How Long Do Rainbow Vacuum Cleaners Last?

May 26, 2023

How Long Do Rainbow Vacuum Cleaners Last?

How long to Rainbow vacuum cleaners last? Great question and one we are uniquely qualified to answer. Here at GreatVacs we have serviced or rebuilt over 40,000 Rainbow vacuum over the years.  In a nutshell we see Rainbow vacuum cleaners lasting 25 years on average and we see 40 year old Rainbow vacuums running perfect all of the time.    However, if you want your Rainbow vacuum to last that long there is 1 thing you HAVE TO DO.   Read on to see what that one thing is.  

The Rainbow vacuum has been around for more than a century and most of our customers swear by them.

In this article, we explore the longevity of the Rainbow, review its features and answer burning questions about its operation. So buckle up as we start your journey to find a durable vacuum cleaner.

What is the oldest Rainbow vacuum we sell or service?

I will give you a hint, when this Rainbow was made this guy was president.


 Yes that is right the D4 Rainbow (that we still sell and service was made in 1986). Here is the crazy thing. They are hard to find now but when they come in almost all of them still work great…36 years later!

Lets think about this for a second. 36 years later 1) they still run great and 2) they sell for almost $1000 dollars! Don't believe me?  Check out the screenshot below from Amazon.

Rainbow D4 on Amazon

Now I challenge you to find a single vacuum cleaner on the planet that is 30 plus years old that is selling for $1000 dollars.

Its ok I will wait…(crickets)...(crickets)...yep you got it no other vacuum on the planet will do that. We rarely get them in that old anymore but when they do they ALWAYS sell within a week. They are that popular.

This is probably why Consumer Reports ranked the Rainbow vacuums the worlds #1 most dependable canister vacuum cleaner.

Let me tell you about Grandpa Ray (my wife’s Grandpa) who just recently passed away right before Covid. Grandpa Ray was born and lived his whole life in Chicago. He was in the Korean war and his cute wife (who he loved to death) and him bought a house shortly after for $14,000. They raised their family there and never moved their entire life.

Everyone loved Grandpa Ray and he could always make you laugh. As a man and I father I always had so much respect for Ray and the life he lived. Right before he passed my wife was showing me their basement and all of the cool stuff they had collected. Suddenly I saw it. In the corner was a 1946 Rainbow vacuum.

I could not help myself. I had to know :) I plugged it in and sure enough, it still ran perfectly!

Are you considering buying a Rainbow vacuum? Are you scared off by the price? Don’t be.

Those made-in-China vacuums you buy in the big box stores only last 2 years on average and you will save so much over your lifetime by buying a Rainbow vacuum (not to mention they clean sooo much better).

At Greatvacs we sell them rebuilt with our 5-year warranty for even more savings.

Maintenance Tips for Rainbow Vacuum

Here at GreatVacs, we've seen a great deal of vacuum breakdowns and fixed a lot of them. If you love your Rainbow Vacuum as much as we do, check out these maintenance tips to increase its lifespan.

We have already told you about people using the same Rainbow vacuum for more than 30 years without worrying about replacement costs. How do they do it? Do they have a secret ritual they perform to extend their vacuum lifespan?

Here is the #1 Tip on how to make your Rainbow vacuum last for decades - don't store it with water in it!  When you are done vacuuming go ahead and dump your dirty water out.   Otherwise when you turn off your Rainbow those warm bearing attract the moisture and it might only last 10 years (vs 30 that we see all of the time).   That is it! :)

The answer lies in good old simple maintenance. They took good care of their Rainbow vacuum and it paid back in kind.

Here are some tips you can use to keep your Rainbow in good shape for a long time:

Remove the residual dirt

After you are done vacuuming, wipe down your vacuum cleaner to remove all the dirt that has collected.

You can use a wet towel to clean inside the vacuum. Make sure to clean the intake hole and under the water pan after removing it.

This may seem like a basic task but it goes a long way in keeping your vacuum cleaner in good shape.

Eliminating residual dirt regularly prevents issues that may arise due to blockage of key vacuum areas.

Rinse/Dry the water basin after use

The water filtration system is an important part of the vacuum. Therefore, you need to maintain it to ensure your vacuum works well.

