How to Make a Vacuum Cleaner From a Plastic Bottle

Vacuum cleaners are expensive, and are not that complicated. Find out here how you can make one out of a plastic bottle!
Christopher McFadden

Vacuum cleaner technology is simple: create a low-pressure system that forces (not sucks, because sucking does not exist- but that is for another time) air into a tube where dust and small debris can be picked up and stored. In essence, a fan connected to a tube. If the technology has not changed that much, how come they are so expensive? A YouTuber has devised a genius plan on how to build your own vacuum cleaner out of a plastic bottle and a few other simple parts, check out his video below: 

Instructables has a slightly different design but they are both essentially the same. The following is a brief outline of the procedure for building one of these for yourself!

So what do you need to make your own vacuum cleaner?

Like any DIY project, it is best to start with a list of components. These ones are common for any household so you probably won't have to search for too long in order to find them.

Dirt storage compartment is the most important part of vacuum cleaners so its best we start with it. So obviously, an empty plastic bottle (keep the cap) would be great for the beginning. Try to get a small plastic bottle too, something like a small vaseline container would be grand (make sure it's empty). Some sharp cutting tools would be great too, scissors are great but a Stanley knife would also do. You'll also need to get your hands on a deodorant bottle, first aid cloth and a 12v DC motor and a ballpoint pen refill. You'll also want to gather together a glue gun and a small bending pipe for the nozzle.

Grab a hammer, drill, hacksaw, and nail whilst you're at it! You may want to collect some other materials to "beautify" the final product but that's not essential. Some marker pens will also be useful, so grab some of those bad boys. Oh, and a metal ruler will be invaluable. A soldering rod or heated needle or electric drill will also be needed later on.

You could also grab some cardboard or polystyrene for the handle and the feet later on if you want.

First step to making your mini vacuum cleaner

First, you'll want to cut the plastic bottle and the deodorant can. The bottle will be used both as the body and the bag while deodorant will be used for the fan. Cut the plastic bottle in half, this should be fairly easy. For those who are children of Blue Peter, this should be second nature to you. Next, take the deodorant bottle and cut off the top and bottom to produce a nice flat sheet of metal. You might want to use a hacksaw for this. Got all that? Great; on to the next stage.

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Making the fan

Let's make the fan now shall we? Take the nice flat sheet you obtained from the deodorant bottle. Take the previously cut plastic bottle and sketch around the open circumference with a maker. Now cut the marked bit out of the metal sheet to make a nice round metal disc. Take your metal ruler and draw two sets of perpendicular lines to divide the disk into eight equal segments meeting at the center.

Take your trusty hammer and put the nail right through the center of the disk. Now cut along, not all the way to the center! Leave a little room away from the hole. This will produce eight "wings" connected by a small segment of the disk. Now twist the wings in the same direction to produce your very own fan blades! Well done you! It should look something like this.

How to Make a Vacuum Cleaner From a Plastic Bottle

[Image source: krazykred via Instructables]

Powering the fan

Now it's time to assemble your fan and motor! Exciting. Take your 12v DC motor and attach the ballpoint pen refill onto the rotating rod on the motor and press to tighten. Cut the excess off around 10 mm past the rod. Take your beautifully crafted fan blades and slide over the pen refill attached to the motor. Fire up the glue gun and apply hot glue to provide extra strength around the joint. Your fan is now ready to rumble! It should resemble something akin to the following image below.

How to Make a Vacuum Cleaner From a Plastic Bottle

[Image source: krazykred via Instructables]

Now let's get back to the main assembly. Mark out a circle around the base of the plastic bottle to fit the DC motor through snuggly. Use a heated needle or soldering rod or drill to make a series of small holes around the bottle's base to allow the exhaust air to escape. It should resemble a sieve when finished.

Now you have some choices. You can either wire the motor and add a cap to cover the wiring which you then glue inside the base of the bottle or cut out the central circle you made for the DC motor to fit into the bottle. Once complete, you can now glue the motor into place, making sure the fan blades are inside the bottle! The vacuum is certainly starting to take shape!

How to Make a Vacuum Cleaner From a Plastic Bottle

[Image source: krazykred via Instructables]

Now take the first aid cloth and place it over the open part of the top section of the ex-plastic bottle. Trim around the edge of the bottle leaving about 10mm excess. This will form a basic filter for the cleaner. You could mount this on a handmade ring of wire that will be removable or tape the excess to the outside of the bottle using double sided sticky plastic tape. Now connect your front assembly into the open section of the base with motor and fan. Secure the seal with some more sticky plastic tape to form a nice airtight seal.

How to Make a Vacuum Cleaner From a Plastic Bottle

[Image source:krazykred via Instructables]

Making the nozzle for your vacuum cleaner

Now we're cooking with gas! The main assembly is now complete, good work. Now it's time for the business end of the vacuum cleaner, apart from the motor of course. The nozzle and suction pipe! Take the bottle cap from the previous bottle and make a large hole in the center big enough to accommodate the bendy plastic tube you made sure you acquired before beginning this build. Glue in place. Now grab yourself the small plastic bottle, a small vaseline one will do, make a similar hole in the base and glue it to the other end of the pipe to make the nozzle.

How to Make a Vacuum Cleaner From a Plastic Bottle

[Image source: krazykred via Instructables]

Bringing it all together

Let's bring it all together now shall we "peeps"? Screw the bottle cap end onto the top of the main body and hey presto it's more or less complete! Now you can beautify your machine and add a handle. Decorate to your very own design and make the handle from cardboard or polystyrene (you can even try wood!) Now glue or tape it to the main body. You could add feet in the same fashion to the bottom if needed.

How to Make a Vacuum Cleaner From a Plastic Bottle

[Image source: krazykred via Instructables]

Finally, wire up the motor and attach to a plug assembly to connect it to the mains. Plug it in and away you go, your very own hand-made vacuum cleaner! Good times! Depending on which options you went for to empty either take the top off or simply take off the nozzle and tube. Now, you will finally have a proper help when cleaning your home.


Vacuums such as this are not hard to maintain; you don't have to change bags, filters, repair them nor do they use water. All you have to do is remove the dirt and possibly dry it. It doesn't require to much power and it's easy to carry around by hand which means you are free to use it to clean kitchen, garden, floor, carpet and other parts of your house.

However, one of the best things is that it doesn't cost much money. Today, appliances are so expensive and spend so much energy. People order products that work briefly and barely address the problem.

Have in mind that this tool is not ideal, but at least you can toss this one at any time without feeling regret. 

Via Instructables 

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