Thread Number: 18547
Another Kirby Restoration: Heritage
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Post# 203820   10/15/2012 at 12:34 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        

As a follow-up to my previous Heritage II restoration, I now present the Kirby Heritage "Before" pictures:

Post# 203821 , Reply# 1   10/15/2012 at 12:35 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        

Pic 2

Post# 203822 , Reply# 2   10/15/2012 at 12:35 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        

Pic 3

Post# 203823 , Reply# 3   10/15/2012 at 12:36 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        

Pic 4

Post# 203824 , Reply# 4   10/15/2012 at 12:43 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        
And now for the "After" pictures:


Post# 203825 , Reply# 5   10/15/2012 at 12:44 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        
Pic 2


Post# 203826 , Reply# 6   10/15/2012 at 12:45 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        

Pic 3

Post# 203827 , Reply# 7   10/15/2012 at 12:45 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        

Pic 4

Post# 203828 , Reply# 8   10/15/2012 at 12:46 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        

Pic 5

Post# 203829 , Reply# 9   10/15/2012 at 12:46 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        

Pic 6

Post# 203830 , Reply# 10   10/15/2012 at 12:50 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        
The 1980's

Kirby Care Kit: All the chemicals needed to remove those unsightly stains! (just not from the box itself...Wink)

Post# 203832 , Reply# 11   10/15/2012 at 12:53 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        
The Kirby Heritage Product Lineup

A plethora of home cleaning aids direct from Kirby: If you've got a mess, Kirby's got an answer!

Post# 203834 , Reply# 12   10/15/2012 at 13:05 (2,045 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        
Background info:

I obtained the Kirby Heritage off of Craigslist in Port Richey, Florida this summer. It was in a storage unit for a while and needed some TLC. The motor and bearings work fine, but the aluminum was rough from being exposed to weather changes for several years while in storage.


For restoration, the cloth bag was removed and hand-washed with Woolite (fyi; Woolite strips the natural oils from your hands, so I'll be using rubber gloves next time). It had a musty odor and staining, but now it's clean and fresh! The trim has been polished as well. Lastly, the aluminum was wet-sanded, then buffed on the grinder for that fresh-from-the-factory look!


I always thought this was the ugliest vacuum Kirby ever made, but after working on it and getting it cleaned up, I really like it. Plus, the machine was made the month before I was born, so that was an added bonus!




Update: On the Heritage II restoration from earlier, the new wheel axle came in the mail and has now been installed (Thanks Bill!). Below is the picture of the finished project:

Post# 203842 , Reply# 13   10/15/2012 at 14:49 (2,045 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        

Stunning transformation, great job!

Post# 203852 , Reply# 14   10/15/2012 at 15:52 (2,045 days old) by JDrums0789 (West Des Moines, IA)        

jdrums0789's profile picture
ah! its beautiful! I wish I had the skill, time, and space to do this to my Heritage. I would love for it to shine as brightly as yours!

Post# 203855 , Reply# 15   10/15/2012 at 16:34 (2,045 days old) by Louvac (A)        
Can you explain....

how do you do the "wet sanding"? And doesn't it create fine scratches?  Yours looks good so you're doing something right. 



Post# 203866 , Reply# 16   10/15/2012 at 18:23 (2,045 days old) by BriGuy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
Wow Jacob, that Heritage is stunning! I have never seen a Heritage that complete with all the attachments & gizmos. Great job on the resto, love that Kirby shine.

Post# 203874 , Reply# 17   10/15/2012 at 19:15 (2,045 days old) by alkirbyguy ()        

I, too, bought a Heritage off of Craigslist. Got it for $30 and only bought it because it was complete, not badly abused, and I didn't have an original Heritage. I also thought it was very ugly when I got it home, but like you said, after cleaning and polishing it, I have grown to like it very much. It definitely is a Kirby from one of the company's transitional stages, though.

Post# 203923 , Reply# 18   10/16/2012 at 01:01 (2,044 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds, WA)        

gmerkt's profile picture
I'm fond of the bag on the Heritage. You do very nice work. I bring Kirbys back to life for resale when I get them, but only to a functional, clean level. I can't get enough money for one second hand to justify the polishing; they just get a clean-up.

Post# 203980 , Reply# 19   10/16/2012 at 20:37 (2,044 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        

Hi Louis!


To polish a Kirby and remove those stubborn age spots, I sand the aluminum with sandpaper that is wet with ordinary tap water and Dawn dish soap. I usually start with 400 grit sandpaper (or 220 if really rough), add a lot of elbow grease, then work my way up to 800 grit. After a thorough rinsing and towel-dry, I polish it on the bench grinder with brown compound, and finish with white compound. Using the wet sandpaper does create scratches, but as you move through the different stages, those scratches smooth out and eventually disappear! I remember touring the Kirby Rebuild Department back at the 2008 Convention, but cannot remember what exact steps they take to work their magic. I know their buffing wheels are huge, though.


Post# 205682 , Reply# 20   11/2/2012 at 22:14 (2,026 days old) by StrongEnough78 (Clovis California)        

What did you use to shine up the chrome? My Mom's G4 looks about like your Heritage did before you restored it. I tried using chrome polish on it which brightened it a bit but it's still no where near as shiny as it should be. And I do think the polish I used was quite old. When I get a chance I'll get a few pictures of it to post so you can see. I do appreciate your help :)

Post# 205683 , Reply# 21   11/2/2012 at 22:15 (2,026 days old) by StrongEnough78 (Clovis California)        

Oh my goodness, I totally overlooked the last post on here where you explain how you shined it up lol. Pardon my airheadedness! LOL

Post# 205777 , Reply# 22   11/3/2012 at 20:53 (2,025 days old) by s-earth (Bloomington, IN)        
No problem!

Shiny Kirbys distract me too! Wink The sticks of polish were purchased at my local Sears Hardware store, as was the bench grinder/polisher, but I believe the sticks can be purchased separately for convenience.

Post# 205815 , Reply# 23   11/4/2012 at 10:19 (2,025 days old) by StrongEnough78 (Clovis California)        

Right on! Thanks for the info and for understanding me being distracted, Jacob lol!

Post# 205869 , Reply# 24   11/4/2012 at 21:17 (2,024 days old) by vacu-finder (Canada)        

Woweeee an absolute living Doll...!!!!!! Great job.

Post# 250574 , Reply# 25   9/18/2013 at 19:17 (1,707 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
Jacob (s-earth),

May I ask you this: could you please scan for me all that literature I'm seeing in that picture of your Heritage with all its attachment and device boxes?

Thank you,


Post# 385039 , Reply# 26   1/29/2018 at 12:54 by jpsbgt (Oregon )        

Marvelous work

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