Thread Number: 38695  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Hepa bags. A gimmick?
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Post# 411202   7/5/2019 at 21:41 (273 days old) by Rowdy141 (Biryani)        

I'm keen to learn about this fascination with Hepa filtration. Is everyone hypoallergenic all of a sudden? Suffering from hayfever? Filtering the air of a room constantly? Using their vacuums to do the filtering?
When you turn your vacuum Off, you are breathing in the pollen and sub-micron particles that you considered so imperative for your Hepa bag to capture & contain.
Sounds to me as though marketing created a 'need' that never existed before.
Notice how large reusable shake-out bags were discontinued about the same time they told you "You need five layers of disposable filtration"?
Ironically, their greed to sell unnecessary bags, gave Dyson a foot in the door with "bagless".

Post# 411203 , Reply# 1   7/5/2019 at 22:02 (273 days old) by cinema (California)        

No way... on direct air uprights at least HEPA is the real deal. I have severe allergies. Yes I am breathing pollen and pollution and dog dander constantly and yes I am miserable almost all day. The vacuum is literally exhausting air particles at super high velocity, quite different than walking around a room with still air. If I use a paper bag I am sneezing for the foreseeable future after vacuuming. And it smells like ass. HEPA is 5000% better. There is little to no fine particle exhaust and minimal odor if any.

Post# 411204 , Reply# 2   7/5/2019 at 22:15 (273 days old) by Evilvacuumman (Los Angeles)        

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HEPA bag are not a gimmick. At the shop whenever we get a bag vacuum that has a paper bag itís compartment is full of dust where if we get one with a HEPA bag in it there is almost little to no dust in it. I have noticed that the cheaper aftermarket HEPA bags arenít as good as genuine bags so as long as you buy genuine HEPA bags they work great.

Post# 411205 , Reply# 3   7/5/2019 at 22:18 (273 days old) by CMBCOOL01 (United States)        

I think you make a decent point, ofcourse HEPA does improve the air filtration and in a clean air vacuum helps protect the motor more but many of these bags are ridiculously priced and don't last as long as you think a $5 bag would last so i agree it gave Dyson and even worse Shark a foot in the door personally I think bags should be alot cheaper then they are and also more common i never see bags in the grocery store and only see off brands in department stores or Walmart so I'm sure that contributes to high prices ofcourse even then it's been proven even with these pricey bags it's still cheaper to mantain and operate a bagged machine though i think in direct air machines yoi co

Post# 411206 , Reply# 4   7/5/2019 at 22:19 (273 days old) by CMBCOOL01 (United States)        

You could get away with a paper bag

Post# 411208 , Reply# 5   7/5/2019 at 22:30 (273 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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HEPA seems to fill a legitimate need. I think the real marketing gimmick is the allergies that created the need in the first place. Statistically, rich people who keep themselves and their environments sterile tend to have allergies far more often than normal people who are more 'dirty.' Science has long known that if you're never exposed to a potential allergen, you're almost guaranteed to be allergic to it.

But of course that's just the trend, there are always exceptions.

Post# 411214 , Reply# 6   7/6/2019 at 00:12 (273 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

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I use HEPA bags not for the allergen-stopping abilities, but for the performance! It turns out that, generally, synthetic HEPA bags ďbreatheĒ a lot more easily than a paper bag would after picking up a given amount of dust. You get noticeably better vacuuming performance from such bags.

As an added bonus, the bag keeps your vacuum cleaner, well, cleaner. Not only are they nearly impossible to tear or burst, but they keep everything downstream of the bag free from dust. If you are trying to preserve an irreplaceable vintage outer bag or a hard-to-service motor, HEPA bags are your best bet.

IMO, they are well worth the money.

Post# 411232 , Reply# 7   7/6/2019 at 15:41 (272 days old) by Rowdy141 (Biryani)        

I'm genuinely questioning this whole concept.

In our old Electrolux, we used a shake-out dust beg for twenty years or more. It worked just fine. Our carpets weren't dirty. And there were no carpet-washers in those days.

Electrolux recommended we use only genuine Electrolux paper bag inserts, of course, but my mum couldn't afford to keep buying those.

I'm fabricating a large reusable bag (3x small bags sewn together) to fit my Kirby. Just like early Kirbys had. Manufacturers discontinued larger reusables when they realised their mistake, and I'm trying to outwit them. I cannot afford throw-away Hepa bags, nor a £500 Dyson Super Turbo Vortex.

So, to summarise:
Hepa is actually needed by a minority with allergies.
Hepa is preferred by engineers who service motors after years of use and don't want dusty motor-housings (the cost of bags bourne by customers).
Hepa has a perceived benefit in end results, which only a CSI Team could realistically detect - you cannot see pollen and sub-micron particles in carpet.

There must be reduced airflow in order to trap those finer particals? I suspect its a trade-off. Surely some heavier particles must therefore be left behind in the carpet?

Your views have reinforced my suspicion that Hepa is a marketing phenomenon with only minimal benefit, and at huge expense. Much in-line with "Use only VAX shampoo with this machine" and "Use only genuine Hoover bags with the Hoover logo", or we won't honour your warranty.

Their money is in after-market consumables. Pretty much like printer toner cartridges.
I'm not buying-in. 😁

Thanks guys. I appreciate your input.

Post# 411248 , Reply# 8   7/7/2019 at 06:31 (272 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Hepa/fleece bags are huge improvement.
I don't have allergies, but just the fact that bag compartment stays clean using the hepa bags keeps me using those.
I don't like the idea that paper bags leak dust to the motor. Paper bags also clog when they are half way full. Hepa bags much less so.
Then there is the cost. In the Finland 5 hepa bags cost 10Ä (11$).
That is only 2Ä (2.2$) per month.

