Spilled powder


December 9, 2009, 10:47 AM
This is a "just in case" question. How would you clean up a powder spill on carpet? I read not to use a vacuum cleaner. So how would you get the powder up. This has not happened but I see the potential and want to be prepared. And how about dropped primers on carpet?

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December 9, 2009, 11:21 AM
That would depend on the size of the spill. If it was just a little, I owuld vacuum it up then dump the vacuum. If it was a big spill, I would scrape up as much as I could with a business card or something to save what I could then wrap some tape in a loop sticky side out and get what i could. After that there should be very little left and I would vacuum it up.

Primers on the carpet just get picked up. I now load with an old pillow under the press on the floor because I drop things all the time and it keeps them close. I hate having to crawl around looking for spent primers, brass, or bullets that gravity pulls from my hands. :rolleyes:

December 9, 2009, 11:25 AM
I would use a shopvac for small spills, but for larger spills I use one of those lint rollers after picking up as much as I could by hand.

Fortunately I don't have carpeting anywhere in the entire house, but that's what I would do.

December 9, 2009, 11:28 AM
Shop Vac. I vacuum frequently so if my Dillon 650 spits out new pimers I can pick them up without worrying if they are from 2 weeks ago.

December 9, 2009, 11:48 AM
You can safely use a standard computer vacuum. They are all anti static.


Smokey Joe
December 9, 2009, 12:44 PM
Alan W. K.--For picking up POWDER I'd not have a concern with any vacuum cleaner--it's picking up primers where you don't want them going through the fan; the primers could be detonated.

No vacuum cleaner has the dirt going past the motor on its way to the collector bag--and the motor would be the only source of sparks. That'd be a dumb way to build a vacuum cleaner, as the dirt would gum up the motor in a short while.

If you have any concern about it, just make sure that the vacuum cleaner you use has the bag/filter/dirt catcher in front of the fan or air pump or what-have-you. I think all shop vacs are built this way.

Myself, for spilled powder (and I DO have carpeting in my reloading room) I use a hand-held vacuum that has the dirt bag before the motor. FWIW, mine is an Oryk XL. I'm not concerned if a live primer should escape my notice, and get sucked up into the Oryk. The primer would just settle in with the cat hair, shoe dirt, house dust, etc, etc, and no harm done.

I change dirt bags regularly; the filled ones go into the regular trash.

December 9, 2009, 04:44 PM
Shop Vac.

Wood sander dust is a much more explosive mixture then smokeless powder when combined with air, and they don't blow up with it.

If I didn't have a Shop Vac, I would just use the carpet vac.


December 9, 2009, 04:47 PM
I use a shop vac regardless of the warnings...I figure how else I'm I going to get it out.....it hasn't blown up yet.....plus with all the other dirt it picks up I can't believe there is enough powder to create a problem unless you try to vacuum up a whole pound....minor spilling should be no problem..

December 9, 2009, 04:49 PM
So I was sweeping up the spilled powder, and found myself wrapping it tightly in folded paper, wondering what would happen if I then set the paper on fire..... ended up just tossing it in the trash, but still.... what WOULD you expect if it was TIGHTLY wrapped in multi-folded paper? A fizzle or a bang?

December 9, 2009, 05:08 PM
A fire, nothing more.

Fast pistol powder, more of a flash fire.

Slow rifle powder, more like a slowy building flash fire.


Bush Pilot
December 9, 2009, 07:19 PM
Ask your neighbor if you can borrow his shop vac for a few minutes.

December 9, 2009, 07:38 PM
I use my ShopVac for powder. It has a filter that stops the particules before it gets to the fan. For primers I just rub the back of my hand on the carpet (tight weave carpet) and I can feel them and then just dig in the carpet and pick them up. Most of the time they just lay on top of the carpet.

THe Dove
December 9, 2009, 07:39 PM
+1 for Bush Pilots idea! HAHAHA

The Dove

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