Use clean water and a rag to rid your water basin of any dirt or Rainbow fragrance residue.

Be careful not to drop the water basin. Although it is made from strong plexiglass material, it can break when dropped from a high altitude.

Avoid using a dishwasher or a pressure water machine. These methods can damage the water basin as it does not do well with heat.

Store it well

Avoid storing your Rainbow outside as this exposes it to extreme weather conditions.

You can buy the Rainbow storage rack to keep your vacuum and all the attachments. If this is not part of your budget, you can store it in your closet instead. 

Remove the water basin

After a vacuum session, ensure you remove the water basin and store it separately from the Rainbow.

Storing your vacuum cleaner with the water tank in place traps the internal humidity, which can cause mold accumulation or corrosion.

Clean the separator

Ensure you clean your separator at least once every 3 months. Alternatively, you can clean it after every tenth deep cleaning session.

Use the separator brush to remove the nut holding it and clean your separator thoroughly.

Pour the dirty water

If your Rainbow vacuum starts releasing bad odors, it is probably because you stored it with dirty water. Whenever you are done vacuuming, clean out the dirt cup.

Where Can I buy a Rainbow Vacuum?

The only way to buy a new Rainbow Vacuum is though a Rainbow authorized distributor. Retail price from Rainbow is $3000 but after you're done negotiating you can probably get one for $2500.

The other way of you can buy a Rainbow Vacuum cleaner for serious saving is you can buy it from us rebuilt online, starting at only $700. The Rainbow Vacuum new from Rainbow come with a 3 years warranty while our new like rebuilt Rainbow Vacuum come with a 5 years warranty.

So if you want a brand new one go buy from Rainbow. But if you want one like new condition and save some serious money and put the difference in your kids' college funds, then >>CLICK HERE.<<

Which Model of the Rainbow Vacuum is the Best?

Though all Rainbow vacuums share common features like their attachments and water filtration systems, the newer models have some notable improvements. The E2-series vacuums have more power, less noise, better motor design and button lock attachments.

They also sport a HEPA filter, improving the Rainbow's performance. The E2-series models are therefore a worthy choice.

What is the difference between Rainbow E2 and E2 Black?

These two models are both part of the E-series, making them similar in many feats.

However, they have different powerheads.

The E2 black (the newer model) features powered edge brushes and a direct connect design that does not require a power cord.

This improvement along with the crevice tool allow you to clean your carpet edges even when you are against the wall.

Does Rainbow Vacuum have a lifetime warranty?

Rexair LLC (the company behind the Rainbow) offers a written 4-year warranty on the Rainbow SRX Cleaning system together with its attached accessories. It also covers the vacuum motor controller for 10 years.

Note that this warranty only applies to authorized distributors. Also, the warranty does not cover issues brought about by the usual wear and tear on parts like the driver belt or HEPA neutralizer.

Here at GreatVacs, our Rainbow Vacuum come with a 5 years warranty on all moving parts! So not only will you be able to save some serious money for your kid's college but it has also a better warranty.

Are Rainbow vacuums worth it?

Yes, that's for sure. Here at GreatVacs we've spent years rebuilding the Rainbow Vacuums and so we're telling you this out of experience. Owing to its hefty price tag, most buyers wonder if the Rainbow truly is a worthy investment. Without further ado, let's explore the Rainbow's features to discover whether the price matches the benefits.


If there is something Rainbow vacuums are known for, it is their longevity. Here at GreatVacs, we have refurbished and rebuilt more than 40,000 Rainbow vacuums and can tell you that they last for an average of about 25 years.

Of course, if you take excellent care of your Rainbow, it can serve you for way longer than that. It is quite common to hear a customer claim that their Rainbow vacuum has lasted for more than 40 years.

We noticed that if customers left their vacuum with water in the water bowl, their Rainbows tended to have shorter life spans. If you avoid this, then your Rainbow vacuum will probably pass the 25-year mark.

Suction power

A vacuum's suction power is one of the most important aspects to consider on your search. It determines whether you will have particles or hairs on your floors after a vacuuming session.