So in my opinion hepa bags are big improvement.

Post# 411270 , Reply# 9   7/7/2019 at 19:56 (271 days old) by Dysonman1 (Rolla, MO)        

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If you would actually use a cloth bag upright for a period of time, say one year. You would understand. The clogging effect of dirt on a bag is what led to the Dyson. Itís all about how the fine dust clogs the bag. Any kind of bag. Bags are the dead end of the airstream. However, that dead end is put off to its greatest length of time by using HEPA bags. Cyclones will never work as efficiently as HEPA bags because cyclones only work efficiently with a constant stream of air. Put the crevice tool on and put it down on a piece of furniture, and you completely change the amount of air flowing into the cyclones. Most of the dust will be sucked up through the Vortx finders and clog the pre-motor filter. Once again, bags are best.

Post# 411272 , Reply# 10   7/7/2019 at 22:08 (271 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Bags vs rainbow.
I love hepa bags just like fact they get debri into the bag.
I have a e2 rainbow and it's maybe in my head but it feels cleaner.
Compact c9 with HEPA bag has cyclone technology.
I'm wondering opinion on rainbow which filters by water.
I don't know if it cleans better than compact but air is cleaner.
I think probably a wash it's just rainbow has built in air purifier.

Post# 411275 , Reply# 11   7/8/2019 at 03:47 (271 days old) by jake1234 (greasby)        
Vacuum Bags

Well, the availability of bags is even worse in the UK! You guys are saying you can only find aftermarket bags in grocery stores and supermarkets, well here in the UK we cant find any! Nevermind fleece bags, I would just like to see any bags in the stores, we have none. The only place you can get them are online or for a ridiculously high price in a vacuum repair shop which we have next to none left. But by the way, I use fleece bags in some modern vacuums because they maintain higher suction for longer and that is no gimmick. The suction stays strong until the bag is completely full unlike the paper bags. But some people use fleece bags in old machines which I dont agree with as they were meant to use paper bags as thats all that was around back then.

Post# 411278 , Reply# 12   7/8/2019 at 07:55 (271 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Seems like bags availability is very different from country to country. In Finland we have a lot of internet stores selling vacuum bags and accessories. Selection of bags is huge. For example I found hepa bags for my vintage 1979 Electrolux. You can make agreement with them and they automatically send certain amount of bags for example once a year.
Very convenient and you always have bags.

Post# 411378 , Reply# 13   7/10/2019 at 21:05 (268 days old) by mylesrom (Canada)        

Here in Canada, thru Amazon I can get 20 hepa type bags for the Kenmore for 24 Cdn dollars. These bags are cheaper than the paper ones. I have never seen dust on the bags or in the chamber even when almost full. As with the paper bags they would always leak dust and the chamber and motor filter would be dirty. So why on earth would you use paper under that circumstance. these are the Clean Fairy brand and work very well in the kenmore.... At about 1.25 Cdn a bag.

Post# 411384 , Reply# 14   7/11/2019 at 00:22 (268 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        
Hard to find

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I found the brand veva vacuum bags. They are about$1 a bag. I have Kirby version of their bag and they are just as good of not better. I love them and there better than the Kirby brand which is first I've found.
In UK I imagine Germany or Europe close to you would have bags. A good majority of the American vacuums have European versions of their vacuum cleaner.

Post# 411395 , Reply# 15   7/11/2019 at 11:32 (268 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        
I have mixed feelings on the HEPA debate.

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For me personally HEPA filtration is on the bottom of my list. Many people have habits and or issues that are far more health devastating. Such as smoking (more than just cigarettes, including second hand smoke) obesity, making poor food choices (me included), lack of exercise and being reckless with oneís overall health are just a few examples. These are things that I would be more concerned about than just a few dust particles in the air.

My grandfather is 89 years old. Although he isnít doing too well now because of his Parkinsonís disease. Iím almost certain he grew up in a pre-HEPA environment. Probably without electricity back in 1930s rural Missouri. Did I mention he is 89! Living to be 90 and above is a combination of good genes and making positive choices in my opinion.

MadMan, I also agree with you there is a such a thing as having too sterile of an environment. Thank goodness we donít live in the wild west of the 1800s or in the Oklahoma dust bowl. HEPA bags would make sense in a home environment with multiple, adults and kids dragging in dirt from outside. For me HEPA doesnít make sense. Iím single and no longer have pets and no bad dust allergies. My primary concern now is the air ducts in my home. My house was built on a slab with the air ducts routed through the slab. The air ducts are deteriorating letting in dirt from underneath the slab and sometimes water. Getting those ducts filled in and routed in ceiling is on the top of my priority list.

For HEPA to work it would probably have to be all over. Is the outdoors HEPA filtered? Most of our work environments are probably not using HEPA rated vacuums. I do agree that HEPA bags probably do keep vacuum bag chambers cleaner and are probably less restrictive on suction as the bags fills. I havenít used a HEPA bag long enough to see this for myself. I love using my vintage machines. I primarily use Hoover Convertibles, Hoover or Elux canister or an old dusty Kirby with no ill health effects. But then again, Iím a collector. I know being personally responsible for my own health by trying to eat the right things and exercising frequently will be more beneficial to me than using a HEPA certified vacuum. Iím not necessarily harping on this thread but other threads Iíve seen on vacuumland that discuss HEPA. I think having perspective is good!

