Sunday, November 23, 2008

How To: Change the Bag and Filters of a Miele Cannister Vacuum Cleaner

This morning while Deanna took the boys to Trader Joe's, I decided to quickly vacuum up a mess that 1 1/2 year old William made with our vacuum cleaner. The bag had been removed without being replaced because it was full, and as a result what should have been a 1 minute project turning into a much longer one, primarily because I had a hard time figuring out how to replace one of the filters on the vacuum cleaner. This blog entry is primarily for my own future reference.

Our current vacuum cleaner is a Miele Flamenco II. The model number is S251i:


The manual for the product is available here.

The bags and filters for this vacuum cleaner look like this:

To order replacement bags from Amazon:
Replacing the bag is done most frequently. This is pretty straightforward. To access the bag, push the button near the handle to release the lid:



Included in every box of replacement bags are replacement filters. There are 2 filters on our vacuum cleaner. Therefore, once every 5 bag replacements the filters should be replaced. Both filters need to be cut to size with a scissors. The first filter is here:



The next filter is the tricky one (and the one that gave me enough frustration to write this blog post). Do *NOT* attempt to replace this filter by opening the small hatch on the top of the vacuum cleaner that contains the accessory parts!


The correct way to access this filter is by opening the entire unit and removing the air filter from the same compartment as the bag and the other filter:


Here are Miele's kind-of lame instructions ("Open the dust compartment lid" and "Open the filter frame" aren't very instructive to a dope like me, though the picture is a little helpful):

It would have been better if directly on the device where I was trying to jam my screwdriver there was a warning that said "Achtung! Do not attempt to replace this filter from here! Access this filter from inside the vacuum cleaner!" In my opinion if I have to read the manual to figure out how to do something like replacing the filters, it is a failure in design. Overall, this vacuum cleaner is decent enough. It works well on hardwood floors and tile, but does *not* work very well on carpet. The carpet attachment frequently gets tangled up with debris and needs maintenance.

Common Causes of Distress

The most common cause of a "red indicator" is a full bag.
Pro Tip: When the vacuum cleaner is struggling it's most commonly caused by the bag being full. However, sometimes it's caused by an obstruction in the hose. If the bag isn't full, remove the hose from the unit to see if that relieves pressure. If it doesn't, re-connect the hose in stages from the unit to the attachment. When the problematic portion has been attached the "red indicator" will come back on. Then you'll know where to go after the obstruction.

If you've stumbled upon this blog entry from a Google search for "how do i replace the filter on a miele vacuum cleaner" please leave a comment saying "Hey thanks man! I appreciate it!". If you read this because you're a regular reader of our family blog then I apologize for subjecting you to such a mundane topic. I posted this here as a Dwyer family reference.

Hope everyone has a great week heading up to Thanksgiving!

38 comments:

Christy said...

This makes me laugh. Complete with photos and everything. You're truly one of a kind.

Shell said...

ROFL - thanks for a laugh on a Monday morning.

Bob said...

"Tackling the tough issues" here at CasaDwyer. :)

Christy said...

How can you say the vacuum is decent enough if it doesn't work well on carpet? Do you use a different vacuum for your carpet? I need a vacuum recommendation pronto!

Bob said...

We don't have any wall to wall carpet in our house- 100% hardwood with some area rugs.

Sara said...

I found this from my frustrated Google search and I really appreciated your "do not do this" picture with screwdriver as that is exactly what I was doing. Thanks for keeping me from pulling my hair out or damaging my vacuum!

Robert Dwyer said...

I'm glad my posting the picture of "what not to do" helped!

milica said...

I came across this useful blog while googling out how to change the filter (I was confused whether I should cut it or not since mine had no cut lines). Thanks a lot from Belgrade, Serbia.

Mark said...

Yes! Thank you! I was making exactly the mistake you describe when I tried to change the SUPER air clean filter. I didn't put two and two together re "open the dust compartment lid." Your blog helped to prevent me from damaging my vacuum cleaner. I found this on a Google search. Thank you from New York, N.Y.

