The Oreck XL Classic, made by Oreck, a company with facilities in Cookeville, Tennessee, lacks crevice tools, upholstery brushes and other accessories found on canister and fancier upright machines. It's simply a lightweight, 9-pound device, consisting of a fabric outer bag, surrounding a disposable dust filter bag, and a powerhead that rides easily over carpets, rugs and hardwood floors. It achieves high customer ratings given its direct, simple airpath that allows effective cleaning, especially for pet owners. Cleaning this vacuum, which has modular elements that can be dismantled, is straightforward.

Step 1

Unplug your Oreck. Lay the unit on its side, on the floor or a work surface, and straighten the powerhead so it is in line with the handle. Flip the unit over to reveal the revolving brush.

Step 2

Cut off any wrapped string, hair or lint on the brush with a scissors, by hooking the scissors under the material and working it away from the roller, staying clear of the red bristle brushes. Spin the roller gently with your thumb to find all the caught material; examine the silver end caps as well as the wooden roller body, and tug lint off the ends of the bristle brushes as well. Check the external, standalone black bristle brushes on the exterior of the powerhead and pull off any snagged debris.

Step 3

Optionally deep-clean the base of the powerhead by removing three screws in the silver bar above the roller brush and removing it and its rubber strip. Clean with soap and water and reinstall, with the groove facing the front of the powerhead.

Step 4

Flip over the vacuum and pull up the handle vertically so it locks in the upright position.

Step 5

Unzip the outer, dark gray fabric bag. Pull the cardboard collar on the inner, light blue dust filter bag off the black plastic tube, an inch-wide part called the connector deflector, which dumps dirt from the end of the air path into the disposable bag. Clean any dirt off the surface of the connector deflector, and pull out by hand any fluffballs blocking this outtake. if it is full or nearly so.

Step 6

Unclip the bottom of the bag and identify the plastic connector leading from the fan housing, which looks like the connector deflector. Remove debris with your fingers, a coat hanger, screwdriver or needlenose pliers.

Step 7

Check the lower tube that connects the handle and the powerhead for a blockage if you have suction problems, and clean the fan housing outlet at the same time. Unscrew the plastic retaining nuts at the top and bottom of the lower tube, free the tube and run a dowel or straightened coat hanger through it. Check the fan housing outlet, a black tube about 1 1/2 inches wide emerging from the back of the powerhead, now revealed by the removal of the connecting tube. Pull out any debris. Put the connecting tube back in place, twisting it until its nubs align so they can slide down the narrow slots in the handle and the powerhead, and push the washers back in place and retighten the retaining nuts.

Step 8

Clean the inside of the fabric bag if you encounter a broken filter bag, which will result in thick dirt and hair lining the fabric bag. With a wide-bladed screwdriver, gently pry off the silver clip that holds the fabric bag to the connector deflector and set the clip aside. Unclip the spring at the bottom of the bag. Zip up the now-detached fabric bag and take it outside. Shake it well to remove the dust and dirt. Return the fabric bag to the vacuum and clip the bag back in place, and insert a new dust collecting bag. If you encounter only minor dust, you can instead leave the fabric bag in place and vacuum dust out with a wet/dry vacuum.

Step 9

Wipe the outside of the powerhead with a damp cloth to complete your cleaning. Spray it with a vinegar-and-water solution, if you encounter significant dirt, and rub it down again with a cloth.