Saturday, February 19, 2011

Life's wisdom. Vacuum cleaners, bagless

Moving through life, you pick up pieces of wisdom and experience. And my current life-lesson, learned quite recently, is that it's a bad idea to buy a bagless vacuum cleaner.

There are attractions, of course. When you're about to buy a new vacuum cleaner, and you're looking through the Argos catalogue for instance, and you see the adverts for vacuum cleaners without bags, you think, 'Well that seems like a good idea.' Because the bags are quite annoying. When it gets full you have to change it, which means buying a new one, and that can be awkward. They don't sell these bags in that many shops. And when you find them, they all have complicated numbers, like '30005 XJB' And you look at the bag, and think - 'Will that fit my vacuum model 30005 XJA, or do I need a different one?' And then you probably arrive home with the wrong bags and it's just very frustrating.

So, given all that provocation by the bags, it's sort of natural to think 'To hell with it, I'm going to buy a bagless vacuum cleaner.' Which brings me back to looking through the Argos catalogue, and thinking - 'That looks fairly cheap, and it doesn't have a bag. I'll buy that one.'

But this, I now advance as a general theory, is a mistake. The bagless vacuum cleaner is fine at the start. Sucks up the dirt, and no bag to replace. The problem is when you try to empty it. Which is probably when it gets so full it just won't work anymore. And then you find out something they don't tell you in the catalogue - emptying a bagless vacuum cleaner is really disgusting. You open it up and instead of just whipping out one full bag and putting in another empty one, you actually have to clean out all this filth you've sucked up for the past six months. And it doesn't all come out easily. Some of it is all squashed up and compacted and you have to kind of scrape it out and it's really disgusting. I hate cleaning out this bagless vacuum cleaner. It's appalling. I regard the whole thing as a terrible mistake.

Note - none of this blog is applicable to fancy Dyson cleaners and other high-end devices. They may be completely different. All my experience of household appliances comes from the cheap end of the Argos catalogue.


  1. The 3005 XJB will work on all XJ models, including your XJA. It's a versatile bag.

  2. Sarah8:29 pm

    I have a fancy Dyson and it's still gross cleaning it out. Especially when you vacuum up any and all spiders that you find, as I do.

  3. Anita3:22 am

    On my floor in my building there is a neighbour who empties their vacuum cleaner straight into the garbage chute. This is disgusting as it leaves a film of debris all over anything in the vicinity and if you happen to use it after them you also get a lungful of the crap. Both foul and selfish. I'm thinking of leaving an anonymous passive/aggressive note taped to the chute.
    Sarah - when you vacuum up the spiders spritz a little bug spray in there as well. Then you can be sure.

  4. Anonymous9:55 am

    Seriously, though, between the cheap hoovers with bags, and the ones without, I think you should have stuck to the ones with bags - at least, you don't get to clean it so much, and the bag is easier to pull off if left unattended and full for months. My mum did not use to empty hers at all, so, without meaning to, she set fire to it one day, as she was stubbornly trying to hoover on a fulled loaded bag(all this because a lot of the dust had gone into the engine). As long as you avoid this kind of situation, you should be fine.

  5. The one i have is really rubbish! You're supposed to empty it Every Time you use it, but even when i can be bothered with that, the filters are impossible to keep clean enough to work properly. I recommend a brush and dust pan - you get housemaid's knee, but at least it's a bit of exercise.

  6. Anonymous7:44 pm

    Even the fancy Dyson cleaners are yucky and ultimately dirt billows out when you go to empty them. So you really have to go outside to do it. I hate vacuuming but I hate living in filth more so it's a necessary evil. I wish I had magic powers like Thrix so I could make the dirt go to the Forest of the Werewolf Dead.

  7. My mum did not use to empty hers at all, so, without meaning to, she set fire to it one day, as she was stubbornly trying to hoover on a fulled loaded bag(all this because a lot of the dust had gone into the engine).

    bagless upright vacuum cleaners

  8. This made me giggle.. a lot!

    Have the exact same problem.. cheaper end of Argos bag less vacuum cleaner that has to be scraped out.
    Only I also have 2 cats so its full of cat hair and the occasional bits of cat litter..
    I also have a pathological fear of spiders and there has been occasions where I've not been able to outright kill the spiders but had to vacuum them up. But as everyone knows there is no way of being certain this kills the spider (it probably doesn't as they are made from pure evil and evil is notoriously difficult to kill). It's also very difficult to spot a scheming spider in a plastic cylinder full of black cat hair so I can only assume they sit in there biding their time ready to wreak their revenge on me... In those situations I'm forced to plug the vacuum tube with a thick wad of newspaper and put the vacuum away until my mother or well meaning friend (deluded enough not to realise the inherit danger they are in) comes to empty the vacuum for me. In the meantime I'm stuck with a brush and pan.

    My old bagged vacuum had this little closure mechanism on the bags which meant that if you pulled the bag out quickly and stealthily, immediately closing the bag you could do so with almost no danger of spider attack.

    I miss it.

  9. The bagless vacuum is pretty good but gross as you say, still going for the one with a bag for cleaning !