Vacuum Cleaner Reviews » Reusable Vacuum Filters
Replacement vacuum filter

Reusable Vacuum Filters

And How They Compare To Original Vacuum Replacement Filters

Reusable vacuum filters are washable and can save you lots of money in the long term since you don't need to replace them with new ones.

We've decided to test such washable vacuum filters against the usual vacuum replacement filters to see if there's any difference in performance of a vacuum cleaner.

Washable and reusable vacuum filters

One of the more popular companies that sells reusable and washable vacuum filters is CrucialVacuum.com and they agreed to let us test and compare their filters with the original vacuum replacement filters you can typically buy on Amazon.com or in retail stores.

The filters arrived in a small box and each filter was individually packed in either a box or white plastic bag with the part number written on it. Both the boxes and bags were recyclable.

We tested the filtration quality of all vacuum filters and compared the results. We also checked whether the reusable filters still worked well after being washed and dried.

Testing The Reusable Vacuum Filters

We first tested a vacuum cleaner filter for the Hoover LINX handheld. The filter was a thick, risible foam. The only visible difference for this filter was the Hoover filter had an additional fine, paper pad attached to the top of the foam pad.

Dirty vacuum filter

As we used the CrucialVacuum filter, we were pleased to see that the filter collected fine dust from the air passing through the machine.

We tested the air being emitted from the vacuum's exhaust with our particle scanner. Our particle scanner tests debris in the air down to .03 microns per cubic foot.

We compared this to the reading we took of the LINX using the Hoover filter and found that the Crucial Vacuum filter did a slightly better job of containing fine particles.

Another filter CrucialVacuum provided us with is used for Eureka! Easy Clean 71B, formerly the Quick Up.

The filter provided by Eureka! is not washable although you will find many options of washable filters for this model on Amazon.com. CrucialVacuum's rendition of filter worked just as well as Eureka!'s design, but we enjoyed being able to wash and reuse it.

Testing HEPA Vacuum Filters - Do Reusable Filters Really Perform As Originals?

Reusable HEPA vacuum filter

We wanted to know if reusable filters from CrucialVacuum that are certified as HEPA also perform as originally intended - which is to block particles that are larger than 0.3 microns.

HEPA filters are namely quite expensive and also need to be replaced regularly in order to have them perform at such high levels.

We recently we tested a Miele S6 Quartz canister vacuum. With the standard filter and bag, it has a good filtration system, but our laser particle scanner tested some dust that was larger than 0.3 microns escaping from the exhaust.

This is because the Miele vacuum filter that it comes with, the S240 Air Clean Filter, is not their top of the line filter.

If you want the best filtration system possible, you have to buy the Miele SF-AH 50 Active HEPA Filter for a price of near $50.

We did buy this HEPA filter, but we also bought the same filter from CrucialVacuum for a price of just under $20. We ran two tests.

The first was with the Original Miele Canister Vacuum Cleaner Bags and Miele Active HEPA Filter.

Our Laser Particle Scanner detected no dust coming from the exhaust.

Miele HEPA vacuum filter

For our next test, we replaced the original Miele Vacuum Bag and Active HEPA Filter with CrucialVacuum's Bag and Active HEPA filter.

The Laser Particle Scanner once again detected no dust coming from the exhaust.

To sum it up, there is no difference in the quality of the CrucialVacuum bags and HEPA filters compared to the original manufacturer.

Washing the Filters

Washing a vacuum filter

To clean the filter, remove it from the vacuum and tap all loose dirt into the garbage. Rinse the outside of the filter with lukewarm, running water.

CrucialVacuum advises against brushing the filter or using anything abrasive on it. This can permanently damage the filter and dramatically decrease its effectiveness.

However, we did find that we needed to use our fingers to help brush the wet dirt from the 71B's filter as we cleaned it. After the filter has been rinsed clean, allow it to dry completely before putting it back in the vacuum and using it.

CrucialVacuum recommends washing your filter after every three to four uses or more often if needed. Having a clean filter allows better filtration and airflow.

Airflow is crucial to maintaining strong suction and allowing your vacuum to preform to the best of its ability. Even though these filters are washable, it is recommended that you replace the filter every six months for optimum performance.

