Friday, 10 August 2018

This is a domestic tale...and it might be whiney..

I figure that if I share this with you, I will then have expunged it from my mind and I'll be over it. We'll see.
First of all, let's get over the language. I'm going to talk about a Vacuum cleaner.  No matter what, everyone in the UK refers to their vacuum cleaner as a hoover, and the act of cleaning with a vacuum as 'hoovering'. This is directly a result of fabulous marketing way back in the middle of the last century (that is the 20th Century!) by the American company Hoover. Amazing that it didn't catch the same way in the US. Anyway.

After a few years of service, my hoover fell apart. Quite literally; the handle snapped off. I'm not into hand beating and sweeping carpets, so I immediately replaced it with a machine that had good reviews and indeed, colour me lucky, was £100 cheaper than it's recommended price at the time. It was a Vax branded vacuum. My word, it was the best vacuum I've ever used - talk about vacuum! It sucked up anything and everything and really, the see through dust collector thingy made me rather ashamed. I soon got over that though.

The Vax stopped working last week. It still sucks, but it won't let me move it around the floor without appalling, heart attack inducing levels of effort. You probably heard my yell of gratitude and delight. I have never wanted an appliance to fail so much in my life. Never wanted to replace something so soon after I'd bought it. Man, it may have been the best sucker ever, but the rest of the 'design' nearly broke me.
Relax. Have a scoop of gelato. A decoy photo of course, I mean, who wants to see my broken vacuum cleaner!
I was attracted by the extra long flex, certainly enabling me to use it without changing sockets in each room. Great. Not so. Waaaay too much wire to handle when not using it fully extended. Not enough room to stow it altogether successfully on the back of the machine meant it just unwound as you used it. Which meant that more than once, I hoovered over the damn thing and damaged it. But that's nothing compared to the location of the bloody flex. It came out of the machine's centre back..which meant that every time I stepped forward in that hovering 'forward-backward' motion, it was low enough and trailing sufficiently to step on. The machine then got whipped from my hand and I inevitably crash into it or lose my balance. I can't tell you how angry it made me! There IS a hook on the underside of the handle, designed to get around this problem and hold the flex out of the footstep area, but it doesn't work; one movement and the flex drops out of it.

Then there's the over sensitive upright mechanism thingy. You're familiar with the 'forward-backward' movement used when hoovering. The Vax would lock into upright mode and stop sucking every time I pulled it back past my hip. Oh the rage! 

The handle doubles as storage for a flexible hose, like a Dyson. Then the crevice tool can be popped on the end for stairs and those hard to reach domestic places that until you're responsible for cleaning you don't discover till your house is full of friends and judges. Oh the horror. Except it's not like a Dyson: the crevice tool is hard to click on and almost impossible to get off. The flexible hose has to be extended in order to hoover a whole flight and leave the machine at the foot of the stairs. Extending it means unclicking, re-clicking and fighting with the extra hose that hangs on the side of the machine. I broke one of the storage clips on day 1, whilst trying to work out the 'simple click' motion. The extra hose did forever then swing like a purple and plastic pendulum, timing my cleaning efforts.

Is it unusual to hate an appliance so? I don't know. Mr Dunnit and nearby friends have laughed like drains at my misfortune and complaints about it. I did not tamper with it, or destroy it on purpose. But I am so glad to see the back of it. Meanwhile, I will be collecting data before any other necessary appliance purchases. I will not be reading the manufacturer blurb and the 'reviews'. I will be asking friends for plus and minus points on the widest range of domestic equipment. And then I'll decide. Chime in, if you have any opinion, on any appliance. Eventually, we could review everything!


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I don't vacuum enough to care about a vacuum cleaner, but if my coffee pot or my microwave goes, I'm out the door in a heartbeat to get a new one.

My friend Joseph bought me a vac one year for Christmas. I wasn't sure what the message in that was supposed to be, but it sucked, and NOT in a good way. It is hard to handle and it doesn't like to go back and forth with any kind of ease at all. Don't ask me what the brand is. I don't remember, but it was a good one back before Dyson came out with their see through one. And speaking of bags, mine takes a herculean effort to get a new bag in and in place. I'll be glad when mine quits sucking, too. Good luck with what others have to say. I can only tell you the best coffee maker to buy!

