Thursday, 26 February 2009

I'm finally bagless

I am simply beside myself, because at last I can finally say goodbye to these little monkeys.

This vacuum cleaner bag may look like an innocent little thing but the reality is it represents the worst of my incompetencies and whenever I've used them, I feel like I'm battling with the enemy.

Vacuuming has always brought out the worst in me and vacuum cleaner management has certainly not been my strength.

There have been the "stretching it out" moments, where I would hope upon hope that the bag would take a few more square inches of dust, even poking its contents in a little deeper to create a little more room.

Then there was remembering to buy the bags, which always cost a fortune. And once I'd bought a pack of three, could I ever find one again when I needed another replacement? Oh No! So I'd go and buy some more, wasting even more cash.

And as for the struggle to fit them into the vacuum cleaner. Well, I was never any good at that either.

My efforts could definitely be classed as "Could do better". The only thing I was good at was remembering to put the bags in my compost bin (tearing them up first of course), but in all other areas of maintenance all I can say is no wonder my vacuum cleaner always had problems sucking up the crap from the carpet.

So when Dyson dropped me an email and asked if I'd like to join some other bloggers in testing out a bagless cleaner, I was simply champing at the bit to say "oh yes, oh yes, oh yes!" and headed off to London for an introduction to Dyson and its cyclone technology.

And what a great day it was. As well as an introduction to the bagless cleaners, we also witnessed how indestructible the latest models are, including dropping the cylinder from high and even hitting them with a hammer. You might laugh, but as a parent of a four-year-old who could possibly be tempted to do either of these, it actually mattered a lot.

And we also had the opportunity to meet the designer, who demonstrated the washable filter that she's patented.

Yes...that's right a WASHABLE filter.

So that means no buying bags or filters.

And after all my hard work, watching the demonstrations, eating crisps, asking questions and drinking coffee, I have been blessed with my very own DC-23, suitably called "The Animal".

There is so little maintenance, even a useless old bird like me can hack it!

And as Dyson are keen to get regular feedback on the product, I've already struck up dialogue about the packaging, which is mostly recyclable cardboard but still has a minor unrecyclable element.

So with no bags to worry about I've already vacuumed more in three weeks than I managed in the last three months with my old one. My task now is to test out the appliance and see if I really need all the attachments that came with it

And it is so satisfying just looking at the rubbish that gets sucked up and is already acting as a new form of entertainment for the kids. Okay okay, I admit it, it's not only the kids. I've been sucked in too. And it is indeed very satisfying just "pouring" my vacuum rubbish into the compost bin. Gee whizz. I think I'm finally becoming domesticated!


Karin said...

I'll be interested to hear how you get on with it, but it sounds like you've already answered my question. We also have a bag-less vacuum cleaner, but not one made by Dyson and it is a pain too empty. The filter isn't washable either. We could do with a new one, so I may well take another look what Dyson have to offer.

Is it really easy to empty? There will be no excuse for you not being a domestic goddess where the vacuuming is concerned, now.

I actually popped in to say I was seeing if the book depository listed your book, and saw that top of the list of books that other people who viewed your book bought was Anthea Turner's 'How to be the Perfect Housewife'. However, I suspect that could make a person neurotic, so I would opt for '10-minute Housekeeping' by Rose Kennedy, although that might be just as bad, but it seems to be saying you can do your housework in just 10 minutes a day. Not sure what sort of house she lives in.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, maybe we don't vacuum enough. I think our bags last for months and months.

Sam said...

Vacuumed more in three weeks than in the last three months???
Don't want that then! Lol!

It does look entertaining, but I'll just get my lot to watch your video when they need a fix :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Mrs A,

Dyson has been my family choice for donkeys years with at last 3 machines, all uprights. They are built to work for many years. The only annoyance I get is when the machine moves towards you when the wand is in use.

New types are developing all the time and prices tend to fall for older models.

