Thread Number: 37088  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Clorox wipes
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Post# 396263   8/5/2018 at 08:28 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey all. When I'm being a vacuum cleaner, (cleaning a vacuum), one of the products I use is the disinfectant wipes. Clorox, Lysol, etc.

However, I only recently acquired my first Hoover Convertible.
Actually, now I have two.

My concern is when it comes to cleaning/disinfecting the vinyl outer bags.
Would you advise using these wipes on them; inside and outside?
Have you successfully done it?
I've only used them, so far, on hard plastic and metal.
I just don't know if the cleaning/disinfecting chemicals would do any damage to the bag, cosmetically or structurally.



Post# 396265 , Reply# 1   8/5/2018 at 10:37 by Dustin (Jackson, MI)        

dustin's profile picture
I have always just removed the bag and washed it in the bathtub with a little laundry soap and warm water. Rinse it twice and hang up to dry. I wouldn't imagine Clorox wipes would do the job, especially if the bag is dirty.

Post# 396269 , Reply# 2   8/5/2018 at 11:32 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Hey Dustin

Thanks for the reply.
The bag is actually quite clean, appearance wise.
I just like to use the sanitizing wipes, especially when I clean a used vacuum.
You never know what someone else has vacuumed up in it.
I just don't know if the wipes could do any harm to the vinyl bag.
I don't want to damage it in any way, as far as the vinyl itself, or the design on the outside of the bag.


Post# 396271 , Reply# 3   8/5/2018 at 13:40 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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If it's a used vacuum, remove the bag and wash in a tub of light soap and water, light scrubbing, and line dry. Clorox wipes aren't going to do anything at cleaning the inside of it or all the little holes. Not to mention you'd be wasting them like crazy!

Post# 396284 , Reply# 4   8/5/2018 at 16:30 by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

vacuumlad1650's profile picture
I clean mine in the utility sink. Remove the bellows so it is only the bag. Warm water with dish soap and a soft brush. Runs an then one dry I treat with Mothers VLR

Post# 396285 , Reply# 5   8/5/2018 at 17:22 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Thanks guys

Like I said, this is all new to me.
I've never owned a Convertible before.
My only experience with an upright would be our Oreck, which I never cleaned the outer bag.
And it's a different material anyway.
Or, you'd have to go all the way back to my childhood, to Mom's Eureka upright.
And I know all we ever did with that was change the paper bags when they got full.
I'll have to learn a new cleaning skill!
I'm sure that once I've done it the right way, I'll be glad I did.
Just knowing that it's thoroughly cleaned.


Post# 396287 , Reply# 6   8/5/2018 at 19:07 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Just adding my 2 cents..

Hi Barry, with vinyl outer bags and also the plastic outer shells from the newer vacs I put them in the bath tub with warm water and a sprinkle of TSP, the real stuff you get at hardware stores or paint stores.Maybe just a tbsp. as it's pretty strong. Hand wash as usual and if really dirty, do a second wash. I also pour just a little liquid bleach, NOT FOR CLOTH BAGS, in for help with germ removal. It has never faded any of the vinyl bags, including the zipper cloth. Helps with odor removal as well, killing bacteria. Rinse and then a spin/rinse in the washer and hang it up. I've used a hair dryer to speed up the dry times and get into those nooks and crannies! I've used an old tooth brush to clean the plastic/rubber parts the bag attaches to. Here's a really effective way to assure a germ free bag. I spray it with Clorox 4inOne disinfecting spray. It does what they all do plus it has an orange citrus scent. Everyone I've recommended this to really like this product, so I hope this helps! Good luck! Billy Clyde

Post# 396296 , Reply# 7   8/5/2018 at 21:54 by bnsd60m9200 (Ponder,TX)        

bnsd60m9200's profile picture
use anything with bleach as a ingredient to clean ANYTHING rubber or vinyl, it will break down the oil compounds in the materials and make them fade and become brittle with age. use hot water, a blue scotchbrite sponge, and dawn or simple green.

Post# 396299 , Reply# 8   8/5/2018 at 22:28 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
The best cleaner I've found is baby wipes there not harmful like clorox. I just came on to simple green it works well to.

Post# 396310 , Reply# 9   8/6/2018 at 03:47 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        
@ kirbyklekter

huskyvacs's profile picture
I wouldn't use TSP. That is some seriously nasty stuff and way overkill for cleaning a vacuum bag unless it was buried in a manure pile or something. Not supposed to use it without heavyweight rubber gloves or strong hand protection. It will eat right through latex gloves and give you chemical burns in no time flat. At the hardware stores here, they don't even sell it unless you have a contractor's license. I've only ever seen it used by painters for removing paint off the exterior of houses and prepping the wood for primer.

@ Lesinutah

Yes, Simple Green is what many collectors here recommend using, I've seen it posted maybe 20+ times when I was digging through old topics from years back.

Post# 396313 , Reply# 10   8/6/2018 at 06:26 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Provided I can successfully remove and reinstall the bag, I'm liking the kinder, gentler cleaning options.
Laundry detergent, Dawn, Simple Green.
Any of the plastic parts that I gain access to, fill tube, bellows, I'd probably clean with Dawn.
I love that stuff!

