How do I dispose of an Old Vacuum?

dispose old vacuum

A vacuum cleaner is an essential household appliance that helps us keep our homes clean and free of dust and dirt. However, like all other appliances, vacuums also have a lifespan and eventually need to be disposed of. But, how do we dispose of vacuum cleaners in the USA properly? It is important to understand that improperly disposing of vacuum cleaners can be hazardous to the environment and human health. In this article, we will explore the reasons for disposing of an old vacuum and the various options available for proper disposal.

Reasons to dispose of an old vacuum

Loss of suction power:

Over time, vacuum cleaners lose their suction power and are no longer effective in cleaning. This is a clear sign that it’s time to replace your vacuum with a new one.

Malfunctioning parts:

Vacuum cleaners have several parts that can wear out and stop functioning properly. A vacuum with malfunctioning parts can be dangerous to use, and it is best to dispose of it and buy a new one.

Safety concerns:

Older vacuum cleaners can pose a safety risk due to their outdated design and technology. For example, older vacuums may have cords that are prone to fraying, which can pose a fire risk.

Upgrade to a new model:

Technology is constantly advancing, and newer vacuum cleaners are designed to be more efficient and eco-friendly. Upgrading to a new model can not only improve the cleaning power but also reduce your environmental impact.

Options for disposing of an old vacuum


Recycling is an eco-friendly way to dispose of old vacuum cleaners. Many recycling centers accept vacuum cleaners and will dismantle them for parts or recycle the materials used to make them.


Donating an old vacuum to a charity or non-profit organization is another option for disposal. Organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army accept vacuum cleaners in good working condition and use them to help those in need.


If your vacuum is still in good working condition, you can sell it to a second-hand store or online. This can help someone in need of a vacuum and also make you a little extra money.


If your vacuum is beyond repair and cannot be recycled or donated, it must be trashed. However, be sure to check with your local landfill to see if they accept vacuum cleaners and what the requirements are for disposal.

Hazardous waste disposal:

Some vacuum cleaners contain hazardous materials like lead, cadmium, and mercury, which must be disposed of properly. Check with your local hazardous waste disposal center to see if they accept vacuum cleaners and what the requirements are for disposal.

Step-by-Step Guide for Disposing an Old Vacuum

A. Recycling

Finding a recycling center that accepts vacuum cleaners: Search for a recycling center near you that accepts vacuum cleaners. Contact them to confirm that they accept vacuums and find out their requirements for disposal.

Preparing the vacuum for recycling: Before taking your vacuum to the recycling center, remove any remaining debris and detach the cord. Make sure to follow any additional instructions provided by the recycling center.

B. Donating

Identifying organizations that accept vacuum cleaners: Search for organizations in your area that accept vacuum cleaners. Goodwill and Salvation Army are two popular organizations that accept vacuum cleaners in good working condition.

Preparing the vacuum for donation: Before donating your vacuum, make sure it is in good working condition. 

C. Recycling Programs

Many vacuum cleaner manufacturers have established recycling programs to properly dispose of old vacuum cleaners. These programs ensure that the vacuum cleaner is recycled in an environmentally friendly manner, and its components are properly processed to reduce waste and pollution. To find out if your vacuum cleaner manufacturer offers a recycling program, visit their website or call their customer service department.

If a recycling program is available, you may be asked to send the vacuum cleaner back to the manufacturer or drop it off at a designated collection site. The manufacturer will then dismantle the vacuum cleaner and recycle its parts, including the motor, plastics, and metal components.

D. Selling or Giving Away

If your vacuum cleaner is still in working condition, you may be able to sell it or give it away. Consider posting it for sale on a local buy and sell website, or offer it to friends, family members, or neighbors who may be in need of a vacuum cleaner.


Disposing of an old vacuum cleaner can be a simple and eco-friendly process if done correctly. From recycling programs and charitable donations to selling or giving it away, there are many options available to properly dispose of an old vacuum cleaner. Take the time to research the best option for you, and always prioritize the safety and well-being of the environment.