how to empty a shark vacuumcleaner

How to Empty a Shark Vacuum (Without Making a Mess)

Our experts research and recommend the best products. Learn more about our process. We may receive a commission on purchases made from our links.

Shark vacuums are well-loved for their affordability, quality, and ease of use. If you are new to canister-style vacuums, learning to empty a Shark vacuum without a mess might be daunting, but the process is easier than you think.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to empty a Shark vacuum for each type of Shark vacuum cleaner.

How to Empty a Shark Vacuum Cleaner

how to empty your shark vacuum

  1. Power down. Make sure your Shark vacuum is unplugged and off.
  2. Prep for a mess. If you are concerned about dirt spilling when you remove the canister, work over a towel or garbage bag to contain any mess.
  3. Release the bin. Press the release button located on the handle. You will hear a click when the bin is released.
  4. Remove the bin. Pull the basin up and away to remove it.
  5. Dump the bin’s contents. Carefully pour the dirt into your garbage. Giving it a good few solid thumps to help loosen caked dirt and dust.
  6. Rinse if needed. If it’s still filthy, you can rinse the bin with water, be careful not to soak it.
  7. Clean the filter. If your vacuum has a pre-motor filter, now is a good time to clean it. You can tap it clean over the garbage. If necessary, gently brush or wipe the filter using paper towels.
  8. Replace the bin. Once fully dry and clean, slide the bin back into its spot. You’ll hear it pop back into place. Do a jiggle check to make sure it’s secured properly.

How to Empty a Shark Navigator Vacuum

  1. Power Down. Turn off and unplug your Shark Vacuum.
  2. Prepare for dust. If you are concerned about a mess, do this over a towel or plastic bag.
  3. Remove the canister. To do so, press down on the black rubber button near the handle. Meanwhile, pull up the dust cup’s handle to lift it free.
  4. Separate the dust cup. On the front of the canister, you’ll find a grey tab. Press that in and lift up on the dust cup’s handle to remove it.
  5. Clean the lint screen. Brush gently to remove collected dust and debris from the screen.
  6. Lift the dust cup. Once the lid is off, you can reach in and pick up the dust cup.
  7. Divide the cup. On the dust cup, you’ll find a red tab on the side. Press that while pulling down on the stem to separate the two halves.
  8. Brush away dust.
  9. Reinstall. Replace the lower half of the dust cup, then tilt until you hear it click back into place.

How to Empty a Shark Rotator Vacuum

  1. Power down. Unplug and turn off your Shark Rotator before emptying the dust cup.
  2. Remove the cup. You’ll find tabs on each side; lift them then tilt the canister forward and lift to detach it.
  3. Empty the dust cup. Holding it over a garbage can press the lower release button to open the bottom of the dust cup.
  4. Clean the Lint Screen. Press the release button on the top of the bin and lift the handle to access the lint screen. Gently brush away dust and debris to clean it.
  5. Replace the bin. Close the bottom and top, then put the dust bin back in place and tilt towards the back until you hear it click into place.

How to Empty a Shark Rocket Vacuum

  1. Power down. Unplug and turn off your Shark Rocket vacuum first.
  2. Release the cup. Press the wand release button near the top of your vacuum to disconnect it.
  3. Empty the cup. Holding the cup over your garbage can, press the EMPTY button on the front of the bin, and make sure the bottom lid is positioned over the can.
  4. Return the cup. Close the lid, then return the cup to the handheld vacuum.

How to Empty a Shark Duo Clean Vacuum

  1. Power down. Unplug and turn off your Shark Duo first.
  2. Detach the dust cup. Find the dust cup release latches along the back of the handle. Slide them both up simultaneously and lift the dust cup up and away.
  3. Release the dust. Holding the dust bin over your garbage, press the button near the bottom to release the lower lid and empty its contents.
  4. Clean the screen. Press the release button near the top of the bin to access the screen. Gently brush debris away.
  5. Return the bin. Close the bottom and top lids, then position the bin and tilt it back until you hear it click into place.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you remove the canister from a shark vacuum?

The method can vary based on the model. See the directions above to learn precisely what mechanism removes the canister for your Shark model. Despite the variations, every Shark dust bin is easy to remove.

How do you empty a vacuum canister without making a mess?

The best way to prevent a mess is to plan for mess. Lay down a towel or a bag beneath the vacuum, large enough to cover the floor between the vacuum and your garbage. That way, if dust and debris escape the bin before you make it to the garbage, it’ll be easy to deal with.

Can you wash the dust canister on a shark vacuum?

You can rinse the dust canister on your Shark vacuum. You cannot, however, soak it. Rinse carefully with cold water to remove stubborn dirt and dust, then leave it to dry. This can take up to 24 hours or even longer in particularly humid environments. Do not return the canister to the vacuum until it’s completely dry, or you can damage your vacuum.

Should you empty the vacuum after each use?

Ideally, you should empty your vacuum after each use, especially for smaller canisters. Aim to empty larger canisters when it reaches about half full. If you are cleaning a large area, keep an eye on your dustbin. Beyond 2/3 full, your vacuum loses power.

How often should I vacuum with my shark vacuum?

It’s a good idea to vacuum carpets at least once a week, more often in high-traffic areas. You may have heard that it damages your carpet to vacuum too often, but the truth is that dirt is far more damaging. You can safely vacuum your rugs daily or multiple times a day without harming your carpets.

Can I leave my shark vacuum on charge all the time?

Yes! You can leave your Shark vacuum charging all the time. Shark recommends returning your vacuum to its dock after each use for optimal performance.

Why is my shark vacuum blowing dust?

You may need to empty the canister, clean the filter, or check for clogs in your hoses. If the vacuum is clogged, it won’t suction properly and will kick back out dirt rather than containing it.

Should I dust or vacuum first with my Shark vacuum

The experts unanimously recommend a “top down” approach to cleaning your home, whereby you should always dust first and then vacuum vacuum your floors.

Besides Shark vacuums, what are some other top-rated vacuum cleaners?

Shark makes some of the best vacuum cleaners on the market. But if you’re looking for an alternative, check out our in-depth, expert reviews of The Best Corded Stick Vacuums and The Best Vacuums for Laminate Floors.

Final Thoughts on Emptying a Shark Vacuum Cleaner

Emptying a Shark vacuum’s dust cup is designed to be easy to remove and empty. With the right know-how and a little prep, you keep it emptied without the mess. Plus, your vacuum works better and longer with an empty cup. Maintain your vacuum’s dust cup for cleaner floors.

Ken Lyons
Ken Lyons has 20 years expertise in the cleaning industry. He's owned and operated two residential cleaning companies, providing services for hundreds of clients in the Greater Boston Area.