthcare did a two-year study and found that HEPA filters cut indoor pollution by a lot when the air outside is bad.

During the 12-week study, which took place in 2016 and 2017 during winter inversions, HEPA filters were put in 52 homes in Utah.

The people who took part in the study did not know which filter was being used each six weeks.

The researchers looked at the air quality both inside and outside the homes.

They found that HEPA filters cut the number of fine particles by 60% inside the homes.

Pre-Motor Filters and Their Function

A type of filter called a “pre-motor filter” catches bigger particles before they get to the main filter.

They can be used in vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

The main purpose of pre-motor filters is to improve the performance of a device by keeping larger particles from clogging the main filter.

In turn, this makes the main filter last longer and needs to be replaced less often.

Effectiveness of Pre-Motor Filters

Even though pre-motor filters can make a device work better, they may not do much to improve the quality of the air inside on their own.

This is because pre-motor filters are made to catch larger particles like dust and pet hair, but they are not good at catching smaller particles like allergens and pollutants.

To improve the air quality inside, it is best to get rid of or reduce the sources of pollution and let clean air from outside in, as well as use filtration devices like portable air cleaners or HVAC filters.


In conclusion, every vacuum cleaner needs to have a pre-motor filter.

It helps keep dust and other things from getting into the motor, which can damage it and shorten its life.

As the owner of a vacuum cleaner, it is important to clean and replace the pre-motor filter on a regular basis to make sure it works well.

The pre-motor filter is useful in many ways, but it can also be seen as a metaphor for our own lives.

Just as the filter keeps harmful particles from getting into the motor, we need to keep bad influences and toxic people out of our lives.

By doing this, we can protect our own health and make sure we are doing our best work.

So, the next time you clean your vacuum, think about how important it is to get rid of the bad things in your own life.

Remember that a clean mind and heart can lead to a happier and healthier life, just like a clean pre-motor filter leads to a clean home.

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So I created this quick, newbie guide to help you focus on what is really important to you:

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My article on the topic:

Clean Air, Clean Home: Vacuum Filtration 101