Annie said...

I have a Dyson’s light weight and very easy to use plus the battery is just sufficient to clean all the floors in the bungalow before needing a least it lasts as long as my ‘need’ to clean lasts 😂😂😂 No flex to trip up over and also no need to replug several times because the flex is too short to reach the dust.....and you know I make an awful lot of dust! It’s a good sucker too and copes well with Milly hair too.
Hope that helps you.
Annie x

Tracey@Hotchpotchcreations said...

Oh Julia, to read this post before heading out the door was just what I needed today, how I have laughed but I feel your pain when we have an appliance that needs to do a simple job of sucking up dust but throws obstacles in our way.
I used to have a Dyson one of those drag around things, that even ate its own flex when the job was done with the simple push of a button. He was a heavy boy & had a stainless steel pipe that was wide enough to suck up a tennis ball, such a super sucker until someone borrowed it. When it returned it was never the same again, little bits started to fall off, The steel pipe showed signs of beatings and it lost the will to suck so well. After having it for 10 years I brushed it all off saying it's time for another one.
Replaced with a lightweight upright Dyson I can not believe the difference of quality. Flimsy, not so sucky & the pipe size would have problems sucking up a grape.. Lightweight obviously means made with cheaper plastic!! Everytime I use it I have to unblock it... it's a pain is the A***
I never threw away my previous Vac & it sits in a corner upstairs used for those quick vac days. When not in used it's probably reflecting on the Trauma it went through, gently rocking in the corner.. Poor thing :(
Good luck in your quest & Thanks for the giggles.
Hugs Tracey xx

Thelma said...

Well, these things are always designed by people who never need to use them so enough said. I am very happy with my cordless Bosch Pet Athlet but I still have mt Meile pull along hidden, only to come out for major cleaning. I chose that over the Dyson because I didn't like the idea of having to keep the on swicth depressed to keep it going.

Sue said...

Hi Julia, I have a Miele, which I have had for years and it's still as good as when I got it. Sue

Helen said...

I had a hoover for years a cylinder type one that was perfect (a bit of a pain to do the stairs because there was no plug upstairs that allowed me to reach all the way to the bottom so it meant unplugging and moving to the socket at the bottom of the stairs.... hence I didn't do them often. then it died on me; a couple of years ago. I got a mini miele (figured I only have a small place it didn't need to be mega powerful) on recommendation from a work colleague... BIG bad buy. the attachments (what are they all for!!!! are a right pain to use. Most of them haven't seen light of day since I bought it and are gathering dust (that I don't hoover) in the open shelf unit in the kitchen. So, when you've done your research. let me know as I am so tempted to kick this one into touch! Thanks for allowing us to laugh with (not at) you and your hoover story!

Catriona said...

We have recently bought the rechargeable Dyson and I love it. It’s so light to use but you have to remember to charge it! I don’t bother to brush the hard floors any more-out comes the Dyson. It’s great on carpets as well.

Robyn said...

in the old days I swore by electrolux. We had a local guy who had a shop full of parts and accessories. He was horrified at the thought oaf anyone buying anything new. I've heard the new ones are not as good as the old alas.

Susan said...

My solution was to hire a housekeeper to do it for me! I have a Dyson (my hubby loved it) but I rarely ever use it...I just wait for the housekeeper to take care of it for me and she brings her Dyson with her!

Christine said...

I so understand where you're coming from. I did go into a shop and ask for a lightweght vacuum cleaner once. Watching PJ and the shop assistant comparing weights of cleaners made my day! My vote is for the Dyson cordless (other makes are available). I have tried several brands over the years, suffice to say we had an upstairs hoover, a downstairs one and a garage one a few years ago! It has to be lightweight cos of my useless hands and the Dyson is perfect. Indeed I have been known to hoover the whole house in one battery run! Not often but it has been known....Do let us know how you get on....

Paper Wishes said...