Luckily, Rainbow Vacuums are among the best on the market with a powerful suction power of 80 cubic feet per minute. To top it all off, the Rainbow does not lose suction over time hence its splendid cleaning performance over several years.

However, this feature does not apply to all their models. The inclusion of HEPA filters in the e series have made them somewhat susceptible to losing suction over time.

The HEPA filter traps any particles that pass through the water filtration system. Some of these particles (concrete dust, baby powder and plaster dust) do not mix well with water and can blow out of the exhaust into the air.

Fortunately, most homes do not have concrete dust or plaster dust lying around so your e series Rainbow cleaning system may maintain its strong suction system.

Carpet performance

For all the cleaning enthusiasts, there is nothing as satisfying as a freshly cleaned carpet. Carpets can host all kinds of allergens, dust and pet hair. They also get stained pretty easily. As a result, they can be the hardest places to clean. Luckily, this is not enough to faze the Rainbow.

It sports a carpet cleaning accessory called the AquaMate that clears any debris that collects on your carpet and carpeted stairs. It also has a power nozzle that picks up any dirt on your carpet and a powerful motor that just does not quit.

The Aquamate has a rotating brush roll that deep cleans your carpet leaving it dirt-free. It also clears stubborn grease, pet and spill stains. You can use the AquaMate Carpet Cleaner solution together with this accessory to condition and deodorize your carpet, leaving it smelling fresh.

Here are some steps you can follow to get the most out of the AquaMate:

  1. Use your Rainbow to vacuum the loose dirt particles and hair on the carpet (the power nozzle is pretty handy here). This allows the cleaning solution to target the tougher stains embedded in the carpet fibers.

  2. Unplug the stainless steel wand from the vacuum head. Line up the pins in the wand with those in the AquaMate extension and push the two till they fall into place and plug the AquaMate into the wand.

  3. Fill the plastic water tank and soap dispenser at the top of the AquaMate attachment. The larger container is for water while the smaller one is for soap. Add a capful of the Rainbow carpet shampoo to the dispenser and add water till it fills up.

  4. Ensure the lever points to the shampoo icon (the one with soap bubbles) and switch the machine on.

  5. Release the shampoo onto the carpet using the trigger on the handle. Move the AquaMate forward and backward, ensuring the motorized brush roll covers all the intended areas.

  6. Turn the lever till it points to the rinse icon (the one with a water droplet) to activate the rinsing option. Press the trigger to release water onto the areas you shampooed.

  7. Set the lever to the extract position (the icon with the squiggly lines) to remove excess water from the carpet. Move the machine over all the wet areas until there is no more water sucked into the machine and voila! You now have a clean carpet.

Find out more about whether Rainbow Vacuum is worth it here.

Bare floor performance

Whether you have hardwood, ceramic tile or linoleum bare floors, the Rainbow vacuum cleaner has got you covered. Its floor and wall brush is very efficient at clearing surface litter and dust particles.

Hardwood floors scratch easily, making them tricky to clean with a vacuum cleaner. The Rainbow's floor and wall brush is right for the job because of its soft lightweight bristles.

For your linoleum and ceramic tile floors, you can start by vacuuming to clean out loose dirt and particles. Afterwards, use the RainJet attachment (aided by a powerful motor),which functions like a traditional mop, to clean your bare floors and leave them fresh and shiny.

Accessories and attachments

The innovative accessories and small attachments the Rainbow offers have made it a force to contend with in the cleaning industry.

They perform a wide array of cleaning functions, leaving you with clean floors and a home smelling fresh.

Some of the attachments come with the Rainbow vacuum cleaner after a purchase. They include:

  • Dusting brush
  • Crevice tool
  • Upholstery tool
  • Floor and wall brush
  • Pet grooming tool
  • Aerofresh bag
  • Attachment caddy
  • Inflator tool
  • 8-foot hose
  • Wet pickup and extractor head
  • Stainless steel wands

There are other accessories that help with special functions like carpet shampooing, water washing and deodorizing that are bought separately. These include:

  • AquaMate
  • Power nozzle
  • RainJet
  • RainbowMate
  • JetPad
  • Rainbow cleaning solutions
  • MiniJet
  • Extended hose
  • Rainbow fragrances


You can use it to clean mattresses

It is truly amazing how much dirt mattresses can collect. But if you really think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Imagine all the sweat, dead skin and dust trapped in your mattress. The funny thing is you probably would not notice because of the bedsheets covering it.

