Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another Year, Another Vacuum

Our third vacuum cleaner in four years died yesterday. I tossed the first one that broke, a horrible Eureka upright bagless model that rewarded you daily by making you clean out a small plastic canister of crud. That one was gladly tossed when it broke, but I've got the last two broken vacs sitting around for tight times like these. Rather than spend another $200 on a new one, I'll be getting one of them repaired; whichever is cheaper.

The first broken vac is a manly blue Royal model, built like an AK-47, with durable parts with loose tolerances, an extra long cord and a powerful engine. A man can hold his head up high while vacuuming with the Royal. The latest one, which died tonight, was a girly red Electrolux model, with a photo of a woman vacuuming in high heals on the owners manual. It's best feature was a quiet mode, for vacuuming while customers where in the store. It was bought in a hurry right before we opened the new store and I had doubts about her. Both lasted about a year, despite their high cost and good consumer product reviews. Who would have guessed that you should budget $20/month just for vacuum cleaner replacement?

Commercial use is pretty intensive. We've got a 3,300 square foot store and we vacuum every day. In theory we vacuum that whole space. That's twice as big as my house, which gets vacuumed once a week (I'm told). Doing the math, figure we use a vacuum cleaner about 14 times more intensely than the average household. So is there some magical, hotel quality, $1000 vacuum cleaner I can buy with a 5-year warranty? Perhaps, but most store owners tell me how they just accept going through these disposable items. I'm going to try cycling them through the local repair shop first.


  1. I'd recommend, if you do have a grand kicking around for a vacuum, that you go look into Nilfisk: the most basic industrial model is probably overkill for your store, but I will promise you this: it WILL be worth the money. My parents have a residential-model Nilfisk that's around twenty years old and has never needed any fixing at all. Sure, they're not pretty, but they work, and they keep working practically forever.

  2. Wow, you've just opened up an entirely new world of vacuuming for me.

  3. And to think that I initially read the title of the post as "Another Year, Another Vacation"...

    Industrial cleaners are expensive, but they're what you need when you're using them that intensely. Just ask any hotel.

  4. The little workshop vaccums that look like 'astromech droids' work extremely well. They'll suck up nails and whatnot and not even notice. They are loud though, but have a long cord and will have a hose that probably has attachments that can adapt it to carpet. Look one up in a hardware store. Not sure about the cost.


  5. Buy a fleet of Roomba's :)