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?
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
_Some_ HEPA-type filters can be cleaned by washing. For example the
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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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