Are you trying to figure out what to do with old vacuum cleaners? If you bought a new one and your old vacuum still works, you have more options than if the vacuum broke down.
Most people throw their old vacuums away. However, these machines contain small amounts of hazardous materials that can leach dangerous substances in a landfill.
The federal government doesn't classify vacuums as electronic waste with specific disposal regulations, but the more electronic components we reuse, the better.
You can repair a vacuum, recycle it, or repurpose it to give it a new life. We'll share below the man ways you can get rid of your old vacuum without throwing it into a dumpster.
What to Do With Old Vacuum Cleaners that Don't Work?
If your old vacuum cleaner stopped working, you can repair it, recycle it, or see if anyone wants it for parts.
Whether or not you can repair the vacuum depends on why it stopped working and the vacuum brand.
So many small household appliances that we used to repair are now disposable. Many cost so little that the expense and hassle of taking them somewhere to be fixed don't seem worth it.
Your old vacuum might not be worth repairing if it was inexpensive and you've used it for more than a few years. If the motor burned out, the repairs won't be cost-effective.
A small part that failed, though, might be worth fixing. For instance, a broken belt is usually cheap to replace and something many people can do without taking the vacuum to a repair shop.
You can find repair instructions for almost anything online and may be able to fix the vacuum yourself. If you don't know why the vacuum stopped working, look for a local repair shop.
Check their fee for looking at the vacuum and decide if it's worth that much to see if the vacuum has more years in it.
Even a very old high-end vacuum may be salvageable. If you paid hundreds of dollars for one several years ago, you can probably get it repaired for a fraction of the cost of a new one.
Expensive vacuum brands like Miele and Rainbow last for several years, making them worth the investment. These machines are also worth repairing because of the quality and craftsmanship that go into them.
Some high-end vacuum brands have repair shops and processes for servicing their vacuums. Branded stores may have a repair shop inside or accept broken vacuums to send to the factory repair center.
In some cases, the company may take the vacuum as a trade-in. They'll send the machine to the factory to be repaired and sold as a refurbished model. In return, you'll get a discount on a new vacuum.
Not all vacuum brands do this, but it's always worth making a phone call to ask.
If repair is out of the question, vacuum recycling is another option for what to do with old vacuum cleaners. Rechargeable vacuums, like Dyson stick vacuums, have batteries that should be recycled, if possible.
Check with your local electronics and appliance stores to see if they accept vacuums for recycling. Start with a branded store if it's a higher-end vacuum. Even if they don't take old vacuums as a trade-in, they might have a recycling program.
Stores like Best Buy and Staples accept electronic waste like computers for recycling at no cost to you. They don't currently take vacuums, but this could change or vary by location.
To find someone who can take the vacuum off your hands, contact people in your area who advertise themselves as scrap collectors. Often the ads say that they'll haul away your old appliances and may even pay for large items like washers, dryers, or cars that no longer run.
People who earn money through selling scrap metal and appliance parts may take your old vacuum.
The amount of scrap in a vacuum is small, so they probably won't pay for it or come to pick it up if it's the only thing you're offering. The collector might ask you to drop it off.
You can find out with a quick phone call if this is an option.
Recycling Centers and Scrap Yards
Check your local recycling centers to see if they accept vacuum cleaners. Some will take them whole, while others only want certain parts of the machines or won't accept them at all.
If you're comfortable taking a vacuum cleaner apart, you can remove the parts the recycling center accepts. Multiple tutorials online can help you disassemble the vacuum.
Local scrap yards may also accept metal parts of the vacuum, but you'll probably have to take it apart for that, too. Don't expect more than a few cents or a dollar for the metal, but you'll be doing something good for the environment.
You can throw away any parts leftover after scrapping and recycling, or you can see if anyone needs parts for their old vacuums.
Sell or Give Away Your Vacuum
You might wonder what to do with old vacuum cleaners you can't recycle or parts leftover after recycling the rest.
Someone who needs parts for an old vacuum might buy it to repair theirs. Try to sell it locally or online through sites like eBay or Facebook Marketplace. You can also attempt to give it away locally or on the Marketplace, too.
Throw It Away
If you can't repair, recycle, or give the broken vacuum away for parts, you can call your city's sanitation service to see if they collect small appliances like vacuum cleaners. You can also dispose of the vacuum with your regular trash pickup if no other options work for you.
What to Do With Old Vacuum Cleaners That Work?
Old vacuums that still work are easier to get rid of than broken ones. If you're upgrading to a new vacuum and no longer want the old one, you have a few options.
Stores that take trade-ins will give you more for a working vacuum. High-end brands are more likely to offer a discount on a new model if you trade in one that still works.
A swap meet or flea market might let you find someone willing to pay for your old vacuum, especially if it's an expensive brand. You also might find someone willing to swap with you for something you want.
eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and ads in your local shopping paper may help you sell your old vacuum. Some expensive brands like Oreck or Dyson have good resale values because they last so many years.
When you're figuring out what to do with old vacuum cleaners, if you don't care too much about making money from it through a sale or trade-in, consider donating it. Only donate the vacuum to charity if it still works reasonably well.
Homeless or protective shelters rely on donations of money and goods to help the people who need their services. Your local animal shelter might be able to use a free vacuum, too.
We've shown what to do with old vacuum cleaners whether they still work or not. The important thing to remember is that you don't have to throw them in the trash.
As you can see, you can repair, recycle, sell, or donate your vacuum and help keep as much of it out of a landfill as possible.