Thread Number: 35273  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
Activated Charcoal in Vacuum Bags (best ever!)
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Post# 379609   10/12/2017 at 11:54 (347 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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I can't remember where on this forum I read someone commented to use activated charcoal in your vacuum bag. It's super cheap - comes in a big canister and it's just little black tiny pieces of activated charcoal -

My experience doing this has been better than anything else I have ever tried. There is ZERO smell coming from a nearly full vacuum bag. I remember the comment said when you start using a new bag, to suck up a little activated charcoal. Then maybe 2 or 3 weeks when the dirt covers up the activated charcoal, suck a bit more into the vacuum bag. It really works

My Epic 6500 I keep in my laundry room, I use it to clean out my Shark bagless vacuum.....after a couple of weeks, the bag starts to have a stale smell. Not anymore. I would have changed the bag already but I can keep using the bag so much longer because, by doing this, there is literally zero smell at all.

So whoever you were that suggested this - THANKS!

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Post# 379619 , Reply# 1   10/12/2017 at 15:23 (347 days old) by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

The charcoal is probably pretty cheap and it wouldn't take much in the vacuum bag to keep odors at bay, but I've been using the Oreck aroma crystals for a couple years or so and they freshen the carpet and keep the vacuum bag fresh until it is full. I also drop in one of those Oreck brand fresh air tabs in the vacuum bag and those really help with stale smells. Both of those products can be bought on Amazon.

Post# 379625 , Reply# 2   10/12/2017 at 17:07 (347 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
I have some Oreck fresh air tabs

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I bought off amazon. They only work until about 1/2 the bag is full, and then it's stale bag smell mixed with the smell of the tab. The tab is better than nothing, but to me the charcoal is much better.

Post# 379627 , Reply# 3   10/12/2017 at 17:14 (347 days old) by Luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

We only have 1 short haired cat at home and haven't had much in the way of problems with the vacuum bags smelling much. Do you have multiple animals?

Post# 379628 , Reply# 4   10/12/2017 at 17:29 (347 days old) by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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So you suck up the charcoal through the vacuum to get it into the bag, or do you just put it directly into the bag? And how much amount of it do you put in?

Post# 379635 , Reply# 5   10/12/2017 at 21:15 (347 days old) by Tseg (World Traveller)        

Thanks for the tip. While I don't have pets, I'm forever picking up kitchen debris off the floor and my bag sometimes gets an odor if it is not filled quickly. I just placed an order, we'll see if it does the trick.

As someone else asked. curious if it is 'applied' through vacuuming and how much is necessary per bag to do the trick?

Post# 379636 , Reply# 6   10/12/2017 at 22:00 (347 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        

About a teaspoon of those Downy UnStoppables or gain and suck it in the machine keeps stale odors at bay too. I Weill try the activated charcoal as well.

Post# 379656 , Reply# 7   10/13/2017 at 06:07 (346 days old) by Tseg (World Traveller)        

There is a rather large selection of activated charcoal on line. 3 primary claims: whiten teeth, clean fish tank water and eliminate odor. Every different variety for sale seems to make a marketing claim against 1 of the 3, not all 3 combined. I'm assuming it is all interchangeable, but maybe not. Anyone know if the formulation can be tweaked by the manufacturer to make it particularly better performing for 1 of the claims? The Marineland version listed above seems to be particularly focused on its water cleaning ability, meanwhile another version called Carbon Laboratory Grade Activated Carbon speaks to odor removal. I wonder what the variance of oder removal capability exists between all the options?

Post# 379660 , Reply# 8   10/13/2017 at 08:04 (346 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
I just got the huge 40oz

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type pictured for use in fish tanks... I simply pour a little bit inside the lid, suck it up when I first change the bag so that the charcoal is the first thing in the bag - then after the bag fills after about 2 weeks (give or take), I just suck up a little more...Usually only 2 times per bag.. This canister of charcoal isn't even close to being half empty. It will last years....

I only have one cat and my house is not dirty....but I vacuum daily with the Shark. Kitchen crumbs, vacuuming wall to wall berber carpet. The bag doesn't smell horrible it's just that stale bag smell from bacteria growth which the charcoal completely eliminates. I mean, you literally smell NOTHING. The vacuum bag I'm currently using is now over half full.

I'm not sure how this would work for people with lots of dogs or something like that....but I know activated charcoal is amazing at odor elimination, so I'm thinking it would really work for those people too. I don't think it matters which kind you get, I just don't think you should get the charcoal powder. Get the kind that are like little crystals or very small pebbles.

Downy unstoppables are perfumed. I guess if you like that. I don't like those heavy perfume smells.

Post# 379666 , Reply# 9   10/13/2017 at 09:28 (346 days old) by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

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I'm going to have to give that a try. I have two large Border Collies (one is almost 100 pounds), and two cats (one Persian and one Siamese). My dogs bring in lots of the back yard every time they go out and come back in. Since I use the Vacuflo for 50% of the cleaning, I never smell anything (my machine is vented outside).

The problem comes in with the 18 vacuums in the guest room. I do use them, for one or maybe two cleanings per month. So they sit for quite a while with dirt (and dander and hair) in the bags. It might be a year before their bags are changed. They all stink when I turn them on - even the Miele Genimi with its charcoal hepa filter. The only one that doesn't stink is the Rainbow.

I'll try the charcoal in the bags of the different machines to see if that helps.

Post# 379755 , Reply# 10   10/14/2017 at 15:27 (345 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

Hmmmm.....and I've just been using baking soda as needed.



Post# 379768 , Reply# 11   10/14/2017 at 18:46 (345 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
I don't trust

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sucking up baking soda. It's too fine of a powder I feel like it clogs the bags more.

Post# 379782 , Reply# 12   10/14/2017 at 23:19 (345 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

Very good point!



Post# 379960 , Reply# 13   10/18/2017 at 20:05 (341 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
Electrolux Clean Sweep

Was my favorite, but according to the Aerus dealer they don't make it anymore.

Post# 379996 , Reply# 14   10/19/2017 at 12:09 (340 days old) by rvarley (Oregon)        

I have multiple dogs. Charcoal in the bag doesn't work for the full bag. And don't pour it on the carpet and vacuum it up as it can stain the carpet.

Anything with a scent I've used is vile. And even more so when it mixes with stinky vacuum odor.

I like my bagged vacuums, but the Rainbow or the Dyson V8 bagless are the only 2 that don't smell over time. Actually, the very old (1960?) Kirby with the shake-out bag doesn't smell too much either. Surprisingly. Probably because it's shaken out after each use.

Post# 380001 , Reply# 15   10/19/2017 at 14:13 (340 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
Remember that commercial

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from the 1990s? I think it was Glade Neutralizer or something. They blindfolded a lady and put a wet dog beside her and said, smell anything? She said a wet dog. Then they sprayed pine air freshener - asked her now what do you smell? She said, Pine needles and a wet dog. Then they sprayed potpourri and she said now she smells pine needles, potpourri, and a wet dog.

I tried finding the commercial on YouTube but I can't. It was so true and so funny. I can't stand even sucking essential oil on a cotton ball into a vacuum bag because you end up smelling essential oil and the stale smell mixed together.

I'm sure someone who vacuums with multiple dogs would have to suck charcoal up several times per bag, not just once. I know when you first suck charcoal into the bag, it eventually gets buried by dirt and you have to suck more up.

Post# 380013 , Reply# 16   10/19/2017 at 19:47 (340 days old) by rvarley (Oregon)        

No, I mean a 1960 Kirby. A model 560 or something like that. Very old, very good.

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