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San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

I've decided to help myself to cleaner floors by improving my tools. Toward that end I want to get a steam vacuum and maybe a hard-floor vacuum/mop. I've been browsing online and am bewildered by all the choices. Does anyone have any recommendations? I need something lightweight. My standard vacuum does only a so-so job, and I need to deal with pet hair and stains. For the kitchen and bath areas I'm still using bucket/mop and hand&knees for corners. Would something like Swiffer be adequate? Any ideas you can offer will be appreciated. Thanks!

Westminster, CO(Zone 5a)

Stay away from Dyson, please. We bought one, the Animal Unit specificly for pet hair.
We have three puppies, a cat and rats.
We purchased it just before Christmas. By New Years we had already had to have it repaired due to a faulty switch. We are still having trouble as it shocks you when you lower the handle to use the vac.
Just my two pennies.
Good luck.


San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the experienced advice! I had wondered about whether the rather steep price for this highly advertised brand is justified. I tried to research via Consumer Reports but found virtually nothing. Best options right now appear to be with Bissell and/or Dirt Devil - but then deciding on which model (!)

I hope you are able to get the problems with your unit resolved.


Louise, MS(Zone 8a)

Yikes! I love my Dyson. I got it back in 2002 and have never had a moment's trouble aside from my Mom trying to steal it. She has one of those Rainbow water filtered vacuums that are such a pain to use. She borrowed mine and didn't want to give it back.

I was the pround owner of a grey tabby cat and black furniture, so I needed something that was good with pet hair.

Lilesville, NC(Zone 7b)

About 5 yrs ago I had a salesman come to my door selling vaccum's. They were electrolux ones..I had never heard of them but DH did and said alright for him to come in and sweep and scrub a few carpets...hey why not get it done for free, i well anyways my daughter had bad allergies and my current sweeper was not doing the i figured why not try this..I will never regret it...I even maid monthly payment on it till it was paid was like $450 for the sweep and carpet scrubber...a super deal for us. I loved it.....dont have the scrubber no more, my mother broke it, but it was not do to the sweeper it was her own fault...and the sweeper still use it about everyday. It has a hepa filter and i swear no dust or whatever you pick is coming thru or out of this bag.

Here is a link to get your started if you wanna look into an electrolux.... They have so much more then they did about 5-6 yrs ago....

Hope this helps,


San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks, billums and Char! More good information. Oldpepper, may your Dyson unit was a fluke - and if your warranty provides for it, perhaps you can get a replacement. The electric shocks might be a short in the wiring somewhere. Electrolux has been around for a long time - I wonder why I hadn't thought of it. Oh, my. Decisions, decisions. Even more to consider, but I really appreciate your input.


Hulbert, OK(Zone 7a)

I'll be honest with you, I've had vacs from every color of the rainbow,
ranging from $39.95 to the $ - I'm ashamed to admit - $ range. Yes,
I owned a Filter Queen.

Which one outperformed them all? My handy dandy, just over one hundred
dollar Eureka 12 amp The Boss with spin duster. Now keep in mind the spin
duster is as useful as a third elbow, but the vac itself, LOVE IT!

I regularly run this vac across my mattress and am shocked at the creatures
it sucks up. We have multiple pets, two boys and a hubby who just can't get
the hang of "Take your shoes off at the door."

The vac I once spent a fortune on couldn't hold a candle to this vac. And in
the event something happens to it, a hundred bucks comes along much
easier than a few thousand.

Take off the top, dump the cup, bang the filter outdoors and watch the
incredible crud come out of it. Use hubby's compressor to blow it out and
you'll be blowing it for five minutes, amazed at the stuff it can hold.

Call me anal, some days I like to just keep on vacuuming the house over and
over, thinking the cup will no longer gather anything. Wrong.

I just love my Eureka!

Albany (again), NY(Zone 5b)

here's a good site with product reviews:

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Many thanks! It is indeed a good site, and I'm bookmarking it. Yuska

Winchester, VA(Zone 6b)

I have a miele - cost $600 - but it works every day for 12 years and has double filters so it doesn't throw dust back in the room.

I have worn out the beater bar on the carpet unit....gotta order a new one.

Have a bissel carpet cleaner that cost $200 and works amazingly well on white carpet.

We have two cats - one of whom brings friends home

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks! I had never encountered any info about Miele - looks very interesting. And Bissell is a dependable brand. Choices, choices. I may wind up with more than one.

(Zone 9a)

I have a less expensive, about $250.00, Meile and can't say enough good things about it. Their filter system is amazing, it never smells (and I do have a dog).

