If your vacuum cleaner requires a bag, then you can’t run it without one without doing damage to it.
The vacuum bag acts as a filter to catch all the debris and keep it from coming back into the air. Without that bag, nothing is catching dust, and it’s leaking out of the vacuum cleaner, nullifying all the work you’ve done.
Also, that dust can find its way to the electric motor and damage it. It’s important you have the bag inside your bagged vacuum cleaner.
If your vacuum cleaner is the bagless type, then the dust doesn’t leak back out as the canister and filter are there to keep it in the container.
What Vacuums Can Be Run Without A Bag?
Besides bagless style vacuum cleaners, two other vacuum cleaners can be run without a bag.
A shop vacuum or a water filtration vacuum cleaner doesn’t need or have an option for a vacuum bag.
Shop Vacuum Without Bag
A shop vacuum is designed to take a lot of abuse and suck up everything from dust to water. Many shop vacuums can have a bag added which is a must if all you suck up is dust and dirt, making cleaning easier.
If you do a lot of cleaning of gunk such as water or anything wet, you should not use the bags made for shop vacuums.
If you suck up mostly wet dirt, you should not even use the paper filter in your shop vacuum and instead use the foam one. This is because a paper filter will get clogged much easier than the foam when water is sucked up.
Water Filteration Vacuum Cleaner And No Bag
The other style of vacuum cleaner that doesn’t need a bag is water filtration vacuum cleaners.
As the name implies, water filtration vacuum cleaners use water to filter the dirt that is being sucked up and keep the dust from entering back into the room.
This style of vacuum cleaner is super effective at cleaning and is one of the best options if you suffer from allergies.
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Instead of a bag, it’s a pool of water, and when you’re done cleaning, you drain the water outside.
The best part of a water filtration vacuum cleaner is that the filter doesn’t hold on to the smell like a paper filter vacuum cleaner does, so when you’re done vacuuming the house doesn’t smell.
In Place Of A Bag
If your vacuum cleaner requires a bag, there is no way to get around it.
Making your own bags won’t work either and will only end up costing you more than just buying a new bag.
The perk of using a bagged vacuum cleaner is that less dirt and dust end up in the air. Also, bagged vacuum cleaners tend to hold more than bagless vacuum cleaners. With a bagless, you need to empty it every time you use it, but with a bagged vacuum cleaner, you can do many cleanings without getting a new bag.
If you don’t have a bag for your vacuum cleaner, there is no DIY replacement; you need to buy the right bag for your vacuum cleaner.
Vacuuming Without A Bag
If your vacuum cleaner requires a bag and you still vacuum without one, it can destroy the vacuum cleaner.
Vacuuming without the bag wears the motor out quicker, and the dust and dirt are more likely to end back up in the air or floor.
The vacuum cleaner bag often has a one-way valve that keeps the dust from dumping out when the motor is off. So as soon as you turn the vacuum off, all that you sucked up could end up back on the floor.
Not only that, but the bag acts as a filter, and without that, the dirt and dust will leak out the plastic of the vacuum cleaner.
If you’re running a bag-style vacuum cleaner without a bag, you’re only wasting electricity and doing very little vacuuming.
How Often To Change Vacuum Bag
You’ll want to change your vacuum bag when it’s 2/3 full or every 3 months, whichever comes first.
If the bag is too full, the vacuum cleaner will not work, with many of them shutting off when it’s a too high level of dirt.
If your vacuum bag never gets to 2/3 full after 3 months, you should replace it anyway as the filtration of the bag is vastly diminished. Vacuuming past 3 months could cause the electric motor to overwork and shorten its life.
Reusing Vacuum Bags
You can not reuse vacuum cleaner bags; they should be thrown away after you’re done with them.
Not only is it hard to empty a vacuum cleaner bag out of the small hole, but the bag itself is worn out and needs to be tossed.
The bag acts as a filter and gets clogged over time, so it must be thrown away when it’s time. Reusing the bag will only hurt your vacuum cleaner over time.
What Happens If You Don’t Empty Your Vacuum Cleaner?
If you never empty your vacuum cleaner, it will eventually get worse and worse cleaning abilities until it completely stops.
When the canister gets too full, it restricts airflow to suck up dirt. Your vacuum cleaner will get to a point where it won’t suck up anything when it’s reached max capacity.