Author Topic: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?  (Read 1697 times)

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Offline idratherplaytennis

  • Posts: 63
  • Hi. I'm Scott.
Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« on: August 25, 2022, 07:24 PM »
Hey all. Potentially rather particular question-

I used my ct-sys the other day with my track saw when I was cutting through some bamboo flooring to patch out some damaged stuff. I used the bag that came with the ct sys and it had the hepa filter attached but the problem is now when it exhausts air, it smells of burnt/cut carbonized bamboo (which I don’t think could be good in the first place to smell).

I was wondering if it’s possible to deodorize it or if I need to bite the bullet and spend $70+ on a new filter. I hate to since it’s nearly brand new, but compressed air did nothing to reduce the smell and it’s still white as the day it was purchased.

Just curious if deodorizing is possible. Never had any issues with my ct26 and I didn’t think the bamboo would be a problem vacuuming up with the bag and hepa filter.

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Offline luvmytoolz

  • Posts: 381
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2022, 05:12 AM »
I wouldn't hesitate to deodorise it, I'd take it out, give it a spray, and stick it in front of a fan for a while to help.

Offline bobtskutter

  • Posts: 101
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2022, 05:52 AM »
When I've stayed in rental holiday homes and the owners vacuum cleaner smell of wet dog, I've put a scoop of laundry detergent powder in the dust bag.  That helps mask the foul smell.
You can also buy these things to go in the bag
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Air-Freshener-most-vacuums-pack/dp/B000U14BL8
Regards
Bob

Offline mino

  • Posts: 1281
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2022, 06:56 AM »
Do not use any detergents as they would create a microfilm on the filter fibres. You also do not want to breath the detergent either..

Instead a pure solvent like denaturated alcohol should do. It should not damage the fibers or any glue fixing the filter in place if not left for too long. But still dissolve the microfilm of the aromate stuff that stuck to it.

Use a pan or something, put it into if for a few minutes, shake a bit, then partial-dry with a hair dryer on lowest (non-heating) setting. Repeat once more and full-dry in the vac.

Do not put the wet filter in the vac. First pre-dry it by a dryer and then put in vac to full-dry by 5 minutes on no load. That will dry any left-over places and protect the glue if it started being affected.

If alcohol is not enough, go with Acetone. But careful with time there - it is way more aggresive.


The problem is some woods contain lots or organic aromate stuff which is oily and sticks to everything. The only way to get rid of it is to dissolve it in some solvent.

EDIT:
Above assumes you got the white plastic fibres filter. If you have a paper main filter - then tough luck.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2022, 06:59 AM by mino »
The Machine has no brains. Use Yours!

Offline mino

  • Posts: 1281
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2022, 07:05 AM »
When I've stayed in rental holiday homes and the owners vacuum cleaner smell of wet dog, I've put a scoop of laundry detergent powder in the dust bag.  That helps mask the foul smell.
You can also buy these things to go in the bag
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Air-Freshener-most-vacuums-pack/dp/B000U14BL8
Regards
Bob
Eh. And instead of breathing the toxic wood, one would breathe the toxic wood plus the semi-toxic "Freshener" on top of it.

This concept reminds me when we had Arabic folks come to our Spa town in the 80s. They were not used to a shower /water being really scarce over there/ so they used a LOT of perfumes instead. Until they got used to tap water being abundant after a few weeks.

It was indeed better than not washing a few days and absolutely understandable when on the desert at 40C temperatures. But not really a good solution ... once water is available.
The Machine has no brains. Use Yours!

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1878
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2022, 09:47 AM »
My housekeeper likes to toss a unused dryer anti-static sheet on the floor and vacuum it up.  The scent completely fills the house.  I don’t care for the scent so I have asked her to not do that anymore. 

It might be more appealing than burnt bamboo, however. 

It does not seem to affect the performance of my vacuum.  I assume the same for the Festool version.

Offline woodbutcherbower

  • Posts: 606
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2022, 01:12 PM »

If alcohol is not enough, go with Acetone. But careful with time there - it is way more aggresive.


And don't splash any acetone on your CT-SYS. It will dissolve it .......

Offline idratherplaytennis

  • Posts: 63
  • Hi. I'm Scott.
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2022, 01:31 PM »
Do not use any detergents as they would create a microfilm on the filter fibres. You also do not want to breath the detergent either..

Instead a pure solvent like denaturated alcohol should do. It should not damage the fibers or any glue fixing the filter in place if not left for too long. But still dissolve the microfilm of the aromate stuff that stuck to it.

Use a pan or something, put it into if for a few minutes, shake a bit, then partial-dry with a hair dryer on lowest (non-heating) setting. Repeat once more and full-dry in the vac.

Do not put the wet filter in the vac. First pre-dry it by a dryer and then put in vac to full-dry by 5 minutes on no load. That will dry any left-over places and protect the glue if it started being affected.

If alcohol is not enough, go with Acetone. But careful with time there - it is way more aggresive.


The problem is some woods contain lots or organic aromate stuff which is oily and sticks to everything. The only way to get rid of it is to dissolve it in some solvent.

EDIT:
Above assumes you got the white plastic fibres filter. If you have a paper main filter - then tough luck.

This pretty much makes the most sense. Too bad California banned denatured alcohol a few years ago. They ruin all the good stuff for my work 😡. I have mineral spirits, goof off and maybe acetone I could try. I’d probably try tossing some in a sprayer and just mist it. Might give that a shot. It may not be burnt bamboo persay from the cutting but I think the flooring was carbonized in being made which I believe is where they basically cook it- which could have aided in it’s scent being rather potent.

Agree on the fabric softeners. I wouldn’t want it really smelling like most of those either, and I could see some stuff affecting the efficacy of the filter.

Thanks for your thoughts and time on the matter guys. I’ll see what happens. It can’t hurt it anymore than having to buy a new one anyways. I may have to buy a new one and save this one for the questionable stuff, worst case. Just stings since I bought it a few months ago and I’ve only used it a handful of times since then. Oh well. Live and learn!

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 5869
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2022, 02:51 PM »
“Too bad California banned denatured alcohol a few years ago.”

Here is a recent article in Fine Woodworking about how people are dealing with this problem.

Offline Crazyraceguy

  • Posts: 2330
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2022, 11:37 AM »
“Too bad California banned denatured alcohol a few years ago.”

Here is a recent article in Fine Woodworking about how people are dealing with this problem.

How does that work? Sure, they can stop "new" sales, by fining the retailers if they get caught with it. Bu if you are "Joe Homeowner" and happen to have some in your finish cabinet at home? Certainly, they can't force you to get rid of it in any way? You could potentially have it around for years.
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Offline Frank-Jan

  • Posts: 1302
  • Dutch Canadian living in Belgium
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2022, 11:45 AM »
I had my ct26 exhausing a terrible smell after cutting a bunch of Angelim Vermelho wood, even after replacing the bag.
I found a box of the scented sticks similar to those in Bobtskutter's post, sucked up all 3 or 4 that were in the pack, and the smell was gone.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1878
Re: Can you deodorize a mostly clean hepa filter?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2022, 01:40 PM »
I thought I posted this answer, but I don’t see that I did.

UV rays are a potent disinfectant and deodorizer. If possible, leave out in the sun for several hours on each side.

It has to be outdoors.  Window glass absorbs most of the UV rays, so ineffective through glass.

(Complies with all California regulations) 😄