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Speaking of vacuum cleaner bags, do you reuse yours?

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Paper Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-02-11 07:32 AM
Original message
Speaking of vacuum cleaner bags, do you reuse yours?
For about 40 years, I had an Electrolux vac. Did a great job but it seemed I was always replacing bags. One day, the need arose again and I had not bought new bags. Empty---crisis.
So my cure for the immediate job was to take the old bag outside and over a trash barrel, I gently pulled the contents out and then shook the bag lightly so any loose dusty particles would drop out. I was careful not to rip the gasket around the hole.

Worked fine. I used this method for years. Sooner or later the bag gets too worn and it is time for a new one but I bet I saved hundreds of dollars by reusing the bag.

I have since replaced the Electrolux with a Dyson. Afraid I'm not fond of the handle/wand arrangement on this machine. It is a little awkward. The suction is great. There are times I miss the old blue E/L but a neighbor to whom I gave the machine tells me it is still going great. She is reusing the bags too.

I'm sure there are all kinds of manufacturer warnings against doing this. Certainly there is great profit selling the bags. All I can say is that the process worked for me.
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NV Whino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-02-11 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think I have too much cat hair to make this practical
But it's a great idea in a pinch.
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-02-11 09:43 PM
Response to Original message
2. I have reused bags, but only when I needed to because I ran out
of bags. It seemed to me that it did not work as well with the used bags, but it could be my imagination because this is what the manufacturer says will happen. I will try this with an open mind and see how it works. With all the clumps of cat hair around here, I do use a lot of bags (but not as many as I should since I am not a great housekeeper).

What kind of Dyson did you get and what is it that doesn't work for you? I was looking at them and see that there is a quasi-canister that might work better for me. I always have used a canister because I use the vacuum more on furniture and stairs than I do on the flat surface of the carpet.
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Paper Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-11 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. I had to chuckle. My bags were filled with cat fur too.
As to the Dyson, it is Model DC14-all floors. The suction power of this machine is great. I can find no problem with it on rugs and floors. On occasion I have to use the wand. It is a long rigid handle within the hose. You must detach the hose from the back of the vac and withdraw the wand to be able to work with it. I find it cumbersome and a pain in the neck to put back together. In use, it is fine.I can, using the wand, get into corners, top of curtains etc. I have pulled the machine over a few times. Even though the cord is long, I didn't check how much scope I had.

My daughter has a newer model and loves it. She seems to have no issue with the wand. Hers is labeled Animal. She uses it at least every other day. Dog sheds a lot. Don't know her Model # but hers is purple, mine is yellow.

I probably should not complain because I bought the machine at a house sale and saved money. If I needed a new machine, I would not buy the DC14. I think I would try the hose arrangement on the newer machines.

The base of the machine is rather large too and I cannot get under things. When the upright is tilted back, I cannot get it under the beds nor can it get close to the overhand of my kitchen lower counters. I use a dust mop to get some areas before I start to vac.

My assessment of the DC14
Suction A
http://www.dyson.com/store/hmc.asp
East of use(for me) C
Definitely a comparison shop item...including Craigslist.
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-11 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Danged cat hair fills those bags fast. I see what you are saying
about not being able to get the vacuum under beds, etc. That is a serious problem in my mind, and one that I would not have thought about when buying one. They have canisters, and they look so odd in the pictures that I am not sure how they work. I would have to see one, and I will make a point to see how easy it is to use before buying one. (I see that there is a canister made just for homes with pet hair---yippee.

I can't blame you for taking what you could get at a house sale. I would have grabbed it up too since these are not cheap.

Oh, and what the heck??? Tops of curtains??? Really??? (Uh, I am not even going to look at mine. This never occurred to me.)
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. One of the best things I ever bought were Moving Men
I have a queen-size bed, and they allow me to move my bed around so that I can vacuum under it. Ditto for my heavy sofa and easy chair. I also have an old Dirt Devil Roommate I bought for vacuuming stairs when I lived in a townhouse. It fits under the bed, too. But, sometimes it's better to just use the big vacuum, which has more suction power.




I think you can still get Moving Men at Target and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. If not, they're at Amazon.com for ten bucks.
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Actually, I've found them here in the dollar stores.
I bought about 10 packages of them. I actually am just placing them and leaving them permanently under some of my heaviest furniture. I don't mind seeing the little plastic rim sticking out if I know I'm going to be able to move things to clean behind without killing my back or risking another abdominal hernia.

