Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hidden. Horrible.

A few weeks ago, I did my weekend routine on Saturday or Sunday…straightening all the rooms, vacuuming, general clean up, readying the house for another chaotic week.  As you may have learned in my previous post, cleaning is not the top priority in our house.  This is no secret.  Family interactions are priority. Relaxing is important. Clutter is common. (Piles, Sara??) Dirty is not ok though.  That doesn’t mean sometimes it doesn’t exist, just that it’s on my list, even if I haven’t gotten there yet. 

Anyway……….  as I was running the vacuum, it annoyed me, as it has every time I’ve used it for a very long time, that it doesn’t pick up very well. At all.  I gripe about my carpet all the time, and we even looked into replacing it all just last month.  But it’s not in the financial plan right now, so I’m trying to make the best of it.  I try to vacuum frequently, feeling like that’s better than nothing.

I finally stopped in frustration, tipped the thing over, and decided maybe if I cleaned out the brush it would pick up better.  It didn’t look very dirty, but it HAD to be something. As I was messing with it, M came in and offered to deal with it, because even though he’s not into cleaning as a favorite pastime, he doesn’t mind taking things apart and doing a bang up job of clean out if you catch him on the right day.  So off he went with the machine, heading downstairs to tackle the job.

Only a few minutes later he came up holding out a broken belt for my inspection. Yeah, that can’t be good.  He announced he was off to the vacuum store for a new belt and a new filter to boot.

I continued to put laundry away, organize the girls’ room, etc.  He got home, told me it was only $22 for both, and down he went to put it all together.  Moments later, he came upstairs with the nicely clean and now functioning machine in hand. I was working in the kitchen and he simply said, “Vacuum something.”  I looked at him like, “Eh, alright.”  But he said, “No, vacuum something. Now. Like just plug it in and run a strip.”

So I did. And the squealing commenced. 

HOLY COW!  We had TOTALLY forgotten our vacuum had a self-propelled element to it WHEN THE BRUSH IS ACTUALLY TURNING! 

I just about flipped out…or I kind of DID flip out.  I was jumping around and shrieking about how AWESOME this was and how completely worth $22 that task was!

Then it hit me…. it has not been properly functioning for YEARS!  At least a couple of them… we can’t even remember when it worked like this before!!  I felt like such a loser to not have known that my silly vacuum was broken.  I mean, I’ve been griping forever about it not cleaning well, how I had to use the tools to really get something if there was spot that needed particular attention.  All this time I’ve been pushing the thing all over the house with only the suction from above…nothing to propel the dirt INTO the reach of the suction! Ahhhh!

After I had done that one strip, I looked down and was shocked to see how much gunk and gack was in the collector already.  Oh my gravy… we’ve been living on hidden, horrible dirt!

(Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit this openly, but seriously, I don’t want to forget this crazy day!)

I quickly started barking at M to get EVERYTHING off the floor, that I was going to do it RIGHT now.  I vacuumed the living room and the hall—about 300 sq ft—and THIS is what we found.

For all of you who have come over and had direct contact with my carpet, I’m SO SORRY!  Generally, we don’t sit on the floor directly, because we use blankets or pillows or something like that… but oh my… 


I continued vacuuming each room, NUMEROUS times, for the next long while.  M took the girls downstairs so I could go hard core with the job.  I did each room, then emptied the collector and cleaned out the filter.  That routine repeated over and over.  I did each room over and over and over. I called M to come upstairs at least twice to show him what massive amounts of dust and ick had been sucked up from a little tiny space.  I was really blown away.

During the past couple years, I’ve cleaned all the carpet in the house with a really good carpet cleaner several times, but I was amazed at what was deep down. My carpet, though still FAR from good, is so much better. Now I’m anxious to get time soon to use the carpet cleaner again and see how much better it does without all that gack down in there!

My enjoyment of vacuuming has returned.  I do actually enjoy it, as household chores go.  But wow, how great it is to get that thing out every day and watch it WORK!!  Who knew?!?

The moral of the story… check that belt, kids.  Before you toss it and replace it…check the belt!

So come on over, friends.  We’re ready for a rousing game of Duck, Duck, Goose in the middle of the living room floor!


  1. similar things have happened to me in the cleaning dept... just plain not realizing how very dirty something is... congrats on your "new" vacuum! :)

  2. I don't think dirt causes any serious illnesses but I am afraid too much vacuuming can. Hope you are doing okay.


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