Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Vacuum Love

Hardwood floors are gorgeous, but unforgiving. I first learned this when Mike and I lived in our penthouse, Okinawan apartment. Due to the construction and development around our building, our house was constantly dusty. Add the food crumbs we spilled and the long hair I shed, and our floors always seemed to be covered in crud. Not only were they nasty to look at it, but they were unbearable to walk on with bare feet. I would stop every few steps to wipe the crumbs from the bottom of my feet onto my pant (or bare!) leg.

I developed a cleaning ritual to deal with the dirt. Every Saturday, I would spend four hours tidying the apartment. The frenzy culminated in The Cleaning of the Floor. First, I would sweep. Second, I would Swiffer. Third, I would mop with a solution of Murphy’s Oil soap. Then, I would sit back and admire my spotless apartment until Mike came home from wherever I had banished him to during the clean-o-rama.

Although my clean floors gave me great satisfaction, I did not enjoy the necessity of a 3-step operation. When our offer was accepted on our hardwood floored Cincinnati home, I sent Mike out to buy the Hoover Hard Surface Floor Cleaner. I had read its user reviews online, and I knew it had its flaws. Its dry vacuum is so weak it cannot pick up a Cheerio. The dry and wet vacuum deposits debris and water into one collection canister, and emptying its contents is vomit-inducing. However, I was impressed with its performance. After running it over a seemingly clean bedroom floor and I emptied a canister of nearly black water. In the end, though, I was still left with a three step process: sweep, Swiffer, Hoover.

When our carpet was installed in the attic bedroom, we needed a real vacuum and I bought the machine of my dreams. Not only does it clean carpet, but on the “floor” function, it cleans the floor better than a broom and Swiffer. The hardwood floors are so clean that I rarely even feel the need to Hoover. Astride my vacuum steed, I am the queen of the world!

However, my pony let me down on the morning of our housewarming. After frantically preparing food all morning, I grabbed the vacuum to touch up the floors just before the guests arrived and found its suction powers greatly reduced. I might as well have been trying to vacuum with the non-Cheerio-sucking Hoover. I did not have time to investigate the curious lack of suction. Instead, I abandoned the machine and cleaned up visible dirt and fuzz with a brush and dustpan.

Sunday, at the conclusion of yet another cleaning frenzy, I decided it was time to examine the vacuum. I turned it on to find that the “check bag” light was on. This was a bit surprising, because I had vacuumed the whole house only twice since buying the machine and couldn’t have filled a bag yet. Nevertheless, I checked the bag. I was puzzled, and then amused, to find 8 inches of red fuzz protruding from the bag and snaking up the vacuum tube. The bag was also full of fuzz. The red fuzz happened to be the exact color of our new carpet.

Perhaps it was a blonde moment. I had read that new carpets “shed” and should be vacuumed a number of times after first being installed. I just had no idea how much shedding there would be and that it would stop up a vacuum as super as mine. After extracting the fuzz and changing the bag, the vacuum sucked again.

I was able to sleep peacefully on Sunday night with a spotless floor below. I sucked up cat food, pine needles, pretzel crumbs, and more fuzz until my floors were a delight to walk upon barefoot. Have I mentioned that I love my vacuum?


Blogger Scott in Washington said...

Ladies and Gentlemen.. GOLDEN HOOVER!
"She sends a cable comin' in from above We don't need
no phone at all We've got a thing that's called vacuum love..."

9:07 AM  
Blogger kim scales said...

Hi Kasmira. As the mother of the primary mess-maker in your life, I suggest you let Mikie get acquainted with the joys of floor cleaning. Think of all the fun he is missing out on! Share the joy! (Train him while he is still young.....) Love, Kim

12:45 AM  

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