Bob Dwyer said...

Hi Sara, Milica, and Mark,

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Glad I could help!

-Bob

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this excellent post. I inherited a Miele and did not have the Operating Instructions and tried the screwdriver, but quickly figured out that was NOT the right direction to take.

I googled Miele and got the Operating Instructions which did not help much, then I got to your blog and it became obvious.

The ONLY suggestion I could make would be to superimpose a big RED circle with a line through it (the universal sign for "DO NOT DO THIS or you will break it !"

Thanks Again - Jahree

Anonymous said...

Replace the last sentence in my prior comment with the following sentence:

The ONLY suggestion I could make would be to superimpose a big RED circle with a line through it (the universal sign for "DO NOT DO THIS or you will break it !") OVER the picture WITH the screwdriver.

Robert Dwyer said...

Thanks Jahree - that's a good suggestion. I'll make that change soon.

Anonymous said...

I found your article as I began looking for a digital copy of the manual, and for alternative replacement bags and filters.

Your article is concise and timely. I have visions of my not reading this posting and ripping my vacuum apart!

Thanks for being a big part of those that provide tangible time-saving content.

Anonymous said...

cleaning my house, I found a vacuum filter ...which I had never installed ..because I never knew how to. Being a female engineer, I knew I was going to break the black door if I tried to force it when it is under the red part. But I had no clue what to do next.
I googled "miele flamenco ii filter replacement" and there you are... A genius demo and explanation. Miele needs to consult with you immediately on how to do design the next cleaner and its user manual.

Congrats! you save my evening. I will have a toast to your cooperative smart approach.

Robert Dwyer said...

Thanks for the comments! Glad I could help.

Anonymous said...

This is very helpful tips. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This helped my husband change the filter properly. We, too, inherited this vacuum cleaner, and second your comments that it is great on bare floors, but not so good on thick pile carpet (it does good on short berbers, but we don't bother changing to the beater brush). I love the long hose which is so handy when vacuuming stairs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a bunch for this blog.
You just saved me a lot of time and headache !

God bless you, wherever you are !

Anonymous said...

Very helpful, thanks! I tried to pry open the air filter as well but found your great blog before I broke anything!

Anonymous said...

Still useful in 2013! Thanks - JPS

Joanna Kresse said...

Thank you so much, this was a life saver after I inherited this vacuum. It's an amazing product!

John Dwyer said...

Thanks Robert (from another Dwyer). One thing you neglected just like all the rest is how to open the sweeper's main door to get at the bag!

Anonymous said...

Hey...thanks man! Thank God you had the little screenshot. I panicked because we couldn't figure out how to open the white/baby blue filter grille! We had to literally tear it apart from the grille (I still think we may have done that part wrong) but now I know (confirm) that this is indeed where that stupid little air cleaner filter goes! Leave it to the most expensive vacuum on the market to complicate a simple thing like replacing an air filter.

Anonymous said...

hey thanks man

Anthony said...

Thanks man that was really irritating

-slrw said...

Thanks for the post! Still trying to figure out if the "Air Clean" filter should be used WITH the carbon filter (exhaust grille)or not.... guess I'll try it and see I it overheats or doesn't draw properly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you for taking the time and effort to help others by posting these photos and help instructions. You saved me and others from much frustration.
Peace to you.

Florence Kate said...

Thank You Man. You just save my time

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting this -- keep on truckin'

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks man. I appreciated it! Had forgotten. This was a big help!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the instructions! Very well written and helpful.

Maarten (Netherlands) said...

You saved my Miele with your "Don't do this" picture. I was just about to use some real stupid force :-). Thanks!!!

HeartMom said...

Hey! Thanks Man! I appreciate it! I have to look up these instructions EVERY TIME! I just can't remember.

Dent said...

Hey admin,
You have written really a nice post here in your blog. It is really great to know about this kind of good information. Thank you very much for this piece of information you have shared.

Stair Vacuuming Blog said...

Wow! love the article. Thanks for the insight, Goodluck.

Leslie Lynn said...

Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey thanks man!

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