Post# 411397 , Reply# 16   7/11/2019 at 12:59 (267 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Good points there!
I only use hepa bags because they keep the bag compartment clean and airflow/suction doesn't drop like it does with the paper bags.
I have quite many vacuums what originally came with the post motor hepa filter.
When hepa filter in many of my vacuums has become dirty I have replaced it with just a foam or thin micro filter. I really don't need expensive hepa filter.
All I care is to keep my vacuums performing well/clean as possible.
For old vacuums like in the picture hepa bag really keeps it clean and performance doesn't drop so quickly.

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Post# 411527 , Reply# 17   7/15/2019 at 03:35 (264 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
I don't have

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severe allergies either. HEPA bags do keep the machine super clean. I recently got a Cirrus upright vacuum last year. The Genuine HEPA bags aren't expensive and last forever. I wanted to see how long I could go without changing it. It was KILLING me to go so long but I wanted to push it. Finally, after about 4 and 1/2 months of almost daily use, I changed the bag the other day. The bag had no smell because of some activated charcoal granules sucked up in the bag. There literally was not a SPOT of dust in the bag chamber. The bag held all that filth and kept the vacuum clean. I think they make the HEPA filter last much longer too but I'm not 100% on that as I think carbon dust ends up getting to the HEPA before anything.

Post# 411542 , Reply# 18   7/15/2019 at 18:16 (263 days old) by Tseg (World Traveller)        

I'm in my 50's and only "discovered" hi-end closed system vacuums and HEPA filters in the past few years. These past few years are the first time in my life I have nearly no allergy symptoms when most of my life they have been severe. Maybe this change in allergy reduction is due to something other than my vacuum system but I can't think of anything else.

I know for a fact whenever I would vacuum with my old Dyson DC14 I'd be sniveling that evening... which made me vacuum less... which compounded problems over time.

Post# 411543 , Reply# 19   7/15/2019 at 19:31 (263 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
As much as I love HEPA

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bags, I do sometimes wonder if it's the rubber area seal around the collar of the bag and how tight of a fit that goes onto the vacuum that's most important. You can have a HEPA bag or a paper bag and they can both leak if that's not a good seal connecting to the bag. I had this problem with Kenmore canisters. Always always dust in the bag chamber. My Epic 6500, even using the 4 play paper bags, no dust in the chamber...those aren't HEPA bags......but I do notice airflow drops off rather quickly on those. With HEPA bags, the airflow stays pretty decent throughout.......which you would think would be the OPPOSITE since HEPA bags are thicker.

Keeping a super clean home might not be the best for people and their immune systems, but it's better for things like your refrigerator, HVAC, etc.

Post# 411551 , Reply# 20   7/15/2019 at 23:00 (263 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I've come to believe that HEPA bags filter really well. I noticed my compact with HEPA gets very fine dust. The vacuum performance is about the same. If you have allergies I'd only use HEPA(I don't have allergies). I still tend to use hepa. Older eureka/hoover/sanitairre f&g I use oem or high filtration. The royal I use type a royal bags they seem to work better than other bags. Type b royal Im not a big fan of I use other HEPA bags.

Post# 411560 , Reply# 21   7/16/2019 at 02:54 (263 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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HEPA Cloth bags are definitely NOT a gimmick. They do work better than paper bags. I find I don't sneeze as much, don't see as much dust on furniture & don't have to vacuum the pre-filter on my Honeywell air purifier as much if I use a HEPA Cloth bag in a vacuum that doesn't have a HEPA exhaust filter, like my Kenmore EVPC canister or Royal Metal & Kirby uprights. In fact, HEPA Cloth bags, even generic ones, work so good that whenever I get asked for a vacuum recommendation for a allergy sufferer, I always say first that if there is a HEPA Cloth bag available for the vacuum to try it first before replacing the vacuum. While it doesn't capture the carbon dust on the exhaust, the HEPA Cloth bags will capture the majority of the fine dust that triggers allergies.

However, unlike some other members here, I have not found them to maintain the vacuum's suction or airflow better than paper micro-filtration bags. The ONLY bag I have found to be the exception to the rule is the Miele AirClean & Miele HyClean 9 layer HEPA Cloth bags - those bags are amazing in that you can stuff them full of dirt till 3/4 full & only then do you see suction & airflow drop off slightly, & no dust in the bag chamber either. Any other vacuum though, like my Kirby or Royal Metal uprights, use the paper micro-filtration bags in them & they maintain airflow just as well.

Kenny & MadMan - I disagree with you guys on the importance of keeping a sterile environment. Yes, a lot of people born years ago didn't have a allergic reaction if you vacuumed with a vacuum with no filtration that let off lots of dust. However, there are LOTS of kids being born these days that are allergic the moment they are born. Furthermore, what we know today is the dust in carpets is not healthy! And that's not just my opinion, that is a proven fact! There's a reason why leading environmental & government agencies say that indoor air quality in today's tightly sealed homes is a problem. Do you guys have ANY IDEA of the chemicals & processes used to manufacture carpeting? I bet you didn't know that FORMALDEHYDE, the same chemical used to preserve human corpses before burial, is used in the carpet manufacturing process, & remains in it & leaches into the indoor air after it is installed. Plus let's not forget the chemicals that leach out of plastics, finishes & painted surfaces. Your average vacuum is using this air to pick up dirt & dust, & then spreading all that dust & chemicals all over the house!

