How To Clean A Bagged Vacuum Cleaner

Picture of a Henry cylinder vacuumOwning a vacuum cleaner is a convenience most homeowners couldn’t now do without. You can clean your carpets, upholstery and hard floors quickly and easily without having to resort to the dreaded dustpan and brush. However, when you buy any new gadget you have to make sure to keep it in working condition so you that it will give many years of trouble-free service. Look at everything you have in the house – be it an air conditioner, microwave, washing machine, dishwasher, etc. They all need maintenance at some point and proper servicing should keep them running for many years.

If you have a bagged vacuum cleaner (like the best-selling ‘Henry‘ model shown here), you have to make sure to clean it regularly and thoroughly in order to keep it working optimally. Below we’ll explain what you need to do

Cleaning Instructions for bagged vacuum cleaners

Before you begin

 Firstly, when performing any maintenance or cleaning of electrical home appliances, be sure they are not plugged into the mains before you begin. We can’t emphasise this enough! Failing to do so could result in electric shocks or injury by moving machine parts which unexpectedly spring to life!

Checking the bag

 Next, open the vacuum cleaner’s main compartment to see how full the dust bag appears to be. If the bag looks like it is half-full (or more) then it’s probably time to empty or replace it. If your bag isn’t emptied regularly your vacuum cleaner might stop working completely.

 Make sure you choose the right size of bag for your vacuum cleaner and make sure you insert it correctly according to the manufacturer’s instructions (which you can normally find on their websites). Bags need proper fixing and insertion in order for a vacuum cleaner to work properly. If there are any clips or the bag requires you to rotate it to insert it properly, make sure you double-check the seal before moving onto the next step.

Cleaning the roller brush bar

Next you need to check and clean the roller brush bar. This is the device found in the head of your cleaner which rotates to lift the dirt off the carpets (found normally on upright cleaners but also sometimes on cylinders). If you happen to own a robot cleaner, like the new Dyson 360 Eye, the bar is in the form of a reel which is always rotating.

There will most likely be a button at the bottom to loosen the roller or other similar mechanism. Don’t try to pull the roller unless you have found the button or latches to loosen it first.

Once you have pushed the button, take out the roller slowly because it may be attached to a belt (this isn’t the case with some newer models as these are driven by a mechanism that clicks together when the roller is inserted). Once you’ve ascertained what type of system you have pull the roller free.

Before you clean the roller take a look at the condition of the belt (if present). If it looks worn out it might be an idea to order a replacement as it may be close to the end of it’s useful life. If it looks dirty (as it probably will) give it a quick clean with a damp cloth.

 The roller will most likely feature rows of brushes which will have become clogged with hair, carpet threads etc. You need to remove all of this to get the roller to function optimally again. The easiest way is probably to use a pair of scissors to cut along the lines of the brushes (ensuring you don’t damage them) to remove all the accumulated material.

 Once cleaned, replace the roller temporarily and give it few turns to see if it spins freely. If you notice any jamming the mechanism may benefit from a little bit of lubricating oil (WD40 or similar).

The housing area around the roller and belt will also probably have a lot of dirt, threads and hair stuck to it. Remove the roller once again and use a matchstick or wooden skewer to remove any debris (especially any that may be blocking the inlet hose) and a damp cloth to clean the general area.

 Next, replace the roller and re-attach the belt (if appropriate) and then check that the roller turns as it should.

 Once you’re happy that the roller seems to be functioning correctly, close the lid (if there is one).

Cleaning the filter

You’ll also want to clean the filter that stops dirt being expelled back into the air as part of the vacuum’s exhaust. As there are many different configurations for filters we recommend taking a quick look at the manufacturer’s website for details if you’re not sure. You may find the filter on your unit is made of paper in which case it will most likely need to be replaced unless the dirt can easily be shaken off. alternatively it may be fabric and can then be washed under the tap and dried before being replaced.

Clearing a blocked hose

If after doing all the above you still find the vacuum’s suction isn’t as strong as you would expect you may find you have a blocked hose. Remove the roller as before and use something like a coat-hanger to try to remove all debris from the hose which connects the head of the machine to the dust-collecting bag. Please be careful not to pierce the hose by mistake as this will further reduce the suction power.

If your machine allows you to dismantle the hose please do so as this may make it easier to locate and remove any blockage. once you think you’ve got the hose as clean as possible re-attach the roller and try the machine once again.

Your vacuum cleaner should now be ready to use once again and should hopefully not require further cleaning for some time.

We hope you found this information helpful.

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