In the spirit of the theme of my blog – celebrating the routine and little successes – I went vacuum cleaner shopping today. Not to the big “mega-store” either to a Sew and Vac store. How did those 2 items ever get together to become a store?
I learned I am still firmly in the canister style vacuum camp not the uprights. To me the uprights are loud, heavy, awkward and not the best machine for someone who prefers to man-handle their appliances.
Anyway, “real” vacuums are not cheap, but you should only need one of them in your lifetime. (I feel that way about all major appliances too). I DID have a decent Kenmore from the early 90’s that was mostly metal (versus mostly plastic) and it was a decent machine until I had a “run-in” with it and beat it into submission. In hindsight, I should have made the effort and learned about sew and vac stores then and had it fixed or made the investment back then.
Instead, I went out and tried to find the new version of the Kenmore I had – enter the era of everything is plastic. This primarily plastic machine performed so-so but the powerhead (I think that’s what it’s called in vacuum-ese) broke (I don’t remember how or even when anymore). So, I set off again to research the best vacuums for people who have pets.
I ended up the Dyson Animal. I disliked that thing from day one and to this day I cannot
figure out why I didn’t return it. I don’t know what kind of animals this is for but certainly not for the kind we have. (I think now it’s a model name but when I purchased it seemed to be touted for its pet-hair performance). Our one lab, a Pyrenees mix, molts twice a year creating mounds of fur all by herself, not to mention what comes off our black lab, cat and us. My complaint list against this machine is long: the bag less canister fills up with dirt and dog-hair before I’m even halfway finished cleaning. You are only supposed to let it get so full of debris before you empty it AND THEN trying to empty it, clean it and all the filters and attachments- ugggg – and the brush needs to be de-haired constantly not to mention the way it goes together and comes apart is not intuitive. For some reason I continually punish myself by keeping these machines that only work so-so. I currently use a combination of the two vacuums and a broom depending on what and where I’m cleaning.
Today, as I pulled into the sew and vac store I was greeted by a man-sized gorilla set up in the parking lot…just standing there, it kind of freaked me out but, I persevered, parked, got out of my car and walked into the store. I was met by all manner of sewing machines and a big corner filled with vacuums. I was also greeted by friendly people who wanted to help me and teach me about their vacuums (yes, they were sales people but they seemed genuine).
I was shown the ropes with the upright, just in case I was going to switch camps – while it was impressive it’s not for me.
I’m not going to lie, Patti, was a great sales person and put those machines through their paces and I was awed by their superior sucking power, not to mention some of the cool features and attachments. As I alluded to earlier these fully functional, high performance (with metal where it counts) machines also come with impressive price tags. I was expecting them to run in the $500-$800 range. I was a tad off; the premium was $1399 and the deluxe came in at $1099! Now, I have learned (the hard way) that you should invest in a high-quality product that will most likely last your lifetime. It will be less expensive in the long run because you don’t have to replace it a gazillion times. I’m certain that if I commit to this purchase Miss Herbivore will be able to inherit this machine.
After all the testing I needed to find out if these impressive machines could do the job on our combo of hardwood floors and area rugs. After describing the type of rugs, pets, people and crap we track in they told me I would need the “horse-hair” bristles (they are gentler on rugs). My next question was “where do you source your horse-hair and how is it collected”? (yes, I’m THAT person). After a slight pause the technician said, “no one has ever asked that before but I can call and ask them”. A few minutes later he let me know that the horse-hair bristles were “not from real horses”. I’ll let that sink in for a minute……Yes, that’s what he said. Apparently, this company has a proprietary formula for making horse-hair bristles from other fibers. Who knew? I wonder why they don’t just say natural bristles? Of course, Not from real horses is a waaayyy better conversation starter. If only all companies were so upfront.
Anyway, I’m not sure yet if I’m going to pull the trigger on this purchase. To sweeten the pot Patti did offer to give me give me $50 for my trade-ins (and a 2-year supply of vacuum bags). This alone makes it totally tempting – maybe my vacuums can be parted out??? Otherwise, I feel like I need to clean them up and try to sell them. It feels so wasteful, to me, to just throw them away. It might be totally worth the $$$ just to be able to trade those suckers in and have them off my conscious.
Don’t forget to enjoy the fun everyday life brings your way!!