Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vacuum Cleaner Shopping

OK, this is going to be really long winded.  Apparently there is a bit of a back story that has to be told to make the current shopping make sense.  So bare with me or skip today's post.

For a while I've been looking for a new solution for daily sweeping/vacuuming needs.  I used to have a cordless Shark that I loved.  It would pick up any mushy food that got thrown on the floor and all the dog hair off the carpet to boot.  Alas, it broke and I bought a new Shark a year or so ago.  The new model is horrible.  It doesn't pick up half of what the old one did and my shag rug (trust me it isn't as ugly as that description makes it sound) in the family room completely kills the battery before you can finish sweeping it. 

I tried the broom option and while it does great on dirt and getting in corners, it doesn't do well with dog hair and it doesn't do rugs and carpet at all.  I've tried a swifter and that is just a joke with my family and pets. 

I haven't been willing to bring down the big "good" vacuum and just use it because it is a pain to lug it downstairs and well I hate it.  I bought it four and a half years ago.  I remember because the twins were about a week old when we went to buy it and I think it was our first outing with all four children in tow.  Yeah, I know, smart decision to take them all shopping a week after birth to make a $500 purchase. 

The "good" vacuum is a Kenmore Progressive canister.  When I bought it it was the top rated vacuum from Consumer Reports.  I planned to buy a Dyson but Consumer reports talked me out of it and into the Kenmore.  This vacuum cost as much or more than the dyson.  Two years ago, the vacuum broke and had to be sent off for repair twice and still came back not working.  After pitching a major fit, Sears replaced the vacuum with a new Progressive.  With in a few months the dirt sensor quit working.  At this point is has a short in the hose and the power head quits working if you push it too far out in front of you.  It really should be replaced.

The problem of the "good" vacuum is also exacerbated by the fact that it has always been used about 90% of the time by my wonderful cleaning crew.  I truly love them and have no reason to think they have mistreated the vacuum but at the same time I've never had a vacuum have this many problems in such a short period of time.  I've also never had one that the hose looks like it has been stepped on or otherwise mishandled before...I have been hesitant to buy another expensive vacuum for fear that it won't last any longer than this one has.  I really don't know if the quality of vacuum is the problem or the treatment of the vacuum has caused the problems.  Since it still works I want it to continue to be the one the cleaning crew uses as I can't afford to replace this level of vacuum every 2-4 years. 

So to solve my daily sweeping/vacuuming needs I had finally decided to get an inexpensive upright to keep downstairs since it would work on floors and carpet and could be the backup if the "good" vacuum quit working. 

Last Friday the twins and I went to target to pick out the vacuum.  It takes me forever to make these decisions and we probably stood in the vacuum aisle for a half an hour while I compared all my choices.  Ok, I'll admit during that time my darling children were running up and down the aisle racing various vacuum floor models and testing out all their features. Yeah, I know, Mom of the Year. 

I finally decided I liked the Hoover T-series Rewind.  It was $99 and had a retractable cord, which was a big selling feature for me since this was to be the "grab and quickly clean up" vacuum.  Of course, once I decided which one I wanted I found out the Target I was standing in didn't have any in stock!  But, they had five at the Target five miles away.  So I put the twins in the van and we went to the other Target and purchased the vacuum.

I really liked the vacuum.  It had great suction and it totally disgusted me to see what all it picked up, especially on the carpet/rugs.  I used in once and the next night Rehm used it.  He has a secret love of vacuuming, which I encourage as much as possible.  Unfortunately his favorite thing is to use the attachments to suck up individual particles of things not cleaning large areas.  Last nigh Rehm asked if he could vacuum and I of course said, "Yes!"  He came back a minute later to say the cord was stuck and he couldn't pull it out.  I tried and I couldn't get it out either.  The way it had retracted there was no way to get the cord out past 3 feet.  Today the vacuum went back to Target.

I spent another 45 minutes standing in Target trying to decide which vacuum I wanted since I didn't want to risk another Hover rewind.  I decided on the Bissell Cleanview+ Helix.  It was only $80 and didn't have a retractable cord but otherwise was very similar to the Hoover.  I got it home opened the box and started to assemble it.  That is when I found a piece broken off the handle!  So I took it back to Target to get another of the same model.  Only, they didn't have anymore!  But, the Target five miles away had eight!

I took the fact that I was going to have to go to the other Target as a sign to give up!  I still don't have a good everyday option and I still have a crappy "good" vacuum.  Part of me thinks I should save up and get a Dyson (you know the one I should have gotten 4 years ago) to keep downstairs to be my everyday solution and "good" vacuum and part of me wants to just go to the other Target and get the Bissell and forget about this for a while.  And there is another part that thinks maybe clean floors are overrated and I should just do nothing. 

Things to take away from this post: 
Jenn spends way too much time obessing over things like vacuums

A week after giving birth is not the time to make $500 purchasing decisions

Don't let Consumer Reports talk you out of buying what you really want

Meaningless Factiods:  
I grew up calling a vacuum a  sweeper.

At the age of 3.5 or 4 the twins had no clue what the vacuum was because they had never seen it before!  I told you the cleaning crew did the majority of the vacuuming at my house.

Jenn - Vacuumless in Cedar Park


Shelly said...

Bryan grew up calling it a sweeper also. Drove me nuts when we first married, because to me "sweeping" is a broom on a hard floor and vacuuming is a machine on the carpet.

We had a Kenmore that we LOVED also and it lasted about 5-6 years before going kaput. We did what you're doing - trying to replace it with an <$100 model. It didn't work. Of course, that could be largely because Bryan used it to vacuum drywall dust. Darn thing hasn't really worked properly since.

I got a Dyson (I think it's a DC24) for Christmas/Birthday and really like it so far. Go ahead and figure out which model you'd want and start saving now - because there will be HUGE SALES again and coupons etc and if you have the cash saved up, you'll feel great when you find a good deal!

Lisa said...

I need a new vacuum also. Mine hasn't been working properly for over a month and my carpet is looking pretty gross. I almost went and bought that rewind one at Target a few weeks ago when it was on sale, but the cord being sucked up in it made me nervous. Just one more thing to break. My next plan is to head over to Sam's to see what they are selling. That's where we got our current vacuum which I loved until the construction crew we hired to do work did something to it while cleaning up.