Q: How do you clean your dust collector bag? I have tried blowing it with high pressure air, have turned it inside out and used the shop vac, and beat it with a long screwdriver handle. The shop vac seems to do the best job. I do this outside since my dust collector is in a covered area outside.
A: When a dust collector filter bag is brand-new, its efficiency actually increases as it traps some amount of fine dust in the filter media. In the industry, we call this a “healthy cake.” Washing or vacuuming out a filter bag removes the healthy cake and retrogrades it back to a stage of cleanliness before it was the best filter it could be. In my shop, here’s how I clean my filter bags: I leave them on the machine, shake them vigorously (while wearing a particulate mask) and then empty the bottom collection bag as usual. I don’t feel that there’s a positive benefit, from a filtration standpoint, of cleaning the bag any more thoroughly than that.