To bag, or not to bag: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler for your wallet to suffer the dust and debris of bagged fortune, Or to take arms against a canister of dusty troubles, and by washing clean it?
Ahem. The answer here is “not to bag” as I’m going to sweep myself back to the present and highlight the bagless vacuum cleaner and all its features, good or bad.
You need a good vacuum cleaner. You know exactly what it’s like when your unit is not working properly – debris piles up in the pile and clouds of what you thought you were cleaning drift through the air and resettle in new lands around your home. Check out the top vacuum cleaners.
One perceived benefit of a bagless vacuum cleaner is not having to deal with, discard of or pay for, well…bags.
• No clouds of dust from a big ol’, nasty bag
• No carrying it to the trashcan while leaving a trail of dust over the areas you already cleaned
• More money in your pockets for all things non-bag in nature
And, for those of you with allergies (like myself), there is a health benefit in not having to dodge the clouds of dust storms in your house after you’ve just vacuumed your carpets.
The truth of the matter is, however, that even though you save money (and trees!) by not using bags, you still have to clean your machine periodically for it to work its best.
And, to be honest, it’s kind of a six-of-one-bag-none-of-another scenario. The perception is that “bagless” means cleaner, and that is not always reported to be the case. The SEBO company in Germany believes the bag-wielding dust foes are far superior. Of course, they actually manufacture those types of machines so a grain-of-salt is applied here, no doubt.
Still, their logic seems compelling.
Bagless vacuums have filters. Those filters can get clogged, torn or otherwise worn down. You can wash them out, but eventually you will have to replace them like any other filter. There are too many products out there to do extensive price comparisons in this article but I can tell you from a quick sweep of Google that filters can range from $3.50-$36 and bags can range from $6-$30 per pack. That not a big difference on the surface, but it is also logical that you need more bags than filters, therefore in the long-run the bagless vacuum cleaner is a more economic choice.
There is a convenience to the bagless units as well that many consumers like. You usually just push a button/handle, remove the canister and dump the dirt into your trashcan. That really is easier than removing and replacing bags.
The biggest con that seems to be agreed-upon out there is that bagless vacuum cleaners are worse for people with allergies because, in spite of the cleaner perception given by their plastic containers, they release more dust and allergens into the air than do the bags.
A big positive for the bagless devices is geared towards parents and pet owners. Suck something up that shouldn’t have been on the floor..? It’s easier to pick your wedding ring, a crayon or a small chew-toy out of a canister than it is to tear apart a vacuum bag.
Cleaning the bagless vacuum is a necessary process, but not a hard one. If you neglect your machine it will start to fail you so follow these instructions to keep yours in tip-top shape:
1. Disconnect the canister and dispose of all the waste
2. Take any components of the canister apart that are meant to come apart
3. Remove excess dirt or dust by hand (rubber gloves recommended)
4. Wash in a utility sink or outside with warm, soapy water
5. Remove filters and rinse briskly with warm water
6. Allow filters to air-dry for at least 24 hours prior to reusing them
7. Check your hoses for blockage to avoid nasty buildups and overheating
8. Carefully cut away anything strings or debris that may have lodge to or wrapped around the roller brush
9. Put the machine back together
10. Repeat the process every 2 months
NOTE: You can also lean your machine against the wall at an angle after its been cleaned and reassembled and let it run for 30-60 seconds without using it. This allows for any clogs you missed to be blown out of the hoses.
The bottom line is, bags or no bags, you get what you pay for with these devices. Black and red are known to be power colors and Dirt Devil always seems to show up fully dressed for the dance. Still, their more affordable machines really just can’t cut-a-rug compared to the pricier units out there. $40 more dollars gets you a much better unit and honestly, it’s worth the cost.
In the end the choice to buy a bagless vacuum cleaner comes down to preference, perception, and, well…allergies.