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Update: Vacuum cleaner adventures

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).

Mwa ha! Click for link to 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:

Cleaned this out before starting to vacuum!

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.

Possible drawbacks:

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.


9 thoughts on “Update: Vacuum cleaner adventures”

  1. Oooooooh, nice price too!! Only $148 with $26 shipping today at Amazon. I am almost tempted to buy one myself. I have two cast offs that I’ve been alternating between. One uses bags and the suction is much much better. The other has the canister. I really prefer the canister over bags, simply because I hate having to buy bags on a regular basis. Especially when the model is old enough that you can’t find the bags at the grocery store and have to order them online. One more thing to have to worry about keeping in stock. Funny, do you have any recommendations on washing machines? I need a new one of those, too!

  2. I just got a shark, too. Paid more than you did 🙁 I like it a lot, although ‘lightweight’ is a comparative term. Now I want the steam cleaner, although I have hard floors only in kitchen and bathroom; I’m thinking I might use it to clean carpets after vacuuming… do I sense a disaster in the making? Stay tuned…

  3. Ok, clicked your link and made the purchase at Amazon..I changed and purchased the one offered by Amazon with the free shipping was actually about 10 bucks cheaper….this is what I have been looking for.

    • @ Dianne: Wow!! Funny’s first Amazon sale! (At least, that we know of.) Thanks, Dianne. I hope you like it as much as I like mine. 🙂

  4. I shop at Amazon a lot…buy all my business toners, etc there..will come here and use your link…thanks for the deal…I got a knife that frugalscholar wrote about and used her link for that. I read your blog daily. I’m a talker, not a writer, so I don’t comment much..maybe I will start…I’m a 66 year old tax accountant and still working….love reading your blog.

  5. @ Dianne: Awesome. What ink cartridge model do you use? Last time I bought ink, I got it locally & the price about took my breath away. It would be interesting to know how prices compare.

  6. I use laser toner, not ink….use lots of it, always good prices at Amazon and I do the Amazon Prime for free 2 day shipping….my vacuum has already been shipped out the door and I will get it Wed. morn…I live in a small Mississippi town with nothing but dollar stores for shopping….can’t even buy a dress, gotta travel to shop, and I like the internet better than the car. lol…

  7. I just went through your link to Amazon and purchased the Shank Steam Mop. I’m not ready to invest in a new vacuum; although, Amazon offers a package deal. The mop alone was $53.27 with FREE shipping! I comparison shopped and found that to be a good price.

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