You can make cleaning creative too! Our editors have tested three unusual appliances: an electric broom, a cordless vacuum cleaner and a silent vacuum cleaner, – and have shared their impressions.
From the editor. Buying home appliances is a delicate issue. Even if you had enough money to buy all the existing assortment in a store, there would be a different problem: where to keep all this wealth and then what to do with it? It so often happens that toasters, food processors, blenders and coffee makers are actively used only for the first couple of months, and then are left forgotten in a closet. We decided to correct this misunderstanding and launched a series of articles “Testing appliances / utensils.” We are not going to tell you about the variety of devices (sales consultants are doing this job rather well), we will try and then explain how useful they are, how to apply them and which miracles they are capable of . You will have to decide for yourself if you can live without these miracles.
Tested Appliance: an Electric Broom Karcher K 55 Pet ($85.47)
- Container capacity — 0,5 L
- Cleaning performance per battery charge — 60—100 m2
- Weight including battery — 2 kg
An electric broom combines a broom and a dust pan in one appliance.
I must first say to avoid any illusions: an electric broom is not a vacuum cleaner and it is probably better to use something more powerful for a full-scale cleaning. However, it is ideal for fast cleanups, for example, when you have spilled cereal or sugar in the kitchen, or if poplar fluff accumulated on the floor near your balcony.
An electric broom is very handy to use everyday. It is not necessary to assemble it and the charge is enough for 30-40 minutes (which in fact are stretched for a couple of weeks or even a month). I have charged mine from a socket on the first day and still did not have to repeat it.
The broom construction is very simple: a set of two brushes (cylindrical and spiral – for animal hair), a dust container with capacity of 0.5 L, an accumulator battery and a telescopic handle that can be fixed at the desired height, so you would not have to bend down. By the way, the device has a “foot” power button to switch it on and off, which serves the same purpose.
The handle of a broom is flexible, but not in the sense that it can bend. It can be tilted, allowing to clean the dust from under the bed, cabinets or shelves. The appliance itself is not heavy, so its storage kit includes a special bracing that allows you to attach the folded device to the wall. However, you can store it vertically. This broom looks very aesthetically pleasing and can decorate any hallway, in contrast to the classic granny’s one. I have parked mine in a corner beside a shelf.
As for the surfaces, the Karcher electric broom can manage both smooth floor coverings as well as carpets. It is well suited to prepare your floor before wet cleaning: first you gather all the particles from the floor, and then mop your laminate or linoleum. The electric broom works a lot quieter than an average vacuum cleaner, so your family can sleep peacefully even if you suddenly decide to do the cleaning early in the morning or on the contrary at nightfall.
Tested Appliance: a Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Samsung FlexSlim SS 75 ($197)
- Suction power — 10 W
- Dust container capacity — 0,5 L
- Noise level — 80 dB
- Maximal working time — 25 minutes
- Weight — 2,9 kg
At first I was worried of breaking such a high-tech appliance, but my reservations have vanished very soon. Samsung FlexSlim SS 75 is very easy to handle. You can learn to use it very fast even without reading a manual, just using your intuition.
Personally I liked most of all that the suction mini-unit can e detached from the main vacuum cleaner body. For instance, you don’t have to take out the whole machine just to clean a small dusty spot (fine sand or spilled celery). All you need to do is press a button and detach it’s “little brother”. This option is also very useful for those who wish to vacuum-clean their auto.
For more serious cleaning you would need the whole package, i.e. complete vacuum cleaner. And my next statement would make you happy: it’s weight is just 2,9 kg. Besides it makes rather low amount of noise (compared to it’s conventional counterparts).
Working time without re-charging (25 minutes), which is one of the highest numbers among similar cordless vacuum cleaner models, is another one of it’s unquestionable good points. Most of them are out of power within 15-20 minutes already. Besides, being a fierce hater of dust bags, I was pleasantly surprised by it’s easily cleaned plastic dust container. And here comes the cherry on top: the vacuum cleaner is equipped with the system of double filtration. Meaning it returns the sucked in air back into the room absolutely clean.
However, this vacuum cleaner has it’s downsides. Suction power of 10 W can rather be considered low, which in combination with the small volume of the dust container (0,5 L) provides some limitations. Anyway, it will be quite enough for one cleaning session.
Conclusion. After a week of using my cordless helper I was overall happy with it, but would not say no to twice the power. Other than that Samsung FlexSlim SS 75 answers almost all needs of a contemporary person, who is constantly short of time and, what’s even more important, free place in a flat: this vacuum cleaner takes up very little space and can be stored vertically. It would not fall or tilt, which makes it easy to store and helps while cleaning as you do not have to lean it on a wall.
Appliance To Be Tested: Rowenta Silence Force RO 5921 Vacuum Cleaner ($304)
- Power — 2200 W
- Noise level — 62 dB
- Dust container volume — 4,5 L
Rowenta Silence Force RO 5921 main advantage is the really low noise level, just as promised by the manufacturer. So even a night cleaning (useful for those who have no time at day to pay attention to their own home) would not be a problem and won’t disturb your neighbors. I have decided to test the vacuum cleaner exactly at night to make the experiment as true to life as possible.
You would hardly hear the vacuum cleaner humming when it’s in an ordinary mode used for cleaning of moderately dirty carpet, floor and furniture. It’s sound would rather remind soft rustling. By the way, such appliance will not scare your pet. My dog ran scared to hide in another room before, but when I used this silent vacuum cleaner she paid no attention to it.
This model has turbo-mode. It means increased suction power. Then our house helper becomes more noisy, but it is still nothing compared to the conventional vacuum cleaner. For instance, you can put on some soft music to make cleaning more pleasant, and the vacuum cleaner’s humming would not drown it out.
It is handy that you can regulate the suction power not only on the vacuum cleaner body but also from the telescopic tube. So you won’t have to bow down every time you wish to change the working mode.
There are several brushes included with the vacuum cleaner: a regular triangular floor brush, small brush for furniture and a tube brush for meticulous target spot cleaning. I have tried all three of them: cleaned the sofa upholstery, walked along the corners and baseboards, and of course collected from the hardwood floor. By the way, a floor brush works in two modes — one designed for a smooth coating (laminate, parquet, linoleum, tile) and another for a carpet.
Rowenta Silence Force collects dust in a bag of 4,5 L (I did not manage to fill it up from several cleaning sessions of my whole apartment). One single-use bag is included into the package. The manual reads that you can order it on Internet or through the household appliances stores. There is also one cloth bag, which you can clean. I think, this variant is for extremely tedious house-wifes. You will know that your dust container is full to the brim thanks to a special indicator light on the cleaner panel.
The model has neutral design: the blue plastic case with silver details, large buttons which are easy to press with your foot. Rowenta Silence Force’ tube can be disassembled into two parts and folded. It can also be easily adjusted in length.
Finally, no characteristic dust smell appears in the apartment during cleaning with this vacuum cleaner. It is essential for me as an allergy prone person, but I miraculously did not sneeze during cleaning! It turned out that the secret is in the dust bag Wonderbag Endura, which filters 99% of dust particles.
The only disadvantage of this vacuum cleaner is it’s weight: the telescopic tube seemed rather hefty to me. But this is the outcome of the main advantage of this model – silence. The thing is, the tube walls are thicker to be able to absorb noise. That’s why it weighs more than it’s conventional counterparts. Anyway, if vacuum cleaning is up to your husband as it usually is, this would not be problem.