Thread Number: 44898  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Now, I own a Royal
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Post# 466143   9/13/2023 at 14:16 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey, all.

Good thing I'm no longer buying vacuums, unless it's something to which I have a personal connection. (Sarcasm)
Today, I dragged a Royal home from the thrift store; simply because I've never run across one before, and it seems like I've been seeing more discussion on here about them recently.
This one is an 89130C. Looking through some older threads, it seems like this isn't a particularly desirable model, and known for being loud as all get-out. I can't attest to that yet, as I haven't even tested it to see if it runs.
I think it will clean up decent. But, possibly the worst of the issues, (provided it runs well), is that it looks like someone ran it without a disposable bag. Or, the bag came loose, and they kept using it. So, the cloth outer bag is full of all manner of dirt, dust, and miscellaneous schmutz. Surprisingly, and fortunately, the vacuum doesn't stink.
I'm hoping, once I dispose of the mess, I can hand wash the cloth bag in the bathtub, like I did with my Kirby bag. Are these Royal bags pretty safe to wash? I don't want to destroy the nice red color.
As John is fond of saying, "Pictures will be forthcoming". Did I say that right? LOL

Post# 466147 , Reply# 1   9/13/2023 at 15:27 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

One crappy picture, just to show it "as found".
Picture will most likely post sideways, as usual. Apologies.

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Post# 466151 , Reply# 2   9/13/2023 at 16:35 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        

vacmadman's profile picture

That is an interesting Royal that looks like it will clean up nicely. One thing that I don't care for when it comes to some Royals are those stickers, they like to put all over their vacuums. They did the same thing with their hand vacs. Once the stickers get damaged it gives the vacuum a cheap look unless you remove them.

Pictured is my Royal Prince 501 hand vac with its stickers still in good shape and looking almost untouched. Good luck with the new addition to your collection, and please take some more pics when it's done.


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Post# 466152 , Reply# 3   9/13/2023 at 16:43 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

As I start trying to get something that resembles a shine on it, I'll pose a few initial questions.

1.) Can I hand wash the cloth outer bag in something like liquid Tide without damaging it?
2.) In case it does work fine; what kind of disposable bags does this model use? I see mainly "C" bags listed for Royal/Dirt Devil vacuums. Any chance that's what I'd need?
3.) Is the nozzle removable on this machine, like on a Kirby?

Thanks for any information you can share!
The more I look at it, the more I like how it looks. I feel that the styling and the red bag give it a more vintage look than its actual age; which I'm guessing it's maybe from the 1990s?

Post# 466153 , Reply# 4   9/13/2023 at 16:48 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks, Jim!

I'm finding that, like my Kirby, I'm able to get it more shiny than it currently is, but not a nice deep, almost chrome look. Remember, I'm working strictly with rags and elbow power tools.
As for the stickers on this one; luckily, they are in pretty good shape.

Post# 466163 , Reply# 5   9/14/2023 at 02:39 by hygiene903 (Galion, OH)        
Hi Barry,

hygiene903's profile picture
Congrats on getting a Royal! I agree with Jim, it should clean up nicely! And you don't need power tools to make it look great, just Mother's Mag, terry or microfiber polishing cloths, and elbow grease. Judging from the model number and the pic you posted, it's one of the later models, so it most likely is a screamer, due to the high amp motors they put in the later models. If you post the serial number (located on a label on the back side of the nozzle) I can determine the month and year it was made. I think your guess of the 90's is pretty close. The label will also give you the amps or wattage, the higher the number, the louder it will be.
In answer to your questions, I have never washed a bag so I can't help you on that one. As for the disposables, as new as yours is, it will probably take the Royal type B bags. If there is a long tube with an elbow on it that goes almost to the top of the outer bag it will take the type B. If it's a short tube at the bottom of the bag it will take Royal Type A bags or Eureka F & G bags.
The nozzle is not removeable like the Kirby nozzle. If you want to use attachments with it, the rubber cover on the front swings up and to the right, then you reach in and remove the belt, and the hose adapter connects through the nozzle. But if you want to remove the nozzle for more thorough cleaning and polishing, you need to first remove the fan case, which is held to the motor housing by 4 screws, then you will see 3 screws inside the fan case that hold the nozzle to the fan case. Hope this is helpful.
Jim, that's a nice 501 you have there! I have one just like it, the newest of four 501's that I have.

Post# 466165 , Reply# 6   9/14/2023 at 09:33 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hi, Jeff!

Thank you so much for the info!
I do hope someone can chime in who has washed a similar Royal bag. I did the one for my Kirby, and it turned out fine. But, this feels like a different material. And, being red, I don't know if it would run. I really like the color of it. I wouldn't want it to turn out pink, or tie dye looking or something.