The various attachments work well and are very robust. A top machine.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Karin - The great news is that it is rather easy to empty. It just involves pulling a catch and all the dust and everything else it pulls out falls out of the bottom, directly into the compost bin. Thanks for the tip about the book by the way. I'd love to do all my housework in 10 minutes...ooh the dream...would certainly free up the guilt about blogging :-D

It's interesting to see the blurb up on the Book Depository. If you check Amazon, it even has the book cover that had been planned. You may have missed the news about my publisher having had shake up just before Christmas and revised the catalogue accordingly. But no need to worry, after having about 6 weeks off to get over the news, I have decided to forge ahead and finish the book and approach new publishers. So keep those fingers crossed

P.S. with all this work on it's a good job the kids want to do the vacuuming :-D

LOL Anon - With the rate of vacuuming in our house, the bags used to last a long time too. I used to adopt the emergency vacuuming technique :-D

But Sam - I've got to say, with a gadget like this the kids are keen. In fact I have to STOP them sometimes from overdoing it. But that's a problem I like to have :-D

Top recommendation there John. Thank you. This is indeed my first experience of a Dyson. My previous cleaner was a Miele, which lasted for over 10 years and which I gave to a friend - with about 8 spare bags - I just hope she doesn't mislay them as easily as me. However from what you say, my relationship with the new Dyson looks like it will last a while :-D

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Oh I wish my Roomba had a washable filter! I tried washing it gently to extend it's life, but it didn't quite work out.

I have also have a vaccum that has a bag. In a pinch, I've been unable to open it up, dump the contents in my composter, and tape the bag shut and use it again. It's a little messy but it works.

Unknown said...

It's just a pity that Dyson closed his British manufacturing factory and moved it to India!

My bagless isn't a dyson, it was cheap from Tesco, but it works wonderfully. When I use it! I'm of the opinion that 3 month old toast crumbs add a certain je ne sais qouis to a room!

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Lisa - Oh you've got a Roomba. I heard about those and hankered after one for ages. It's so funny, I've also done the pulling the dust out thing on the odd occasion over the last year, then gave up when I discovered a couple of the spare bags that I'd put in a safe place, LOL :-D

Hi Despairing - I know what you mean about the relocation. I get a sense that British manufacturing attracts a certain loyalty too and I wonder if the move has had an impact. Maybe someone from Dyson might be able to comment. Now, before I shut down I can't help pondering the image of you hoovering up your toastcrumbs, LOL.

Damn it .... I've gone the whole day avoiding the word hoovering....oops, how did I let that one slip out. Sorry Dyson....I know they'll take it on the chin. LOL :-D

Anonymous said...

Hi despairing

We assemble our vacuum cleaners and hand dryers in Malaysia.

The move was for two reasons really. We were looking to expand into the US and to meet the expected demand, we needed to make more. Planning to expand our site in Wiltshire was rejected and compounded with ALL of our suppliers having moved overseas, it was our only real choice if the company was to grow.

It's worth pointing out that we're still VERY much a British company though. Because the company has grown so much, we now employ more people in the UK than we did in assembly times. All of our intellectual property/patents etc are registered in the UK and we pay all taxes to the UK government.

James Dyson is trying to get support for other manufacturers now so that British companies are exporting more. This article hopefully explains it a bit better:

I hope that makes it a bit clearer? Let me know if you have any questions as I am more than happy to answer them. Camilla

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Camilla - thank you so much for commenting on Despairing's query. I actually remember the issue over the expansion of the Wiltshire site. A very tricky issue that. Thanks too for the link. I hope that readers will find that helpful and I'll be sure to check it out.

Layla said...

Ooh, bagless vacuum cleaner!! :))

You lucky gal!!!! :))

I wish we had one too... (& a silent one at that lol)
Unfortunately the old one still works quite well, hmm..

Definitely now see a washable filter (& easy emptying) is a must when we do get a new one!!

Almost Mrs Average said...

LOL Layla - I am indeed very lucky and lucky we found someone in need of our other one too. To have kept two would have been excessive. :-D

Unknown said...

And while we're on the about Dyson following Electrolux's lead and producing a recycled vacuum cleaner?

Rev. Peter Doodes said...

If your Dyson is like ours it has two washable filters. I wash them out monthly, rather than the time Dyson says otherwise the suction power drops off somewhat.

Almost Mrs Average said...

Hi Despairing - so sorry, am very slow to catch up at the moment. That sounds like a great link and I'll go and have a nosey. Sounds relevant to Thursday's post too, so I'll see if I can work in the links. :-D

Hi Peter - haven't got to that stage yet, but I believe it's just the one. I'll be sure to give that my attention and let Dyson know if it's a problem. :-D

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