I wish I were talking about the greatest vacuum in the world, the most reliable engineered home-cleaning system. Sadly, I’m talking about my home literally sucking the life out of vacuum cleaners.
The day we brought my daughter home from the hospital my husband went to purchase a new vacuum cleaner. Funny to think I remember it so clearly, maybe it was because he felt the urgency for a momentary escape from the emotional magnitude of bringing home a baby. Maybe it was feeling like we needed an exceptionally clean start for the new precious being. Or maybe it was an errand he could contribute because this new tiny creature was infinitely latched to my boobs.
I can’t even think of what we had been using prior to the new vacuum, probably a hand-me-down appliance like most others throughout our home. I do know, the purchase began our spiral of irreparable cleaning apparatuses. Thankfully, since the purchase was made at Costco we have been able to lug in our dusty useless equipment, no box and no receipt and walk out with a fresh start. Over the years we have seen the same model in a variety of colors and minimal improvements, at no cost except the gas and time it takes to make the transaction. In the last four years we have had a revolving door of vacuums making this exchange at least once and sometimes twice per year.
One might think a consumer is being too hard on the vacuum, how could it really break that often? Our square footage of carpet isn’t even too great in our little home, a few rugs, two carpeted bedrooms and one living space. Regular usage to rid our home of shed dog hair, kid messes and typical traffic, I don’t think it’s more than an average home. And I certainly haven’t dropped it down the stairs, thrown objects at it or beaten it in any way – at least thoughts of raging on the machines don’t cause physical harm. People say things aren’t made like they used to be and claim the investment is worth it for a machine from the door to door variety. Then again, I’d hate to think of my home sucking the life out of antique or ultra expensive vacuum, a risk I’m not willing to take as long as they keep taking broken ones at Costco.
Still, it doesn’t take long in our home to go from “just out of the box” condition to slowly loosing it’s suction. A vacuuming job quickly ends up sucking time out of my day to take bits of it apart, cleaning it and cutting out threads and hairs trying to get back to working condition. When a recent exchange failed in less than three months, I borrowed a spare vacuum my mom had in her home. All I could do was laugh when the whole upper half of the machine came off with the mere pull of the handle, of course in my home the Vacuum of Vacuums.
And last week I had the time to do one of my favorite floor cleaning rituals… Steam cleaning rugs. I poured the appropriate measurements of solution and water into the machine, plenty of which made it evenly dispersed onto the rugs. Very little of it ended up suctioned back into the steam cleaner, and it was only its second use. Out of the time it took me to steam clean the rugs, most it was sucked into squatting on the floor trying to find out why it wasn’t sucking.
Yesterday I made the official return to Costco (again) and this time opted to upgrade to the more expensive model vacuum. I’ll try to stay optimistic and believe it will become my faithful tool, my companion for cleaning for decades. Let’s hope the shark will not fall victim to the Vacuum of Vacuums or our only choice will be to move to a home with no carpet.