As for the other info from the label:
It's 9.0 Amps.
And, the serial number is E97A 00003796

Would the E97A indicate 1997?
Thank you again!


Post# 466170 , Reply# 7   9/14/2023 at 11:54 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
An old regret...

human's profile picture
That Royal looks like one I almost bought at a thrift store several years ago, and it's one of the few vacuums I actually regret walking away from. It was sitting next to a Kirby G5, and both were in immaculate condition, no polishing needed. The similar color schemes and condition made me wonder if they had come from the same donor. For whatever reason, I did not feel inclined to buy both of them, but I probably should have. Each was priced at $19, and I couldn't decide between them, so I left them both. And of course, I returned the next day and they both were gone. The immortal words of American Pickers' Frank Fritz once again rang true: The time to buy something is when you first see it.

The only Royals I have are three of the Prince 501 handhelds--an early one with a red and gray bag and gray plastic on the handle, and two blue ones. One is from what I think is the last year they made them, 1988 or '89, and has a little rubberized metal guard in front of the power switch. The other one is in its original box with all its paperwork and most of its accessories. Missing were the dusting brush and crevice tool, but I had extras of those from an old Douglas ATV shop vac I had gotten rid of. They're identical to the originals, except they're dove gray instead of white. For small jobs, especially getting cat fur off of upholstered furniture, there's really nothing better.

Post# 466174 , Reply# 8   9/14/2023 at 12:51 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey, Edgar.

At the moment, I'm wondering if I should have passed this one up!
Nothing against the vacuum. I'm just filled to capacity, and then some. And I was trying to stop buying vacuums, unless it was something to which I had a personal connection. Vacuums from my childhood, etc.
But, this one got into my "ooh...shiny" brain, and I fell for it. I paid $15 for it, by the way. Actually, I think it should have been half price that day, based on the color of the price sticker. But, the cashier said no. So, I ponied up with the full $15. It still didn't seem too bad.

I just came inside from cleaning the mess out of the outer bag. Good night!
See...that's something that would have made for an interesting picture. Did I think to take one? Of course not.
I can confirm, it uses Type B bags, because there was one in there; disconnected from the fill tube. That bag had about an inch of dirt in the bottom of it. But, there was a basketball sized mass of fine dust, hair, and a disconcerting amount of pine needles all packed into the cloth bag. Wearing rubber gloves and an N95 mask, I scooped it out as best I could.
The cloth bag is in desperate need of laundering! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'd love to hear from someone who has washed a Royal bag; specifically, a red one. I don't want to ruin it, because it's in really great condition.

Post# 466176 , Reply# 9   9/14/2023 at 15:18 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
I hear you. While I still occasionally do the 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' thing over that Royal and G5 pair, I look around me and realize I've got too damn many vacs and am running out of room for them. I actually declared a moratorium on new 'vacquisitions' a couple of years ago, but I fell of the wagon twice this year, once for a $10 Kirby Legend II, and then a few months later for a $30 G4 and a $20 Gsix to use as a parts donor to fix up the G4. Now, whenever I go down to the barn to get something out of the freezer, I see the partially disassembled Gsix and think maybe I should get some parts and fix it up. I have to remind myself that I have this weakness/sickness/character flaw, whatever you want to call it, and the very last thing I need to do is throw away any more money on vacuums. I just need to enjoy what I've got, and perhaps find more creative ways to use additional parts off of that Gsix in the process. I've got a G5 and a G3 that could probably use some freshening up. I mean, it's not like these are classic Corvettes or something, where the whole 'numbers matching' thing matters one whit. They're still just old vacuum cleaners.

Post# 466177 , Reply# 10   9/14/2023 at 16:28 by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        

kirbylux77's profile picture
Barry, I don't think you will regret getting that Royal the first time you use it on your carpets - those are truly BEASTS at cleaning! Even better than a Kirby G Series. So much so, that especially considering the price difference, if they were still selling Royal Metal uprights new, I would take it over a new Kirby.

The Royal Type B bags are hard to find in HEPA Cloth material. But the Perfect Commercial clone of the Sanitaire uprights does use a HEPA Cloth Type B bag, and they are pretty easy to find. What I did for my 3 Royal's is I wrapped the filltube with some red Tuck Tape to increase the diameter a bit, and made it so that Kirby HEPA Cloth bags will fit snugly on the filltube, since those bags are available in aftermarket and dirt cheap.

