Monday, April 22, 2013

Un-Clogging a Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

I've seen suggestions on Pinterest, among other places, on tips to get a clog out of your bagless vacuum cleaner.  Among the suggestions are broom handle, bent wire and another vacuum cleaner. The reason why there are so many posts about how to do this is because, contrary to advertising, bagless vacuum cleaners get clogged up a lot.  In our store, 75% of the vacuum cleaners that come in for repair are bagless.  Of these, 90% come in because they are clogged.  

Let's start with why a broom handle is not a good idea.  When I asked my vacuum-repair-guy husband, he said he actually had a customer try this.  It made the clog so bad that he could not fix it.  The broom handle took what was a relatively soft and squooshy clog and compacted it into a rock-solid mass that could not be moved.  So, unless you want to run the risk of buying a new vacuum cleaner or replacing the entire hose, do not try this at home.

Next, the bent wire, or in my case, a straightened-out wire clothes hanger.   Before I met my husband, I fancied myself a handy-woman who did not need professionals to deal with most mishaps, minor repairs/upgrades around the house.  Sucking up a few pine needles into my bagless vacuum cleaner should be no different.  In theory, this is a great idea, because you can actually snag the clog-producing material with the hanger and fish it out.  However, in practice, I poked a hole in the hose, thereby causing dirt to fly out of the hose, decrease suction, impair my cleaning and breathing.  And, yup, the cure was  a new hose.  (The cure for my allergies, however, is a bagged vacuum with a sealed system).

Third suggestion is to clear the clog with another vacuum cleaner.   This is the best option, but how many people have a second vacuum cleaner that they can use to do this?  If you do have a second vacuum cleaner with a hose, you can try to get the clog out.  You have nothing to lose, since you are attempting to pull the clog out, instead of pushing it in, thereby compacting, as in the case of a broom handle.  If this does not work, you probably have not made it worse.  If it does not work, if you don't have another vacuum cleaner, or if you just don't want to do it, take it to your local vac shop and they should be able to remedy the problem.  It will cost you; less if you haven't made it worse. 

As I've stated in other posts, the best way to keep your vacuum cleaner running well is to buy from a Vac Shop, where they can instruct you on a) the best vacuum cleaner for your needs, b) how to use your vacuum cleaner and c) how to maintain your vacuum cleaner.  We welcome your questions and/or comments. 

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