Thread Number: 35719  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Receiving "dirty" vacuums
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Post# 383393   1/1/2018 at 15:24 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

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I know we've talked about buying cleaners on ebay.. and some horror stories. Mostly. mine came almost factory pristine. Others, well.......................
I heard a comment, reminding me of when I taught elementary age student. The children would say, "cooties". It reminds me of the great musical, Hairspray". Remember that song..." She's got cooties science class she's like a walking show & tell, her pet skunk ran away 'cause IT couldn't take the smell.. she's got cooties.... Circle, circle, dot, dot, dot, glad I got my cooties shot....".

With a vacuum, I'd be more concerned about the HOUSE than the cleaner. How do they live?
Luckily, all I ever found in any cleaner, was a little household dust.
However, I always give them a thorough going through.

Post# 383399 , Reply# 1   1/1/2018 at 16:14 by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

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Any machine I get from a non collector can only be handled while wearing a well sealed Haz-mat suit...It seems like the collector owned machines are then only ones I get clean. Either way, I strip down every machine for a cleaning and a motor service as soon as I get it. I don't want to blow somebodies..."Cooties"...all over my house.


I have seen the homes of some of the nasty cleaners...we don't speak of those places. Its become a "Life's full of secrets, girls, and I intend to keep 'em!" (Hello, Dolly!) Scene.

Post# 383403 , Reply# 2   1/1/2018 at 16:36 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Indeed, one wants a cooty free home,

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a clump-free home, and on and on. You have a 'suit' as well? That's wise.
To quote the great Dolly Levi,' Life's full of secrets and I keep 'em.
I'll proceed to plan the whole procedure, I'll decretely use my own discretion, just leave everything to me"

Post# 383409 , Reply# 3   1/1/2018 at 19:28 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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I am known to be a raccoon digging through dumpsters for stuff, so I don't care about dirty when looking for things to rescue, but I live a mostly clean life at home. I wash my hands like 3-4 times a day and shower every day. On the topic of vacuums, every time I get a vacuum it's put in quarantine in my garage where there's no A/C or cooling and if there is anything in it, it wont get in my house.

I got a barn find Hoover 700 in october, and no joke there was a snake skin shedding stuck in the chassis of it. Imagine if there was a snake in the bag still and I brought it in my house, crazy.

Plus it's proper procedure to clean a vacuum before using it anyways. I get vacuums from the restore, and they run the donated vacuums to clean the store (with no care about previous history or performing maintenance) until the bag is full and then put it up for sale for $20-$30.

I trust the restore to be a clean place and the vacuums to be clean due to the cleaning products they use, but any time I run a restore vacuum in my house, it puts the smell of industrial chemicals into the air. The deodorizing powder they use on their floor when vacuuming gets into the vacuum motor and filters and lingers for about 2-3 months.

Post# 383412 , Reply# 4   1/1/2018 at 20:42 by FCS3 (Hawaii)        
Talk about barn finds...

I once brought home an Electrolux XXX.
When I opened up the dust bag, it was "home"
to a Mama Brown Recluse spider and her brood
of several dozen little bastards.

Since I wasn't willing to risk permanent
disfigurement, it made a quick trip to the

Post# 383413 , Reply# 5   1/1/2018 at 21:07 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

I am also one to quarantine a used vac to the patio, shed, or garage, but only after removing the bag or emptying it first. The machines then get stripped down to the last screw, washed, polished, then carefully reassembled inside. After then it is cleaner than a new vac would be!
Luckily the machines I had gotten had nothing worse than pet hair in them, but one could never be too careful or concerned. I do still have gross memories of how the janitor in elementary school would clean up vomit...

Post# 383420 , Reply# 6   1/1/2018 at 22:57 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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@ FCS3

Why? You know that moth balls vacate spiders in short order, right? I pile of those would ensure the spiders don;t come back. I have a female wolf spider in my basement that has taken up a home in the corner and kills all the bugs down there for me. I have no spiders upstairs.

Post# 383424 , Reply# 7   1/2/2018 at 00:20 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

This is one of my pet peeves....receiving dirty vacs. I consider it a great affront when somebody sends me their dirt inside a vac bag.  I'm usually paying for the weight of the unit the dirt isn't a 'bonus' I want.  But fear not, this happens in all my other hobbies as well.


And since I collect vintage vacs, the millennials that sell them could care less of what's inside them....just good riddance. And the same for how they treat htem; suck up stuff wet, dog/cat poo....there are no off-limit boundaries when it comes to old vacs...they've just usually passed through too many hands by now.


I had one seller on eBay tell me AFTER the sale that he was so stoked I bought his pumpkin Connie. Said that he'd tried Craigslist and even to give it away....was passing it around to friends to clean their car/boats etc. It pulled about 45 inches....15 inches less than my other pumpkin Connie.  I clean/lubed the motor but it still pulled 45 inches. No big deal....I'll either get another armature or use it as parts. Oh yeah and it came FULL with dirt. 



Post# 383427 , Reply# 8   1/2/2018 at 02:20 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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I seen and took a photo of a Panasonic upright at Goodwill before that the bag was so obese with dirt, that the cover had fallen off and goodwill just taped the cover to the back of the vacuum rather than just throwing the bag in the trash. The bag had stretched out of the compartment and sagging over the headlamp. You would think that it was used as a carwash vacuum with how much dirt was in there. For the $20 price tag, I didn't bother with it. I wasn't a collector back then either.

