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Dear Vacuum Cleaner…A Love Story

April 1, 2018
Dear Vacuum Cleaner...A Love Story

Firstly, allow me to admit that we’ve been through many vacuum cleaners in our short time as a family. In our 13 years of companionship, the hubs and I have housed 4 or 5 vacuums, each more promising than the last. We had to originate a range for features and budget. We learned that some household appliances do, in fact, require a bit more financial expenditure if we wanted it particularly preserved for long-term use. 

Also, it helps when the equipment is cleaned properly, in a timely fashion.  

About around the time we transitioned from one to two kids, we purchased a new vacuum because our beloved Shark had retired suddenly after being forced to ingest one too many aggressive instances of kid-centric paraphernalia. It was at this point, as we fiscally prepared for baby girl’s needs, that we took a tentative step backwards on the vacuum improvement scale that we had set up. Our vacuum died without prior warning signals; Jrue dirtied the carpets more frequently each day; therefore, we had to make an unplanned, pseudo-impulsive buy out of the necessity to have “something” until we could afford “something better” later. 

That was our story. We discovered the store Big Lots. In our local Big Lots was a cute, lightweight Bissell that needed a good home to clean. We had a few strenuous jobs for it to complete, sure. The machinery was basic; it was inexpensive.  

The vacuum was, literally, exactly what we needed at the time. My expectations were low. 

See how much I know. 

I didn’t think the vacuum would last this long, quite honestly, not because affordable automatically equaled “cheap” generally, but, in our case, we had always had such weird luck with bargain brands that I had deduced that it was because I needed to save for the Miele or something. 

We needed a vacuum cleaner that could “suck it up” in the most explicit phrasing of the term: crunchy leaves tracked in from shoes, whole bowls of spilled dry Fruit Loops, and paper creatively cut into confetti had to be purged from my carpets. The vacuum had to be able to accept multiple rousings a day, as well as understand that rolling from carpet to kitchen linoleum and back was a sometimes pertinent preservation sacrifice for mommy’s back. It had to clean the “invisibles” that we could not see, but could hear with a sudden, distinctive creeeeek sound. However, I required the vacuum to cough back out earrings that I didn’t know were hiding on the floor, and screws that Jai’s prying, tiny fingers had thought fun enough to play with, and any other miniature piece of something or other that could destroy the inner workings of our little investment.  

This thing had to last. 

My dear vacuum cleaner, the hardest-working instrument we own, is the MVP of our household.  

The day I discovered its surprising power was the day we went shopping for it–our carpets were some four sunrises or so overdue for a vacuum. The whole house needed three- and four-fold sweepings. This new vacuum cleaner moved with ease like a champ, guzzling the debacles the kids activated, designing those lines with precision. The carpets appeared lighter, a different color, well-laundered like no children lived on them. 

I was delighted; our Bissell rocked 

It had no problems chopping up slices of old Playdoh and ripped book pages and baby powder sprinkled on rugs. It even exceeded my prospects of “finding” lost earrings by refusing to suck them up and, instead, relying on some kind of internal push mechanism that spat foreign objects forward rather than in and through. 

But, here’s the kicker: My vacuum cleaner even cleans up kid vomit. This may be gross, and I apologize for the graphics, but we don’t readily have the stomach strength to lay down the Resolve spray and scoop up the messes with towels, then run the laundry (ahem, the water bill…) again. Allow me to define “kid vomit” as closer to spit up or light bile spew than adult hangover retching. There’s a difference here. After a bit of research, I learned that our particular carpet spray, once settled over messes, could be…well…vacuumed up.  

I tried that. It did that. More than once. 

I don’t want our Bissell to ever leave us, so I take care in ensuring that the tanks and filters are kept pristine and that the rotation is clear of obstructions and the belt is in good condition. I don’t know much about keeping machinery in optimal operation, but I know a win when I see one. 

If only all of our units were so clutch. I’m looking at you, dishwasher… 

 

Photo by Jessie Renée on Unsplash 

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