Can You Use Henry Vacuum without a Bag? (Quick Guide!)

Can you use Henry vacuum cleaner without a bag

Our Henry vacuum cleaners make cleaning easy and we know that one of the important features of vacuum cleaners, that make them function well, are bags.

Bags are essential to vacuum cleaners because they function as filters. They filter dust and dirt and prevent fine grit from getting to the motor. They also store dirt. But what if we don’t have bags? What happens when we run out of bags and need to clean urgently? These are some of the issues we will be addressing in this article.

We’ll be talking about the possibilities of using our Henry vacuum to clean without bags. Is it possible? What are the pros and cons, if it’s doable? We’ll also be discussing other related questions so you can be adequately informed about your Henry vacuums.

Can You Use Henry Vacuum Cleaner without a Bag?

Using a Henry Vacuum cleaner without a bag is doable, but however, not advisable. This should only be done in the event of emergencies or for a short time.

When Henry vacuum cleaners were first introduced, their main selling point was the benefit of not needing a bag. This made them instantly popular for obvious reasons. Buying and fixing new bags for our vacuum cleaners is not a task we look forward to.

These vacs have however advanced since then. The company now makes stronger vacuum cleaners that have better suction and stronger motors. These new vacuum cleaners are meant to be used with bags as using them bagless can damage them.

As we earlier said, it should only be done in the case of an emergency. When you need to clean urgently and you discover you are out of bags.

Downsides to Using Your Henry Vacuum without a Bag

1- Reduced Suction

Using your Henry vacuum without bags can burn out the motors making the vacuum lose its suction. It could also weaken the power of the motor and make it have less suction.

Less suction means you will use extra effort in cleaning things up than necessary. It will even be harder on long pile carpets.

2- Blocked Filters

The bags act as filters. Without the bags, the secondary filters get the brunt of the dust, dirt, and fine grit, and they get easily blocked.

To avoid this you will need to wash the filter thoroughly often, and this can be stressful.

3- Shorter Life Span

Henry vacuums are supposed to last for many years but by using them without bags, you are reducing their life.

And the vacuum will no longer be covered by warranty even if it’s still applicable when it is found out that you haven’t been using bags. You surely don’t want to lose warranty protection.

4- No Protection

There’s also the risk of your vacuum sucking up water by mistake. This could cause electrical damage to your Henry vacuum which is dangerous.

A bag could have collected moisture, preventing it from getting to your vacuum.

A Few Benefits

1- Saves Money

The main advantage is that you’ll be saving on the cost of the bags. You will also be spared the difficulties associated with ordering the bags online, monitoring your order, and waiting for it.

It is more difficult if you insist on using Numatic bags that are specially designed for Henry vacuums. They may not be available in nearby stores.

2- Flexibility

You get to use your Henry vacuum whenever you want. If you are bent on using bags, you will only be able to vacuum as long as there’s a bag available. You are limited.

But with this option, nothing hinders you from getting the most out of your vacuum.

Can You Wash a Henry Vacuum Filter? (In Case You’re Avoiding the Old Filter)

Although they are advertised as being “not washable”, Henry vacuum cleaners can be easily washed. If you can however clean your Henry filter often, you won’t need to wash it.

Brushing it down over a bin with a soft-bristled brush or any other type of brush is adequate. This will keep it from accumulating gunks and prevent smells.

How to Wash the Filter?

If it is necessary to wash your Henry vacuum filter, do it with warm water and a few drops of washing liquid. This should be done after you have dusted it off properly.

If you wash it without brushing it down, the dust on the filter could turn muddy in the water and will destroy the filter.

If it is very dirty and you don’t want to bother about hand washing, you can throw it into a washing machine. Works perfectly well, contrary to popular opinion.

Reusing Your Henry Vacuum Bags

Most Henry vacuum bags are disposable. This means they are not meant to be reused. But if you are careful, you can use a Henry Vacuum bag twice.

1-Just pull it out gently.
2- Take it outside and empty it through the round hole at the side, into a trash bag.
Note: Don't do it indoors. This is unhygienic and can be bad for people with dust allergies. You may also need to vacuum again because you have spilled dust everywhere.

There are however alternatives. There are reusable bags sold in stores and online that can be reused many times. The good news is, that they are compatible with Henry vacuums.

These bags come with zips. You just have to unzip, empty the bag carefully, dust it well and then place it back into your hoover. And your bag is ready to be used again.

Some are even washable. So if you think the bag needs more than dusting and emptying, you can give it a gentle wash. This alternative saves cost and you have less waste to deal with.

How often should vacuum bags be changed?

If it’s disposable, change the bag when it is full. If it’s reusable, change it when it tears or looks worn. If washing it doesn’t get rid of the dirt and smell, the bag needs to be changed.

Why Does My Henry Vacuum Smell?

Your vacuum could smell if the bag is dirty. This is more likely to happen if you use reusable bags and have been using them for a long time. Disposable bags, on the other hand, are usually changed when they get full. They are not likely to smell when they are half full or just replaced.

Tip: You can wash the bag gently in warm water and liquid soap. If this doesn’t help, change it.


Your filter could also be dirty. Most times, this is the cause of smelling Henry vacuums. Because it filters your debris and dirt, it could be clogged and give off a foul smell.

You can wash your filter in warm water or throw it into a washing machine. Better still, you can change it.


Your hose could also be clogged. When your vacuum sucks up dirt they pass through your hose. Remnants could cling to the sides and cause mold to grow.

Your hose could also be clogged with tangled hair, food remnants, and other particles. It could have even developed mold. You should check for this.

How to Clean the Hose?

STEP 1: Detach the hose from your Henry vacuum and look inside the hole.
STEP 2: If you notice it’s clogged or dirty, soak it inside baking soda and water solution. A 50/50 ratio is good.
STEP 3: Leave it for a few hours. The solution will break down the clogged particles and clean the hose ridding it of the smell.

How to Stop Henry Vacuum Cleaner from Smelling?

1- Change Your Bags Often

You shouldn’t even wait till your bag is full before replacing it. Once it’s 3/4 full or almost full, change it. If you use a reusable bag, don’t just dust it and replace it every time. Once in a while, give it a good wash.

2- Watch Where You Vacuum

Avoid vacuuming liquids like pet urine or food remnants. This could attach itself to your vacuum and cause it to smell. Make sure you aren’t vacuuming things that aren’t supposed to be vacuumed.

3- Change Your Filter Often

If you can’t change your filter then wash it often. You can wash it under a running sink or throw it in a washer.

4- Wash Your Hose Often

Don’t wait for your hose to smell bad or be clogged before washing it. Once in a month, detach the hose and give it a good wash.

5- Freshen Your Henry Vacuum Up

You can sprinkle some baking soda into your dust bag, hose, and inside your vacuum. You can also put some drops of essential oil in water and spray the inside of your vacuum, the dust bag, and the hose.

Final Thoughts!

Henry vacuums can be used without bags but this isn’t recommended. You will only be doing damage to your vacuum and shortening its life span.

There are reusable bags in the market that can save you the cost of replacing your Henry bag every time it’s full.

Your filters can be washed, and become as good as new. This will prevent your vacuum from smelling.
We have also explained other causes of a smelling vacuum and how they can be prevented and stopped.

2 thoughts on “Can You Use Henry Vacuum without a Bag? (Quick Guide!)”

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