I'm not familiar with that product by Mothers.
Is that a vinyl dressing or something?
Along the lines of an Armor-All?
I've never used Armor-All on a vacuum.
For a little extra shine after a cleaning, I often wipe down my Electroluxes, outside and in the bag compartment, with a little lemon Pledge.


Post# 396315 , Reply# 11   8/6/2018 at 08:07 by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

vacuumlad1650's profile picture
I buy it at the hardware store. It is to treat and protect Vinyl, Leather, and Rubber. You spray it on then massage it in with a microfiber rag. I swear by it!

Post# 396317 , Reply# 12   8/6/2018 at 09:24 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Barry, I just wanted to apologise

for not making myself clear on recommending TSP to you for cleaning your vinyl vac. bag. I have used it for over 20n years as a detergent booster for really nasty nasty Kirby cloth bags that looked hopeless. I only use a tablespoon in a whole bathtub of say 8-10 gallons of water and the normal amount of laundry detergent and it works great for me.Pet dander is oily and this really cuts through that and who knows what else. You'll be fine with light detergent . I wasn't trying to steer you wrong in any way I was just sharing what has worked for me. This is a great forum for learning, the members are very generous with their knowledge and time. Good luck,happy cleaning. Billy Clyde

Post# 396323 , Reply# 13   8/6/2018 at 13:06 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Hey Billy

Not a problem.
Even though I'm not familiar with it, I figured it was something pretty heavy duty.
These vinyl bags don't even look dirty. I would just like to freshen them up since I got the machines used.
I appreciate everyone's input!


Post# 396429 , Reply# 14   8/8/2018 at 13:35 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Mini spa day

Well...since I'm home from work today, not feeling well enough to drive, I pulled the latest Convertible out and started on the cleaning.

I went with Dawn and warm water for the vinyl bag.
Since, like I had mentioned, it didn't really "look" dirty, I just wanted to freshen it up a bit, it's not like there's a night and day difference in it.
But I'll have peace of mind, knowing that it's clean.
I'm going to pick up some of that VLR that Andy recommended, to give it a little extra pop.
Do you use it on the inside surface of the bag too, or just outside?
I guess I could use it on the bumper as well.
How about the plastic hood?
Or is it just for soft, pliable surfaces?

While at the set tub, (does anyone call it that any more?), I also washed the bellows, fill tube, and hood.
The hood will need polishing, to take out the fine scratches, and give it a nice overall shine.
The aforementioned deep gouges will be something I'll just have to live with.
Maybe some day, I'll find a minty Ranger style hood in this same color, and just replace it.
But, it's not a show piece. I'm just going to use it on our two area rugs.

While it's apart, I replaced the belt with the one that was supposed to be a spare for my other Convertible.
That means that another trip to the vacuum store will be in order, to get some more spares.
When it goes back together, it will get a new HEPA bag.
That will be my first experience with those in any capacity.
I have trouble getting my mind around how they allow better air flow, but yet trap more fine particles than paper bags.

I'll put up a few more pictures when it's clean.


Post# 396430 , Reply# 15   8/8/2018 at 13:52 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
A thorough rub down with disinfecting wipes is a standard procedure before bringing a used vacuum cleaner into my house, along with trashing the filter bag (I don't do bagless machines) and removing any dirt, pet fur, etc. that may be clogging things up. If I am purchasing a machine, say, at a thrift shop, I will visually inspect the plug, cord and power switch, then plug it in and turn it on in the store to assess its mechanical condition before purchasing but if it's a trash find, I'll do that on the deck before bothering to break out the disinfecting wipes.

Post# 396438 , Reply# 16   8/8/2018 at 16:53 by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

vacuumlad1650's profile picture
I treat the inside and outside of the bag. Just follow the application instructions on the bottle.

Post# 396480 , Reply# 17   8/9/2018 at 00:26 by AdamClapt0n (Washington)        

It's quite easy!

I've successfully cleaned it with heat water and my hair shampoo without any damage

Post# 396487 , Reply# 18   8/9/2018 at 03:01 by pr-21 (Middletown, OH)        

pr-21's profile picture

When I buy a used vintage vacuum, the first thing I do is use the Clorox or Lysol wipes on the base,

handle, wheels, cord. I also use qtips dipped in Lysol to detail the spokes of the wheels and any part that

is hard to get into. Then I wipe the whole unit down with a micro fiber towel sprayed with windex

to finish up. As far as the bag goes, I have washed them depending on how dirty, or used a

hand held steam cleaner on them if they mostly need disinfected. 


If it is an old shake out and may be delicate, but needs cleaning, I have a Garage Vac that hangs

on my wall in the garage and I turn the bag inside out and vacuum with a upholstery tool that has

a brush on it. Then steam clean inside and out.




Post# 396489 , Reply# 19   8/9/2018 at 06:07 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Welcome, Adam

Hey...that's one I don't think I've heard before.
I imagine it would smell nice too!
This vacuum is cleaned as thoroughly as I'm going to clean it.
All told, it's gotten vacuumed out, bathed, scrubbed, sanitized, and lightly polished.
I'm going to pick up some Mothers VLR for the bag and bumper, then it's going back together.
New belt and new HEPA bag, and it'll be ready go.
It's far from perfect, but it's better and cleaner than when I got it, and it looks nice enough for a driver.
I'm going to keep all of these suggestions in mind for future cleaning projects though!

Thank you all,

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