Benefits Of Using Washable Vacuum Filters

Bissell vacuum filters

We feel that there are several benefits to using these vacuum filters as opposed to purchasing the manufacturer's replacement filters.

First, the filters from CrucialVacuum make it easier to ensure the vacuum you are cleaning with contains a clean filter. With the ability to be cleaned, these vacuum filters can be reused over and over again.

On the other hand, many filters that come with vacuums are not able to be cleaned, so once they are full, a new replacement would need to be purchased. As a result, we feel that a person would be more motivated to wash out a full filter that can be cleaned than to go out to the store to purchase a new one that will be thrown away.

This concept is important when considering cost since this is often a big motivator in purchasing decisions and the reusable filters can help to save a vacuum owner money over the life of the vacuum, which was another benefit we found to using these filters.

For example, In our recent test of the Eureka! 71B handheld, we noticed a huge difference between the suction strength when the filter was clean versus clogged.

This is important as a clogged filter causes more strain on the vacuum as the motor is working hard to keep up its suction strength.

A full filter also results in more particles making their way into the internal components of the vacuum. Both of these means a shorter life of the vacuum.

This has been backed up by all of the vacuum experts we have talked to who explain that one of the most important elements of maintenance is having a clean filter, which extends the life of a vacuum and means that the user will not have to replace their vacuum as often.

Suction strength is also important for the life of a carpet. Generally, the more suction a vacuum has, the more particles it is able to extract from the carpet.

We have heard it said that carpet installers can often tell which brand of vacuum a household uses by the weight of the carpet they are removing from the house. This is relevant since particles in the carpet are a big culprit in breaking down carpet fibers, which results in having to replace a carpet more often.

It is also cheaper since CrucialVacuum and other reusable filters can be cleaned and therefore reused several times, a person would not have to spend more than the initial purchasing cost of the filters over six months of its regular use. On the other hand, if non-reusable filters were used, a new one would need to be purchased when the old filter was full, resulting in a larger cost over the life of the vacuum.

Eureka vacuum filters

If we use the Eureka! 71B as an example again, we can easily see how this could play out.

We tested this vacuum during a period where we were doing construction on our house and as a result the vacuum sucked up a lot of fine dust that was in the air.

During use, we would often brush off the filter in order to keep the suction up, but it got to the point where the filter was too clogged and we could hear and smell the motor running harder than it should. After that month, we felt that the filter needed to be replaced.

We found the non-risible replacement filter on Eureka!'s website for $3.49, while CrucialVacuum has the risible filter for $7.25.

Though CrucialVacuum's filter is more expensive to purchase initially, if we look at the cost of six months worth of cleaning with the 71b, it would cost $20.94 to replace a non-risible filter about every month when needed, but it would cost only $7.25 to use Crucial Vacuum's. That's a savings of $13.69.

This price comparison does not even take shipping into account. The savings could be even greater depending on the order since Crucial Vacuum has free shipping, but Eureka only offers free shipping on orders over $25.00.

In case of our Miele HEPA vacuum filter test, the results are similar. While there isn't much savings with the CrucialVacuum Bag for Miele vacuums (just a small difference compared to buying bags on Amazon.com), the real savings are with the CrucialVacuum HEPA Filter (for a Miele vacuum) which only costs $18.95.

The original Miele HEPA filter costs $49.95. That is over $30 in savings every time you need a new filter!

One last benefit of using washable vacuum filters is that a vacuum owner produces less trash, resulting in a smaller landfill, which is better for the environment.

Special thanks to Chad from CrucialVacuum.com for sending us the reusable vacuum filters for this comparison test.

Related Articles

PreferredVacuums.com Interview

Preferred Vacuums specialize in vacuum repairs and also offer new and refurbished vacuums, accessories and cleansers for sale.

GoVacuum.com Interview

With a sixty day return policy and no restocking fees or shipping charges, GoVacuum.com is motivated to sell top quality products.

NewVacuumsOnline.com Interview

The difference between buying from a vacuum store versus buying at a big box store, according to Michael, is the knowledge and service that an experienced vacuum dealer can bring.

VacuumCleanerShop.com Interview

Paul from vacuumcleanershop.com advocates buying a high quality vacuum that will last for a few years instead of opting for cheap vacuum cleaners made of plastic.