Thread Number: 38090  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
Vacuum bag odour question
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Post# 405829   2/22/2019 at 19:50 (405 days old) by matt8808 (Teesside - North East - UK)        

This may seem like an odd question but bare with me....

So my daily driver for the majority of the last 6 months has been a commercial Sebo Evolution 350. Badged as the Mechanical 350 over in the USA. I bought this machine brand new.

I really like the Sebo in terms of the quality and feel of the machine, the cosmetics of it and find it a nice machine to use in general. However I don't feel it is a particularly efficient machine when it comes to dirt removal - the suction is good but airflow is mediocre at best. I'll point out now that this machine is still 'as new' and gets used with genuine bags and the filters are spotless.

Due to me not really getting a feeling of 'clean' from the Sebo this week I bought a (brand new) Miele C3 Cat & Dog.

I vacuum every day as I have a dog.

So my question is this... using the Sebo with a new bag, it takes well over a week / maybe two weeks for the bag in the machine to start noticeably emitting the stale dust / dog smell.

With the Miele, even with the charcoal anti odour filter, the machine started to stink after just 2 days. The smell also seems to be a lot more intense. I mean I haven't even had the machine a week and the bag inside it now smells like a thousand unwashed dogs.

So. Is this just down to the Miele bags being made from a different material that somehow encourages the smell to intensify, or is it that the Miele is removing a LOT more odour causing dirt from my carpets??


Post# 405840 , Reply# 1   2/22/2019 at 21:23 (405 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
OMG this is right up my alley

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PLEASE try this!! and it's so inexpensive it's ridiculous...
buy some activated charcoal granules just like in the link. A huge container will last you YEARS. I bought mine literally 4 years ago and it's still 85% full.

OK, say you change the bag to a brand new bag, right? When you notice that stale smell, pour a little activated charcoal in the lid from the container and suck it into the bag. The next day, you'll notice ZERO smell. It might take a few days or a week for the new dirt being sucked up to cover up the charcoal (I have to suck up a little charcoal only about every 10 days it seems). I'm literally using a bag that is now over 3 months old and NO smell! It's crazy. I have never been this long on one vacuum bag. I think I might have sucked up a little charcoal MAYBE 4 or 5 times over 3 months.

Now, I will say this. I have a CAT. No dogs. I do not know how this would work with dog owners but activated charcoal being sucked into the bag should help tremendously. I have never used anything that works as well. Charcoal filters don't work as well as sucking the granules into the bag. I still can't believe how MUCH of the charcoal is left in this canister. It's like I have hardly put a dent in it.

I've never liked adding those smell good tabs to the bag because I feel like you get a mix of the stale bag plus the scent.....even though it's supposed to neutralize odors.

I've posted this on other topics in the past and some people said they would try it....but not sure how it worked for them. I hope if you try it works. If you do.......can u come back here and post to let me know? Thanks


Post# 405847 , Reply# 2   2/23/2019 at 00:40 (405 days old) by fairfaxclass (Tillamook, Oregon)        
Essential Oils

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I like to take an essential oil, go ahead a pick a favorite, douse a square of toilet paper, and suck it into the machine before you start vacuuming.  It will cover the smell very well.  I like lavender especially.  Its not my favorite, but Tea Tree oils seems to reduce odor pretty well too.  I'll mix it with eucalyptus since that is a more favorable smell to me.  



As far as why the odor is more prevalent now, I have no idea.  Maybe Sebo has made their bags more anti-microbial and are killing odor causing bacterial more effectively?  Does Miele Make a Charcoal bag to add into the mix?


Post# 405852 , Reply# 3   2/23/2019 at 06:44 (405 days old) by got2bjennyg (Brunswick, Ohio, USA)        

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Essential oils aren't just "scents" to cover up odor. Studies have actually tested and demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties for several essential oils.

The essential oils of cinnamon, clove, thyme, oregano, and rosemary were shown to possess strong antibacterial activity. The essentials oils extracts from many plants such as basil, citrus, fennel, lemon grass, oregano, rosemary, and thyme have shown considerable antifungal activity against a wide range of fungal pathogens.

