Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Just call me Two Vacs

This is a sponsored post, but stick around - it's not all bad. 

It's all Dirt Devil's fault. For years, I have been faithful to my upright cleaner. Although my mother has always owned a cylinder cleaner, I've always bought uprights. Recently however, I've realised how difficult it is to vacuum our stairs with it. And it's fairly bulky so carrying it up and downstairs is a nuisance. But it does the job and the one I have currently didn't cost me as much as some brands. Bonus.

So, when I was asked if I'd like to try out a Dirt Devil cylinder cleaner, I thought I'd test my allegiance to my upright and see if I can be converted to the ways of the cylinder cleaner. After all, a cylinder cleaner is lighter, and this one seemed to have an extra long hose (no sniggering at the back, will you?) so it seemed perfect for the stairs. And boy, did my stairs need it.

My cleaner arrived along with a bewildering array of items - large brush, turbo brush, crevice tools, aforementioned hose. After a few minutes of assembly - a cross between following Ikea flatpack instructions and Lego booklets - I was armed and ready to go, but not quite dangerous.

I decided to try out my Dirt Devil on three different tasks, comparing it to my usual upright. I know, I'm a domestic goddess. You're all impressed, I can tell. First was our living room. I didn't much like it for this. Despite the adjustable tube, I still felt like I was bending all the time and that caused my back to begin aching. Yes, the cleaner was light but I felt that it wasn't picking up bits the same way as my upright would do. What I did like was the fact Icould easily vacuum under some things, like coffee tables, without having to move them: something I can't do with the upright. It took about the same length of time to do the living room with the cylinder but I still felt that I needed to go back over it with the cylinder cleaner afterwards, which I did. In this situation, I would definitely say the upright wins.

The next job was to vacuum my neglected stairs. This is where the Dirt Devil came into its own. I could vacuum all the stairs without having to lug the cleaner up with me, I could get the brush at the right height so I didn't have to hunch up like Quasimodo and it picked bits up brilliantly. I did change to the turbo brush for this task as it has a smaller surface area and this may have been a factor. The stairs were done in next to no time and so much better than my upright. Dirt Devil definitely wins this one hands down.

Finally, I used it to clean my car. As my husband said, it was beginning to develop its own microsystem, largely due to covering around 1000 miles in the last few weeks, often with no other adult in the car to supervise the children who spent most of their time snacking in the back whilst I drove. I left the Dirt Devil plugged in in the hall and the long electric cable meant I could pretty much do the the whole car without moving sockets. Again, the turbo brush came up trumps. It quickly removed crumbs and leaf litter and a million and one small bits. Being able to use the brush where I can't with the upright made the job much quicker and much easier again. Its strong suction even meant that some parts had dust removed that has been there since the car was new for a while. Dirt Devil wins over my upright again.

So, that's 2-1 to the Dirt Devil. I am not, however, ready to convert fully to the ways of the cylinder. I think I'm going to play both to their strengths and use each for what they do best. For larger areas of carpet, the upright is more comfortable - for me anyway - and seems to do the job better, although the Dirt Devil might perform better with the turbo brush. Our living room is often a mess, thanks to the children doing random crafts on it and eating after school snacks.

For smaller areas, and stairs in particular, the Dirt Devil was brilliant at making short work of the job in hand. This is ideal if you have fairly small rooms and don't have a lot of storage space. Our upright has to stand in the kitchen as we don't have a lot of decent storage but we could squeeze the Dirt Devil into a cupboard somewhere. Oh, and I loved the cord storage - to be able to put my foot on a switch and all the cord disappear was just great. It's not as loud as my upright cleaner - but I still managed to miss a call when in the same room as our main house phone so it's fairly loud!

My main niggle with the Dirt Devil was that on the end of the hose, there is a slider so that you can use to adjust the suction, but this is easy to knock without realising, thus leaving it open and reducing suction when you probably most need it. I had to remember to keep checking that it was fully closed. It would be nice to be able to lock it in position and know that it would stay in place.

So, there you go. We're a two vacuum household now. I have both types of vacuum cleaner and each does a job. Just call me Two Vacs.

(This is a sponsored post. I was sent a Dirt Devil cylinder vacuum cleaner to try and I have been paid a fee to write this review. However, all opinions are my own and honestly held. I have not been told what to write.)
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