Thread Number: 493
How do you polish a Kirby?
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Post# 4749   11/27/2006 at 16:37 (4,341 days old) by vacufied ()        

Got a new toy today, Kirby model 519, and it has the typical dull chrome...

Was noticing that some of you guys have restored your Kirbys back to like new condition with a brilliant chrome finish... HOW DO YOU DO IT?

Post# 4786 , Reply# 1   11/27/2006 at 22:09 (4,341 days old) by jaseventura ()        

ya gotta have a buffing machine

Post# 4808 , Reply# 2   11/28/2006 at 11:45 (4,340 days old) by vacufied ()        

...thanks, was hoping there was a miracle polish, lol, but figured it was gonna be a little more technical than that

Another question... can you remove the cloth bag on these models to wash them, or are they permanently attached to the bottom connector?

Post# 4812 , Reply# 3   11/28/2006 at 12:17 (4,340 days old) by thunderhexed (Edmond, OK)        

thunderhexed's profile picture
The bags can be removed... just pull up the rubber trim around the neck on the emptor, you will see where the bag is attatched to the emptor. The way it stays on is by a spring that is sewn into the bag fabric. Just pull it up and off of the emptor (very carefully). As far as washing goes.. you can wash them, but use great caution when doing so.. either hand wash ot or machine wash on the most delicate cycle you have, my mahcine actually has a hand wash cycle so it's not agitating constantly. Use just enough detergent, preferably wool-lite or a little bit of hair shampoo to wash. You can use regular detergent if you like, just use sparingly. I also added about a tablespoon worth of pine-sol to mine just to help get out any smell it may have.. If you do machine wash though, be prepared to have a mess to clean out of your machine! Make sure the bag is as clean as you can get it before putting it into the wash! Shake it out generously, turn it inside out and vacuum it with another unit if you can before washing... as far as drying goes. I have never placed one in an electric dryer. I usually hang them outside in the sun to dry. You will want it to dry as soon as possible.. if you let it set too long while damp, the spring inside the fabric at the base of the bag can rust and then when you try to stretch it to place it back over the emptor... it can bust rendering the bag useless... I've had that happen on a Kirby Classic.. I was ot happy about that!

Post# 4813 , Reply# 4   11/28/2006 at 12:37 (4,340 days old) by kirbymodel2c (Nottingham, England)        

kirbymodel2c's profile picture
Ummmm, I would only wash kirby bags from 562 onwards in the washing machine as once I washed a early 500 series bag in the washer and washed the logo off!!!!
I nearly screamed.


Post# 4816 , Reply# 5   11/28/2006 at 13:21 (4,340 days old) by tommymilan (milano)        
polishing / bag washing

tommymilan's profile picture
Hi, useto polish my kirbies frequently so I just need some medium-fine metal polish , a soft dry cloth and some elbow oil;-)being very careful with plastic or rubber parts.
When alluminium needs a complete re-polish and some scratches need to be removed, I usually treat the scratches first with adequate sand paper, then i polish first with a thick metal polish, then with fine. Sometimes a drill with the appropriate polishing tool comes to help.
Once I used a kirby handly butler(tradition) to buff another kirby;-)

when it comes to wasj a kirby bag I use the "hand washing" program of my washer: cold water, wool detergent, low speed turning. then I hang them to dry but never at the sun.
It was a challenge to put the bags of my Classic III, Tradition and Heritage 84 back on their Sani Emptors. From Heritage 2 to the newest I own, I wash them with the mini emptors but I remove the bag filling tube.

Post# 4820 , Reply# 6   11/28/2006 at 15:42 (4,340 days old) by charles~richard ()        
I feel your pain, James

=-> Ummmm, I would only wash kirby bags from 562 onwards in the washing machine as once I washed a early 500 series bag in the washer and washed the logo off!!!! I nearly screamed. <-=

"Been there, done that." I =DID= scream. It was a beautiful, mint 511 bag. Decided to wash it because the previous owner was a smoker and the bag reeked of cigarettes. Imagine my horror when I took the bag out of the machine and saw that the silkscreened logo had disappeared, leaving only an outline of it behind.

