Best Vacuum to clean up Diatomaceous Earth with(13 posts)
Wondering if anyone has any suggestions as to which vacuum would be best to use for cleaning up DE. It's my understanding that the stuff can shorten the lifespan of vacuums and particularly those that are not intended for sucking up fine particles and also that it is best to find a vacuum that is designed to do that type of job or buy a filter that is meant for such a task. I would assume that many who visit this forum have experience in cleaning it up and any personal accounts of how you went about doing so and/or specific suggestions on which vacuums are best for sucking it up would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Oh yeah, one more thing about DE...where the heck are people getting the information from that it's safe to drink, feed to your pets, and/or bathe in?? I've seen this several times all over the internet and on this site but have also found plenty of sources saying that this is NOT OK and that's my feeling about it, that it's NOT OK to bathe in or give to your pets or ingest yourself, let alone BREATHE in even one spec of it! Even if it's food grade and amorphous. I shudder to think of anyone gulping down a hot cup of DE before bedtime.
It seems as if you may have read too much and some items from uninformed sources. There are different grades and different uses for DE. You might dry spraying it with water and gently sweeping it up in a dust pan and then mop if you are concerned.
Although in doing so you may be exposed to Dihydrogen Monoxide. Which can be deadly!
...for one source.
Could have "read too much". Could have gotten some information from questionable sources, yes. Though general consensus seems to be that, um, you should take as many precautions as possible and take care in using it. Maybe I should not have brought the issue up and stuck to only asking about a good vacuum to use for DE clean-up. I don't know. I do know that this is hell between dealing with bugs, chemicals and some. I can't afford for things to get worse than they already are. Not taking chances so I opt for the better-to-be-safe-than-sorry route to the best of my ability. If some forms of DE are perfectly safe for ingesting, bathing in, feeding your pets, etc., well, ok but I don't think the kind that I have is (and I even made sure to buy the "safer" food grade amorphous type, but will not be buying the same brand again as the stuff has been making me feel sick) and being that I'm no expert on the stuff, I wouldn't even begin to try and recommend that anyone go ahead and lather themselves up with it in the shower. Dihydrogen Monoxide...great! I feel even better about DE now! :p I have to admit though, that its residual buggy kill power has proven to be quite effective! I wouldn't think that spraying it with water, let alone dusting the stuff up would be good, surely that cause some of the dust to fly up and out into the air. Just going at it straight away with a wet mop or even a rag sounds better to me. Maybe even use a wet-vac. Plus, wear a respirator mask. And gloves.
So, no vacuum suggestions?
Oh, I just saw another thread asking the same question about the vacuums...
Something with a HEPA filter on the output. The Eureka Smartvac line meets this. The 4870HZ is what I have used on excess DE. Has a bag and a HEPA filter on the exhaust.
Dyson Animal is great
Spidey and Amy: If I understand it correctly, there are two concerns with vacuuming up DE; kicking up the fine particles, exacerbating the respiratory hazard and ruining the vacuum cleaner mechanism with the fine powder. Also, when vacuuming for bed bugs, isn't it better to avoid using brushes?
The hepa filter should reduce/eliminate spreading the DE, but it it's an "after" filter, it won't keep the DE from fouling the vacuum cleaner itself.
So, wouldn't it be better to go with a cheaper "throwaway" canister vacuum, particularly one without the built in carpet brush and with replaceable bags?
You should never put enough down to ever vacume it up.
You don't put it all over the carpet. DE is for cracks and crevices. Don't throw it all over the place.
Get a bellows duster and puff it into the cracks and crevices on anything around the room.
Reminder, you're probably better off mopping it up with a wet rag or the like.
The cheapest vac with a "before" filter is a utility shop vac type and some do have $$ available HEPA filters.
See Home Depot or Lowes.
I've been using my ProTeam vac for years and it still works like the day I bought it. 4 Level HEPA filtration and commercial grade for under 400 bucks.
Let me put your minds at ease if you're reading this with a similar question. The primary danger of DE is a type of lung disease called silicosis which is developed by long term exposure and inhalation of silica, mostly affecting miners and potters who work in dusty environments on a daily basis. As a potter myself, I have been trained at a university level to always wear a respirator (NIOSH approved N95 or above, P100 if you want to be extra safe) when working with powdered silicates and pigments. Please don't vacuum DE. It's bad for your vacuum and air quality. A wet sponge or rag is perfectly sufficient and essentially turns it into mud that you can feel safe wiping away. Cheers on using alternative methods to pesticides!
As spidey suggests above a shop type canister vac fitted with a HEPA filter. Additionally, there are retro-fit filters available to upgrade your shop vac units under the brand name "stream clean".
Which ever method you decide to use to clean up your DE, it is wise to read the precautionary section of your product label, use a suitable respirator and a ventilation/exhaust fan when conducting the clean up.
Hope this helps ! paul b.
You must log in to post.