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Dec 30 2011

Worst Chore Ever, or Not So Bad? Where do You Rank Vacuuming?

Crucial Vacuum recently asked on Facebook where vacuuming ranks among your favorite and least favorite household chores. As is to be expected, the answers varied. There werethose who absolutely hate to vacuum, and there were those who don’t mind it at all.

One response was, “ I despise it. Love the house when it’s done, but hate the chore.”

Another Facebook friend said, “My favorite chore too. Instant gratification. That’s my kind of cleaning.”

In fact, about half of the people who responded said it was their favorite chore. But just as many people claimed to not like vacuuming at all.

As for me, I love it. There is nothing better than freshly vacuumed carpet. I love the lines that my vacuum leaves behind as if to say, “why yes, my lovely owner did just vacuum”. I love knowing that there are no tiny little choking hazards for my baby to get a hold of. I even enjoy the actual act of vacuuming, it’s kind of fun honestly. My dog goes crazy chasing the vacuum, which always makes the baby laugh, and it’s a little bit of a workout. So, as far as household chores go, I really can’t complain about vacuuming.

The only problem that I have with vacuuming is that I have to do so much work before I can vacuum. You know, all the picking up, putting away, and dusting that comes first? Those are among my least favorite chores along with dishes and laundry and pretty much every other chore. Sorry to disappoint, but the domestic goddess you see above is not me.

It is because of all the putting away and picking up that my living room has not been vacuumed in a few days. At this very moment, my house is a complete disaster thanks to Christmas. I now know why my parents used to dread bringing home a car full of new toys from every grandparent. I have no idea where any of this stuff is going to go and no desire to start trying to figure it out.

But my husband and I are both already starting to sneeze and sniffle, a telltale sign that it is past time to vacuum. Unfortunately for us our allergies don’t stop when winter comes around. I have to constantly keep our house dusted and vacuumed or we are miserable. So while I would love to put off sorting through these toys for a few more days, I know I can’t.

On the bright side, I have a brand new filter for my vacuum and I am not ashamed to admit that I am super excited to put it to use. Until recently, I had no idea how important it was to keep my vacuum in tiptop shape for my own health. Since I have started changing my vacuums bags before they are completely full and maintaining a clean vacuum filter, I have been able to breathe much easier. My husband and I have both noticed that our allergies are less irritated and we are hoping that by keeping the air clean in our house we are helping to keep our son from developing the same problems.

So the rest of my day will consist of sorting through toys new and old, putting things away, dusting, and last but not least… vacuuming. Maybe that is why I like vacuuming, because it means I am finally done cleaning.

Dec 27 2011

How Often do You Change Your Vacuum’s Bag?

So, how often do you change your vacuum’s bag? If you’re like me, and millions of other housekeepers who mean well, the answer is probably not often enough. Vacuum bags fill up much quicker than most people realize. Once the bag is full your vacuum is unable to perform to it’s full potential and is left struggling to pick up. You’re left angry with your vacuum for not working right, and let’s face it, your vacuum is probably not too happy with you either.

But this is a problem that is easily avoided; you simply need to know when to change your vacuum’s bag. I bet a quick check of most people’s vacuum bags would uncover a bag that is too full. I can’t promise that my own vacuum’s bag isn’t ready to be changed again. But how full is too full? How do you know?

When we bought our house we didn’t have much carpet. I vacuumed only occasionally. But hardwoods turned to a large area rug when we brought home our first baby. I began vacuuming regularly but honestly, I didn’t give the vacuum’s bag much thought. When our baby started crawling I talked my husband into wall-to-wall carpet. I loved my new carpet and became a huge fan of vacuuming. I loved the lines that the vacuum left in the carpet, I felt like they made me look like a good housekeeper. I didn’t even pay any attention to whether or not my vacuum was actually picking anything up, oops.

But one day, as I was vacuuming the rug in our entranceway, I realized that my vacuum was actually spitting stuff back out at me. It was a fairly new vacuum so I was not happy that it wasn’t working properly. For the first time since I had bought the vacuum, I opened it up and discovered a bag that was practically bursting at the seams. Hmmm, so that was the problem. Upon further investigation, I realized my vacuum even has a handy little light that indicates when the bag needs changed. Who knew?