Post# 466181 , Reply# 11   9/14/2023 at 18:46 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

I actually ordered a package of three Royal HEPA bags.
Would you be referring to the V.A.C. brand? Or are they actually branded Perfect?
I hope the ones I ordered aren't lousy. And, as infrequently as this vacuum will get used, three bags should be more than I'll ever need. And, that's if it even works. I still haven't even plugged it in.
I guess, now that the filthy outer bag is off, I could plug it in and hit the switch. At least I could hear how the motor sounds.

Post# 466197 , Reply# 12   9/15/2023 at 01:22 by hygiene903 (Galion, OH)        
Hey Barry,

hygiene903's profile picture
Glad you enjoyed the info and found it helpful. The serial number does indeed confirm that it was made in May of 1997 and the A indicates plant 1. Unfortunately, 9 amps means that it is a screamer. Hopefully the excellent cleaning job it will do will compensate for that! You'll also find it to be very maneuverable and easy to use. Since it is your only Royal you should hang on to it, but you might want to keep an eye out for an older one, such as a model 880, 801, or a Royal-built Electro-Hygiene 903. They clean just as well as the one you have, but with a lower amp motor they have a sweet zoom sound instead of screaming at you. Here are a few pics of some of mine. First is a group pic of Royals, then a group of Electro-Hygienes, then a Royal 880, and finally my newest Electro-Hygiene 903 (built in 1983) with attachments and Extra Equipment Kit.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 4         View Full Size
Post# 466212 , Reply# 13   9/15/2023 at 15:41 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hit my first snag with the clean-up.
On the side of the nozzle, there's a chrome sticker with black lettering, that says "4 YEAR FACTORY WARRANTY".
While trying to polish the metal around the sticker, I accidentally got polish on it. I was even trying to be extra careful not to do that. But, as I feared, the polish took the black ink off the sticker. I didn't hit the lettering, but there's a black circle around the lettering. And, now that's rubbed off in two spots. Plus, I can't get the aluminum cleaned to my satisfaction in the area around the sticker.
My options now are, live with it the way it is. Or, remove the sticker entirely, and just polish the nozzle.
I'm leaning toward learning to live with it the way it is. I like to keep things as original as possible. And, since Royal put the sticker there, I want to keep it there.

Post# 466249 , Reply# 14   9/17/2023 at 13:49 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Well...I guess I'm going to go for it, and wash the outer bag.
I was hoping to hear from someone else who had done it. But, I really don't want to run the vacuum without washing the bag.
I'll say a little prayer, cross my fingers, etc. that it comes out at least as good as my Kirby bag did.
I'll let you know how it goes. At least then, good or bad, I can serve as an example for the next guy.

Post# 466274 , Reply# 15   9/17/2023 at 19:27 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

So far, so good.
Tons of dirt came out in the laundering, but I didn't see even a trace of red dye in the water. So, I think I'm in good shape, as far as colorfastness goes.
I used Woolite for dark colors.
Now, it's draped over the laundry sink/set tub to dry.

Post# 466297 , Reply# 16   9/18/2023 at 11:57 by Tylerhawkins84 (Elkhart, IN)        
Laundering Bags

I hope your bag comes out well. I try never to launder cloth bags unless they are very visibly soiled or stained. I take a canister vacuum and crevice tool and suck all the dirt out doing both the inside and out of the bag. If it has any kind of odor you could try hanging it inside out outside to air out for a while after vacuuming it and if that doesnít work use dryer sheets inside the cloth bag. Even if youíre going to launder a bag you really should vacuum it out first anyway as heavy dirt when wetted could also cause stains. I donít like to wet an old cloth bag as there are to many chances to ruin it plus if you canít get it completely dry metal parts like zippers and cuffs are going to likely rust over time causing more issues. I know this doesnít help you now but maybe you could try it next time.

Post# 466299 , Reply# 17   9/18/2023 at 13:48 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks, Tyler.

I just felt like this bag really needed washing. I know I could have gotten a lot of the dirt out by vacuuming it. And, it really didn't have any odor to it.
But, I got good results when I washed the bag for my Kirby, so I wanted to do the same for this one.
My main concerns were that this bag felt like a different material from the Kirby. And, being red, I was worried about colorfastness. But, all seems to have gone well.
I'm still working on trying to shine up the metal parts of the vacuum. I can only do so much at a time.
Hopefully, my phone will let me take a picture or two when it's all back together.
Thank you again for your input!


Post# 466303 , Reply# 18   9/18/2023 at 15:58 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
Hi Barry,

I have owned four Royal metal uprights since 2012, but this 1987 model 662Z is the first heavy-duty-commercial upright in my collection.


