Vacuums That Last

My last post was about my visit to a great bargain store, so in that same vein, I’d like to talk about the best vacuum to buy.

It might not be sexy, but I hope you will listen to me. After all, I run a cleaning business, and I’ve had a lot of experience with vacuums, a LOT of experience.

Also, I am not getting any kind of pay, rebate, or affiliate commission on my recommendation (although I really should be since I’ve been singing on particular company’s praises for YEARS).

Let’s begin by covering what you should expect out of a vacuum, shall we?

  • Versatility – the ability to vacuum all surfaces from rugs, to linoleum, tile and wood without any blowback (nearly impossible to find in an upright without having to fuss with different settings as you move from one surface to the next)
  • Reliability – will it break down easily? Or keep going and going (kind of like the Energizer bunny)
  • Lightweight – when lugging up armfuls of equipment and cleaning supplies, having a vacuum that can be lifted in one hand (along with my steam mop) means making one trip in the front door which increases my efficiency
  • Power – I need something that picks up dirt quickly and easily, without me having to go back over the same areas more than once
  • Long power cord – I don’t want to waste my time trying to find yet another outlet to plug into, I want a nice, long cord that I can plug in and it will handle most floor plans without the need to move to a different outlet
  • Bag, NOT Bagless – Replacing a paper bag has always been easier for me than trying to empty out a bagless vacuum, wash the filter and then wait for it to dry. Perhaps they have improved the bagless vacuums in the past 12 years. I might be behind the times on this particular point.

I don’t need sexy, colorful, streamlined vacuums that have a weird rollerball and claim to turn on a dime. I don’t need a vacuum that weighs 16-19 pounds empty or one that requires me to push buttons or adjust dials or swap out parts when moving from a rug to a hardwood floor.

I also see no need to pay more than $250 for a vacuum. Especially when I can get a workhorse of a vacuum, one that is easily repaired and needs little maintenance to continue to perform.

Every so often, one of my Facebook friends will post, “My vacuum just broke, what kind should I get?”

And I always, always, ALWAYS recommend they visit the ORECK Store on Metcalf and 135th Street and purchase a red commercial grade ORECK vacuum.

About 18 months ago a friend posted asking for recommendations. She ended up getting a Dyson because everyone has heard of Dyson and so of course, it had to be the best. I recently looked up how much those suckers cost, and for the “better” ones, they are close to $500 or more. And surprise, surprise, her Dyson kicked the bucket and now she has to wait weeks to get it serviced by sending it to Dyson for repair.

That is INSANE.

Nearly three years ago, my oldest ORECK upright finally died on me. The motor needed to be replaced and for just $20 above the price of buying a whole new motor, I could get a new vacuum. So I bought a brand-new one. It had a brand-spanking new “endurance extended life belt” on it, and the entire vacuum cost $216.99. I haven’t had to change the belt yet. And on Friday I took it into the store and asked if they could replace a screw that had fallen out on the main stem of the vacuum.

Two minutes later I was walking out of the store, TWO screws replaced after the guy noticed that one of them wasn’t issued by ORECK (my husband had tried to find one that would work) and it was free of charge.

“I have a huge bucket of them in the back, don’t worry about it,” the guy said.

ORECK brand, especially the red boxy commercial line, isn’t sexy. But seriously, sexy doesn’t make a vacuum better, it doesn’t make you look better either, especially when that overpriced, sleek behemoth not only breaks down, but HAS to be sent back to the manufacturer to be fixed. I’d be turning the air blue around me with all the swearing that would happen in the face of that catastrophe. I need my machines to WORK and I have little patience or time for repairs.

I could take my ORECK to any vacuum shop and they would be able to fix it, but it is quite convenient to just drive over to Metcalf.

I just looked up the numbers and, after 13 years in the housecleaning business, I have spent a whopping $168.46 on servicing my ORECK vacuum!

ORECK vacuums have strong motors. They are easily fixed. They weigh just 8 pounds when empty. They have a 35′ long cord, they make the transition from carpet to tile, hardwood or linoleum seamlessly, and they will work hard for you, pretty much forever.

So the next time your vacuum dies. Listen to your favorite writer/housecleaner and go to the ORECK store at 6980 W 135th St, Overland Park, KS 66223. I guarantee you it will be the best vacuum you have ever bought (and with regular upkeep, the last one you will ever need).

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