Thread Number: 44220  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Smelly Compact vacuum
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Post# 460372   2/16/2023 at 18:58 (217 days old) by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        

is there any shortcut (some spray treatment) or do I have to dismantle and wash the vacuum to remove the odor. Previous owner must or may have left a dirty bag in it.


Post# 460374 , Reply# 1   2/16/2023 at 19:14 (217 days old) by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        
hummm witch one

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Can you post a picture of it ??

Hoover compact or Compact Electra Tri-Star ??

Post# 460377 , Reply# 2   2/16/2023 at 20:21 (217 days old) by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        

It is a IEC/Compact/Tristar. Burgundy bottom, silver top bag lid.

Post# 460378 , Reply# 3   2/16/2023 at 20:53 (217 days old) by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

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Garry, I would start by hand washing the cloth bag and foam pre motor filter with laundry detergent, and take your diffuser cap off the exhaust and spray a little Febreeze on it, just to be sure. Might also be a good idea to spray down the cloth bag with a light coating of Febreeze as well.

That SHOULD solve your odour issues. If not, then take apart the body and give it a good cleaning with a strong undiluted all purpose cleaner. And of course, while you're at it, check your electrical connections, motor bearings and carbon brushes and fix any other issues you find.

Post# 460382 , Reply# 4   2/16/2023 at 21:55 (217 days old) by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

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Activated charcoal pellets in the bag or bin are also a good idea too.

Most of the time the smells you smell pass through the vacuum's airpath through the hoses (for canister vacs) and out the exhaust through the motor armature and winding coil (uprights), where it sticks to the motor itself due to the heat generated with expansion and contraction of the metal. Whatever way to clean the motor itself of the odor I do not know, unless sealing the motor in a bucket of charcoal for a week or so would be all I could think of. Shark vacuums for whatever reason have terrible rubber on their hoses and it seems like they start getting disgusting fast. They clean up really good with proper care and some TLC but man do they ever get smelly.

I know for cleaning hard parts that are safe to be immersed in water you need a good enzymatic cleaning solution that will break down bacterias. Someone on here before gave a specific brand and name but I forgot it. I think it was one for pet odors/pet bedding cleaning. Another person on youtube once told me to just use Persil detergent.

Post# 460383 , Reply# 5   2/17/2023 at 03:48 (217 days old) by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        
Thank you,

All this sounds great. I might try one thing first. I have this Ozone Generator unit (looks like the one in the picture) and a large plastic tub. I was thinking of putting together in the tub, sealing it the best way I can, and letting the OG run. After about 30 minutes, I may even run it for a very short while with the vacuum running.

I may replace the cloth bag and pre-motor filter anyway.

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Post# 460386 , Reply# 6   2/17/2023 at 06:53 (217 days old) by Kloveland (Tulsa)        

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My best friend put one of those stickup air fresheners in the bag compartment and closed the lid. Left it for about a week and a half and the smell was gone.

Post# 460388 , Reply# 7   2/17/2023 at 08:03 (217 days old) by bnsd60m9200 (Akron OH)        

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with as many stinky vacuums as ive run across, go the extra bit and take stuff apart and wash and clean it. i always scrub out canister bodies with at least simple green and a sponge or if theyre really bad dawn and sponge.

if you have cigarette stink, absolutely wash the cloth bag. i put baking soda in a machine that had cigarette stink and put it outside in hot weather for several hours. that helped as well.

Post# 460390 , Reply# 8   2/17/2023 at 08:44 (217 days old) by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        

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Compact tristar with silver bag door niiiiice .
Is it a 2 speed model id love to see it .
Replace the bags filters and wash the body as mention above should be fine .

Post# 460391 , Reply# 9   2/17/2023 at 09:14 (217 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I had good luck getting rid of a doggy odor in a Oreck handheld canister by spraying lilac scented Lysol (Walmart knockoff, actually) into the air intake with the machine running. I sprayed it continually for about 15-20 seconds and then let the machine run an additional minute or two. The air coming out the exhaust had no noticeable odor after that. I did all of this without a bag or after filter in place. What I need to do now is dig that machine out of my barn, where it's been sitting ever since I did that experiment, fire it up and see whether the smell has returned.

