Why does my Rainbow smell bad?

Why my Rainbow smell bad? Cleaning the HEPA filter

Does your rainbow stink when you use it? Are you wondering…why my rainbow smells bad? After all, it supposes to clean and make my home healthier. Well, the Rainbow also needs a minimum of care after each use.

This is why your Rainbow smells bad

If you clean and then left the Rainbow with dirty water for a long time, chances are that your machine got a bad smell the next time you use it. That happens because the smell of stagnated dirty water for a long time goes inside the rainbow and impregnates the HEPA filter. In order to remove this bad smell, you’ll need to remove, clean, and reinstall your HEPA filter.

hepa filter e2 views
HEPA filter e2

It is also highly recommended to pour a cap of the Rainbow concentrate Fresh Air solution into the Rainbow water basin. Fill with water as always and let the Rainbow run for 10 minutes.

Cleaning the HEPA filter

Rexair recommends checking your HEPA filter for dirtiness every two years.

HEPA filter gets dirty if you use your Rainbow without water, low level of water, or if you use it for a longer period with the same water. Do not allow the water to get too moody or solid. The water needs to be in liquid form in order to trap the dust.

check this quick video for more information about cleaning the Rainbow HEPA filter.

NOTE: HEPA filter can be cleaned only one time in order to maintain its efficiency. Check the exhaust part of the HEPA for holes or broken parts of the core of the filter.

If you already cleaned your Hepa more than one time or you found holes in your filter and want to get a new one, please let us know.

Rainbow minimum care

Rexair recommends this minimum care of the rainbow after each use:

  • Throw away the dirty water and clean the Rainbow basin immediately after each use.
  • Store your Rainbow in a clean and dry place without the water basin in place.
  • Store the water basin separate from the Rainbow after cleaning it.
  • If you want to leave it running at minimum speed to aromatize and clean the air in your home, use it with clean water.
  • Clean the Rainbow separator at least once per year.

Do you already clean the HEPA filter and want a fresh air?

If you have any additional comments, please use the form below to share your thoughts so everybody can take advance of it, or you can personally contact us.

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28 thoughts on “Why my Rainbow smell bad? Cleaning the HEPA filter”

  1. HI I have a E2 that was given to me. I had one in the 80’s and loved it so I was thrilled to get this one. It is super clean the HEPPA filter is white and I cleaned what dirt was inside. I could not get the separator off but broke enough pieces of the plastic on it to get it off. I ordered a new separator but now I notice there isn’t a lot of suction?? I am wondering if the separator isn’t down all the way on the post. Would that be the cause?
    IDEAS please

    1. Lorri, can be to many things, the best option is to take it to a authorized distributor to service it.

    2. Justina pingert

      My rainbow vacuum is blowing water out the back filter what causes this? J have never overfilled the canister.

      1. vladimir leon

        If your Rainbow is blowing water out the back filter is because the HEPA filter is broken with small holes, this can be caused for different reasons, like log time without clean the separator, improperly cleaning of the HEPA filter, this is an indication of a broken or problem with the separator, or more, so in order to pinpoint the real problem the Rainbow needs to be further inspected by a Rainbow distributor.

  2. Jessica Fonseca

    So we just bought our new rainbow about a month ago and my husband and kids say when I use it to clean or to just use it for the humidifier it smells like something is burning. I brought it in for them to check it and they didn’t smell what we described but changed the controller (I believe that’s what they called it) and I used it again and they said they still smell it when I use it. Anyone else having same problem

    1. vladimir leon

      Hi Scott.
      Old Rainbows before the e2 series have carbon brushes, the Rainbow smell burning when these brushes need to be replaced, so you will have to take it to a Rainbow distributor for a service. This is normally needs to be done every 10-15 years.

  3. The same thing happened to me. I cleaned my hepa and now it’s blowing bubbles. Where can I buy a new hepa?

    1. Brady Redmill

      Simply search for it online and you will find an official dealer local to you who is closely in contact with the manufacturer Rexair! If you have any questions call or text me

  4. I cleaned my filter and went to put it back in. I only cleaned the intake and not exhaust but as soon as I put it back and started it, it starting shooting water and bubbles out of back. I did not use soap at all so I was wondering what I am supposed to do about it

    1. Hi Jordan.
      If you HEPA filter blows water after cleaned it is because its was broken (with small holes) before to cleaned, and it needs to be replaced.

