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How to Clean a Henry Vacuum Filter to Improve Suction

Written by James Hall |

How to clean a Henry Hoover filter

Has your Henry Hoover lost suction power? If so, a blocked filter could be the problem. Here’s how to clean your filter and restore lost cleaning performance.

It’s important to keep your Henry’s filter clear of dust and other debris. A blocked filter can reduce airflow, which is often why a vacuum loses suction power over time. Dirty filters also force the motor to work harder, which can reduce the lifespan of your vacuum.

The good news is that cleaning a Henry vacuum filter is a straightforward process. Here’s how to do it.

How Can I Clean a Henry Filter?

Henry Hoover filters cannot be washed with water, as the dust and dirt will turn into mud. Start by tapping off loose debris into a bin. Then use a second vacuum cleaner to remove dust from both the inside and outside of the filter.

How to Clean the Filter on a Henry Hoover

Step 1: Take Off the Lid and Remove the Filter

To access the filter, you need to take off the lid of your Henry using the same method as when replacing the bag.

  1. Unclick both clips on the sides of the Henry.
  2. Lift the Henry’s head away from the main tub.
  3. Remove the filter.

If you haven’t cleaned the filter for a while, you’ll immediately notice how dirty it’s become. The more dirt collected on the filter, the less suction your Henry can generate.

Tip: We recommend cleaning the filter outdoors. This prevents the loose dust and other allergens from being spread around your home.

Step 2: Tap Off Dirt and Dust

Henry filters are not washable. You shouldn’t use a wet cloth, run them under a tap, or put them in the washing machine, as this will cause the dirt to turn into mud. Once that happens, the filter will probably become too clogged and need to be replaced.

Instead, start by tapping off as much loose dirt and dust as possible into a bin. You won’t be able to remove all caked on dust, but this is an easy method for removing the worst of any build-up.

Always Use Gloves When Cleaning a Vacuum Filter

Vacuum cleaners are unhygienic machines! Make sure you wear gloves when cleaning a filter to keep your hands clean. You may also want to wear a face mask to avoid breathing in dust and other small particles.

Step 3: Vacuum Both Sides of the Filter

If you have access to another vacuum cleaner, use it to vacuum both sides of the filter. Make sure you clean all areas of the filter including the sides. This is an effective way to remove more dirt than just tapping off loose debris.

Keep in mind that the filter is never going to appear as white and clean as when you first bought it. The goal is to remove as much dust as possible – not to restore the filter to its original appearance.

Tip: Don’t have a spare vacuum? You can use a soft brush to remove loose dirt and other debris, although this won’t be as effective.

Step 4: Replace the Bag

A bag that’s more than 75% full may reduce suction. This is because the air must be forced through all the collected debris.

For this reason, it’s always a good idea to replace the bag on a Henry Hoover whenever you clean the filter. Numatic bags are relatively cheap and a new bag will ensure your vacuum is working at its best.

Never Use a Henry Hoover Without a Bag

The bag plays an important role in protecting the filter and motor from all the dirt that’s sucked up. Never use a Henry without a bag, as this will quickly clog the filter and may damage the motor.

Step 5: Fit the Filter and Attach the Head

Once you’ve cleaned the filter and replaced the bag, all that’s left is to put the filter back into the tub and re-attach Henry’s head.

If you’ve cleaned a lot of dirt and dust from the filter, you might be surprised by how much more suction power Henry can now generate!

When Should You Buy a New Henry Filter?

As Henry filters aren’t washable, they occasionally need to be replaced. Henry filters are widely available – just make sure you buy the right filter for your model.

You should replace the Henry filter if:

  • The filter shows visible signs of damage.
  • The filter has started to develop an unpleasant smell.
  • The filter is old and has become too clogged with dirt to clean effectively.
  • There are any tears or splits, as this will allow debris to escape directly into the motor.

Additionally, if you’ve made the mistake of washing your Henry vacuum’s filter with water, then you’ll probably need to replace it. Once dust and dirt become mud inside the filter, it’s virtually impossible to remove.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Water to Wash a Henry Filter?

Unfortunately, Henry vacuum filters are not washable. Cleaning with water will cause any dirt and dust to become more clogged and reduce the suction power even further. Water could also damage the filter and cause it to perform less effectively.

Can You Put a Henry Hoover Filter in the Washing Machine?

No, Henry filters should not be put in the washing machine. Water can clog the filter and they aren’t designed to withstand a wash cycle.


A blocked filter is one of the most common causes of lost vacuum suction. The more debris that’s stuck on the filter, the less airflow the vacuum will be able to generate.

Henry Hoover filters can’t be washed with water. Instead, you should remove as much dust as possible by tapping off the loose debris into a bin, then vacuuming the filter with another vac. If you don’t have another vacuum, then a soft (dry) brush can be used to remove dirt.

Do you have any questions about cleaning a Henry vacuum filter? Let us know in the comments section below. You may also want to read our guide to Henry Hoovers.

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