You all may remember me writing last week HERE about my new carpet and how I love it. Well, that has not changed. The carpet installers did a lovely job, especially on the stairs, picked up their tools and scraps, vacuumed it with a giant industrial vacuum to pick up the little pieces and went on their way.
The next day I just kept staring at it and thinking how lucky I was to have it. So beautiful. So luxurious. And then, the Catch 22…
On the third day I decided to vacuum it, just because it was so pretty. I grabbed my Oreck sweeper, plugged it in, turned it on and…it wouldn’t move! I don’t mean it was hard to push. I mean it wouldn’t push at all! I think it took one sniff at that dense, plush carpet, folded its imaginary arms and went on strike. The smile that had been plastered on my face started to dim a bit. What was this? I couldn’t understand it.
Fortunately, I had another spare sweeper, a Eureka Boss and tried it. Nothing. I couldn’t believe it!
Well, there was nothing to do but put the sweepers away and hit the Internet. I Googled “best vacuum for frieze carpet.” What I found was many, many people asking the same question, but few answers. Great! Then I concentrated on the websites of professional carpet people and learned a few things. One was that I definitely needed a sweeper with adjustable settings because frieze carpet is so thick it requires the highest setting. They warned that if the beater bar was too low, it could actually frizz the carpet fibers! After spending what I did for this carpet, I wasn’t about to damage it. Others recommended a suction-only sweeper like some canister vacuums. I didn’t like this idea so much because, what with it being so thick, I wasn’t sure that suction alone would get it clean. Rats!
The next morning, bright and early, I headed out to Target, which I knew had a good selection of vacuums. I ended up buying a Bissell Helix cyclonic bagless sweeper that had five height settings. I got home, dragged the huge box up the basement stairs, struggled to get it open, attached the handle, set the height on “Highest,” and turned it on. It wouldn’t go. High wasn’t high enough. To say my spirits plunged would be an understatement. So…I disassembled it, boxed it up again, dragged the box back down the stairs and into the car. That was all I could take for the day.
The NEXT day I was determined to solve the problem! I headed out like a warrior, telling myself I wouldn’t return until I had success. This time I brought a big carpet sample with me, in case I went to a vacuum store. Target was nice about letting me return it, but, when I went back to look at their other sweepers, I just couldn’t see one I thought would work. Next I went to Wal-mart. They have canister vacuums as well as uprights. But the canisters just didn’t look up to the job and the uprights weren’t all that different than my Bissell had been. I suddenly remembered that in that shopping area, there was a Mar-Bec, which carried Simplicity vacuums. I figured that was worth a try. This time I hauled in my carpet sample, big as it was. When the guy asked if he could help me, I said, “I need a sweeper that will clean this rug. Do your Simplicity vacuums have adjustable settings?” He replied that the only Simplicity ones he thought might work ran in the $700 to $800 range. When I picked my jaw up off the floor, I asked, “Anything else?” He took down a Eureka which had about ten settings, put it on high, plugged it in and invited me to try it on my sample. By now, I had an audience and we all waited with bated breath. FOR NOTHING! I even had the guy try, but the carpet was just too thick for the sweeper. Talk about feeling at the end of your rope!
I gathered up my sample and went back to the car with a feeling of total helplessness. What on earth could I do? Where could I go? I mean, the carpet was here to stay. I had avoided calling my carpet salesman because he had already indicated that he’d love to see my carpet “in my house.” And I had a feeling he wanted to see more than the carpet, if you know what I’m saying. So, I headed for home.
As I was driving down an access road, my eyes fell on a Sears Grand store that I always forget about. Hmmm. Sears. Why not? I went in and discovered that they had the best selection of all kinds of vacuums of anyplace I’d been. A nice salesman in his thirties asked if he could help me. I looked right at him and said, “if you can, you’ll be my hero!” Then I went on to tell him the whole sad story. I ended by saying, “I just don’t know what to do.” He smiled and said, “I’ll tell you what we’ll do. Go out and get your carpet sample out of the car and we’ll try every single vacuum here until we find one that works.” I could have kissed him!
Bottom line, that’s exactly what we did. Well, we didn’t try EVERY vacuum, but when we found one that went over the carpet beautifully, we both started doing a happy dance. Sure, it cost more money, but this one does everything but the dishes! You can actually take the middle out of it and use it as a canister vac on the stairs. And it even has its own mini-beater brush for the stairs! AND you can turn the beater bar off for bare floors. It is so great. So, if you ever hear of anyone having this problem, I’m going to give you the ridiculously long name of the thing:Bissell Lift-Off Multi-Cyclonic Pet Upright Vacuum with HEPA filter and Turbo-Brush for stairs and Upholstery.
Believe me, if they have gone through one-fourth of what I have, they’ll kiss your feet when you provide the solution!
So, I guess all’s well that ends well. This was a kink I didn’t expect, but, thanks to that super-nice salesman at Sears Grand, I finally found a solution.
And you better bet that my carpet is going to be REALLY CLEAN! :)