I see nothing wrong with letting kids be kids & letting them go outside & play in the dirt - but they shouldn't be breathing dusty air from a vacuum & being exposed to all those allergens. You should at the very least be using a vacuum with a HEPA Cloth bag, or a sealed HEPA filter on the exhaust, & if it's bagless empty the bin outside. I also think it's a good idea to have a HEPA air purifier running too. Yes, kids should be kids & you can't protect them from everything, but I see nothing wrong with taking a few preventative measures to reduce the chances of them developing allergies later on.

Mylesrom - I would be careful buying those Kenmore bags by Clean Fairy. Just because you don't see dust in the bag chamber does NOT mean they're not releasing dust into the air. Bill, Vaclab on YouTube, just did a test where he compared a Kirby HEPA Cloth charcoal lined bag with the Clean Fairy Kirby HEPA Cloth charcoal lined bag. His tests showed the Clean Fairy brand released a LOT more dust into the air than the genuine Kirby bag did. Sure, the performance of the Clean Fairy bag would have been OK if it had been used in a vacuum with a HEPA filter on the exhaust, but not on a direct air vacuum where the bag is the only filter. I also personally have bought a couple packs of the Clean Fairy Miele FJM bags, & I wasn't impressed with either the quality of the HEPA Cloth material used or the bag collar. I definitely won't be buying from them again.

Mark - Yes, you're right, the seal the bag collar makes with the vacuum when installing the bag is important. A HEPA Cloth bag will do no good if dust & dirt can leak around it inside the vacuum. The Kenmore canisters are a good example of a less than ideal bag collar & bag holder design. The reason why you constantly saw dust buildup in your Kenmore canisters using HEPA Cloth bags was because the bag collar would slide up slightly in the bag holder, & some dust & dirt wouldn't make it into the bag to be captured & filtered. I personally make it a point to tape the bag collar to the bag holder on my Kenmore canisters to decrease the chances of that happening.


Post# 411564 , Reply# 22   7/16/2019 at 09:00 (263 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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The riccar brand HEPA bags for rsl4 doesn't reduce suction, Kirby newest HEPA loses very small amounts. I don't have a Miele and seen there bags they look the most convenient and consumer friendly bags out right now. My compact doesn't lose air flow with HEPA bag. There are a few but it's alot healthier on vacuum with them. Les

Post# 411565 , Reply# 23   7/16/2019 at 09:03 (263 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        
We are all different

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with different levels of allergies. I can't make a generalization based on everyone. I don't think anybody can. I was just reading an article on Formaldehyde one of the remedies was to open a window. Which defeats the whole purpose of having a sterilized home in the first place. The article also said the levels of Formaldehyde are highest when products are new. Maybe some of these allergic kids are allergic because their environment is too sterile. I'm a not an allergist. I'm just guessing.

If a person is reasonably healthy the body's immune system should be healthy enough to fight off colds, etc. Go outside for a walk and breathe in some fresh air. lol!

Post# 411576 , Reply# 24   7/16/2019 at 14:26 (262 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
My cirrus upright

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vacuum........I filled that bag up and if there was a loss of suction, it was VERY little. Now, on the Kenmore canister, I noticed a loss of suction as the bag filled. My Kenmore blue canister where the PN died, I use the vacuum as suction only for the garage, and I do TAPE the bag so that it doesn't slide off.....but I still feel like even with that, it doesn't make a tight enough seal like, say, an Electrolux canister. I get better results with the Electrolux paper bags keeping dust out of the bag chamber than I do the Hepa bags in the Kenmore canisters. That bag collar design has GOT TO GO.

Post# 411588 , Reply# 25   7/16/2019 at 18:33 (262 days old) by mylesrom (Canada)        

I never said that the Clean Fairy or other generic hepa type bags were equal to Miele or Kirby original hepa bags...they are not. The question was are they a gimmick and my response was they are better than the paper bags, which they are. The original Kenmore paperbags always leak into the chamber. The Kenmore Progressive doesn't have a perfect seal at the neck connection anyways, so I would not spend 5 or 6 dollars a bag on them and I did have a couple of SVC hepa bags that came with the canister when I purchase it for 10 dollars. They were no better quality than the clean fairy bags. If I had a Kirby or Miele I would only use their original hepa bags... I wouldn't chance a Miele on generic hepa bags.

Post# 411591 , Reply# 26   7/16/2019 at 20:07 (262 days old) by mylesrom (Canada)        
Vac Lab Videos

I watched his videos... Kirby Orignal Paper = 11,559. Clean Fairy hepa type, 1400 at 0.3. So even generic hepa type are better than paper. Though not as good as Original Kirby or Miele bags.

Post# 411604 , Reply# 27   7/17/2019 at 03:47 (262 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
Miele GN bags

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Miele GN bags are fantastic. They are very thick and airflow difference between empty and full bag is very small. Only 10 cfm loss with full bag.

Post# 411627 , Reply# 28   7/17/2019 at 19:34 (261 days old) by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

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on the point of Clean Fairy hepa bags.....even though the Kirby HEPA bags were much better in his testing, even HE stated that the CF bags were just fine ( he gave numbers to compare by)....the '1400' number for emissions is very small....nothing like paper bags. Just for clarity :-). I bought them and told someone else about them and then he sent Bill/Vaclab to test....and I have noticed no difference from a 'users' perspective compared to the genuine HEPA bags.

I did know about the formaldehyde issue in carpets....I worked in a air quality control for a brief time. SO I use ozone/neg ion generating machines to neutralize the out gassing of a new carpet/drapes/cloth furniture(less than 50ppm). Good points though you gave on that and indoor air quality!

