Giving Up The Ghost

My vacuum cleaner is finally toast.

Last time I’d needed a new vacuum, my parents gave me their old one for free.  It worked great for a while, but after putting in the new floor (where it was used to suck a multitude of dust and debris), it just wasn’t the same.  The filters would clog, pet hair would snarl through every bend in the tube (there are quite a few based on its design), and the dirt would get stuck in places that couldn’t be dumped out without snaking a coat hanger through the tube.

Vacuuming is already a chore; the idea of adding the chore of cleaning out the tubes, filters, and brushes with every use is just too much.  When I have only two carpeted rooms that require an upright vac (the Eureka cannister vac works great for the bare floors, but doesn’t work on carpet), I want to get in there, zip around for a few minutes, and go on with my day.  Anything more than that works against me since I’m prone to procrasinate (the longer the task takes, the less likely I find the time to do it).

As of late, the vacuum was clogging about every five minutes (the suction power of a vac is great until it collects too much dust and dirt to continue to function after just a few minutes of cleaning).  Once that happened, the vac coughed out clumps of dirt like it’s giving me a refund (no, you keep it; I have plenty to go around).  But the final straw happend this week when Charlie decided to use my dusty old dinosaur’s electrical cord as a chew toy.

I probably should have seen it coming when she was using the vacuum as a sparring partner.  She ran around last week with one of her toys, bounced around like a rabbit, and accidentally jumped on the power button of the vacuum.  The sudden loud noise scared the crap out of her, which I found hilarious (I’m going to be such a good mother someday).  Once I turned it off, Charlie seemed to have it figured out: the monster could be defeated.  A few unsupervised minutes the following week resulted in the end of the cord being chomped to bits.  No more power, no more loud noise.

It’s time to get a new one.  As I do with every new appliance purchase, I’m doing my research to find a vacuum with features that experience has taught me I need:

  • made for carpet
  • upright
  • doesn’t need to specifically say “pet” to work for my dog hair needs, but strong suction is key
  • not too many bends in the hose to limit clogging
  • central suction; hoses that are on one side or the other tend to clog more
  • if possible, a retractible cord so Charlie can’t eat it (this is a new addition to the list)
  • inexpensve – even the best vacs won’t last forever

The difficulty with shopping for the perfect appliance is that there are often contradicting opinions from buyers.  Internet reseach goes a long way, but the biggest challenge I find is evaluating the evaluations themselves; too often the reviewer posts a five-star assessment mere weeks after purchase, and the negative ones in contrast are usually after several months when the same tool has broken.  It may take me a while, but I’m confident I’ll find the right fit.  If you have your own opinions that you would like to share, I will happily read them.  Please leave a comment below if you love your vac!  I know already that I’ll probably shop at Brandsmart to pick it up and I’ll pay particular attention to Eureka brands since I enjoy my cannister vac so much.  But we shall see what I find this weekend – that carpet won’t wait!

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  1. says

    I was SUPER reluctant when my husband bought a dyson (we got a refurbished one and I still thought it was too much money. BUT, I am a convert. I LOVE it. I can always tell a difference, it is great on my carpet and plain floor when i use it there too. It easily converts to a hose for when I use it under my cabinets or on the stairs. It is easy to empty and doesn't require a bag.

  2. says

    We have hardwood, carpet and vinyl along with 2 cats and a dog! We ended up with the Shark Navigator (around $130 at walmart). It's a lot quieter than other vacuums, but it does a fantastic job on all floors! On the hard surfaces, the beater won't rotate. On carpet looks brand new after ever time we use it, though. Dog hair, cat hair, my hair – all gets sucked up. A few times enough hair has wound around the beater that it stopped – but it automatically stops so that it doesn't burn out the motor. 5 seconds with a seam ripper (cutting hairs/threads) and all is right again. It also comes with a separate attachment for furniture that has it's own little beater bar – great for defurring the sofas

  3. says

    I recently became an adult and bought my first vaccuum that wasn't a shop vac. We bought a cheaper one from Sears because we have NO carpet, and I love it to death so far.

    Good luck with finding the right one for you!

  4. says

    We've had a Hoover Windtunnel upright for at least 5 years and it is still going strong.We have a long haired cat who constantly sheds so the mini beater attachment is a big plus. It also has a retractable cord. I have carpet,tile and vinyl floors, it does a good job on all.

  5. says

    I bought a Dyson two years ago after having an Oreck forever. Let me say, the Dyson is hands down the best vacuum I've ever used. It picks up dust that the oreck never did! I LOVE mine. Plus, it doesn't use bags, only a canister so there isn't any additional cost. When the canister gets extra yucky (I use it for all my DIY projects so it gets filled with sheetrock dust, etc) I put the entire canister in the bathtub and wash everything. Just let it dry really well before using it again. I've even washed all the hoses and attachments.
    Anyway, when I got it I vacuumed my whole living room with the Oreck first, then the Dyson. I wanted to see if the Dyson would pick up additional dirt that the Oreck missed. Holy cow, the canister was FULL! I was shocked. Best. Purchase. Ever.

  6. says

    Oh, one more thing, the Dyson transitions from carpet to tile perfectly. There's a tile setting that turns off the spinning brush underneath, but I prefer to leave it on carpet mode 100% of the time. The carpet mode works amazingly on my tile floor and all my rugs. And I love that the attachments are right there so I can switch from basic vacuuming to using the hose for under the baseboards in a snap.

  7. Anonymous says

    I have a Dyson too, the pet model on the roller ball (can't remember the exact title). I have had it for two years now and I am still in love with it every time I use it!! It is the best vaccum in the world, works great and it super easy to use.

  8. says

    I, too, am in love with my Dyson. I never thought I could care about a vacuum cleaner, but after I use it, I feel like I can breathe again. I LOVE it. I love it so much, I asked my mom to vacuum her house with her vacuum. Then, I came over and vacuumed with my Dyson and laughed with glee as I showed her the tons of dirt left by her vac that my trusty Dyson cleaned up. It was like an infomercial! She bought one the next day. When my husband and I decided to travel for a year, we sold EVERYTHING except our memory boxes from when we were children and our Dyson. My husband even said, “So I guess we'll sell the Dyson,” and I was appalled! I told him I'd sell him before I sold my Dyson. :) It is super easy to clean as well. The air filter can just be washed in the sink and left to air dry, so you don't have to buy new filters. No bags required. I love it!

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