Post# 383434 , Reply# 9   1/2/2018 at 08:44 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

Lol....all for the lack of a new bag.  


I like the idea of a 'quarantine' and a place separate from the house to work on them. I had a house 'guest' once that brought bed bugs to my sofa. Eventually they migrated to my grandson when he was a baby-baby and bit him while he slept. I never fought anything so hard to get rid of....what a mess! Same thing could easily happen inside a vac, They can live up to six months without any food.   



Post# 383456 , Reply# 10   1/2/2018 at 15:53 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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Oh yeah, bed bugs are a big problem in my city, mostly in poorer neighborhoods. You will see mattresses on the curb a lot through the summer.

For me having 3 dogs and a cat, fleas are my problem pest. I have a method to purge them that works, but it takes a lot of work and some fogger spray that is pretty noxious.

Post# 383500 , Reply# 11   1/3/2018 at 12:27 by tommymilan (milano)        

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Dear All, happy new year! I haven't posted for a while but believe me, I keep a lovely eye on you everyday!
When I find any vacuum cleaner, despite its appearence, I don't care much about how dirty it is or how it looks like, I want to make sure there are no visible broken parts I wouldn't be able to fix, or missing parts I would't be able to replace. When I get it home I inspect it, thorougly clean and wasj every single component and reasseble it before making any use in my environment. I am not obsessed with dirt, I just try to keep my place as clean as possible and for sure I don't wan't anyone else's dirt spread around my house or in my lungs!
However lately I've been very lucky, most of the vintage vacs I got from ebay sellers were if not in pristine conditions at least cleand and not spilling dirt all around.
Greetings to every and each of you from Milan!

Post# 383509 , Reply# 12   1/3/2018 at 14:45 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

They've found bed bugs in very upscale hotels. Like head lice, it's not longer confined to social classes. I let my grandson's mother sleep on my sofa a few days and therein started my bed bug problems. I did get them eradicated, but it took over a month. 



Post# 383534 , Reply# 13   1/4/2018 at 08:23 by broomvac (N/A)        

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The better half of a 100 vacuums have passed through my hands, but I've purchased only one vacuum online ever. It came nasty AND in ruins. My Sanitaire S661 arrived with a shattered fan, punctured fan housing, bent armature shaft, and warped VGII. And a ludicrously full bag. It looked nice in the pictures and was advertised as being "fully functional." But really, all I ended up with was a bag, cord, hood, handle, and bottom plate.

I informed the seller about the state of the vac, and he/she kindly refunded all of my money, which I used to buy a load of brand new parts: base, motor w/ fan, pulley, gasket, and VGII brush roll. The cleaner is in excellent shape now, but that's because it's virtually all new!

All of my other vacuums have been sourced locally. I have gotten very good at quickly evaluating cleaners I find in thrift stores. The first thing I inspect is actually the outer bag. If it is ripped/torn/stained, I almost always consider the vacuum totaled and won't buy it. Outer bags for any vacuum tend to be ludicrously expensive if not NLA. Next, I check the brush roll bristle length. Same story here. After that, I check for any broken pieces, worn wheels, or other cosmetic problems. If all is good, the machine gets the green light.

Rarely do I actually turn them on before I get home. Bearing, fan, or carbon brush problems are almost always cheap and easy enough to fix.

Post# 383615 , Reply# 14   1/5/2018 at 12:38 by James_60 (Broadway)        

Any Hoover Junior i purchase gets a full strip and rebuild. i take the motor apart. Clean the gunge out. Check the bearings for play. Dip in solvent and dry and re oil. if they are worn i replace them.


Post# 383616 , Reply# 15   1/5/2018 at 12:43 by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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I'm just used to having to give machines a good clean when I get them, its rare that I don't. And besides, its a good excuse to check the machine out thoroughly.

Post# 383830 , Reply# 16   1/8/2018 at 09:58 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I have yet to buy a vacuum with empty bag. I buy thrift and nearby classifieds. My d80 looked like they shaved there dog (120 lb husky) the bag was super full. I don't think they know how to empty.
The hoarder vacuum haul I got the kirby mid to late 50's kirby bag with emptor. Bottom of bag was molded calcified on. In bag was green shag carpet and another animal with mildew etc.
I really hope I don't get sick from the awesome gifts. They never are empty. I blow out suck up every bag wash twice inside out third time outside in. I pull bag of hair out of washer. I'm going to make a blanket out of the collection from washer.

Post# 383850 , Reply# 17   1/8/2018 at 13:20 by anthony (leeds uk)        
i dont mind em

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dirty but i have lost count of the Juniors /Seniors ect that have arrived with bags so full there would be literally no room for any more dirt .

Post# 384061 , Reply# 18   1/11/2018 at 12:38 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

There's no excuse for buying a used vac on eBay and having the bag full of their dirt....even if they're flipping it. It's a matter of pride, plus you're paying for the weight of their dirt.


To me, it's like someone sneaking up to my front door an urinating on it.  Even if they just take the bag out and pitch it without putting in a new one, I'm fine with that. You couldn't be any lazier than selling a vac with your dirt in it.....grrrrr.





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