I hate hovering and I cant afford a housekeeper - probably because I spend all my spare money on stamps! Early in our married life my Husband made a big mistake when his sister gave us her old hover and he happily told me "Mary has given you a hover" I promptly told him he was sooooo wrong in assuming the hover would be for me rather than us! I informed him crossly it must be for him as I had a carpet sweeper from my single life and if he thought I would be the one using this new gift he was mistaken. He has never assumed a domestic tool was 'for the 'wife' ever again and he still does the hovering in our house.
That said I am totally with you on how rubbish the Vax is. A Henry is the hover to beat all. x

Sheila Oxley said...

My vacuum has seen better days...with a Great Pyrenees that sheds little puppies has taken a toll! I never read the positive reviews always look at the negative ones! you can usually figure out who just can't operate an appliance and who really has a problem. Best of luck in your search, I'll be following to see what you pick, by then mine should be ready for the trash heap!

Amanda said...

I recently replaced my shark with a dyson, hubbie hated the shark but it moved with such ease. Of course the dyson uncovered quite a bit of debris that the shark hadn't found and my carpets do look better however it moves with all the ease of a dump truck lol. I kid you not the "ball" means it moves in one direction only unless you possess super strength to move it mid flow. Hubbie of course loves it but I'm tempted to get my neato back out as that required no more effort than pushing a button and rescuing when it climbed the curtains. Best of luck, hugs, Amanda x

Elizabeth said...

Hi Julia, I feel your pain. I've fought and lost the battle with several hoovers over the years but now feel I've met the real thing at last. It's a Morphy Richards SuperVac - rechargeable, lightweight and completely manoeuvrable. It's wall mounted and it can be handheld too - two for the price of one. The handheld component is great for cleaning stairs and Alan uses it to clean out the car too. I used to break out in a sweat after just one room and end up with backache using our previous turbo style cylinder but no longer - that one has been passed on to my grandson, with muscles like Arnie Schwarzenegger's he's up for the challenge! Hugs, Elizabeth xx

Anonymous said...

I am surprised you put up with it for so long. I absolutely love my Henry, but if you want another upright that won't suit. I have been a professional cleaner in the past, and used lots of different machines in our home as well. I do not like Dysons - they have always stopped working and were heavy. However, no experience of the new cordless ones. The GTech cordless has good reviews, and I would be tempted to get one when my 'upstairs' vacuum dies (we have such a big old farmhouse that I have Henry downstairs - and for the really dirty jobs upstairs and outside - and another cylinder cleaner for upstairs where we have carpet). I had a Panasonic upright, which was hugely powerful and got dirt out of carpets that you would not know was there, and if I remember rightly it did last for ages. I always go on Amazon and read reviews on there. Ali x
ps I love housework, and can talk about cleaning tech for ever!

Carmen said...

My God that ice cream looks divine!

I recently got a Henry and the suck on that is so much that I can only hoover by pulling it towards me it wont go forward because the suction is so great it pulls the carpet up. Its heavy too and I have a back problem so - although it if brilliant at what it's supposed to do it is cumbersome and awkward to manoeuvre.

Neet said...

We have a Bosch Athlet 25.2V Lithanium Power which gives "High cleaning on All Floors (Carpets, Parquet, Hard Floors with Crevices" with "up to 60 min battery power". Had to get it out of the cupboards to read what it was - didn't have a clue except we bought it from Costco about 3 years go. I love it. We have several hard floors now and I can actually clean them with it as it is so light.
Had to ditch the previous oneS as they were too heavy for me but I must admit I leave the carpets for him indoors.
Don't envy you your decision - is your next review going to be irons or kettles - am useless with those they last no time.
Hugs, Neet xx
ps we don't have a kettle nowadays so just irons will do

Darnell said...

Thank you for the laughs, Julia, even though my recent abdominal surgery did not care for all that jiggling! Oh, my, the horrors of vacuum ownership over the decades: the falls, the scrapes, the pinched fingers, the stubbed toes, the near electrocutions! And that was just getting it and out of the closet and plugging it in! I wish we had had Vax in America because none of the various brands I've used over the years sucked well, which made the above injuries even more egregious! Only a man could design such lethal weapons!! It will be a funny book! I can't wait to read your chapters on other appliances - oh, and see "their" photos, lol! Hugs, Darnell

Jackie PNeal said...

So sorry about your vacuum woes Julia, but, boy oh boy, did you ever have me laughing up a dust cloud! heehee
Jackie xo