Post# 411642 , Reply# 29   7/18/2019 at 00:15 (261 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Kelton - First of all, thanks for the compliment. When I found out a few years ago I have allergies, I decided to become educated on indoor air quality so that I could reduce my symptoms. As a result, I am much more careful about cleaning practices, the quality of vacuum I use to clean my home, & I constantly have a Honeywell HEPA air purifier running 24/7 in my living room. I am currently using a 2007 Miele Callisto & a 2014 Simplicity Gusto.6, both with HEPA filters & HEPA Cloth bags, to clean my home, & both are immaculately clean & in pristine condition.

As for the Clean Fairy Kirby HEPA Cloth bags, I would agree with you - the result isn't "that bad". But, compared to the genuine Kirby HEPA Cloth bags, in my opinion they ARE bad....90 particles for the genuine Kirby HEPA Cloth bag vs 1400 particles for the Clean Fairy Kirby HEPA Cloth bag is a pretty big difference! That to me is unacceptable. If it had been under 500 particles for the Clean Fairy Kirby bag, that would be acceptable & make them a good alternative Kirby HEPA Cloth bag. If this bag was being used in a clean air upright with a sealed HEPA filter system, like a Miele Dynamic U1, Kenmore Elite or the Cirrus uprights, you could sacrifice the quality of the bag a little to save money buying generic bags, but when you consider this is the ONLY FILTER in a direct air upright vacuum, that isn't acceptable. And especially when there are plenty of other generic Kirby HEPA Cloth bags on the market by Envirocare, Crucial Vacuum, Zvac & VEVA that are widely available. If it's acceptable to you & Bill, more power to you & you can choose to use what you want. My personal preference though would to be use a better generic brand with better particle emissions, or just buy the genuine Kirby bags & spend slightly more for better air quality. I hope that one day Bill can get his hands on the normal Clean Fairy Kirby HEPA Cloth bags that are not infused with charcoal....I have to wonder if it's the charcoal layer that could partly explain their poor performance compared to the genuine Kirby HEPA Cloth bag. I appreciate your points though & contributing to the conversation here.

Mylesrom - You're right, NOWHERE did I say in my post that you said the quality of the Clean Fairy bags was equal to the genuine Kirby or Miele bags. All that I am saying is, based on Bill's tests of the Clean Fairy Kirby HEPA Cloth bag & my own experience with the Clean Fairy Miele FJM HEPA Cloth bag, I personally don't recommend the brand & will not use them again & I would suggest you try another brand. Based on what Bill experienced in his tests, & my own experience, it is highly likely those Clean Fairy bags are letting a LOT more particle emissions you cannot see than you think, even compared to the SVB HEPA Cloth bags you used previously. Considering your Kenmore canister either has no exhaust filter or has a HEPA filter in a unsealed system that can leak dust around the HEPA filter, that makes the quality of the bag used even more important. Even Kenmore noted in the certifications included with their vacuums that the particle emissions claims they made were based on using the vacuum with BOTH a HEPA Cloth bag & HEPA filter, because they knew their vacuums were unsealed HEPA filter systems. The ONLY VACUUMS they have ever produced that had a sealed HEPA filter system were the Kenmore Elite bagged canisters & uprights, the Crossover bagless uprights & some of their vacuums that were produced for them by Electrolux AB & were rebadged Eureka vacuums. And yes, you are correct about the seal on the bag holder of the Kenmore canister vacuums not having a perfect seal with the bag, but that's the reason you would tape the bag collar to the bag holder, so you maximize the seal the bag collar makes to the bag holder & the HEPA Cloth material has the best chance of capturing the fine dust & doing it's job of filtering the air. By the way, I have actually used the SVB brand Kenmore HEPA Cloth bags your vacuum came with, & actually found them to be pretty good for a generic bag. That is one generic brand I do recommend.

As for your statement that you would only use a Miele with their genuine bags & wouldn't chance using generic bags, I have used the generic bags with very few problems. They don't leak lots of particle emissions & cause problems with the motor like some people here claim they do. Plus, even though their filtration is obviously not as good as the genuine Miele bags, that is irrelevant since the Miele canisters are a sealed HEPA filter system vacuum. As long as the bag isn't leaking lots of dust into the bag chamber, it's perfectly fine to use generic bags because the HEPA filter on the exhaust will capture any particle emissions that escape the bag.

My experience with the generic bags has been the problems are mostly with the bag collar itself & it's design & quality, not with the quality of the bag material itself. If you read Amazon reviews on the generic bags, you can also draw the same conclusion. The generic bags that have the AirClean style collar used the first version of that collar that Miele only used the first couple years the bag has been made. The problem Miele had with the first version of the AirClean collar, & why it was changed, was that the bag installed properly in the holder & worked fine when first installed, BUT if you open the bag door to check on the bag, the bag collar becomes unclipped from the bag holder & slides up slightly in the bag holder. The consumer then closes the bag door without noticing this, the bag door tube doesn't penetrate the bag collar fully, & some of the dust & dirt goes around the collar & into the bag chamber. Even a fellow Vacuumland member who is a Miele dealer, Piano_God, noted in one of his posts that this was a issue with the first generation Miele AirClean / Miele HyClean bags & to be sure to push the bag back fully into the bag collar & make sure it clicks into place before closing the bag door. Since the generic bags up until recently used this first generation AirClean style bag collar, that is why consumers were seeing problems with dust leakage & didn't realize if they were more careful to make sure the bag was installed correctly before closing the bag door, they would have had no issues with dirt & dust escaping & the bag would work just fine for them. However, this problem is slowly starting to go away, since there are some brands of generic bags using the AirClean style collar that DO NOT unclip from the bag holder when you open the bag door, thereby lessening the chance of consumer error. I have also seen personally on some generic bags with the AirClean style collar that the silicone seal can detach from the collar, however you can always just change the bag if the seal does detach & it seems the quality of the silicone & the method in which it is attached to the bag collar has improved over the years, the recent generic bags I have ordered have not had this issue. The only other issue the generic bags have is they do not allow the vacuum to maintain airflow as well as the genuine Miele AirClean / Miele HyClean bag - the walls of the bag clog with fine dust & dirt & restrict airflow. However, that problem is easily solved if you take the bag out after each vacuuming session, take it outside, give it a good vigorous shake, & then reinstall into the vacuum. Doing that loosens the dust & dirt from the walls of the bag & restores airflow.

