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How to Clean a Bagless Vacuum

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Updated February 13, 2023

Teaching somebody how to clean a bagless vacuum cleaner isn’t too tricky. There are a few steps involved, and it’s more about the process than the time it takes. While you might find this cleaning task tedious, it’s better than losing out on powerful suction, leaving dirt particles all around your house, or worse, ruining a top-performing vacuum cleaning.


  • Cleaning your bagless vacuum should only take you around an hour and less if you perform regular cleaning on it.
  • You should only ever use water on plastic parts of the vacuum, and preferably only on detachable parts unless it’s the outside casing on the vacuum.
  • There are very few supplies required for this task unless you’re planning on deep cleaning.

How To Clean A Bagless Vacuum

Just like learning how to clean a pool with a vacuum can save you lots of time and money, learning how to clean a bagless vacuum cleaner can extend the lifespan of your favorite household appliance. If you have a warranty, regular maintenance might be required to avoid breaching that warranty.

Insider Tip

For plastic parts, it’s totally fine to use soapy water, or just warm water, to clean.

1. Gather All Your Supplies

You’ll only need a few different things for an efficient cleaning session. A damp cloth, a bucket, and gentle soap are all that’s required. You can also invest in a vacuum hose brush if you’d like to do some deep cleaning.

2. Take Apart Your Vacuum Cleaner

How you disassemble your vacuum will depend on the brand and model. Always look to your owner’s manual for instructions on this process. You can also check the brand’s website for further guidance.

3. Wash All Plastic Parts

For plastic parts, it’s totally fine to use soapy water, or just warm water, to clean. Make sure you get into tiny grooves and remove all debris.

If all this is too complicated, first try comparing bagged vacuums vs bagless vacuums to see which one will work for you. But, if you still want a bagless vacuum, you’ll want to look into our Shark Navigator Freestyle upright stick cordless bagless vacuum for carpet review. 

5. Dust And Check Internal Compartments

Use a duster to make sure everything that isn’t okay to use water on is cleaned off. You should always check over the internal compartments to make sure everything is in working order.

5. Check For Clogs or Cracks

Both clogs and cracks can start as minor inconveniences and turn into much larger problems. Pet hair, stuck surface debris, and built-up dirt particles can all cause clogs to form. This is a cleaning task you can’t afford to skip. Although, if you have bags, it’s much easier to just change out the vacuum bag and then toss it. 

6. Put Your Vacuum Back Together

Once you’ve completed the process and all parts are nice and dry, put your bagless vacuum cleaner back together again. Just store it away until you’re ready to use it again. While choosing the right vacuum cleaner is a great first step, keeping your vacuum clean is essential for good home maintenance.


If you have a warranty, regular maintenance might be required to avoid breaching that warranty.


Which are better, bagless or bagged vacuums?

It comes down to personal preference. Do you want something more hygienic that you have to pay a little more for? Then a bagged, sealed-system vacuum is probably the right choice. Don’t mind a little extra trade-off for cheaper upkeep? Then go with a bagless design.

How to Clean a HEPA Filter?

You should never try to clean a HEPA filter. They are not meant to be tampered with. There are some washable models, but always assume that your filter is not unless you know for sure.

How to Clean a Vacuum Filter?

Countless different types of filters exist, and each brand will have different guidelines for cleaning their filters. You should always check the owner’s manual to reach out to customer service if you have any questions.

Are expensive vacuum cleaners worth it?

If you can find it in your budget to afford an expensive vacuum cleaner, then absolutely they are. These machines come with the latest technology, powerful suction power and make little to no noise. A robotic vacuum cleaner would be an excellent choice, as well.

STAT: However, Navas warned that only plastic items should go in the water, and everything needs to be 100% dry before you reassemble the vacuum to avoid electrical dangers. (source)

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