Thread Number: 33761  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Poor filtration with Genuine Kenmore Allergen Filtration Bags
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Post# 366767   2/14/2017 at 12:01 (430 days old) by s_matt37 (Utah)        

First off, I don't think that I have ever introduced myself on here, even though I have been registered for a while. Of course, I collect and repair vacuums and vacuumland is great! Anyway, I have a Kenmore Whispertone 200 from 1997 that I got from some friends in the fall. I completely refurbished it and have been very impressed by the machine. Since I got it refurbished, I have used Genuine Kenmore Allergen Filtration bags (the ones that used to be yellow, but now are white) and they have had a serious problem leaking fine dust into the bag compartment. I will definitely be switching to the HEPAcloth bags soon. Has anyone else experienced this? And, feel free to share some opinions on Kenmore Canisters.

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Post# 366771 , Reply# 1   2/14/2017 at 12:56 (430 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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I always use genuine Panasonic paper bags, I find those do way better on filtration than compare to other bags including Sears themselves.

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Post# 366779 , Reply# 2   2/14/2017 at 14:31 (430 days old) by s_matt37 (Utah)        

Are they the same bags? I do prefer to use HEPA when possible, are genuine Panasonic paper nearly as good as cloth?

Post# 366788 , Reply# 3   2/14/2017 at 16:51 (430 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

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The quality in the new Kenmore bags has definitely declined. I totally agree! 

Post# 366798 , Reply# 4   2/14/2017 at 20:51 (429 days old) by Tekjunkie28 (Roanoke Va)        

The last bags I purchased for my kenmore elite (cloth ones) no longer included the asthma and allergy certification logo on them. Last bag I got right before I got the rainbow. Idk what it is but with the rainbow I have a LOT less drainage and what I do have is clear and not funky colored. Nasty I know but hey... I really didn't expect that and I also thought that the kenmore was doing a god job.

Post# 366799 , Reply# 5   2/14/2017 at 23:40 (429 days old) by s_matt37 (Utah)        
AAFA Certified

That is definitely odd that the HEPAcloth bags no longer hold the certification... I would imagine that they still filter well though

Post# 366800 , Reply# 6   2/15/2017 at 00:59 (429 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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I've had several Kenmore canisters over the years. I brought this up a while back and I seem to remember reading on another post someone was talking about something similar - about the bags themselves not being an issue, but it was the collar design - where the collar meets the bag, isn't a perfect seal, and that's where you get the dust leaking into the bin - I will say that when owning the Kenmore cans - I used generic paper bags, genuine cloth hepa bags, and although I notices a slight difference in dust in the bin, there was still dust, even with the cloth bags. I think a lot of it has to do with the design of the collar.

Post# 366814 , Reply# 7   2/15/2017 at 09:53 (429 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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The bags feel like the paper material is thicker compare to other paper bags, but I overall still recommend using HEPA bags. I've only seen the bag mount issue happen my Neighbor's Whispertone because the gasket on the bag mount was worn out but none of the other canisters I've seen, used, or repaired before had that problem.

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Post# 366826 , Reply# 8   2/15/2017 at 11:46 (429 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        

The C-19 bags are very good, and E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E.  Thank goodness they last a long time.


If you are not careful getting it seated in the bag collar, the cardboard will flex and allow dust and dirt to escape.  

Post# 366830 , Reply# 9   2/15/2017 at 12:53 (429 days old) by Ctvacman (CT)        
I second what mark40511 says

The collar leaks a ton of dust, I put a piece of tape between the collar and cover the cardboard part of the bag that sticks out. Let's just st say after washing the tool lid and doing the piece of tape I see no more dust, I recommend using hepa bags too. I will say I got a batch of envirocare hepa bags once and the cardboard part was so thin it caused a ton of play in the collar.

Post# 366833 , Reply# 10   2/15/2017 at 13:18 (429 days old) by s_matt37 (Utah)        

Thanks for all the input. How many people own an older Whispertone? I sure do like mine.

Post# 366836 , Reply# 11   2/15/2017 at 13:50 (429 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Sam, I have a Kenmore Whispertone EVPC canister, same as yours just a little earlier, from 1992, & it has the variable speed control on the hose handle as well as the 3 way switch.

I do use generic HEPA Cloth bags in it, & agree with the above posters who tape the collar to the holder. I find it improves filtration since the bag collar can slip slightly out of the bag holder, & when it does dirt winds up all over the place in the bag chamber. One little suggestion though if you use the HEPA Cloth bags....go to a stationary store & purchase some binder clips, roll up the bag just a little, use the binder clips to hold it to that size, then insert & tape your bag to the holder. One problem I have found with my Whispertone, that I don't run into with 2 newer Kenmore's with HEPA filters, is that the HEPA Cloth bag will get drawn into the red motor filter while the vacuum is running. You use it after installing the new bag & after a few minutes notice suction is reduced even with a new bag. The reason for this is simple - the bag, although the correct bag for the vacuum, is too long, as it was designed for the newer Kenmore's. Reducing the bag length slightly with the binder clips solves this problem.


Post# 366849 , Reply# 12   2/15/2017 at 15:42 (429 days old) by Ctvacman (CT)        

I do the same thing with my bags, you will notice a huge difference in motor pitch when you have it rigged versus not. Any kind of prop will work really,just experiment.

