More questions about Kirby Vacuum Cleaners then you probably thought about asking. Well, it’s not really 101 yet but we’re getting there. We need your help to complete the list. Send us an email if you have a question about your Kirby vacuum that you don’t see asked and answered below. If we decide to publish your question we’ll give you a coupon for 10% off your next order.
1. My Kirby vacuum smells like rubber burning, what is the problem?
    It’s probably just the belt has stretched or your brush roll has clogged. Install a new belt and remove the end caps one at a time and clean out any debris.

2. Kirby is not picking up well – can you help?
    Similar to question 1 but more involved. If the belt on your Kirby hasn’t been changed in the last 6-10 months we suggest you put a new one on. If your brushroll is more than 5-6 years old, consider installing a new one. Make sure your Kirby vacuum bag is not full past the line across the middle of the bag. Remove the mini-emtor (plastic shoe like piece at the bottom of the cloth bag) and check for clogs.

3. Where can I find a Kirby Vacuum Cleaner owner’s manual?
     Check the Customer Service link at

4. Can you tell me where to find a Kirby Vacuum Dealer?
    Again, check the Customer Service link at Local dealers are usually listed in the Yellow Pages under “Vacuum Cleaners”

5. How often should I get my Kirby Vacuum Serviced?
   In our opinion, Kirby vacuums usually require less maintenance than many other models. We usually recommend that our customers get a full cleaning and complete service every 3 to 4 years.

6. How much does a Kirby Vacuum usually cost?
    We have heard that costs for new Kirby Vacuums vary depending on State, Region, Factory Promotions and other variables. You can expect to pay from $900 to $2000

7. How long is the warranty?
    According to their website Kirby states that the length of the warranty depends on what model Kirby you own. They ask that you call them at 1-800-494-8586.

8. I thought the Kirby vacuum had a lifetime warranty.
    We have dealt with many Kirby owners over the years who were under the impression that their Kirby had a lifetime warranty. It’s possible that there is a lifetime warranty on some body parts. But the ‘Lifetime Warranty’ we’re familiar with is what is called Kirby’s Lifetime Rebuild program which allows you at any time during the life of your machine to return it to Kirby and they will perform basically a factory rebuild.

9. How often should I change the belt on my Kirby brushroll?
      Replace your Kirby belt every 6 – 12 months to maintain peak performance.

10. Where is the Kirby vacuum cleaner made?
     The label on the bottom says Cleveland, OH. However, Kirby vacuums are sold in over 45 countries – not sure where foreign models are made.

11. How long should my Kirby Vacuum last me?
      A well maintained Kirby vacuum should last you 20 years or more. It is very common to see a Kirby that is 30 to 40 years old, and we’ve seen a few that are as old as 60 and they are still running.

12. How do I clean my mattress using Kirby Generation Series vacuum cleaners?
    The easiest way is to remove the regular handle and attach the Portable Handle Assembly seen here (Key # 2).

13. How do I blow up an inflatable toy or air mattress with my Kirby?
    First remove the cloth bag assembly. Attach the hose and use the Inflator tool shown here (Key # 1)

14. What’s the best way to clean hard surface floors like vinyl tile and hardwood with my Kirby?
In our opinion, the least cumbersome way is to turn the belt to the off postion to stop the brush roll from turning. Turn your vacuum on and lower it to the lowest position available without it actually touching the floor surface. If your Kirby vacuum is a Power Drive model, turn the control pedal to the neutral ‘N’ position. This will prevent the wheels from marking up your floors and also save wear and tear on your wheels. Then just vacuum normally. Kirbys have more than enough suction power to thoroughly vacuum hard surface floors.

15. How do I set up my shampooer?
      Kirby has an excellent video on that here . The video talks about the Sentria model, but the procedure is the same for all models.

16. How do I shampoo carpets.
    Shampoo your carpet in one six foot square area at a time. Spread the shampoo foam first, going in an east west direction. Turn the flow of shampoo off and then go in a north south direction.  This allows you to not get the carpet too wet and to make sure the shampoo foam is evenly applied. Vacuum after shampooing ONLY after your carpet is completely dry. To test for dryness, take a clean white cloth and press it down on the carpet. If the cloth comes back dry, your carpet is dry.

17. How do I Shampoo Upholstery?
    Your Kirby vacuum should have come with a Spray Gun assembly. Using Kirby shampoo, in the spray gun with your attachment hose attached to the exhaust side of the vacuum, you can produce a foam that you would then sponge into your upholstery. Vacuum clean when thoroughly dry.
An alternate method is to purchase a bottle of Kirby Foam. Just spray on the Kirby Foam, rub it in and vacuum when dry.

18. How long is a Kirby Vacuum brushroll good for?
     Your Kirby brushroll should be good for 4 or 5 years. After that the bristles get shorter and softer. You should notice that the ends of the Generation Series brushrolls are numbered 1,2,3 with notches. Your brushroll starts out with the number 1 showing. After about a year or so you would turn it so that the numer 2 shows and so forth. After you’ve used it on number 3 for a time your throw it away and buy a new one. Older model Kirby brushrolls have an adjustment screw on each end, as the bristles on these models wear down, you simply turn the screws to make the bristles stick out more. The bristles should stick out past the rug plate about the width of two credit cards. Kirby brushrolls are available here.

 19. Why is there a magnet on my Kirby Brushroll?
      Magnets are located near one end or the other of the brushroll. It will either be a small silver circle or a metal band around the end. The magnet provides the current to light the small green L.E.D on the nozzle that tells you your brush is turning.