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northoftheborder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-03-11 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
4. Just off the top of my head...
I would not want to reuse the bags because that is why I have a bag-type vacuum, so that emptying the container does not become an opportunity for that mess I've just vacuumed up to become airborne again in the process of emptying it. Many people like the bagless vacuums, and would suggest those if you don't want to have to replace bags. The bags are expensive, but often you can buy replacement bags for less cost, as long as they fit in the vacuum properly. I use to have an Electrolux, and the bags were small. Now that I use the upright vacs, the bags are quite large, and last longer.
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Paper Roses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-04-11 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Dust in the bag or in the barrel, all goes to the same transfer station here.
I don't see that there is any problem with removing the dirt and adding to to my trash for pick up.
Nothing goes spewing into the air. I feel it is the same as emptying my bagless Dyson and Hoover into the trash.

We all have our own ideas of what works for us. The reuse of the old E/L bags worked for me.
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-11 06:35 AM
Response to Original message
7. Yup, all the time.
Edited on Sat Mar-05-11 06:40 AM by Denninmi
I still actually have one vacuum that uses bags, a Simplicity I bought in I believe 2000, August -- I'll never forget, because I was in the local specialty mom and pop vacuum cleaner shop, and they had a tv playing behind the counter, and there was a breaking news alert that the Concorde had crashed upon takeoff in Paris (not that this is relevant).

Yes, I definitely reused the bags. Why not, saves money, not hard to do. I did get sick of pulling out the contents through the opening, so I came up with a faster alternative that works fine.

Anyhow, what I used to do was take the bag outside to the trash, cut the bottom end off, dump out the contents, beat the bag a few times against a tree trunk to remove any loose dust, then blow it out with my air compressor. Finally, I just doubled/folded over the cut end and put about 20 staples in it from my regular office-type stapler. NEVER had any problems with it -- never had the staples give out, nor did I notice any big difference with how much suction the vacuum had.

I think frankly they just don't want you to think that you can reuse these bags -- they make money selling them (although the bags are pretty cheap at this vacuum dealer, they have generics for almost all makes and models).

The last couple of vacuums I've bought have been bagless, and frankly I like it better. I have a springer spaniel, so a lot of dog hair, and the bags do fill up fast, and also can get sort of doggy smelling as they sit after a few days, even though I bathe the dog about every 10 days -- a little oil of lavender or some vanilla on a paper towel sucked into the bag helps with that.

I wouldn't buy another vacuum that takes bags, and I bet that there aren't too many models on the market now that do so anyway.

Actually, what someone should have invented was a permanently re-usable bag -- something made out of a fairly heavy duty plastic and rubber on the top where it attaches, with a tough cloth collection bag and a zipper on the side or bottom to open and close it to empty it, plus it should be completely washable. I guess that it's kind of late for that sort of thing now, since most vacuums are bagless.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-11 08:04 AM
Response to Original message
8. I use high filtration bags once
less dust, more comfort.
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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-05-11 12:26 PM
Response to Original message
9. That's why I got a bagless vacuum.
I have cats, and I would go broke replacing the bags every other week. Also, mine has a clear container, so I can see when it's full easier than one could a bag. I find that if you empty the collector into a deep trash bag, it's no dustier than changing a vacuum bag. Or, one could always empty it outside. I confess that I do extend the life of my filter by vacuuming it with my shop vac. Filters are sooooo expensive. I DO use a bag on the shop vac, because it's too difficult to empty them. But, I won't re-use the bag.
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lizziegrace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-06-11 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
10. Love my Dyson Animal.
Edited on Sun Mar-06-11 06:21 PM by lizziegrace
Kohl's had it on sale years ago and I had a 20% off coupon. I have life-threatening asthma and am allergic to everything except maple trees and feathers. Using my old Hoover required a full mask and then leaving the house for a few hours for the dust to settle. Or my daughter had to vacuum when she was home and I'd leave the house.

Now I can vacuum the house myself without a mask and stay in the house when I'm done. The wand arrangement on the old models is cumbersome and since I have 17 steps to the second floor, it's heavy. I'll endure hauling it around thought. Breathing is kind of nice. ;-)

Oh, and all hardwood floors help too. Amazing what you still can pick up...
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Monique1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-11 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I love my
irobot - it does everything I want and clean it all the time. It cleans under my beds, tile and carpet without me.
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