I'd even think twice, at this point, about even hand-washing a vintage bag. Just not worth the risk.

Ohhh, the painful lessons we learn.......!

Post# 4827 , Reply# 7   11/28/2006 at 16:43 (4,340 days old) by vacufied ()        

Thanks for the info guys :)

I'm pretty certain the bag is a newer replacement, it's a blue houndstooth fabric with the only Kirby logo being on a small white tag...

If you don't mind me asking one more teensy question... when I used the vacuum, debris started coming through the casing where the two halves join. Should there be a seal between them?

Post# 4832 , Reply# 8   11/28/2006 at 16:50 (4,340 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        

Charles Richard,

I too, been there, done that. Turned the bag inside out thinking I would protect the logo, (it was the silver worded Kirby in a circle), used cold water and the gentle cycle...................

When it came out missing much of that silver wording and logo, the screaming only stopped after the front hall window had shattered and my spouse stuck a sock in my mouth.

In your words, "What a world, what a world......."

Post# 4845 , Reply# 9   11/28/2006 at 17:28 (4,340 days old) by sukething ()        
Well this is what I have done....

I have done the same as you gentlemen where I washed the bag and lost some of the logo. Well, I did this, I went to Walmart and bought fabric paint that would match the colors I needed. Than I sat down and repainted to logo back on. I will have to say what I did really seemed to bring the whole logo back out. It looks great. Well I think anyway..... might have a craked fan casing, yes it sounds like you might have to seel it back up.


Post# 4876 , Reply# 10   11/28/2006 at 23:58 (4,340 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        
Location, location, location...

Where is Fabulon?

Post# 4901 , Reply# 11   11/29/2006 at 08:40 (4,339 days old) by air-waycharlie (USA)        


Fabulon is a wonderful place that I created in my home that does not allow ANY negativity. It is where I go to forget the dolts that I encountered on airplanes, dolts that cut me off on the road, dolts that leave their full grocery carts in line while they run off to buy something else----you get the picture!

In Fabulon, I recharge my "batteries" and get ready to take on the world again. This is where all my vintage vacuums are and my vintage Stewardess uniform collection is.

It is a sacred place that only a few have ventured into. You are always welcome!

Post# 5318 , Reply# 12   12/4/2006 at 21:47 (4,334 days old) by kirby517 ()        
reply / polishing aluminum

I found a paste for brass and aluminum at the grocerie store. You scrub off the tarnish then use a high speed buffing wheel for a high gloss.

Post# 6630 , Reply# 13   12/28/2006 at 09:56 (4,310 days old) by billyb0y ()        
Cloth Bag washing

I would not advise anyone to launder a cloth dust bag, no matter how awful it looks. In the case of the permanent cloth bag used in the Electrolux XXX, this bag has been chemically treated with a type of sizing that helps the bag shed the dust when it's shaken. I'm pretty sure the Kirby bags have also been treated this way. Once you wash them, the dust capturing properties are no longer in place, and the bag will spread a great deal of dust until it is loaded with fine dust particles again. When you shake the bag, the fine particles will fall out, causing the bag to spew dust on first start up again.

Best thing to do is to brush it out as well as you can. If it's really stinky, you can leave it out in the sun for a while, or dampen it with a fabric freshener and let it dry.

Post# 6631 , Reply# 14   12/28/2006 at 10:02 (4,310 days old) by billyb0y ()        

I was born on Corelle, which is very far away. Fabulon is a neighboring world and the two planets are very friendly. Corelle natives live in a world that was similar to 1950's America; they have great respect for appliances and machines. They're always sneaking down here to Earth and snatching away all the best vintage appliances to take back and restore. That's why you can't find what you're looking for here.

In fact, it's something of a religion there. People build homes for themselves that have 3 or 4 kitchens, each with a particular appliance brand theme.

Post# 6635 , Reply# 15   12/28/2006 at 10:48 (4,310 days old) by vacuumkid3 ()        

is by far the best polish for any aluminum! Whether it be Air-Way vacuums, Kirby vacuums...anything, really! Bench buffer, MMAA polish, and a lot of time, you are set!


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