But is it really necessary to clean my mattress? Yes it is.

Experts at the Sleep Foundation recommend you clean your mattress every 6 months. A clean mattress will improve your sleep and help control skin conditions like eczema. Now that you have gotten the picture, let's focus on how you can clean it.

Rainbow vacuums are quite effective at sucking the gunk off mattresses thanks to the power nozzle. Their strong suction makes them an even match for even the toughest stains. The upholstery tool is a handy attachment when it comes to cleaning your mattress. It removes embedded dirt leaving your mattress free of dust mites.

Can I use a Rainbow vacuum cleaner as an air purifier?

Long story short yes. More than just trapping debris, the water filtration system ensures that these particles are not blown back into The Rainbow's water filtration system is a feature that makes different from any other vacuum.

The vacuum's powerful motor together with its HEPA neutralizer filtration system ensure 99.9% dirt removal along its cleaning path.

That is more than we can say for other vacuums that do not use water filtration, thus can only guarantee 99% of dirt is removed after vacuuming.
the air.

This ensures that allergens and dust particles present on hard surfaces and carpets are not floating around after a vacuuming session. That's pretty good news for people with allergies, right?

On its own, the Rainbow leaves the air cleaner than most vacuums. However, you can turn it into an actual air purifier using these simple steps:

  • Connect a hose to the Rainbow dusting brush.
  • Attach the Rainbow unit to the hose.
  • Turn the machine on by flipping the power switch.
  • Adjust the dial and set it to the "Wet" option.
  • Plugin the machine and turn it on.
  • Run the cleaning unit till the water pan is empty.
  • Fix the Rainbow scent pack to the tube at the front of the machine and turn on the vacuum cleaner.

How much power does a Rainbow Vacuum use?

The amount of power a Rainbow vacuum consumes varies depending on the model. However, most of them feature the Hurricane motor that uses about 1.5 horsepower.

This powerful motor makes the Rainbow capable of deep cleaning thick carpets and mattresses. The absence of carbon brushes in this vacuum ensures that microscopic carbon particles are not blown into the air.

The motor also has two speeds (low speed and high speed) which you can switch between depending on your preference. You can change the motor speed using the control panel located at the top of the main unit.

What happens if you run a Rainbow vacuum without water?

A Rainbow vacuum does not have a bag and uses water as part of its filtration system. The water filtration system does well to trap dirt and dust particles sucked into the machine, keeping them from being blown back into the air.

Running your Rainbow without water interferes with this process. The Rainbow does not have a bag, so where will the dirt go? Some of the particles will make it past the exhaust and will be back on the floor you just vacuumed.

After also making it past the exhaust, the lighter particles will rise into the air, which is bad news for anyone with an allergy. The other particles that stayed in the machine will also do their damage. They can clog internal parts of your machine and the HEPA filter.

Check below how to unlcog your Rainbow Vacuum.

It is definitely possible to use your Rainbow without water, but it does not seem worth the trouble. How often should you replace the HEPA filter in a Rainbow vacuum? You should replace your Rainbow HEPA filter once every 3 - 6 years.

If you think that your filter is not working as well, you can have it inspected at an Authorized Rainbow Service Center. Your HEPA filter may not work as efficiently if the water gets too thick with dirt. In such a scenario, change the water midway through cleaning to see if the situation improves.

There you have it!

We have come to the end of this fascinating journey. The Rainbow is a worthy investment that passes the test of time. I hope you got some valuable insight from this article.

One of the questions we get asked a lot is 'What is the best model of Rainbow vacuum made.' In fact one thing we notice among our Rainbow customers is that sometimes a previous model is even more popular than the new model.

We got asked this question so much that we did detailed tests between the different models in our lab.

If you would like us to email you the results of our tests on what the best Rainbow model is just drop your email in the form below and we will email it to you. As an extra bonus we will also email you our free guide “The 5 things you never knew a Rainbow vacuum could do."

If you have any other questions about Rainbow vacuums feel free to reach out to us at or visit us at