Vying for Vacuums

Housecleaning sucks. However, if you are a vacuum fanatic like me, that’s not all bad!

I thought I was the queen of clean until I married an off-the-charts neat freak. Now, you could eat off my floors. Hey, sometimes we do!

My cleaning craze has hit new levels. At this moment, I have a family of eight vacuums in my home, and I have named them all. Let me introduce you:

Brenda is my bagless portable vacuum. She sports a retractable cord and plenty of power. My Scandinavian friends tell me her name stands for “blazing sword,” and I think it suits her. Brenda cuts a swath of clean through any clutter.

Uta is an upright vacuum. She also uses replacement bags. In German, her name means “fortunate in battle,” and so she is. Uta and I like to follow our pets around and rid our home of fur, sometimes even before it leaves their bodies!

Candace is a powerhouse canister vacuum. Although she can be a bit unwieldy, I still love her. Candace uses replaceable bags, which can be somewhat hard to find, as she is an older model. Still, she is my old standby for major messes. Her name is Greek for “glowing,” which really more describes my face, after Candace clears the decks in our home!

Georgette is Candace’s much older cousin, another canister vacuum. Her home is in the garage, where she helps with automotive detailing and home-repair projects. Her Greek name means “farmer,” and Georgette is particularly well-suited for picking up garden clippings and barn dirt.

The triplets (Patty, Peggy, and Polly) are portable cordless vacuums. Installed in wall chargers, they only come out of the closets to clean. When I fetch them, they are extremely handy and ready to bust any dust bunnies that creep into our abode.

Chase is our most manly shopvac. French for “Hunter,” his name is appropos. Chase and I pursue wet spills and major crud. During stormy months, we chase flooding waters in the unfinished sections of our basement.

What a wonderful addiction!

I must be the only person in the tri-county area who has to compile a written shopping list, just to go out and buy replacement bags for all my vacuums.

Having tried and used just about every brand and design of vacuum known to mankind, I have some rather strong opinions about things vacuumary. (OK, so I just made that word up.)

Pros and Cons of Bagless Vacuums

Bagless vacuums are usually a lot cheaper than their bag-using counterparts. They also tend to be lighter and more portable. Many are cordless as well. These are simple and convenient devices for sucking up small messes and zipping quickly through the house before unexpected guests arrive.

Here’s the main drawback: You actually have to open the machine and dump all that debris into the trash. This can be a messy procedure. Usually, by the time you have cleaned out the receptacle, you will have to vacuum again.

If anyone in your home suffers from dust allergies, you will likely opt for a bagged vacuum. Emptying that debris receptacle in a bagless unit simply stirs up too much dist.

What about bagged vacuums?

Bagged vacuums are usually more powerful machines. Power spells suction, which is essential for any substantial cleaning. These machines may be heavier, although newer models are streamlined and quite manageable.

Wait! There’s a catch! Bags must be replaced fairly often. Each vacuum model calls for a specific bag style. These are not expensive, but you will need a continuing supply. Most can be purchased at discount stores (WalMart, Target, etc.), if the stores carry your model of vacuum. You can also purchase bags online.

However, if you have a fancy brand (Kirby, Electrolux, etc.), then you may have to obtain replacement bags through your representative or dealer. Most offer home delivery. This provides your savvy salesperson with the opportunity to demonstrate their latest whiz-bang products for you, the captive audience, when they bring you your replacement bags. Be careful, or you may wind up purchasing a carpet shampooer or other equipment!

Here’s the basic dirt:

Basically, if you want portability, choose bagless. If you want power, pick bagged.

If you want flexibility for quick convenience and deep cleaning, why not buy both? Grab a cheap, portable bagless unit (like a hand-held vacuum) and a heavy-duty corded workhorse. Don’t forget to pick up some replacement bags. You’ll need them!

Now, grab your vacuum, and repeat after me: Housecleaning sucks! Hooray!

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