Juneau, AK

I have to also speak up for Dyson. I bought one from one of my real estate clients. She wanted to keep it but the truck was full. She still had the original box even! I've cleaned it out twice in 8 months, changed the HEPA type filter once (you just rinse and dry that) and I love the thing! We have 2 cats and a dog plus two teens. We are not as careful as we should be with shoes in a new house with off-white carpet. We have laminate, slate, and carpet. I love my Dyson. It is still not the perfect machine for stairs but I have yet to find one of them. If it even begins to lose suction the first culprit is the roller bar on the bottom. It is easy to figure out how to access various things on this machine. Pet hair isn't the issue when it comes to clogs, it is MY long and thick hair that seems to fill up the roller. I really, really like this machine and even my husband says it is the best vacuum we have ever had.

Franklin Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

akdebs... are you an agent or broker? Sorry to be off topic.... but I was just wondering....

I have had the spectrum range on vacuums over the years too, from Kirby (big $$) to Walmart machines... my current Eureka is good but I have to say it does throw some dust back. :o( It's pretty old but I have hard wood & tile... only 3 bedrooms rooms with carpet, so I just deal with it until I can 'decarpet' those rooms... don't really have much advice to add as it seems you have plenty of suggestions already. ;o) sharon

This message was edited Mar 9, 2006 8:37 PM

Goldthwaite, TX(Zone 8a)

I bought a Hoover bagless Wind Tunnel vacuum a couple of years ago and love it. We have three cats who spend a lot of time inside, and I vacuum up about half a cat's worth of hair every time I use it. We garden and track in mud, etc. too. I bought an extra filter and wash them often. DH did not think they could be washed, but it has worked so far.

I also have a Hoover SteamVac that I use on tile floors and rugs downstairs and carpet upstairs. It was not expensive, but it really does the job. We previously had a Bissell, but when it developed problems, the repairman said trash it and buy a Hoover.

This message was edited Mar 9, 2006 8:37 PM

Juneau, AK

teateacher, I could be a broker if I wanted... I took the classes, passed the test. I am an Associate Broker. I really do not have the patience or tolerance to be legally responsible for the actions of people who are not under my direct supervision. The way the law reads, a broker is. I prefer to keep doing what I love, helping people, and not having that additional responsibility! Why do you ask?

Franklin Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

akdebs, I have an active brokers license in Florida (where we just moved from) and had my own small brokerage there. I'm waiting for a reciprocal license for Georgia but I've been waiting "8 weeks" for my license history to come from Florida. Nobody ever said they were fast! I don't know if I will actively sell here as I'm really enjoying my free time & gardening at this point. My daughter is an agent too and she wants to open an office since we now live here and I could be the broker of record. She is doing a lot of commercial deals and hates splitting that %. It's a good 24 / 7 business if you like excitement and have the energy!

Patrob...a repair tech a good person to get advice from. He probably sees them all. When I'm ready to ditch my old one, I'll have to look closer at the Hoovers.

Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

Look into Oreck. You couldn't give me anything else. I'm on my second one in almost 20 years. There is nothing like it for pet hair (I first had a collie, after he died we got a golden retreiver). The vacuum only weighs 7 lbs and hangs on a wall hook. It sweeps bare floors and carpet equally well.


Frankfort, KY

I love my Oreck too Karen. I particularly like the fact that it is light weight, weighing only 8 lbs., and it self-adjusts going from rug to floor.

Phoenix, AZ

I have an Electrolux (30 yrs old) AND a Hoover (4 yrs old) and they are both fabulous.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

First time I've looked into this thread. I grew up with Electrolux. My mother had them and my grandmother before her. I brought my mother's old vacuum (about 1982 vintage) to my house when I cleaned out hers in 1993, thinking it was newer than mine, but I found I preferred mine. Gave the old one to the food bank I was running and it did yeoman duty for several years. When the food bank bought an industrial vacuum, we gave the Electrolux to another food program and as fas as I know it is still going.

I bought my first one in 1975 and it's still going at my daughter's in Vancouver. For a long time I resisted getting a new one saying I was bit my bit making the old one into a new machine as I replaced or repaired various bits, but 5 or 6 years ago, I did break down and buy myself a new Electrolux.


St. Louis, MO(Zone 5b)

Boy am I glad I found this thread!

I am wanting a new vacuum type device real bad--I'd like one that can steam clean carpets and dry vacuum, plus clean kitchen and bathroom floors.

I don't know if I'll have to get two devices or if I can find just one to do it all.