As long as you only buy generic bags that have the AirClean or IntensiveClean style collar & you make sure the bag is fully inserted into the bag holder & clipped into place, you will have no problem with bag leakage. I would strongly suggest avoiding bags with cardboard collars though - the collar can bend & warp, & not allow the bag door tube to insert fully into the bag collar, which can cause dirt & dust leakage. Even Tom Gasko, Dysonman1, has said he uses generic bags in his Miele canisters, in particular the 3M Filtrete bags with the IntensiveClean style collar, & he finds they work just fine & don't leak dust. Take a look at the bag chamber of my Miele you see any dust leakage from this generic bag?

Kenny - I totally agree with you. I don't think you can make a generalization that everyone's allergies are the same. There are people who's allergies are mild, & those that their allergies are severe. My only point is, as I said in my post, is it seems more kids these days are being born with allergies right from the moment they are born. And of course, we have no idea of what causes a child to develop allergies to certain chemicals, foods, grasses & other things in their environment. My whole philosophy when it comes to my health is that saying "A ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", meaning that if I can prevent sickness, disease or illness from happening in the first place by taking the best care of my body, eating right & exercising & taking the right supplements, I do it. So, since we all know indoor air quality is a concern due to dust & dirt in carpeting & various chemicals in the air from the products we use in our homes, I wouldn't want my kids if I had any exposed to dusty, dirty air from a vacuum & I would want a air purifier running at least in the family / living room of the home. I think it would be a good idea to take the preventative measure of using a vacuum with HEPA Cloth bags, a sealed HEPA filter system, or both, & if I was using a bagless vacuum to empty it outside. Having said that, I don't want my kids exposed to a "sterile" environment - I think it would be healthy for them to be exposed to allergens outdoors while playing & let them be exposed to "healthy allergens" in fresh, clean air, not toxic ones inside your home. Kids will be kids - let them go outside, get dirty, exposed to dirt, dust & allergens, let them get healthy exercise in, let them be exposed to allergens that way. I would just rather practice caution in the home in case they do develop allergies to some of the toxic chemicals in the air in our homes.



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Post# 411671 , Reply# 30   7/18/2019 at 18:22 (260 days old) by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
It appears that many people forget

vaclab's profile picture
when discussing particle emissions is their own indoor air quality.

Example: Person "A" demands a fully sealed H13 level system and their typical baseline air quality is 100,000 0.3um. Won't really have any appreciable effect, right?

Example: Person "B" has an average home 0.3um of 1,000 or less, then I'd say nothing less than full H11 would be appropriate.

In my home, using "el cheapo" $2.50 MERV 7 HVAC filters, I usually sit around 10,000 0.3um; however, when my HVAC runs continually (peak hot/cold weather), I can see a home average as low as 4,000 0.3um.

Clean Fairy bags may be just fine for the average home and I'd bet most people wouldn't notice the difference.

As for the charcoal CF having some appreciable negative effect, I would venture to guess that since the Kirby charcoal HEPA and black HEPA bags both tested great (both under 100), the CF non-charcoal bag would also be similar.

Hope this puts things into perspective,


Post# 412147 , Reply# 31   7/28/2019 at 11:50 (251 days old) by ABCVacPlacentia (California)        
I'm glad Bill brought this up . . .

I was just about to point out exactly what Bill mentioned. All of this speculating on the possible inferiority of "generic" bags means nothing unless you know the baseline particle measurement for your home. If you haven't measured it, then you're just guessing.

For the record, I'm the guy who sent Bill those Clean Fairy charcoal bags after Kelton sent me a link on Amazon. They look exactly the same, so I thought there could be a chance they were made in the same Chinese factory, which would make the Clean Fairy bag a real bargain. As Bill discovered, they look the same, but the Clean Fairy bag has fewer cloth layers, so this probably explains the higher particle reading (and lower cost). Bill and I spoke about this at length and the takeaway was that the Clean Fairy bag is probably more than good enough unless you need to live in a highly filtered environment AND you have real measurements that confirm you have achieved this with your baseline air quality.

Anecdotally, I've been using the Clean Fairy charcoal bag for a few weeks now and I can't seem to tell any difference. I do not suffer from allergies, so I'm not as sensitive to this issue. However, I have a dog and I find the smell from non-charcoal bags to be disgusting. Even the Simplicity HEPA bags I bought from Tom at the (former) Tacony museum for my Ultra Premium started to smell after just a couple of uses. I have yet to find a non-charcoal bag, regardless of filtration, that doesn't smell awful after a few uses. So, as a pet owner, I'm on the charcoal bandwagon all the way. I haven't tried using granulated charcoal in a non-charcoal HEPA bag yet to determine if it offers better or worse "odor" performance. But, that is more of a hassle than just buying charcoal-infused bags. I suppose this could be yet another performance factor Bill could measure. Does someone make a "smell-o-meter" that could provide some insight?

