Any way of cleaning a hepa filter?

Is there any way of cleaning a hepa filter? I have an astronomically expensive vacuum with an equally expensive filter which is perhaps an inch thick. It has developed a black layer, possibly a tenth of a millimeter thin on the underside, which I suppose is all the microscopic particles it is supposed to have stopped being thrown out into the atmosphere. I have a strong suspicion that if I can get it off I can use the filter at almost maximum efficiency for a while longer before I have to replace it.
Can it be scraped off effectively or put in a dishwasher like sponges sometimes need before you chuck them away? Or brushed with baking soda or something like that?
Or will just cleaning it with warm or boiling water do a reasonable job?
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"news.rcn.com" <news.rnc.com> wrote in message

What is the filter media? Many are paper and woven fiber and will just fall apart when wet. Scraping can close up the openings and block stuff and burn out that overpriced vacuum cleaner.
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It is not paper but I cant see exactly what it is on this Miele. I suppose if the blocking by the black layer hasnt burned it out or the vacuum isnt designed to burn out when the filter gets blocked, scraping it upside down and outside my premises adn using a hand-held to get rid of excess shouldnt burn it out and might do the trick OR trying to wash it should tell me instantaneously if this method will or wont work

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news.rcn.com wrote:

CleanStream filters made by Gore for shop vacuums are washable. But my guess is that the filter on a regular home vacuum are not in this category. I'd say that the only safe option is to use another vacuum to suck air "backwards" through the filter which may dislodge some of the accumulated grunge but if the filter is of good quality it will have a good hold on the material and very little is likely to come back out.
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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I've only seen a couple vacuums with a hepa filter that can be cleaned. That is the Vax x3 and x5. The filter is not made from paper, but rather from some other material which I can't remember the name of.

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Automotive air cleaners, which are also made of corrugated paper, can usually be cleaned rather effectively by tapping out the fine dirt and by then blowing in the reverse direction with a small air compressor (or take it to your friendly garage?). Should work the same way with a HEPA filter.
--
Walter
www.rationality.net
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The HEPA filter on my fairly inexpensive vaccuum cost almost as much as the vac. I used a small shop vac to clean it - it did not get too dirty in the first place. I also found that if you take something like HandiWipes and wrap it, you can just take off the HandiWipe and wash it and put it back on. The HEPA filter finally got so old it started to shrink from the frame and I had to buy a new one. Mine was made out of something that looked pleated. It wasn't cardboard but was thicker than paper.... (Eureka vac)Whirlwind....
Anyway, my new HEPA is working fine and I have a HandiWipe cut to fit and wrapped around it. Makes them last longer. The vac is about four years old now.
Walter R. wrote:

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"news.rcn.com" <news.rnc.com> wrote in message

Just remember while you are blowing or vacuuming it out that you are discharging all of those captured particles into the air where you are breathing them. And that point of the HEPA filter in the first place is prevent just that. Those sub-micron sized little buggers are the very things that do the most damage. I'm not poking you in the eye. Just giving you another perspective.
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