I have spent a good amount of time at too am I am considering the following:

Hoover F7205900 SteamVac V2 Wet/Dry Vacuum
Hoover Floor mate
Hoover f7425-900 widepath
Bissell ProHeat 7950

Anyone have any opinions on those?

In the meantime, I am going to check out the electrolux site.



San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Hi, Maureen! Even though I started this thread over a month ago I still haven't been able to choose...really unlike me to be so slow to decide. I am about to conclude I will need two machines - a steamer and a standard. I have a Hoover now that is fairly good but not for pet hair (I am owned by some cats.) I did opt for an inexpensive and lightweight "stick" with a battery pack that is quick and easy for "over the top". I need lightweight units because of a mobility/strength problem. The perplexity I'm experiencing results from the selected information in the web sites of the various brands. I can read what the units are reportedly able to do, but little or nothing is said about the limitations. I wonder if I can manage to talk to technical people at the companies, explain my needs and ask for recommendations. Yuska

Ottawa, ON(Zone 5a)

Hi again,

Just taking a break from vacuuming. As I mentione above, I've had more than one Electrolux. However, they were not all created equal. Even among the same brand, some followed me around better than others. I would really attempt to give everything you are considering a good try out. If the machine is too heavy or awkward for easy use, you will tend not to use it. And that MIGHT be a really good reason to have two machines rather than one which will do everything but might be hard to use. The only way you will know what feels good to you is to try them out for as long as possible. See if you can try one at home. REALLY try it. Not just watch a salesperson demonstrate it. Or see if you can take a machine on trial. Or ask around of your friends and neighbours. Maybe volunteer to do their vacuuming once or twice. I doubt they would say no. ;-)


St. Louis, MO(Zone 5b)

Hi Yuska,

I'm in the same's been a couple of months and I still haven't made up my mind. I was trying to save some money but I may need two machines as well.

Based on the reviews I've read I'm leaning heavily towards the hoover widepath. But I still just don't know for sure!

Ann, I will likely take your advice and try to try one out at home before I lay down a few hundred dollars. That Idea about vacuuming someone's house is a great idea--I know my friends wouldn't say no! ☺

Thanks guys,


Naperville, IL

I came to this site for garden advice but couldn't help but stop in at this forum. I am a neat freak married to a sloppy packrat (our child is somewhere in between our 2 extremes) so my life is an ongoing struggle in this particular area. About vacuums- we have 2 dogs and lots of allergies. I bought a Miele canister vacuum a few years ago and I would recommend it highly.

San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks...I'll look into it...don't know why I've had such a hard time deciding; not like me at all. Except I do know it will have to be two units; the combo steam/dry units are just too cumbersome for arthritic wrists. Any thoughts on the bagless types? I thought that was what I wanted but some one said the very fine dust really flies when they're emptied. Yuska

Frankfort, KY

I gave my daughter a Roomba for Christmas. She loves it. Now they've come out with a Scooba that scrubs your floors.

Rancho Cordova, CA(Zone 9b)

Yuska, I've had both and prefer the bagless. The amount of dust that flies is about the same for both kinds and is limited to the spot where you change the bag or dump the bucket. I like the bagless because I find the bags messy and a nuisance to change. The bucket is click, it's out, click, it's back in.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

I have all white ceramic tile in every room of this soon-to-be-leaving Florida, heading to Ohio house....I do dog rescue, and I have 10 at the moment... 3 are short haired, 1 is a shepherd, and the rest are all non shedders...I vacuum and mop daily, with the sandy soil tracked in, all the dog hair, the dribbled water etc...I finally broke down last month and bought that Hoover Floormate and I LOVE it!! The 6 brushes scrub down into the grout and the crevices in this textured tile...
It looks cleaner than it ever has since I moved here..and Ive tried all kinds of mops..
Yes, I DO still need to use a wet rag in the corners but it does get along the baseboards..It has a cup rather than a bag and does dry vac and then scrubbing, and then it squeegies/vacs almost dry..The other great thing about it is that it is lightweight and simple to use, and can be used on hardwood floors also..

As for my bathroom, since Im over 60 and getting the tub and behind the toilet done is extremely difficult for me, I invested in that new Mr Clean Bathroom scrubber...I figured if it didnt work, it wasnt that expensive....but guess what?? It WORKS!! I can clean the walls, the tub and the entire bathroom floor with it .. Another I Love It product!!


San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks for your ratings based on your experiences, everyone! Much better than going by the advertising copy!

Rancho Cordova, CA(Zone 9b)


Thanks for the good words on the Mr. Clean bathroom scrubber. I swear that the floor is getting lower every year and gravity is getting stronger. (LOL) I don't go down to floor level unless I have something nearby that I can pull myself up with. This sounds like just the thing to get to clean the bathrooms here.