Both the Kirby and Clean Fairy charcoal bags seem to offer similar performance. Maybe the Kirby bag won't smell quite as bad once it gets full. Maybe not. Until then, they seem to work just fine.

Post# 412151 , Reply# 32   7/28/2019 at 15:17 (250 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
Adding charcoal

mark40511's profile picture
granules to a non-charcoal HEPA bag definitely works! This is what I do in my Cirrus upright and I was able to go 5 months without changing the bag. Had it not been for the charcoal, NO way would I have been able to go that long. A long time ago, I bought a big container of fish aquarium charcoal and I've hardly put a dent in the big container. But I don't think charcoal bags exist for the Cirrus upright?

Post# 412153 , Reply# 33   7/28/2019 at 15:28 (250 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Charcoal is Overkill in my opinion.
Veva makes a better HEPA bag than Kirby. The hepa bags for TriStar isn't brand name.
People like charcoal bags it's a personal preference.
Everyone is entitled to opinion and preference for things. Some people are blinded by own convictions and proving their points. The person is so focused on proving point and being right they are oblivious to doing do changes how people perceive them.
If people are entitled to opinions they're also entitled to false beliefs.
Continually posting how correct you are you lose respect. Nobody is going to read 7 posts with half hour worth of videos. Nobody cares to listen to how someone is right.
It shows they are self absorbed and extremely insecure.
The continuance is not needed. It's sad to see going to the extreme it seems there Almost mad.
I wish people well but delusional self absorbed selfish people only concern about themselves and their correctness really need to step back and enjoy life get over insecurities and live.
You can come back I don't care. It's only my opinion and that is my right. I'm comfortable in my skin. I don't need reassurance from anyone.
Cheers carry on this wonderful thread.

Post# 412159 , Reply# 34   7/28/2019 at 17:40 (250 days old) by kirbybb (Ohio)        

Hey Les, I do believe in the Kirby Charcoal Odor control bags. Our Golden fur in our old Hoover Platinum is what led me to this site and eventually to a Kirby with Charcoal bags. Before with our Hoover I literally needed to open windows when weíd vacuum. We brushed our dog regularly and she didnít really stink up our home. Now with the charcoal bags I can go about a month on a bag before Iím smelling dog. Like you say though, to each their own. Do what you like and what works for you.

Post# 412164 , Reply# 35   7/28/2019 at 22:45 (250 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        
Kirby bb

lesinutah's profile picture
Thank you for your suggestion. I may try a charcoal bag. The explanation makes sense.

Post# 412168 , Reply# 36   7/28/2019 at 23:37 (250 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

mark40511's profile picture
I just had a thought. I read your post where you said you got a month on a bag before smelling dog? I'm assuming that's when u change the bag? If not, I wonder if you would try to suck up a tablespoon or so of charcoal granules and I'll bet a day later your bag will smell new again? What happens with my upright is after a couple of weeks.....I will start smelling a slight stale smell, I suck up a little charcoal, that lasts 2 to 3 weeks or more before I started slightly smelling anything, I suck up a little more......rinse repeat. It's like the next day after the charcoal has been sucked up, zero smell. I think the dirt eventually covers it up.

Post# 412197 , Reply# 37   7/29/2019 at 21:23 (249 days old) by kirbybb (Ohio)        

Thanks for that tip, Iíd love to actually fill one of these bags up! Iíll look for some charcoal tablets and try it out.

Post# 412208 , Reply# 38   7/29/2019 at 23:33 (249 days old) by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

rivstg1's profile picture
I think adding the charcoal granules is a super idea if one has animals and the bag begins to smell way before itís close to full.!

Post# 412212 , Reply# 39   7/30/2019 at 01:44 (249 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        
Brandon & Kelton

kirbylux77's profile picture
I have used granulated activated carbon in my vacuum bags, & it does work. But, you must wait until the bag starts to smell, & THEN put a couple of tablespoons of carbon on a flat surface & use the hose to pick it up. If you put the carbon in the bag when it is new before installing in the vacuum, all that happens is the carbon gets buried by the dirt. If the vacuum sucks up the carbon, then it goes directly to the dirt & to the walls of the bag, which is where the odor is - NOT just getting buried under the dirt where it has no odor reducing effect.

One other way to put a charcoal filter in a vacuum is to make a pre-filter. I have a Honeywell HEPA air purifier in my living room, so since it uses a charcoal pre-filter wrap, I bought a extra one & take the material & cut a piece of it to put in the vacuum's pre-filter holder in the bag chamber. Just make sure the charcoal filter is at the bottom & closest facing to the motor, with the vacuum's normal pre-filter on top of it for it to work effectively. If you go with this method instead of using granulated activated carbon, the filter needs to be replaced every 3 - 4 months, depending how bad the odors are & how quick the charcoal wears out.


Post# 412386 , Reply# 40   8/4/2019 at 20:09 (243 days old) by Rowdy141 (Biryani)        

I've read all your pros & cons, and decided to try to be a little more open-minded regarding the benefits of Hepa bags.

I've ordered some cloth-type Hepa bags, and charcoal-infused bags too.

Was Kirby's term "Micron Magic" their name for Hepa?
Has anyone tested airflow? Paper v Hepa.
Comparisons between the two?
Does Hepa leave larger particles behind in your carpets?
Anyone vacuumed with Hepa THEN again with a conventional paper bag to see whether much (if anything) was missed?