For best results in your vacuum bag put in a cotton ball or pad with 3-6 drops of essential oil from the list above, placed directly into your new bag just before you install it. If you feel you need a boost as the bag gets full, add another.

Rosemary and lime are a very nice, clean fresh smelling combo and I like clove and orange (or grapefruit) as well.

OFF TOPIC (sort of) If your dog stinks and it has had a bath within the last month and hasn't rolled in something vile, there is a health issue. A truly healthy dog only has a mild earthy scent after several weeks without a bath unless they encounter a skunk or roll in the barn LOL. Up until recently I had 4 dogs (16 year old Rottweiler cross recently passed away). I've actually been asked why my house doesn't smell and why my dogs don't either. My dogs do not eat kibble/dry dog feed or much of any processed feed. A fresh, blanched fresh food diet not only keeps odors at bay, but my vet bills are very very low. Nobody needs their teeth cleaned, no skin issues.....just an annual blood check for heartworm, etc..

CLICK HERE TO GO TO got2bjennyg's LINK

Post# 405859 , Reply# 4   2/23/2019 at 09:16 (405 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
I have tried the essential oil

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On cotton balls sucked into the vacuum. I LOVE essential oils and have several of them. But with a bagged vacuum, you will Still get the stale bag mixed with the essential oil smell eventually - at least I did.

When I use my Rainbow, I use essential oil but stale bag smell is a non-issue since rainbows are bagless

Post# 405869 , Reply# 5   2/23/2019 at 14:46 (404 days old) by matt8808 (Teesside - North East - UK)        
I don't mind the smell as such....

and I'm not too fussed over buying things to mask it. The house doesn't smell + is clean and my dog himself doesn't smell. Its just the vacuum LOL

I was simply wondering if the Miele smelling a lot more than the Sebo indicated that it was removing more deep down dirt.

Post# 405870 , Reply# 6   2/23/2019 at 15:20 (404 days old) by Rolls_rapide (-)        

I'm sure in the past there have been other users' comments (on other review sites, etc) about stinky bags. I think one was a Miele, another was a Sebo, and at least one person thought the Sebo air-freshener sticks were vile. Each to their own.

I personally liked the old Hoover disks, and the Electrolux sachets.

Post# 405872 , Reply# 7   2/23/2019 at 15:28 (404 days old) by vexorgtr (Sheffield, Ohio)        

Sucking a bit of active charcoal or baking soda into the bag is the ticket.

Even though my central vac exhausts outside, I can still tell a used bag from a fresh one, despite the system being sealed.

Post# 405880 , Reply# 8   2/23/2019 at 18:11 (404 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Yes, I think the Miele bag being 9 layer microfibre material & constructed differently than Sebo's 3 layer microfibre bag is causing the issue here. It makes sense that more bag layers = more odour retention, as there is more material for odour to get trapped in. It could also have something to do with the fabric layers the bag is constructed with, as well.

I have used activated carbon in my bags as well in the past, & I can attest that yes, it does work & is quite effective at killing the odor. What I have found works best is to wait until the bag starts to develop the odor, DO NOT put the carbon in the bag when changing the bag & it is new, if you do that the carbon gets buried under the dirt in the bag & isn't as effective. Simply place 2 tablespoons of carbon on your coffee table & allow the cleaner to suck it up with the hose. It will go straight to the odourous dirt causing the issue, as well as the walls of the bag, so it will immediately capture & destroy the odour.

You might also want to give Fresh Wave Vacuum Beads a try. They are a little different than typical vacuum deodorizers in that they use natural ingredients, & they eliminate the odour, not just cover it up.



Post# 405891 , Reply# 9   2/23/2019 at 20:39 (404 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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You are right! The dirt will eventually cover up the charcoal but it takes a while (at least for me) before I have to use more. But it's amazing. Zero smell coming from the vacuum no matter how long you've been using the bag if you continue to do that.