I know I should be embarrassed to share that story but 1) I have no shame and 2) I am trying to help others learn from my mistakes. Oh, and it helps that a certain head-honcho at Crucial Vacuum, whose name I am not at liberty to disclose, shared a similar experience with me the other day. He was recently vacuuming his office and couldn’t figure out why his vacuum wasn’t picking up. Sure enough, a quick check of the vacuum’s bag revealed a bag in desperate need of changing. So if even he forgets to change his vacuum’s bag sometimes, it’s ok for the rest of us to do it!

A good rule of thumb for when to change your vacuum’s bag is to change it before it’s completely full. Once the bag is full it won’t be able to pick up anything else. We both know your time is way too valuable to waste running a vacuum that isn’t picking up. If your vacuum has an indicator that tells you when the bag is full, learn from my mistake and don’t ignore it.

Oh and one more thing, make sure you actually have extra vacuum bags. Crucial Vacuum offers the best selection of vacuum bags on the internet. From Bissell to Oreck, we carry bags for all brands and offer free shipping. Now that you will be changing bags regularly you will need to stock up, it’s crucial!

 

Dec 19 2011

Cleaning for Baby: A Job That Never Ends

Here’s the understatement of the year; having a baby changes everything. I knew prior to having my son that my whole world was going to change, and it has. My priorities, my interests, even my career has changed since becoming a mom.

But by far, the biggest difference that being a mom has made in me; I’m a better housekeeper. It’s funny because I have no time for housework with an ornery little baby chasing me around. But it’s because of that sweet little guy that I have become a stickler for keeping my house clean. There are enough bad things that can happen when we are out and about. Our home should be a place where we are comfortable and safe.
So, because my little guy is fascinated with putting anything that he finds on the floor directly into his mouth, I try to vacuum every day. Between dirt being tracked in from outside, our dog chewing his bones and leaving little pieces all over, and the random carpet fuzz there is always a mess to clean up. Hearing my vacuum suck up all the tiny little choking hazards is like music to my ears.
And then there’s the dust. I have a confession; I once caught the baby playing in dust. His dad and I both have terrible allergies, and because allergies are often inherited, the chances of our little guy getting them are high. I can’t clean a dusty room without feeling like my throat is closing and I desperately want to do all that I can to keep my baby from feeling that way. If I told you there was never dust in my house I would be lying, but I try my best to keep up for his sake.
When I have time, which I admit isn’t often enough, I love to steam clean. I use the broom on the kitchen and bathroom floors regularly. But it is such a great feeling to be able to kill germs and leave my floors shiny and clean without using harsh chemicals. As much as I hate to admit it, my little one has been known to eat off the kitchen floor and much to my horror, he is obsessed with the toilet. So I am forever grateful for my steam cleaner when it comes to killing germs the safe way.
I’m not going to lie, before I had a baby I wasn’t the world’s greatest housekeeper. Ok, I was awful. So now that I am cleaning on a regular basis to keep my baby healthy and safe I am learning as I go. I can’t believe how quickly my vacuum’s bags fill up. Until I started blogging for Crucial Vacuum, I wasn’t even aware that my vacuum had a filter, let alone that I needed to change it regularly.
Crucial Vacuum honestly came into my life at the perfect time. It is my one stop shop to stock up on vacuum bags, filters, dusters, and other cleaning supplies. I am so excited to share the convenience and great deals with everyone I know, especially fellow mommies.  With free shipping and the best prices on the Internet, Crucial Vacuum just can’t be beat. Tell your friends!

Dec 13 2011

Our Beloved Pets and the Mess They Leave Behind

Pets are so much more than just four legged creatures who take up space. For many of us, are pets are our family. Some people even think of little Fido or Fluffy as their children, and like our children they love to keep us on our toes.

From knocking over plants, to dragging things in from outside, to tracking in mud, our mischievous pets could single handedly keep the vacuum industry afloat. But one of the biggest problems caused by our lovable little friends is something they have no control over; they shed!

Unless you are a proud owner of one of the few breeds of dogs who don’t shed, or you have one of those hairless cats, you have undoubtedly battled pet hair issues. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how many times you vacuum your carpet and furniture, those fine little hairs just won’t come up.

Crucial Vacuum knows you love your pet. But we also know you would love to be able to sit down on your couch after your pet without being covered in fur when you get up.

Not to mention, pet hair can wreak havoc on our sinuses and allergies. Nobody wants to own the house that guests can’t visit without sneezing.

