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How to replace the HEPA filter neutralizer on a Rainbow vacuum cleaner:
Filter is located under the plastic cover on the rear of the vacuum. Older e-series 1 speed models had this cover attached to the vacuum with 4 screws. 2 of those screws were near the bottom of the unit and 2 more were concealed under the cord caddy (push flat screwdriver between caddy and cover and it will pop off). On the newer Rainbow vacuums the cover is held in place by 2 tabs on the bottom. Use flat screwdriver to release the tabs and the cover will come off easily.
For answers "When to replace the filter" and all about "Washing the Neutralizer" scroll to the very bottom of this page
We have been asked numerous times "How often you should replace the filter". Here is our opinion:
Filter has to be replaced only when:
have suction gauge to measure it but normally Rainbow vacuum owner
would not have $100 tool laying around. So we suggest doing the
- It stinks because some moisture got on the filter mixed up with dirt.
- Filter is is significantly clogged so it obstruct the airflow thus making your Rainow sweeper much less effective.
If you feel that without the filter Rainbow suction is much better - it is time to replace the Neutralizer.
- Unplug hoses from the unit.
- Turn on the Rainbow and put your hand to the opening for the hose and feel the suction.
- Turn off the vacuum and remove filter
- Turn the vacuum back on and feel the suction then (with filter removed)
Note: Do not be afraid to turn on the vacuum without filter in place. It will not damage it in any way.
While water is great filter I guess it did not meet strict standards
for the Rainbow vacuum to qualify as "Air Filter" so Rexair (Rainbow
vacuum manufacturer) introduced the HEPA Neutralizer (filter
cartridge). But then their sales force lost the oportunity to pitch
"You will never need to buy another vacuum bag again" feature.
I believe that manufacturer came up with "Washable Filter" mostly
because they wanted to keep the "No another filter" pitch and at the
same time certify the system as air filter. I just do not believe that
in washing microscopic particles out of tiny pores. Using certain
equipment, high pressure, solvents - it is probably doable but with
Drying HEPA Neutralizer:
such filter after washing it gets very messy. According to the Rainbow
vacuum manual you would have to install the HEPA all soaked wet back
into the vacuum and turn it on for about 30 minutes. Dirty water will
splatter out of the unit. Not only you will need to clean floors after
such drying but the vacuum too. You can not leave the filter to dry on
its own. When washing - water mixes up with dirt and if it is not dried
soon it may grow mold or at least become very stinky. Every time you
vacuum with such filter in place - it would be like having a skunk in
So do not rush to buy another filter just because
someone told you that you MUST replace it every 3 months. Filter may
last you a year, two or even three (depending what you vacuum how ofter
you vacuum). When filter is clogged - do not attempt to wash it - just
get a new one.
(never vacuum plaster dust, ashes or other powders -
water will not be able to trap it all quickly and effectively so your
filter will be clogged in the matter of seconds.)