    2. Brent Sappington

      I just got through cleaning the HIPPA FILTER on our E 2 SERIES & I went to put it all back together and turned it on & water bubbles started coming out is that normal. Also would like to know if we could still use it that way.

      1. vladimir leon

        Hi. Brent this is signal that you used the rainbow before with some liquid or disinfectant that produces soap and the liquid is still in the HEPA. Anyway you can still used the Rainbow, just run the Rainbow until the HEPA dry and stop blowing bubbles

  5. Cleaned my filter with only water in the intake side. Put it back on the vacuum and the filter is acting clogged, it will not let the exhaust air go through it. What should I do from here?

    1. This can happen if you clear some construction materials like plaster and did not replaced the water of the Rainbow while cleaned it. Those particles can turn the water into solid mud very fast therefore start passing thought the water into the HEPA and clogged very bad, try to cleaned it again for longer time and if not get unclogged you will need to replace the filter.

      1. Hello, i left my rainbow at the balcony and its rained all night. Does my rainbow still works ??

  6. Good Afternoon!! I recently had my Rainbow serviced & with a new HEPA filter (just to let you know). A couple of days ago, my husband & I cleaned our fridge coils off, just a lot of dust. We both forgot to empty the water basin until after a couple of days later, when I told him to take it outside empty it & rinse it out, I always empty it this way, then bring it back and I would wash it. I removed the Separator and cleaned it, it smelled a little strange so I soaked it in hot water & vinegar quite a few hours & it helped a little but the scent is still there just a bit, I washed out the basin as always with hot water and Dawn, twice, let it air dry. We had to leave for the day & when we returned I could still smell that strange scent in the basin. I didn’t want to put Clorox in it as I know Clorox is good but it can eat through some materials too.
    Short of making a paste out of Baking Soda and water and placing it in my basin for hours or days, is there some other way to get this really strange odor out of the plastic of my water basin? For it to still be smelling, it must be (only for a lack of terms) “molded into the plastic”!! I have not tried to use it as of yet, I sure do not want to have that odor in my house. Putting Air Fresh Solution is a great Idea, but I have to empty my water basin 10 to 12 times when I vacuum. I have pets (yes I comb them) them still have hair everywhere, I would spend a fortune in the Solution. Can I use some other ingredient in the basin? Its just blowing out the smell of the item in the water right? I mean the chemicals that are put in the water are not filtering through any part of the Rainbow. I think??? Sorry to be soooo long, but as you can tell I have OCD & must explain everything and ask questions – so thank you for your time & please have a Blessed Day!!
    God Bless you & the wonderful help that you give to us Rainbow Customers!!!!

    1. Hi Sheila.
      Sorry about what happens to you, this is why we always recommend to empty the water basin after cleaning, sometimes the odor disappears after run the Rainbow for about 30 minutes with 2 capfuls of the air freshener in the water, but the HEPA filter also can keep the bad odors, so we recommend to take out the HEPA and smell it to check it. If it is you can clean it or replace it.
      Best regards

      1. Good afternoon. I’ve had my rainbow for a week. I’m battling a carpet beetle infestation, and loosing. It helped tremendously with with allergies from them. I treated some baseboards this weekend with boric acid. Swept up most. Then vacuum, I cant get the chemical (taste) out of air ,I’ve washed the filter under canister. Still not helpful

          1. Debbie Williams

            I put a thermomax deodorizer in my rainbow and it foamed up;smelled like burnt rubber and now won’t come on.Is it saveable?

    2. By the way, do not clean your home when running the Rainbow and trying to get rid the bad smell with the Air freshener, just let it running alone with no attachment.

  7. Melanie Marcantel

    My rainbow vacuum cleaner is about 21 years old. When I went to use it yesterday it started to smell very bad. I tried to clean it but I cannot remove The spinning dial at the bottom. What do I do?

    1. vladimir leon

      Hi Melanie.
      The Separator is supposed to be removed and cleaned at least once per year. When it is not clean for a long time eventually get stock and very hard to removed. When this happens the only way is to take your Rainbow to an authorized distributor/repair place.
      Sorry for that, but I hope next time you wouldn’t let this happening again.

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