How to clean a Dyson vacuum head: 7 steps to getting your Dyson floor attachment looking great again

Cleaning a Dyson roller head
(Image credit: Future)
Tools & requirements

- Dyson roller head floor attachment

- Baby wipes or a fine, damp cloth (like these HOMEXCEL Microfiber Cleaning Cloth,12 Pack for $12.99 from Amazon)

- Wooden chopstick or popsicle stick

- Small paintbrush (you'll find a few in this Acrylic Paint Brush Set for $8.99 on Amazon)

- Newspaper for gathering dirt

If you own a Dyson vacuum cleaner, you’ll love it for its powerful suction and performance. But did you know that allowing the roller head to get clogged with dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris can reduce suction power and even put your vacuum cleaner's lifespan at risk?

Don’t worry - even if you’ve left your Dyson roller head for months without cleaning (like we have), I’ll show you how to get it back to looking and performing its best in no time. 

The best vacuum cleaners feature roller heads that can be taken apart easily and washed, ensuring that they work perfectly to remove dust, dirt and allergens in your home. And a clean roller brush works much better at doing the job. 

In this guide, I’ll walk you through how to remove the head, clear away hair and debris, and clean out all the components in seven easy steps.

In this demonstration I used the roller brush motor head on the Dyson Gen5detect Absolute which I reviewed several months ago, but you can follow these steps for most Dyson roller brush attachments.

Quick steps: How to clean a Dyson vacuum head

  1. Remove the floor attachment from the main wand of the vacuum cleaner
  2. Use a coin to release the end cap 
  3. Pull the roller brush out for cleaning
  4. Remove any wrapped-on hair and clumps of dust or debris from the brush bar 
  5. Clean the inside of the brush bar 
  6. Dislodge dirt and dust from the inside of the motorized head 
  7. Reinsert the brush bar and give everything a final wipe 

Step by step guide: How to clean a Dyson vacuum head

1. Remove the floor attachment from the wand

(Image: © Joanne Lewsley)

It’s important not to attempt to clean the roller head while still attached to your vacuum cleaner. You'll never be able to reach all the nooks and crannies within the head, especially at the neck of the floor attachment, where dust bunnies and debris tend to collect.

2. Use a coin to release the end cap

(Image: © Future)

I can see that this step can be a bit of a pain for some users, depending on what coins you have available. The end cap slot is often too big for most screwdrivers and coins. A standard UK pound coin works well, but novelty coins and tokens can sometimes do the job, too. 

Insert the coin and twist anti-clockwise (or towards the unlocked padlock symbol) to release the end cap. You may find the end cap is a little stiff, and you have to use a little more force than you expect. 

3. Pull the roller brush out

(Image: © Future)

Once you release the end cap, you should be able to pull the roller brush out of the motorized head. If your roller brush hasn’t been cleaned in a while, you’ll notice lots of dust and debris packed up around the internal parts of the end cap and at the end of the roller brush. Go on and pull out the roller brush so you can see what you’re dealing with. 

4. Remove any wrapped-on hair and clumps of dust or debris from the brush bar

(Image: © Future)

This step is the relatively easy part! Use small scissors to cut away any tightly wrapped hair and brush away any dust or debris using a narrow paintbrush. The brush bar of the Dyson Gen5detect Absolute features smooth surfaces and a thin coil of bristles around it, so use a soft baby wipe or damp cloth to gently wipe away any dust and debris on the smooth surfaces. 

Note: If you’re cleaning a soft foam brush bar, gently rinse it under warm running water after clearing any tightly wrapped hair. You can use a gentle detergent for this or plain water and rinse until the water runs clear. Leave the foam brush bar to dry for at least 24 hours before re-inserting into the floor attachment. 

5. Clean the inside of the brush bar

(Image: © Future)

Again, use a baby wipe, a narrow paintbrush, or a damp cloth to get as far as you can inside the brush bar. Holdold the brush bar vertically and give it a few gentle taps on some newspaper to dislodge any impacted dust and dirt. You can see from our example above that it can take a few baby wipes to remove all that built-up dust and debris.  

6. Dislodge dirt and dust from the inside of the motorized head

(Image: © Future)

Powdery debris can build up inside the motorized head floor attachment. It’s important not to be too vigorous in cleaning though, as you could scratch or even damage the inside of the floor attachment. I used a wooden chopstick to gently dislodge packed in dirt and dust before using a paintbrush to sweep away the powder. Finally, I used a baby wipe to get as far into the head as possible, wiping away grime from the translucent plastic shell.  

7. Reinsert the brush bar and give everything a final wipe

(Image: © Future)

Pop the brush bar back into the floor attachment and tighten the end cap with your coin so it’s nice and secure. Then, using your baby wipes or a damp cloth again, give everything a final wipe down to remove any last traces of dust and dirt. 

How to clean a Dyson vacuum head: FAQs

How often should you clean the roller head of your Dyson?

The answer to this can depend on what you're vacuuming up. If you live in a pet-free home with relatively few occupants, you may only need to clean your roller head once every few months or so. 

However, people who live in homes with pets should be more vigilant. Pet dander and hair can easily clog the roller brush bar, especially at the sides of the bar, and restrict movement. Dust and debris from pets and general household vacuuming can also build up quite quickly, so it's worth checking your roller brush every month or so just to ensure there's no impacted dirt to clear away. 

Final thoughts

Cleaning out your Dyson roller brush and the compartment it sits in only takes a few minutes if you do it regularly. Regular cleaning helps maintain your vacuum's components, extending its lifespan and improving suction power and performance. A clean roller will also pick up debris more effectively, saving you time and effort while vacuuming.

Joanne Lewsley
TTR Customer Advisor, Vacuums

Joanne Lewsley is a reputable freelance writer specializing in evidence-based health and lifestyle content. With a background in journalism and extensive experience working for known brands, Joanne rigorously tests and evaluates home gadgets. Her passion for writing is complemented by her love for the outdoors and live music.