Wednesday, December 31, 2008

My new Dyson

Or, An Asthmatic's Review of Dyson Vacuums (and Zorb carpet cleaner).

For anyone who doesn't know this and is cruising in after a Google search, I have asthma. It's well-controlled with Singulair and Proventil; I drink POM juice every day for the quercetin, and I have two air cleaners going all the time. My asthma bothers me most in spring and fall - it's allergic, seasonal asthma. I have two cats I am not allergic to, but I bathe them every 3 weeks just in case.

So, I got some Christmas money and some gift cards at Best Buy and there was a sale, I bought one, and now I'm the happy owner of a Dyson DC-14 "all floors" vacuum.

If you're wondering about the models, the basic idea is that all models within a particular number series (14, 17, etc.) are the same vacuum, but you can find different attachments included in each bundle. The Asthma bundle has an attachment for cleaning mattresses, and the Animal vacuum has an attachment with a beater brush for cleaning upholstery. I plan to add on attachments as I go, so I got the basic model. It comes with three attachments - crevice, dust, and small areas - to use with the hose.

I also bought a bag of Dyson brand Zorb carpet cleaner. This is supposed to grab dirt from within your carpet and help the vacuum pick it up.

The first thing I did was tweet about getting a Dyson. My tweeps gave me a lot of good advice about what to do with it - vacuum a room five times, go slowly, take pictures, etc. Here's my experience with it!

(Let me just say my asthma has been bad this week.)

I vacuumed with it last night just to try it out. It seemed to pick up a pretty normal amount of dust and dirt, but I just went quickly, didn't move anything, and didn't really do a thorough job. I've had a Hoover for about two years and it died on me, but it was also a bagless and I saw a lot of junk, cat hair and dust picked up with it. So it seemed at least even last night. But today, I decided to do the go-slow-five-times route. And I took pictures! Here is the collection bin after five passes in my 10x14 foot fully carpeted dining room. I moved all the furniture and cat toys and stuff, btw.

This is what I picked up after five passes in my dining room.

And here is the carpet after those five passes:

Pretty clean after five passes with Dyson.

While there isn't THAT much cat hair in the bin, I am absolutely astonished at the amount of cat litter, dust, and other smaller particles the Dyson picked up. Remember, this is ONE ROOM.

As for the asthma, the air expelled from the Dyson doesn't smell dusty, musty, or bother me in any way. It smells as clean as what comes out of my air cleaners.

Now for the fun part. Zorb carpet cleaner comes in a big bag and is kind of like a three-way cross between sawdust, brown sugar, and Captain Crunch. You'll sprinkle it all over your carpet, rub it in with a broom, let it set for 30 minutes, and then vacuum thoroughly. I'd recommend banishing your pets for this part of the process. (While the bag does not say it's toxic, anything animals step or lay in, they tend to lick off their fur later. I didn't want my cats ingesting this powder.)

So obviously, you'll need:
You'll need
A bag of Zorb, something to scoop it out and sprinkle with (I used a measuring cup) and a kitchen broom.

Sprinkle it on the carpet:

Sprinkle the Zorb on the carpet

And rub it in with the broom.

Once you have done that, set your timer for thirty minutes and go relax. (I actually sprinkled my living room, but that only took 15 minutes.)

Set the timer for 30 min.

Vacuum. It smells really good and fresh and did not make me wheeze at all.

After Zorb, it looks MUCH cleaner, particularly in high-traffic areas like near the patio door:

After Zorb, clean and fresh!

And the bin? You can see what's Zorb. I'm amazed at how much other junk is in there, too!

After the Zorb, this is what it collected.

Remember, I emptied the "five times" dirt. Still so much cat hair, Jen hair, and dust! Way whole lotta dust.

I did the living room, too. Results were the same, except I have some stains to get out. For this, I'm going to try Dyson Dyzolv, and I've got to go to Target for that.

Some stains left after cleaning the living room

But it still looks very clean. This carpet is 8 years old, btw.

Cats came out of quarantine and didn't seem bothered by the scent or feel at all. I think it smells great, and I have not had any asthma problems with it at all.

Next I used the hose (cleverly stored in the handle and very easy to use once you get the hang of it) to clean all six sets of mini blinds in my living room and dining room. It got them spotless. I used the crevice tool around the baseboards to get up the odd bits of cat litter and junk that congregate there. And I used the flat attachment to clean the couch. For the ottoman in my living room, I just picked up the whole vacuum and put it on top. It was fine.

If you have delicate carpet, set the floor adjustment to bare floors or the beater brush may make it fuzz. If you vacuum throw rugs or other carpets that aren't securely attached to floor, it will pick them up and make an awful noise. This thing has major suction. Don't use it on animals, either. (Grady loves to be vacuumed, but he does NOT love the Dyson.) And I used the duster tool to do my computer keyboard, which was pretty manky - and is now spotless.

I didn't find any problems with it. Of course, your mileage may vary. I read a lot of reviews beforehand (woot is particularly good) and it pretty much did everything I expected it to do. Assembly is very easy out of the box (there is a really well-designed instruction manual that tells you everything). The only thing I wish it did that it doesn't do? I wish it made me pancakes.

I'd highly recommend a Dyson, as a pet owner, a person with carpet and fairly long hair (which gets everywhere) and asthmatic.


Blogger Beverly said...

Wow! Amazing job on your carpet! I'm going to be in the market for a new vac this spring, and the Dyson is high on my list. We have hardwood floors and area rugs. The dog hair is too much for our current vac.

I really appreciate your thorough review!
Happy New Year!

4:06 PM  
Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

Wow! Thank you for this entry. I've had my purple pet Dyson for a year now and love it. But I just learned a lot from you! Thank you!

5:09 PM  
Anonymous AnnBan said...

Thanks for the very thorough & informative review! One of these days, I'll get new carpets & need a serious vacuum for 'em. And I'm glad you're back!

5:31 PM  
Blogger Firemanshunny said...

I have had my Dyson for 2 and half years and I still love it. I am amazed every time I use it how much stuff comes up. I just got the hand held dyson and it's pretty awesome too. I want to try the zorb cleaner but haven't done it yet. I thought I got a sample when I got my Dyson but I can't find it. It looked like it really worked.
(one thing I learned about the Dyson and long hair, Make sure you keep an eye on the brushes underneath cause I find that my hair wraps around it and I have to cut it off)

12:20 PM  
Blogger annie said...

I just found your blog today and I'm an asthmatic-obsessive vacuum-er, too!

I have long hair, too and it has burned out more than one vac by wrapping around the brushes.

I must try this Zorb!

Btw- I started taking Symbicort a few months ago and its amazing, have you tried it?

4:51 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

We have the animal version and love it! Make sure you never try to use it on a laptop kepboard...hubby tried that. ABout the time I was screaming sucked up 3 keys on the laptop. They are much more fragile.

12:30 PM  

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