Are Roomba bags reusable? How to do it?

Last updated on January 9th, 2024

Several Roomba owners who have a Clean Base wonder, “Are Roomba bags reusable?” This question arises mostly for 2 reasons.

  1. You are concerned about the environment, so throwing away all those bags doesn’t seem right.
  2. You are concerned about the money. iRobot bags are not that expensive, but replacing them often might not be feasible for everyone.

In this article, we will try to cover the most common concerns. Let’s start by discussing if it is even possible to reuse these dirt disposal bags.

Yes, it is possible to reuse Roomba bags. You can empty the bag and insert it back into the Clean Base to reuse it. Though you should know, iRobot does not recommend it. By doing this, you are releasing allergens trapped in the bag back into the air while emptying it.

Amazon sells a few third-party reusable Roomba bags, but some users prefer to stick with the iRobot ones. These third-party bags have a zipper on them, which can be simply opened to empty their contents and closed again to reinsert the bag.

Roomba bags
Roomba bags

Is it safe to reuse Roomba bags?

Emptying a bag
Emptying a bag

No, it is not safe to reuse Roomba bags. They are not designed for reusing. You have to dispose of them once they are full. The main purpose of these bags is to seal the allergens and dust mites that the Roomba collects into the bag.

When you open the bag to empty it, all trapped allergens will be released back into the air. You will end up inhaling these, which will cause health issues in the long run.

If you are a person with allergies, you should not even think about doing this. It will elevate your allergies. Even then, if you are adamant about using it again, here’s how you can do it.

How to reuse them?

Steps to reuse a Roomba bag
Steps to reuse a Roomba bag

There are two ways in which you can reuse the Roomba bag:

  1. By suctioning debris out of the bag with another vacuum
  2. Creating an opening in the bag to throw out the debris

You can suction out the debris through the same hole it is suctioned in. The debris won’t come out just by shaking the bag over your dustbin. You will need to use a vacuum cleaner to do it. Insert the long pipe of your regular upright vacuum cleaner into the hole of the bag, and try to suction as much debris as you can.

If you don’t have another vacuum cleaner, then you can try to create an opening on the bottom of the dirt disposal bag. To reseal the bag, attach velcro tape or a zipline to the created opening.

How many times can you reuse them?

Ideally, you should not use these bags again. But if you decide to reuse them, we suggest you don’t do it too often. These bags are not designed to handle a lot of wear and tear. So if you keep on suctioning dirt out of them, they could get torn or frayed from certain corners or ends.

In that case, the bag won’t be able to hold debris anymore, and it will leak out into the cleaning base. You, of course, don’t want that, so we suggest you limit the use of the Roomba bag to 2 to 3 times.

Factors to consider

Before you decide to reuse a Roomba bag, you have to consider the following:

  • The number of times you have already reused it: As discussed in the previous section, a Roomba dirt disposal bag should be used only 2 to 3 times. If you have exceeded this limit, it’s time to throw it away and use a new one.
  • The condition of the bag: With the vacuuming effect or tearing the bag to create an opening, you can damage the bag. This can cause leakage in the bag. So check for damage before you reuse the bag.
  • Is the bag clean?: Sometimes, one is not able to get all the debris out of the bag. If it stays in for too long, it can create a foul smell that could spread in your home. That’s why you shouldn’t use a bag again whose contents you are not able to completely empty.
  • The kind of dirt you vacuum regularly: If your vacuum collects a lot of food particles, reusing the bag might not be the best thing. These food particles can decompose inside the bag and create a bacterial environment of their own. So, it is important to consider the kind of dirt your vacuum regularly picks up.
  • How often do you use the vacuum?: If you are using your Roomba regularly, then the bag won’t fill up that fast, and it could last up to 60 days. Considering that the bags are not that expensive, it’s feasible just to replace them instead. You will need to change it once every two months.

Based on these factors, you can determine if the Roomba bag in hand is fit for reusing.

Difficulties you may face

Using the Roomba bags again comes with its own perks, but there are certain difficulties that users often report while doing so. Some of the common difficulties encountered while reusing Roomba bags are:

  1. Even after suctioning the debris or emptying the dustbin into the bag, some of the dirt remains stuck in the bag, and it becomes impossible to clean it through the small opening.
  2. The hole in the Roomba bag is very small, and it is often difficult to hold the nozzle of the vacuum to it. Most of the time, it becomes tiresome to hold an upright vacuum to the bag while it empties.
  3. With reused Roomba bags, the Clean Base sometimes gives a false full bin indication when the bag is not even halfway full.

The false full bin indication

This happens because air pressure gets created inside the bag due to blocked pores. Yes, there are pores on the bag that lead the air in and out through the bag so that it can accommodate more debris.

But with the blocked pores, the air inside the bag is not able to pass out, and it gives a false sense that the bag is full. That is why the full bin light on the Clean Base turns on when the Roomba bag is not even full.

Read a similar article: How Often Should You Empty a Roomba?

Pros and cons

The table below highlights the pros and cons of reusing Roomba bags.

ProsCons
Saves costDecreased efficiency
Environment friendlyAllergens release in the air
Increases convenienceFalse full bin indications
Need manual cleaning
Pros and cons of reusing Roomba bags

Conclusion

We can’t impress upon you enough that you shouldn’t use an iRobot Roomba bag again. It is meant to be replaced, and doing otherwise is not in your best interests. Financially, it is feasible, but the cons are too bold to ignore.

But if you are doing it, do it in a safe environment. Wear gloves and a mask to protect yourselves. Keep children away while doing this. It’s better if you can empty the bag in an open space like the backyard to prevent the dust and smell to released into your home. Good luck!

FAQs

Are you supposed to throw away Roomba bags?

Yes, you are supposed to throw away Roomba bags when they are full.

How long do bags last for Roomba?

The Roomba bags can last for anywhere between 30 to 90 days depending on how often you use your vacuum.

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Siddhi Gurav

She is the editor and content writer at Smart Home Bulls. Siddhi merges her passion for language with SEO expertise. With 4 years of experience as a creative writer and a passion for smart home technology, she fits in perfectly at Smart Home Bulls. Her wide experience in content marketing has been an excellent addition to our team.

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