I sat trying to remember exactly when it was I fell for the idea that watching creepy dust clumps swirling around in my bagless vacuum cleaner cup, like a disgusting dirt and debris cyclone of hazardous materials, was preferable over the disposable bag variety of vacuums. (I also wonder when I began spelling vacuum with 2 “u”s instead of one but that’s another blog entirely). That, along with the inevitable fact that I’d have to eventually dump the contents of the canister out, exposing myself to all the dust pollen, mites, dander, allergens — and I’m pretty sure the dead carcass of the largest, shiniest water bug I’ve ever seen — this contraption has been sucking out of my area rugs for the last month.
Before I embark on the struggle to disengage the canister, and then the filter for emptying, ( pull here, press there, while simultaneously twisting cap semi-counterclockwise and lift… what!!?), I first outfit myself in my makeshift hazmat suit consisting of bright yellow dishwashing gloves, a lime green shower cap and a pink bandana wrapped around my mouth (I’ll have to throw out these things as well) in order not to contaminate myself. Meanwhile the bagless variety of vacuum cleaners tout HEPA ( (High Efficiency Particulate Air filters) filtration, but I fail to see this point as I choke and tear while being enveloped in a noxious cloud of particles and dust, trying to enclose my gloved hand in a grocery bag as I slam the filter against the kitchen floor to shake out a stubborn grey clump stuck under the rim. If that doesn’t work, I have to take the whole thing over to the tub and rinse it out. Where’s HEPA now, huh?
Another benefit a salesperson will try to wow you with when trying to unload one of these babies, is that if you accidentally vacuumed up something of importance, it’s easier to retrieve it from the dirt cup.
Riiiight, search through the dirt cup.
I’ve often reminisced back to the days when all I had to do when the vacuum was full, was open the bag containment department, lift out the bag and throw it away and be done with it. Minimal contact with those pesky mites. Oh, replacing the bag with a fresh one was sort of like the Rubik’s Cube of vacuuming, but once you memorized the procedure, it was a cinch!
This weekend I ran over to my neighborhood Bed Bath & Beyond (Home Depot and PC Richards either had very little to offer or were way too expensive! I’m not going to pay 600 bucks for a vacuum cleaner, I don’t care how many complimentary bags you throw in. Besides, I never remember where I stored the bags once I buy them anyway.) and got myself a great little bagged machine by Miele, S194, for $249.00. I asked the salesman to plug it in so I could take it for a spin. I drew a crowd as I vacuumed on all the carpeted display areas and people began asking me if the suction was good. I rolled my eyes up into my head as I pushed the handle back and forth murmuring “soooo goooood!” over the gentle whirring of the machine. I think I may have gotten Paul, my salesman at least three more sales from my test run performance. And I got 6 months worth of bags for free! With every type of attachment feature imaginable, it was just the right size. I got it in ‘Little Red Corvette’ red (made that up).
And I and my bagless lived happily ever after…