You may recall that not so long ago I was agonizing over whether to buy a little Shark upright bagless vacuum cleaner, shortly after having bought a Eureka model that I grew to loathe more with each use. Well, I finally capitulated and bought the thing at Costco, where I paid about $20 more than Amazon is now charging (at the time of the purchase, Costco was underpricing Amazon).
This is a terrific gadget! I love this machine!!! Best vacuum cleaner I’ve ever owned, and by golly, when you’re a survivor of the Pleistocene you can remember dragging a leaden Electrolux on sled runners around the house. You can, that is to say, remember owning a lot of vacuum cleaners.
What I like about it:
• It’s wonderfully lightweight. Easy to push around and easy to maneuver.
• The brush head thingie on the bottom is narrow enough to get between the bathtub and the toilet and to weasel in between furniture legs.
• The suction defies belief! This thing is astonishing. And when you run it along the baseboard, it picks up bits of debris and dog hair all the way right up to the wall. The hose is as effective as the floor vacuum part. If it gets ahold of your leg or your hand, it gloms on like a lamprey eel. Check out how much dog hair it sucked up in just one vacuuming adventure:
And Cassie isn’t even shedding much—there were no major dog dunes on the floor when this housecleaning episode started.
• It does not blow dog hair up into the air as you’re moving around the tiled floor. A miracle!
• It has a generously long attachment hose to begin with, and it comes with an extra length of hose.
• Its attachments are sturdy and intelligently designed. The crevice tool is very long and slender, letting you get deep into narrow spots.
• It has a good long cord.
• It runs pretty quietly, especially in the “bare floors” mode.
◊ I thought I’d prefer a model that uses bags, having emptied the dirt out of altogether too many old-fashioned vacuum cleaners. The Shark, however, is easy to open and clean out, and so far I haven’t ended up with the dirt all over me instead of inside the trash can.
◊ The cylindrical canister that houses the dustbin and motor is bulky, obviating rolling the vacuum under the bed or other furniture.
◊ It doesn’t have a lot of space for onboard attachments. IMHO, that’s a good thing: I’ve always hated having to haul all that junk around the house willy-nilly.
On reflection, I realized I seem to have accumulated quite a few Shark gadgets. When my ancient Rowenta warhorse iron finally wore out, I bought a cheapo Sunbeam, which worked fine but got way too hot around the grip. After burning my fingers on the thing, I picked up a Shark steam iron. The price assuredly was nothing like what a Rowenta costs, and yet it works just about as well. The stainless-steel is good and tough—so far it hasn’t scratched up at all—and you get a lot of control over the amount of steam emitted and the heat levels. I would call it very comparable to the Rowenta at a far more reasonable cost.
Then there’s the Shark floor steamer that I finally found to replace the beloved old Bissell steamer, a gadget that could not be beat—never has been, never will be. Shark’s steam mop comes pretty close, though. If you have a lot of tile flooring, this is the contraption to own. With no stinky, toxic chemicals, it steams the dirt and grease right up. You end up with your floors clean, with no eau de dirty mop perfume in the air after you’ve finished the job.
Its only drawback is that the pad that comes with is almost useless. It’s too thick, and it doesn’t stay attached. And they only give you one. I’ve solved that problem, however, with those microfiber rags you can buy in the automotive department at Costco and, presumably, at auto parts stores like Checker and Auto Zone. I just clip one on neatly, using a couple of clothes pins. These things are highly washable, and because you can buy a great stack of them, you can switch them out as you move from room to room (my entire house is tiled), giving yourself a clean mop head at all times.
I was mildly surprised when I realized my house had been invaded by a school of sharks. Since I’m kind of picky about the gadgetry I use for cleaning, it must mean the Shark products are OK. Maybe even a little better than OK.