Appliances: Central Vacuums

Central vacuum cleaning sheets

Central vacuum motor

Fresh air for a stinky appliance

Your central vacuum is not just a major appliance, it’s also a massive pipe system. Only the central power unit of this system is visible. The main piping lays hidden. A central vacuum system may have hundreds of feet of plastic pipe meandering through your walls, attic, crawlspace, basement, and soffits.

Keeping it clean

Central vacuums are really handy. If you have one, it’s likely to be put into service frequently, and will often be used to suck up rather filthy debris.  In time, this process will build-up a layer of dirt on the insides of the pipes and leave the entire system smelling, well, dirty.

The solution

Central vacuum cleaning sheetsWhen suctioned through the hose, these treated sheets rub on the inside of the piping. This action cleans the pipe walls as the sheets travel through the system to the main vacuum unit. Along the way, the sheets will often collide with stuck objects in the tubes. Crayons, nerf balls, batteries, model cars, dried candy, hair-balls, cocoa puffs, and just about anything else will get pushed along by the moving sheets and end up in the main vacuum canister.

How it works

Central vac pipes in wall framing
Central Vacuum Piping

This reason this works is because vacuum cleaning sheets are designed with the perfect balance of size, density and moisture to create suction pressure. The pressure causes the sheets to adhere and scrub on the interior walls of the pipe. As the sheets travel through the pipes they wipe and clean the surfaces.

If the system is old you may want to repeat the process several times. Run sheets through from all the various ports starting with the closest and moving outward to the others.

The powerfully pleasant scent leaves the entire system smelling clean and fresh. Even the exhaust air exiting the main unit is fresher because after passing through the system, the cleaning sheets simply remain in the bin till emptied.  I did not find a scent-free version but you may be able to achieve similar results by using unscented dryer sheets for the same purpose.

Cleaning sheets for central vacuum piping

Can cleaning sheets clog your pipes?

If your system has experienced a tough clog, this product should push it all through. Unfortunately there is a chance it could get stopped up even more. That may turn out to be a good thing as sometimes clogging the pipe can actually help the vacuum build enough pressure to force the mess through.

If not, then the clog was certain to be a problem anyway because something is stuck fast in the piping or hose. If you have something stuck like this, you may need to have your contractor come out and free up the problem. Once the problem is cleared you will be able to use the service sheets again with no issues.


Cleaning sheets are easy to use if you follow the directions. Simply vacuum a cleaning sheet through the hose at each wall port.  Repeat the process after each use thereafter. The product comes in a container with 25 sheets so you may want to get several containers. The result is a cleaner, fresher-smelling system with stronger, uninterrupted air flow. Plus a happier homeowner! I can attest to that…and you can get them here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Help me to help you

Thank you for taking time to use this free website. I hope you find the junk-free information here fun and useful? Please send me your comments and feedback.

Writing and maintaining the information in this manual is a lot of hard work. By sharing these pages with your friends, you help me to continue the effort.  You can easily share these pages to all your favorite social media sites via the shortcut buttons on the sidebar. You can also simply email the page link to your friends. Please share often.

The very best way to help me happens when you use the embedded links to buy things. Using a link is easy and free, yet it provides a great source of support for this site. The vendors I've chosen to link to have proven to be trustworthy and are the very best resources available. That is why I recommend them personally. is the place to visit if you want information on

  • maintaining your home
  • how to improve air quality
  • ways to improve the real value of your home
  • what are the best housekeeping services
  • the problems with handymen services
  • how to plan and execute home renovation and home improvement projects
  • tips for spring cleaning; tidying up a messy house
  • and generally how to be a better homeowner.

Make sure you download your monthly maintenance checklist for this month.

Linking to this site

Do you want to link to anything on this site? Please do! Go right ahead. I appreciate it and am honored to be considered as a resource on your website. Always feel free to link to anything you find helpful. Of course, please never copy anything (everything is copyrighted and registered), but link away and thanks!

Thank you!

Copyright and permission to use information.

If you have questions or just want to say hi, please send me a note. If you are looking for help performing the work described and you are in the San Francisco area, go to HPS Palo Alto Inc.and request a free evaluation.

As a reminder, it is unlawful to make copies including cut and paste or especially in the form of making printouts for reuse. If you wish to make a print for personal use, I will happily grant you one-time permission if you will kindly send me a request in writing.

Thanks again!