Thread Number: 42652  /  Tag: Small Appliances
Carbon Dust from Motors
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Post# 447654   11/5/2021 at 12:22 (336 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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My interest in vacuum cleaners has led me to learn that vacuum cleaner motors will emit carbon dust when they are turned on.

What about hand held food mixers? Do their motors emit carbon dust? If yes, does that mean the carbon dust is falling into the mixing bowls whenever they are used?

I don't think any of these mixers have exhaust filters on their motor vents, and the vents are always placed right above the mixing bowl.

Post# 447655 , Reply# 1   11/5/2021 at 14:17 (335 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I'm going to say they probably do, but all of them which I have had the intake is around the bowl and the exhaust is out the back. I'm sure others will have more info however.

Post# 447659 , Reply# 2   11/5/2021 at 14:35 (335 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

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A motor that needs torque to do its job (like a mixer) will have carbon brushes unless its a switched reluctance motor (brushless) with a huge circuit board (like a Rainbow). Blenders just emit the carbon dust onto the counter. So does my food processor. Stand mixers generally exhaust out the back, but that means the intake for the cooling fan is in the front, where the flour that's aerosolized when adding to the batter can enter and be blown over the motor windings.

The Dormeyer Power Chef has the intake on the front and the exhaust on the back. And it does it in Style!

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This post was last edited 11/05/2021 at 14:50
Post# 447661 , Reply# 3   11/5/2021 at 15:47 (335 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Aha, I see. That makes sense.

I'm not a real baker so I'm kind of just going by memory of the mixers (stand and hand) in my mom's kitchen. I like to watch cooking and baking videos on YouTube and seeing some of the hand mixers triggered this question. Most of the time, the camera only shows you the vents on the front of the I understand that I am seeing the intake vents.

So I guess it would be wise to keep bowls of ingredients or open jars and other food on the counter out of the line of fire of the exhaust vents of those mixers, right? Would still be nice if manufacturers put some kind of exhaust filter on the housing to protect any food in the area.

Thanks, chefs!!! 😊

Post# 447670 , Reply# 4   11/6/2021 at 00:09 (335 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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The amount of carbon emitted for, say, an hour of run time is insignificant. Besides, carbon is entirely harmless - you're made of carbon. It's the other stuff in it that you'd worry about, and it's generally just clay as a binding agent. You could pulverize and eat a whole carbon brush and nothing would happen.

Post# 447674 , Reply# 5   11/6/2021 at 12:49 (335 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Yeah I think my Mixmaster stand mixer take air in through the front and blow out the back Mixfinder dial.

I don't think the amount of carbon expelled is enough to really amount to anything anyway.

Blenders, food processors, hand blenders, I imagine do expel some carbon as well.

I do agree it's a little surprising there isn't some sort of foam diffuser, because I've seen even vacuum power nozzles have one on the vents.

Post# 447677 , Reply# 6   11/6/2021 at 15:35 (334 days old) by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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I have never seen any carbon dust shooting out of a mixer. So no, don't worry about it. Unless you motor is horribly unbalanced or you just replaced the carbon brushes I see no feesable circumstance that this would happen. Even OSHA-certified food grade restaurant mixers that have the motor vents right above the bowl have not had issues with carbon dust.

The thing with exhaust filters is it restricts the airflow and cooling of the motor, not to mention these mixers are around food and water and other liquids and susceptible to spills, cleaning, etc. A filter would be wholly impractical.

You get more pollution in your body just standing in your backyard for 10 minutes than you could get in a lifetime of using a mixer. Don't be afraid of your appliances or imagine fantasy scenarios that would fit a horror movie.

[goes back to baking a cake with my rusty Hamilton Beach Model B]

Post# 447698 , Reply# 7   11/7/2021 at 07:41 (334 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Okay…I appreciate the responses. Very interesting. Still, I think I will still play it safe and will be sure to keep food out of the target range of any mixer exhaust.

But this conversation begs the question - do hair dryers also blow out carbon dust onto people’s heads? Do the new Dyson hairdryers use a safer digital motor that may not expel carbon dust?

Post# 447713 , Reply# 8   11/8/2021 at 00:25 (333 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Some hairdryers in older days more of a worry than carbon dust----ASBESTOS!!!Current hairdryers are safe.Carbon motor dust--never worried about it.And all these times my Mom,Stepmom and grandmom made cakes,cookies adn such with their Sunbeam and later for Mom KA mixers-no problems from "dust".

Post# 447722 , Reply# 9   11/8/2021 at 14:37 (332 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Yes, the minute amounts of dust would get sucked out and blown into your hair (most may not even stay in your hair).

BUT - how minute is it? Consider this...

I have a Windmere BOSS 1500 blow dryer that I got in 1982 for my birthday. It has been used every day (at least) for about 1-5 minutes a run, depending on my hair length.

The brushes (smaller than 1/8" square) in the "large-for-a-blow dryer" motor finally wore out in 2019.
So 37 years, times 365 days, times 2.5 minutes average gives about 562 hours if I did the math right.
So the dust being emitted is very, very small. Your hair would get way more full of carbon just by crossing a busy street.

So don't worry about the carbon dust. As already mentioned, it is harmless in those amounts anyway.

ICYW, I replaced the motor in my blow dryer - good for another 37 years, plus I bought a spare... I love that thing - best dryer I have ever used. Lots of airflow (big fan) even on low speed/low heat (which is what I always use for best hair care for me.)

Post# 447723 , Reply# 10   11/8/2021 at 15:09 (332 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Okay...thanks for that detailed reply Rob. Very interesting.

Wow...they are hair dryers branded as a "Boss" too!!! I guess that marketing name was used by other companies aside from Eureka! 🙂

Post# 447725 , Reply# 11   11/8/2021 at 15:42 (332 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Eurekaprince wrote: Dyson hairdryers use a safer digital motor that may not expel carbon dust?

I reply: Dryers with digital motors? Do they just blow ones and zeroes?

Post# 447734 , Reply# 12   11/9/2021 at 10:00 (332 days old) by mjhoshaw (Western PA)        
This thread is timely and got me thinking

This morning I vacuumed with my 1964 Electrolux model G.  Back in its day there were few exhaust filters and no sealed systems, but that was OK for the time.  Unless you had a burst bag, the air exiting the cleaner was cleaner than the air going in.  In the mindset of the day, if the exhaust looked clean, it *was* clean.  Now we know better, but I'm certainly not fearful to use my vintage vacs.  Heck, back in the late '60s - early '70s, one of my sisters dried her hair daily using our demoted 'lux model XXX.



Post# 447745 , Reply# 13   11/9/2021 at 16:46 (331 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

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The filter on the back of the Hospital Model G Electrolux was designed to catch the carbon dust.

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