That'll be the first thing I'll do. Someone must have done this already.

Post# 412387 , Reply# 41   8/4/2019 at 20:27 (243 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington, NC)        

O.K.  DO IT!  Stop posting about it and DO IT!  
What do you think we've all been talking about?  Have YOU EVER BOUGHT A HEPA BAG and tried yourself?  Or all you just wasting out time on VL?  

This is a tired subject!  

I DARE you to take the test yourself!  

Post# 412393 , Reply# 42   8/4/2019 at 20:49 (243 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        

kirbysthebest's profile picture
Somebody didn't take their Aderol.

Post# 412397 , Reply# 43   8/4/2019 at 21:21 (243 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Adderall is correct spelling. I'd say another drug but it's Adderall.

Post# 412398 , Reply# 44   8/4/2019 at 21:23 (243 days old) by luxflairguy (Wilmington, NC)        

No, Harley!  I tired of the bullshit that continues on and one from members like this!  It's like a dare to prove them right when all they want to do is argue.  I haven't time for that.  What's the point in their continuing?  For the fun?  Truth or dare anyone?

Post# 412401 , Reply# 45   8/4/2019 at 22:27 (243 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
Why are you trying to hijack this thread. There is no need to swear. It's better to have people think your something than to open your mouth and leave no doubt.
I'm wondering how you are contributing to threads. I have noticed only complaining.

I dare you to stop being negative on threads and contribute on them.

Post# 412441 , Reply# 46   8/6/2019 at 06:03 (242 days old) by Rowdy141 (Biryani)        

Well no-one EVER answers the ruddy questions, do they?
They just keep saying "I've got allergies"!




If they work, you'll say "Told you so!".
If they don't, you'll say "I've got allergies!"

Post# 412442 , Reply# 47   8/6/2019 at 09:21 (242 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
my 2c

blackheart's profile picture
Hepa bags typically increase the machine's airflow. Here are a few tested examples I also had a more extreme example with a Vita-vac (rebadged airway) where paper bags got a baird 4/10 and the hepas 6/10 if i recall correctly meaning about a 16 cfm difference. I think the surface area effects the increase, the larger the bag is the less of a difference it makes.
They typically increase airflow, and retain it better as the machine fills. With bypass machines there is also the benefit of less dust getting into your components.

Now this doesn't mean they're a must for everyone. I don't really have allergies but I always use hepa bags if I can cause they keep my machine cleaner and performing better.

As for testing using a pickup method, following behind a machine isn't really a good way to to gauge performance. Any vacuum following another one will typically find more dirt which gives the impression that the one after it is superior. I've tried this using a TOL Simplicity S40 and then following it up with a Simplicity Pixie stick vac, it found more pink sand after it, it doesn't mean it cleans better. A better way to do it would be to put an equal amount of dirt into an area and see how much of it is removed.

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Post# 412443 , Reply# 48   8/6/2019 at 09:43 (242 days old) by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

rivstg1's profile picture
I like your idea of those tests.... I don't recall reading any tests of the MicronMagic semi hepa/paper bags vs the cloth HEPA rated bags. You know the cloth ones HAVE to be better but it was a later design and the industry moved to the cloth ones ie rendering the earlier versions largely, obsolete (except for Collectors' of course).

Post# 412475 , Reply# 49   8/7/2019 at 02:56 (241 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

The Royal B type HEPA cloth bags are not real easy to get here and expensive.I will have to check with the vac place here and see if I can stock up-like order a case of the HEPA Royal B cloth bags!Figure they may get discontinued along with the Royal metal vacuums.

Post# 412477 , Reply# 50   8/7/2019 at 07:45 (241 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
Royal Hepa bags

blackheart's profile picture
Here's a good alternative, Vacuum America Clean Vac 7 Perfect P103, P104, P107, P108 / Royal Style B Uprights H-10 Hepa Filtration 9 bags for 17.99. I've been happy with the brand so far. I actually had a Royal L bag in my unit during the test. Mostly because the shop never sold a single pack of them in my time there. Figured I'd use them to get rid of them


Post# 412496 , Reply# 51   8/7/2019 at 13:31 (240 days old) by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
All My Kirby Bag Particle Test Videos

vaclab's profile picture
Particle Tests With Five Kirby Bags

Kirby MicroAllergen Plus HEPA Bag Particle Test

Clean Fairy Charcoal Kirby Compatible Bag Particle Test

Before I was on YouTube, I did some fairly extensive airflow loss testing primarily concentrating on HEPA bags for Kirby, Electrolux (Perfect) and Hoover (Crucial). When they were filled they did lose some CFM but the loss was minimal.

Here are some percentages all measured at the body of the machine (not power nozzle as I hadn't built my first airflow box yet).

75% Full Kirby HEPA bag lost about 10.7%
100% Full Hoover HEPA bag lost about 13.4%
100% Full Lux HEPA bag lost about 14.3%

Hope this helps,

Post# 412767 , Reply# 52   8/15/2019 at 02:54 (233 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        
Miele FJM HEPA Cloth Charcoal bags

kirbylux77's profile picture
Since there has been talk in this thread about the Kirby charcoal bags, I found these generic Miele FJM HEPA Cloth charcoal bags online. For those that don't want to use a generic Miele HEPA filter with the charcoal layer, don't want to use the Active AirClean filter with charcoal, or put activated carbon into bags or use charcoal sheets, these bags are a interesting option.



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