Sugar Valley, GA(Zone 7b)

I bought mine on the spur Gift...Then I got a $10 off coupon, so I immediately went and got another one..Just because.....
I spray my tub down with Greased Lightening, and do the sink and cabinet/counter/mirror and by the time Im done, the tub is ready to use the scrubber on.. soon as that is done, I swap heads, and hit the floor...Im usually finished in less than 10 minutes total...This is one *Gadget* that definitely gets my vote!! I absolutely cannot get down and scrub behind that potty..If I did, they would have to call the Firemen to come get me up..Ive been scrubbing the tub after I take a bath while Im still in it as the water goes down, then I need the shower to rinse off...This is NOT a good option...I only weigh 123 pounds, so my weight isnt the issue, but its the debilitating arthritis that does me in ..Please do try it ... it definitely brings the floor up to you !! LOL


St. Louis, MO(Zone 5b)

Hi Dusty,

Thanks for your report on the floormate, it's very helpful. I hate to be a stickler but can you tell us the model number? There are several and when you look at ratings at a place like the ratings between models vary alot.



Cardiff, ON(Zone 4a)

I don't have a vacuum to recommend, we're now using an ancient one I got from my parents. However, I will say that any Dirt Devils I've used have been VERY LOUD. You need earplugs to run them. I took the ancient Hoover over the fairly new Dirt Devil that my parent's also offered me - I don't want to go deaf.

Beachwood, OH

I bought 2 Hoover Windtunnel Bagless with HEPA filters this year to replace our older vacuums. They were about $140- $150 and I got one with a free 20 ft hose for using on stairs at Costco. OMG I was stunned when I saw what they pick up compared to my old vacuums. The canister is nearly half full on a once a week vacuuming on each floor of the house. And we do observe the no shoes rule! Even the bedrooms yield so much 'stuff' it made me ill to think of walking on that dirt all this time until I upgraded. I thought at first that it would all clean up and then there would be much less debris in the canister - nope, it picks up just as much each week, and its not carpet fibers either. I even had my ductwork cleaned last year and we don't have a real dusty house.

This time around I didn't go for a more expensive machine, but I researched to some extent and found that there is a marginal change in performance when you get into the more expensive machines. My allergist recommended only that I change to a new vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Hope that helps. I am very satisfied with the vacuum I chose. Maybe the Dyson or one of the other more expensive machines works better, but for the price vs. what it can do, the Hoover does a great job.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

At least according to Consumer Reports, Dyson isn't really as good as they claim to be...many other vacs are better at cleaning. I think the Wind Tunnel rated pretty well with them.

As far as vacuuming again and still having a bunch of dirt in the cup...this is why the travelling vacuum cleaner salesman can tell you to vacuum your carpet with your vacuum, then he comes in with his and shows you all the dirt his vacuum got that yours missed which convinces you that his vacuum is better than yours, even when what's really happening is that there's so much dust in there that you could probably vacuum all day and never get rid of all of it. I don't know if there are any of these guys anymore, but I know there used to be.

The problem I have with the bagless ones (I also have a Hoover Wind Tunnel) is that while they clean great and I love that there's no bag to replace, I've found that when you go to empty the can you poof up a ton of dust which sort of defeats the purpose of having the HEPA filter to protect you from dust!

Buffalo, WV(Zone 7a)

I purchased a Riccar vacuum several years ago and LOVE it. If you don't want it sucked up you better not get this vacuum near it! We were farming at the time and had several shedding pets in the house and it picked up everything. I think it was several hundred dollars at a local Sewing machine/vacuum place. I did a lot of research online deciding what brand to buy, none of them were Riccar of which I never saw while researching vaccuums online, but the same price bracket. The owner of the shop I went to talked me into trying the Riccar even though he did sell the other brands I was interested in, I liked it much better than the others I tried. Even the ones rated highly in Consumer reports weren't as good. My allergies would not get along well with the bagless vacuums. There's no way to dump dust out of a canister without it sending out dust particles into the air even if you can't see them you can still breathe them. The bag on the Riccar is full at about 3/4 and when you pull it out of the vacuum has a flap to fold over the opening to keep the dust in. So unless you bounce it around after you remove it the dust stays inside.


San Antonio, TX(Zone 8b)

Thanks for the input, Lana. I'll try to find a Riccar to try. Is it fairly lightweight? My arthritic wrists can't manuever equipment as well as I'd like.

Buffalo, WV(Zone 7a)

lighter than some of the others I tried. I have back problems and it works very well for me.


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