But I have a question: Is the carbon eliminating the odor as well and not just covering it up? From what I've read, the odor is "attracted" to the carbon so the odor would rather go to the carbon than the air - but I'm not sure what constitutes "eliminating" odor in this case.

Post# 405895 , Reply# 10   2/23/2019 at 21:18 (404 days old) by robsmith1977 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)        
Bag Odor

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I love those Arm & Hammer odor eliminating vacuum bags!! And I also agree with the above: If you use a Rainbow vacuum you will have no odor as long as you use it correctly. Never store your Rainbow on top of its water basin!!

Post# 405916 , Reply# 11   2/24/2019 at 07:55 (404 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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On the jar of activated charcoal, it says “Warning: harmful if inhaled”. Maybe it’s dangerous to have the vacuum’s exhaust blowing this stuff back into the room?

Post# 405925 , Reply# 12   2/24/2019 at 14:20 (403 days old) by Miskini (Northville, Michigan )        

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I have the same issue with my riccars. I love them, within 2 days of a bag change, they stink the whole house up. None of my other vacuums are like that.

Post# 405929 , Reply# 13   2/24/2019 at 15:03 (403 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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The bag would filter the carbon dust anyway, so. Also, you're literally made of carbon. It's totally harmless to you, chemically. I suppose charcoal dust might aggravate the lungs, mechanically, but again, the bag would capture it.

Post# 405930 , Reply# 14   2/24/2019 at 15:19 (403 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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I've heard that hospitals give activated charcoal for food poisoning? I've heard it's helpful if you have food poisoning to take some because it will absorb the toxins. People even use it to whiten their teeth. It's even sold in supplement pill form.

Post# 405946 , Reply# 15   2/24/2019 at 19:31 (403 days old) by Rolls_rapide (-)        

The 'harmful if inhaled' label probably refers to carbon soot particles causing cellular damage (cancer), and the ultra fine particles being able to enter the bloodstream. Similar to diesel exhausts causing health problems.

And that is why a standard vac should not be used to suck up photocopier toner.

Post# 405947 , Reply# 16   2/24/2019 at 19:57 (403 days old) by robsmith1977 (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)        

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Thank you for mentioning about the toner... I had no idea.

Post# 405951 , Reply# 17   2/24/2019 at 20:34 (403 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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Now I'm paranoid.....but I'm thinking about all the applications people use activated charcoal for.... I mean, brushing your teeth with it you're likely going to inhale some.....OR pouring the charcoal pellets out would cause any microscopic particles to become airborne....or using it for your fish aquariums... I mean, no matter what you do with it, it's GOING to be airborne.

Post# 405956 , Reply# 18   2/24/2019 at 21:36 (403 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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We had an aquarium when I was a kid, and we changed the charcoal and glass floss in the water filter a few times a year. I guess my dad made sure to be careful when dumping a few tablespoons of charcoal into the filter. I’m sure there are safe ways pet shop staff use to handle the charcoal in their tanks.

But I was more worried about a powerful vacuum fan sucking the particles out of the dust bag if they are really really fine microscopic particles. I imagine a hepa exhaust filter would block those fine charcoal particles.

Post# 405958 , Reply# 19   2/24/2019 at 22:11 (403 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I really wouldn't worry about it...

Post# 405971 , Reply# 20   2/25/2019 at 00:58 (403 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

HEPA type bags and filters will trap the carbon dust.Same with toner.The carbon dust and toner are mildly electrically conductive so they could cause problems if those got into motors or other electrical parts of a vacuum.And I would not be breathing the carbon dust.Remember reading an article from long ago when carbon blocks were used as a moderator in the first nuclear reactor.The blocks were cut to size on a table saw with no dust collection.The workers got respitory issues from the dust.

Post# 405978 , Reply# 21   2/25/2019 at 05:51 (403 days old) by Rolls_rapide (-)        
Carbon filter

Here is Roger (ibaisaic) and the Sebo C2. At 9:09 the carbon filter is rattled.

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