How To Vacuum Like a Man (With a Rocket)

When my wife’s declining health left me with the job of vacuuming, I quickly gave up on our old upright Hoover and bought a Rocket model described as a “stick vacuum.” Best purchase I ever made.  It was only about $130.

We had the Hoover since the days of our wall-to-wall carpet.  The thinking then was that a heavy vacuum cleaner was needed to clean down into the carpet fibers.  My wife used it almost daily, but when I took up that carpet many years ago, there was a layer of sand underneath.  I can only guess the dirt worked its way through the carpet and pad, out of reach of the Hoover.

I really don’t know how it got there.  My point is that you don’t know what lies underneath a wall-to-wall carpet that is never moved.  The carpet covered an almost pristine hardwood floor, and now we only have area carpets that can be taken up and also vacuumed on their bottom side.  I think the house is much cleaner now than it ever was.

The Rocket is bagless.  Instead, it has a clear chamber where you can see the dirt.  Just pressing a button opens a trap door and the accumulated dirt can be shaken out in the trash, or outdoors, as I often do.  There is also an inch-thick foam filter that needs to be washed every few months, but that is easy to do.  My wife would often ignore the bag in the Hoover until it lost suction, and we both had to re-learn how to change the dirt-filled bag.

I would guess the Rocket weighs only about 10 pounds.  I don’t think much about it.  I usually pick it up to move from room to room, and it stores on a hook in a closet.  It has a string of bright LED lights across the front, so I often vacuum in a darkened room. The suction motor is up by the handle.  A smaller motor spins the brush on the floor.  There is no belt to wear out.

Battery-powered stick vacuums are becoming more common, but at the time, only Dyson made one that was far, far more expensive.  Today, I would probably buy a battery-powered one.  They say they run continuously for 20 minutes, which longer than any of my secessions.

Our largest area rug is something like 8 x 10. I have been replacing the wool rugs with cheap polyester ones from Lowe’s.  Cheap and moth-free is what is important to me now,  and they even look much better with their modern designs.  When the time comes, I can throw them out guilt-free.  If I want to see an expensive, wool rug hand-woven by Afghanistani children, I will go to a museum.  I don’t need to own one.

But I have to mention one caveat that causes every woman to sigh and roll her eyes. I only vacuum where I see dirt: here, there, and over there, but not in-between.  I do not follow a pattern that covers everything.  But I do rotate the rugs, and do occasionally flop them over to vacuum underneath.

The Rocket comes with two heads, one with a revolving brush for carpet and one specifically for bare floors, but I only use the one with the revolving brush.  It gets the dust and causes no damage to the floors that I can see. The head detaches to reach cobwebs near the ceiling.

One last comment:  Ladies, vacuuming is far easier and more pleasant  than mowing the lawn or shoveling snow.  You have the easiest job, I kid you not.


About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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