The Very Best Vacuum

People have asked me hundreds of times over the years, “What’s the best vacuum to buy?”  It’s happened everywhere.  Some of them may have been making casual conversation but deep down, I believe most of them really wanted to know.

Early on, I felt something short of being professional if I didn’t know the answer.  Consequently, I did a lot of research.  I wanted to give my customers good information so they could make informed decisions.  After all, if they were going to spend money on my recommendation, I wanted them to feel like they received good value for the exchange.

After a while, I even became a distributor for a few different brands of vacuum.  That way, I could capture a little business for my research and make things easier for my customers.  We even went so far as to provide a free 10 point service check on vacuums when we arrived to do the carpet clean.  But that’s a story for another day.

I still get this question a few times a month so I feel it deserves some attention here.  So, what is the best vacuum to buy?  Well, the question itself only scratches the surface.  The next question should be, “What is your main objective?”

Yeah, Yeah, I know, “to get the dirt out of the carpet”… but what is it really?!?  Do you want a super sucker to try and remove all the dirt in one pass? (Good luck!)  Do you want a vacuum that you replace every year or one that you keep for ten years?  Will you do the repairs on it yourself or take it in to a shop?  How often are you going to use it?  Do you want cloth bags, paper bags or bag-less?  Do you know the differences?  Do you need HEPA filtration?  Are you really going to use the 87 different attachments and turn it into a carpet shampooer?   Do you need a drive assist?  Do you need a beater bar or is simple airflow sufficient?  What are the physical limitations to be considered for the person that will be the primary user?  How will you store it?  Will you loan it to your friends?  How much can you/do you want to spend?

As you can see, there are several things to consider when pondering a vacuum purchase.  This isn’t the all-inclusive, end all list, but it should get your juices flowing for what to look for on your next vacuum purchase.

My standard answer to the vacuum question is, “The best vacuum you can buy is one you’ll USE!”, and just let me add right here, “FREQUENTLY!”.

Today, there are so many vacuum choices available that you can find just about any combination of features, in a price range you are willing to pay, for anything you may dream up if you just look long enough.  But is the vacuuming getting done while you’re fussing around?  I’ll wager NOT.

Free particulate soil (the kind you can vacuum) has been estimated to be up to 90% of the dirt that is in the carpet.  That means that NOBODY vacuums enough!!  If the dry, vaccumable dirt was only 50% of the dirt in carpet, I’d still by saying, “Shame on you!”  If it’s vacuumable, then what are you doing watching TV in the evening?

You can’t vacuum enough, and you can’t over vacuum!!

You and your family, staff, visitors etc., walk on your carpet every day… multiple times each day!  We just had a lesson (see the last blog post) on dust and where it all comes from.  Dirt and dust, all those tiny, micro fine particles are the worst.  Why?!?  Because, you can’t see them and when you don’t see them, you won’t do anything about them.  Out of sight, out of mind remember?    Why do you even think that vacuuming once a week is sufficient?  Do the math friends, you should vacuum every day!

At the very least, vacuum all the entries.  Get that loose dirt out before it has a chance to get buried deep into the fibers.  Once it’s deep down, it takes as much as five times more vacuuming passes to remove it than if you get to it before it settles.  Getting the dirt early also minimizes soil migration (something bad that we’ll talk about in the coming days so stay tuned to this blog for more info).

I have dealt with a lot of carpet over the years and one thing is for sure, carpet that is thoroughly vacuumed every day, looks better and lasts longer than carpet that isn’t… period… end of story.

So, get a vacuum, in your price range, that is easy for you to use.  When you can afford one with all the bells and whistles, then go for it.  Right now I’d take frequency over power every time.  Store your vacuum  in an accessible place.  Pull it out frequently and use it like you want things clean.

You can’t vacuum enough, and you can’t over vacuum!!

Carpet Kev,

I’m going to go vacuum…