Post# 460430 , Reply# 10   2/18/2023 at 20:39 (215 days old) by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        

I think my treatment worked. I ran the device inside a large tub, vacuum on it's side with door open for 30 minutes. Without opening the plastic covering, ran the device and the vacuum for a few minutes more. I left everything for about 30 minutes to permeate.

I took the whole setup apart and brought the device and machine back into the garage. I did forget to run the vacuum to make sure the smell has gone. I will do that in the morning.

Now, about the vacuum. It is burgundy, gold dust handle and polished bag lid. The Model number is: C9. It is a one speed and takes a PN. I am currently cleaning a 2-1000 model PN. Almost ran into a problem with one of the sleeve bearings that has worn out of round by the shaft and partially ground into the bearing "plate". Found a replacement from a spare Eureka PN. The machine and PN do not match in color, I will address that later.

For the life of me, I cannot find where I hid the cloth bag and the Tristar name badge.

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Post# 460434 , Reply# 11   2/18/2023 at 22:41 (215 days old) by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        

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Id love see the machine red c9
must be rare.

Post# 461765 , Reply# 12   3/26/2023 at 17:49 by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        
Okay, so, ......

What I received was a beautiful condition Compact Electra badge.

I wonder if I should: Repaint it turquoise or be patient till I find the TriStar IEC badge.

I would love to take apart the vacuum, but I noticed there are lots of pins holding everything in place. I would love to wash the body shell to clean it up and for the repainting.

I would hate to damage anything.

Any tips????? Any suggestions???

Post# 461774 , Reply# 13   3/26/2023 at 23:10 by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        

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you can use a punch and hamer to remove the bag door lid

and metal on off switch the bsg door clamp is touchy as its 2 part

can you post a pic of the machine and hose ty.

Post# 461778 , Reply# 14   3/27/2023 at 11:33 by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        

I decided not to repaint and be patient. I will save (not hide) the Compact badge for another day. I am sure I will find one like on a junked parts vacuum.

I will, however, refresh the burgundy paint job after a thorough cleaning.

All is well.

Post# 461788 , Reply# 15   3/27/2023 at 15:36 by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        
Nice discovery,

I see I can easily access the 3 screws holding the unit together. So, no removing the wheels.

Also, the exhaust port is not plastic, but cast aluminum. Which means it can hold a mushroom exhaust filter with less chance of cracking.

It is outside in the sun drying completely after a washing and rinsing.


Post# 462084 , Reply# 16   4/6/2023 at 14:15 by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        

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any update

Post# 462095 , Reply# 17   4/7/2023 at 05:41 by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        

I found and exact match for the burgundy paint. I finished the refreshing paint spraying and turned my attention to wands. I am completely frustrated because. I am pairing the vacuum with an Eureka made burgundy trimmed, PN. No memory of where I got the PN. The PN does not say Eureka nor Compact. In fact, it is not branded. Problem is, none of my wands fit both the TriStar hose end and the PN elbow! I have tried ALL available wands. They either fit one or the other.

I have some ideas, but they need to wait.

I will try to take a picture soon.

Post# 462096 , Reply# 18   4/7/2023 at 06:22 by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        

now I see it! I need a short extension between the Eureka made PN elbow and the lower wand!

But where would I get one with a button on one end and a button hole on the other?

Post# 462099 , Reply# 19   4/7/2023 at 10:53 by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        

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you need the stub tube in between.

Post# 462103 , Reply# 20   4/7/2023 at 12:09 by fantomfan57 (Central Texas)        

There's more, I think I found a set the works on both ends.

So without the TriStar badge, I will finally take a picture of the vacuum.

Cheers and thanks alot.

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