Post# 366862 , Reply# 13   2/15/2017 at 21:18 (428 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
Taping the bag to the collar

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Too funny! I thought I was the only one. I once had envirocare hepa bags and I'm vacuuming for weeks, right? When I went to change the bag, the bag was 1/2 off the freaking collar! I was basically using my kenmore canister without a freaking bag! It was a mess. I used my rainbow to clean the bin really well, changed the motor filter - thank God that saved the machine. From that point on, I started literally taping the bag to the collar. It seems like after I started doing this, I didn't see nearly any dust in the chamber. But the brand did not matter - whether genuine or generic. It's that stupid collar design. Maybe worse on some than others from the factory? I dunno. I just know every single kenmore can I've ever had ends up with dust in the bin at some point. I do love the Kenmore cans though (at least the panasonic ones). I just wish they would fix that collar bag slipping issue. Ultimately I stopped using the kenmore cans altogether because after 3 times with the quick disconnect wands shorting out on me after only a couple of years, I was done.

Post# 366864 , Reply# 14   2/15/2017 at 21:45 (428 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Have not tried these new bags. I was using the yellow ones and found they did leak a bit of dust in my Kenmore Progressive but as others mentioned I think it was mainly around the hose connection. I had to clean the pre-filter a few times. I have not tried the HEPA bags as I felt they were too expensive. Have also used the Rug Doctor allergen bags in our 1999 Whispertone and they did a pretty good job but there too was a fine dust in the bag compartment.

I find that most C/5055 bags are sized for the older 80s and 90s machines but the newer machines bag compartments are smaller on the 2nd and 3rd gen Progressives and especially the smaller entry level canisters.

The filtration on my Progressive is okay, but the exhaust cover doesn't have much way for air to escape and it sometimes starts vibrating and makes a loud noise a little like a reed instrument would make. The newer models like the Elites seem to have vent holes in the exhaust cover which seems to be a correction to the issue.

These new white bags do look thin though, almost like the old regular filtration bags which I think they stopped selling when these new bags came out. I think these allergen bags are all that they have at Sears as far as paper in a C bag, though I haven't looked closely.

I haven't been using my Kenmores much lately because I had a big problem with the bags smelling. I could get little more than one use out of a bag before it started to smell bad. I think it has to do with getting a pet, as I didn't have the issue before.

Post# 366865 , Reply# 15   2/15/2017 at 21:46 (428 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

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Has anyone used toilet paper carton rolls?  I bet ALL the dirt will go directly into the bag!


That was what I did with the Whispertone I used to have; the bag collar will stay on the holder & the hose connector holds the carton tube so dirt cant bypass the bag

Post# 366869 , Reply# 16   2/15/2017 at 22:17 (428 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Erik - You put the toilet paper roll in the swivel hose connector? That's a ingenious idea! I will have to try that.

Colby- Yes, very true. Sometimes our favorite machines have flawed designs that with just a little ingenuity work much better :-).

Cole - If you are having issues with your vacuum bag starting to smell, go to the pet store & pick up a bottle of activated charcoal, like what you use in fish tank filters. When the bag starts to smell, place a couple tablespoons of activated charcoal on a flat surface & let the vacuum suck it up. It will go to the walls of the bag & eliminate the pet smell you're experiencing. However, DO NOT put the activated charcoal in the bag when you first install it, wait until it smells, as doing that will just cause the activated charcoal to be buried & not as effective. Another poster here suggested this to me early last year, & since it works, might as well pass it on.


Post# 366870 , Reply# 17   2/15/2017 at 22:23 (428 days old) by s_matt37 (Utah)        
Binder clips, Toilet paper roll

I guess toilet paper rolls are good for something! Kirbylux77, the old Whispertone EVPC's are pretty neat. I've also heard of a model called the Kenmore 4.5 Ultra Vac with Power-Mate II, that has a separate motor for suction in the Power-Mate. I will have to try the clips in the bag.

Post# 366877 , Reply# 18   2/16/2017 at 01:37 (428 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Thanks Sam! Ya, the Kenmore EVPC's are certainly a great machine from a time gone by. Too bad you can't find those old-school, heavy-duty vacuums anymore.

I have a spare hose handle, & spare machine as well in case I ever have problems with the base or relay box inside. And mine has been tricked out a little bit - I installed a 3rd brush strip in the brushroll & uprgraded the motor to the Ametek double-stage motor the Perfect C101 (Electrolux Diamond Jubilee copy) canister uses, which pulls 125" waterlift. Needless to say, that old Kenmore will outperform a central vac with a new bag, & there are times that I have to use the variable speed & lower the suction LOL. In addition, I have a newer black WhisperBelt PowerMate & telescopic direct-connect wand for it.

I'm quite proud of my "monster vac" creation, & I ain't parting with it anytime soon! :-)


Post# 366921 , Reply# 19   2/16/2017 at 15:26 (428 days old) by s_matt37 (Utah)        
Kenmore Power Handle

Does anybody have the predecessor to the Whispertone EVPC and 4.5, the Power Handle? I believe it was mentioned in another post on here but I don't know if anybody actually has one. They seem even more unique, as they have touchpad controls on the handle instead of the slider switch.

Post# 369520 , Reply# 20   3/29/2017 at 20:55 (386 days old) by s_matt37 (Utah)        

I have switched over to the Kenmore HEPAcloth bags and have noticed a huge difference in bag quality.

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