Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thrifty Tips - Scrimping on Vacuum Filters

A while back, I wrote about how I vacuum my home air conditioning filters in order to save on buying new ones each month. I recently found another filter that can be easily reused - a vacuum filter.

My family puts a lot of pressure on vacuum cleaners. We can go through one vacuum cleaner a year, since our home is fully carpeted and needs to get vacuumed daily. When you have a lot of kids, you have a lot of dirt, so it has to get done.

The thing is, I never buy vacuum cleaners new. I buy mine from a repairman who fixes up old vacuum cleaners and sells them for $20. I learned years ago that it never paid to buy a new one, when the old ones last just as long.

Presently I have a Bissell vacuum that I've considered a real boat anchor. I've done everything to that thing,  but it just doesn't want to pick anything up. After thoroughly cleaning the internal works out and it still didn't pick anything up, I decided it must need a new filter.

When I went to WalMart to pick one up, I gasped when I saw the prices of those filters! I had also planned to buy a filter for a small Dirt Devil I have as a backup, but decided against it when I saw the price. So I bought the moderately priced filter for my boat anchor Bissell, and planned to wait to see if I could clean up the one I removed.

Well, it worked just fine. But as I replaced the filter, I located another filter buried deep inside the removable dirt container that I never noticed before. When I figured out how to take that filter out, my mouth dropped open! That thing was buried in dust and dirt! It was dripping with falling dust. I thought for sure I was going to have to replace it. But I carefully used a small broom, then washed out one of the spongy filters off that wrapped around the filter assembly, it appeared that I didn't have to replace it. After I knew the spongy filter was dry, I gave it a drive over my carpet. At one time I thought this was one of the biggest pieces of junk I had ever bought. Now it works like its brand new.

So there are two things I want you to go away with:
1) Don't be afraid to gently wash the filters from your vacuum cleaner.
2) Learn how to locate all the filters in your vacuum, and maintain it on your own.

It will save you money in the long run. 

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