Many pet owners are unaware that they are leaving pet hair behind when vacuuming. If your pet’s hair blends in with the carpet or furniture it is easy to assume that running the vacuum is efficiently cleaning up any hair that is shed by your pet.

But those of us who have an up close and personal relationship with our carpet (having a baby who eats anything he can pick up off the floor will do that) are often disappointed to see that our freshly vacuumed carpet is still covered in pet hair.

Many pet owners would take this as a sign that their vacuum needs replaced. After all, if it can’t pick up something as simple as pet hair it must be junk, right? Wrong!

Crucial Vacuum offers quick and simple fixes to help your vacuum get it’s suction back and to help you get your clean floors and furniture back.

The first thing you want to do is to make sure your vacuums roller bar is working. Often, wads of hair or string can get stuck and prevent rolling. Simple fix – take a razor blade and cut off the hair that may be preventing the beater bar from rolling. If that doesn’t fix it, you may need to replace the belt.

If that’s not the problem, make sure the bag isn’t full. If you vacuum in high traffic areas often, your bag will fill up fast. Replacing the bag will allow your vacuum to breathe and get it’s suction back.

Last but not least, check your filters. A clogged filter will need cleaned or replaced to allow your vacuum to function properly. Replacement is easy. Or try our washable filters to get more for your money.

So don’t take it out on Fido the next time you are covered in dog hair.  Find out why your vacuum isn’t sucking it up, and fix the problem so you can get back to loving your furry friends.

Also, check out these other great products Crucial Vacuum offers to help with pet hair: The Gonzo Pet Hair Lifter  and Pet Grooming Vacuum Attachments are must-haves!

 

Dec 7 2011

To Vacuum First, or to Dust First ? That is the Question!

duster vs vacuum, which comes first

Photo from paul-susan.blogspot.com

Cleaning… It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. After cleaning our homes over and over we develop a routine that we could complete in our sleep. It probably goes a little something like this: pick up, dust, vacuum… or is it vacuum and then dust?It’s an age-old debate, to dust first, or to vacuum first. There is no middle of the road here folks, you’re either on one side or the other. It’s a debate that divides households, pits mother against daughter, tears apart friendships…

Ok so it’s not that big of a deal, but seriously who is right?

Research on the topic uncovers a number of housekeeping professionals and experts who say they know the answer. The problem is, even the experts are divided right down the middle. Even more confusing, they give such good reasons to back up their opinion that we are left with our heads spinning.

So let’s look at the arguments shall we? First we have “Team Vacuum.” These housekeepers strongly believe that they are doing the right thing by vacuuming first. The biggest and most valid argument made by this side is that vacuums throw dust into the air, therefore that dust will need to be dusted off of furniture after you vacuum. Good point, but then where does that dust go when you clean it off your furniture?

That is why “Team Dust” says you should clean the dust off of the furniture first. Then once the dust settles into the carpet, you should vacuum it up. Makes sense, but what about the inevitable dust that your vacuum is going to toss around?

Confused? Join the crowd. The bottom line is this; there is no right or wrong answer. (Although we found plenty of experts who claim their answer is the right one).

A completely unscientific poll conducted on Facebook perfectly proved the point of this blog. Exactly 50% of those who answered firmly believed that vacuuming should come first while the other 50% said dusting should absolutely be done first. Thank goodness for easy math!

But while we can’t solve the debate, Crucial Vacuum can offer one piece of crucial advice to both sides.

Minimize the amount of dust put out by your vacuum.

The dust that is tossed into the air when you vacuum is problem no matter which chore you complete first. Less dust put out by your vacuum equals less dust to settle on your furniture, or on your carpet (because it depends where you are leaving that dust, are you still with us?)

So how do you make sure your vacuum is putting out the least amount of dust possible?

That Crucial Vacuum can help you with! Ensuring that your vacuums filter is clean and that your vacuums bag is not full is the best way to be sure that your vacuum is picking up and trapping as much dirt and dust as possible.

If your vacuum has an old or dirty filter you aren’t getting the most out of your vacuum. If your bag is full, you can vacuum your little heart out, but there is no way you are getting the best suction possible out of your vacuum.

Keep replacement bags and filters on hand so your vacuum doesn’t end up making cleaning a bigger chore than it already is. This way, whether you are vacuuming first, last, or somewhere in between, at least you can be vacuuming effectively.

So, which team are you on?