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Post# 466306 , Reply# 19   9/18/2023 at 17:30 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Hey Ben!

I like it!
Is that a thrift store price sticker I see? They don't seem to show up often at thrift stores. At least around here.
Over the years, I've maybe seen two or three Kirbys. And, on a recent trip, I saw two shampoo kits in the boxes. I believe they were for an Avalir, or maybe Sentria. And I have no idea if they were complete.
But, this Royal that I caved and brought home is the first of that brand that I've ever seen while thrifting. Not counting Dirt Devils, of course.

Post# 466308 , Reply# 20   9/18/2023 at 18:40 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Yes it is. The last person who owned this before me bought it used at Goodwill in 2007.


Post# 466345 , Reply# 21   9/20/2023 at 17:38 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Well, I guess it's done, to the best of my abilities.
Sorry I don't have a good camera, or a good place to take pictures of it.
I put it in basically the same spot as in the "before" picture. I'm sure this one will post sideways as well.
My HEPA bags arrived today. So, I was able to pop one into the clean outer bag, and flip the switch for the first time. While not exactly soft spoken, the motor sounds great. I made a couple of passes over one of our braided rugs, and it seemed like the belt was slipping. So, I'm thinking I'll be getting my first experience with replacing a Royal belt.
I don't know if the factory replacement is still available, or if I will need to go with aftermarket or another brand. I didn't get a manual with it, and I'm not finding much information about this model on the interweb.

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Post# 466346 , Reply# 22   9/20/2023 at 18:22 by Vacuumman (California)        

You can probably use a knurled Kirby belt in your Royal.

Post# 466356 , Reply# 23   9/21/2023 at 13:00 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thanks, Vacuumman!
Now, I do also see some genuine Royal belts that say they're for all Royal metal uprights.
It's funny though. Whenever I look up parts, I rarely, if ever, see this specific model number listed.
Does anyone know any details about it? We've established that it was made in 1997.
It seems like a very basic model. No headlight, no Adjust Rite or Adjust-O-Rite, etc.
It says "Commercial Quality" on the Royal decal. But, I don't think that means this is a commercial model. It seems more like simply a claim that it's of the same quality as a commercial machine.
I'm just curious. I don't know if I stumbled upon something kind of rare, or maybe just unpopular.


Post# 466358 , Reply# 24   9/21/2023 at 13:11 by VacMadMan (Pueblo Co.)        
Looking good!

vacmadman's profile picture

Your Royal looks great you've done a wonderful job.


Post# 466359 , Reply# 25   9/21/2023 at 15:11 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

Thank you so much for the kind words.
I'm my own worst critic. All I can see are the parts that didn't come out good. Kind of like my Kirby. I have to try to learn to be satisfied with "better than it was".

Post# 466360 , Reply# 26   9/21/2023 at 17:16 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

I got your e-mail.

~Ben (KirbyClassicIII)

Post# 466362 , Reply# 27   9/21/2023 at 19:07 by Tylerhawkins84 (Elkhart, IN)        
Commercial Uprights

Royal was actually a pretty popular commercial vacuum supplier in the 80s and 90s. Once they outsourced production in the early 00ís I think their reputation and quality started to slip to the point they are basically defunct now. The commercial models were generally basic machines as you would expect to sell them at a lower price point. I know the 4150 canister vacuum that was marketed as commercial had a heavy duty 3 wire cord as opposed to 2 wires in the residential models. Not sure if this was true of the uprights

Post# 466363 , Reply# 28   9/21/2023 at 19:45 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Yes, it's true: the commercial metal uprights did have a three-wire cord (usually 50 feet long, sometimes 35 feet) for OSHA compliance. Royal did that since 1973 with all their metal uprights for commercial use, including my 1987 model 662Z.


Post# 466369 , Reply# 29   9/22/2023 at 12:46 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

A little more good news for me.
Thanks to members who know more than I ever will, I now know that I can use Kirby 301291 belts on my Royal.
It just so happens, in the box of attachments and extras that I got with my free G4, there's a Ziplock bag of spare belts!
I'll try my hand at replacing the belt. Hopefully, that takes care of the slipping issue.

So close.
I've got the belt.
While I had the brushroll out, I took the opportunity to clean off some threads and hairs that were wrapped around the end.
When it came time to put everything back together, I found that I simply don't have the arm/hand strength to get the belt over the shaft.
I don't know if the belt tool would make it any easier, but I don't have one. I was using a screwdriver; which I've seen other people use successfully in videos.
It would be kind of embarrassing, but I'll probably have to take the whole thing to a vacuum shop, and have them put the belt on.

This post was last edited 09/22/2023 at 13:18

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