How to Inflate With a Kirby Vacuum

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sandwich bag

  • 2 rubber bands


The force of air expelled by the Kirby is significant; keep this in mind when inflating thin vinyl toys or blowing air across fragile surfaces.

The Kirby Co. has been selling vacuums since the 1920s. Marketed as a high-powered and efficient cleaning appliance, the Kirby vacuum also comes with a number of secondary functions. With a few adjustments, the air flow in the Kirby can be redirected into a hose and the vacuum can be used to blow up sturdy inflatables such as air mattresses and pool toys.

Step 1

Remove the nozzle on the lower back of the vacuum. This is accomplished by turning the metal clasp to the left and pulling out the nozzle.

Step 2

Put the safety cup onto the vacuum where the nozzle was. Secure it by rotating the clasp to the right.

Step 3

Turn the vacuum on to ensure that it works with the safety cup attached.

Step 4

Grip the plastic connector between the bag and vacuum head. Turn it to the left until the red dot on the plastic matches up with the red dot on the vacuum. Lift and remove the bag.

Step 5

Take out the hose attachment that came with the Kirby. Connect the larger end of the hose to the opening where the bag used to attach to the vacuum. Match the red dots on the hose and vacuum head, then press the hose down as far as it will go onto the connection tube.

Step 6

Twist the hose to the right to lock it into place. Turn it as far as you can. If the hose is not twisted far enough, it will not depress the safety latch on the inside of the vacuum, which is required for the Kirby to turn on.

Step 7

Take the vacuum outside and turn it on. It should now be functioning as an air hose. Let it run for a moment before inflating anything with it, so it can expel any trapped dust or debris.

Step 8

Turn the Kirby off and insert the small end of the hose into the inflation hole of the object you want to blow up. If the hole is much larger or smaller than the end of the hose, cut the end off a plastic sandwich bag and attach it to the hose with a rubber band. Slip the other end of the bag over the inflation tube and attach it with a second rubber band.

Step 9

Turn on the vacuum and monitor the progress of the inflation to ensure that the plastic bag is holding and the object is not being damaged by the air pressure.


Kristy Barkan

Kristy Barkan began her writing career in 1998 as a features reporter for the University at Buffalo's "Spectrum" newspaper. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and media production from the University at Buffalo, a Master of Fine Arts in visual effects from Academy of Art University and a Diploma in social media marketing from ALISON.