20. What style bag does the Kirby Sentria use?
    The First Sentria models came with the white Allergen Style bag with the round cardboard hole with two notches. Kirby Sentria models made in 2009 and after use a style F bag. The F bag has two locking tabs that make it fit more securely. The bag holder on the Sentria will have the letter F cut out of the left side. You can view all Style Kirby Vacuum Bags and their description here.

21. When I start it up my Kirby is extremely noisy – what happened?
    Excessive noise is never a good sign. The most common cause is a broken fan or impeller. The plastic fan is located right behind the brushroll nozzle. Everything you vacuum up goes through the fan. It’s made of plastic and although it is a very rugged plastic, any hard object like a coin or screw could break your fan. DO NOT run it until you get the fan replaced as this will cause damage to your motor. Kirby fans are available here.

22. There is an electrical smell and I can see sparks inside the Kirby motor – what is wrong?
    This is usually a sign of some kind of motor damage. Usually due to the carbon brushes being too short or just stuck. It could also be due to a bad motor armature. Better left to a qualified repair shop.

23. How do I adjust the brushroll carpet height?
   You should adjust the brushroll nozzle to the height of the top of the carpet and no lower. To adjust to the best effective height; start with the brushroll nozzle all the way up, turn your Kirby vacuum on, start stepping the adjustment ratchet down one notch at a time, when you hear the pitch of the motor noise change – stop, some people like to go one notch lower but it may take some experimenting to determine what is best for you. If you adjust your Kirby vacuum nozzle all the down you will cut off the flow of air that allows the dirt to be sucked up.

24. I plugged my Kirby vacuum in and it just won’t run?
     Check first that a circuit breaker is not tripped. Plug your Kirby vacuum into another outlet. There are 2 safety switches on newer Kirby vacuum models, one on the front and one on the side by the cloth bag assembly; make sure that your nozzle is attached securely, Check the hard plastic mini-emtor at the bottom of the cloth bag assembly to make sure that it is rotated securely toward the body. If you have access to an ohmmeter you can remove the cord and check that it is good.

25. Can I use any style Kirby Vacuum Bag?
    Well, yes and no. The very old Model Kirbys like Classic , Tradition and Heritage I used either Style 1 or Style 2 bags and they are not interchangeable.  If you own a Kirby Generation 3 (1989) through Sentria (2008) then the Generation 3 bag, G4/ G5 bag, Gsix brown HEPA bag or the white Allergen Filtration bags can be interchanges among all the models. Kirby Sentria vacuum models made 2009 and after require the new style F bag. All Kirby bags are available here.

26. We have pets, what can I do about the smell from the exhaust air when I vacuum?
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to rid of the smell altogether. There are several things you can do to make it less noticeable though. First, a good service from a professional Vac Repair Shop will help to get of some the internal smell from inside the motor .  Remove the bag assembly and using another vacuum cleaner, clean out the interior of the bag. If you’re willing to remove the outside bag from the fill tube and mini-emtor assembly, you can wash the outside bag on the gentle cycle of your washing machine with mild detergent but keep in mind that this may reduce the filtration capability of the outside bag. Before you wash the bag, try placing it into a sealed plastic bag for a few days with an odor absorbent neutralizer such asFresh Wave for pets. You can also spray the outside bag with a product like Fabreeze or use a sachet inside the cloth bag. If you use a carpet freshener, we recommend against using any baking soda based products as these products are very abrasive to the internal parts of your vacuum.

27. Can I wash the outside cloth bag?
    Gentle cycle, mild detergent – see question 26 above.

28. How long has the Kirby vacuum company been in business?
    Jim Kirby developed the first Kirby model in 1906. He bagan commercial production of the Kirby shortly after World War I.

29. There is a cut near the end of the vacuum cleaner card. Should I just put a new plug on?
      Well, we won’t tell you not to but it’s not recommended. Screw-on plugs are good for lamps toaster that stay put, but a Vacuum cleaner is constantly moved and it is always possible to pull the cord apart from the plug.

30. I vacuumed up water with my Kirby G2000. Did I do any damage?
    Actually, as long as it wasn’t a big puddle, you probably didn’t hurt it at all. It’s unlikely that any large amounts of water got into your motor. Everythng gets sucked into the nozzle, around the fan and up into the bag. There is a bearing behind the fan, but it has a metal spacer and a rubber seal in front of it. The fan case itself is also sealed. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have it checked by a qualified technician, but if the paper bag is not wet than there probably is no lasting damage.

31. Should I vacuum up construction dust?
     Absolutely not! A couple small piles of sawdust is OK, but wall board dust, nails and other debris are very destructive to internal parts and thevacuum fan.

32. I broke the end of the hose where it attaches to the vacuum motor. Do I have to replace the complete Kirby vacuum hose?
No, both ends of the Kirby Vacuum Cleaner Hose are replaceable. Those parts are available here.

33. How old is a Kirby G4, G5, Gsix, Sentria etc.?
    G4 – 1993-1997
G5 – 1997-1999
Gsix – 1999-2002
Ultimate G – 2002-2003
Ultimate G Diamond – 2003-2006
Sentria – 2006-Present

34. What are the pros of owning a Kirby vacuum cleaner?
    Made in the US of A. Will last 20 years or more with minimal care. Very effective on cleaning carpet.

35. What are the cons of owning a Kirby vacuum cleaner?
    Heavy. Expensive. Difficult to use attachments and shampoo attachment.