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The Best Vacuum for Pet Hair

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Best Vacuum for Picking Up Pet Hair?

I have a long hair white shepherd. I need a better vacuum that will get most of the hair. I already own a dirt devil and it stinks.

Convertible Pro-Shark

I have a perfect vacuum cleaner for him to try out it is called the Euro-Pro Shark upright vacuum cleaner that can be converted into a hand held vacuum cleaner. I have used the hand held vacuum cleaner on cat hair and it works, trust me. This vacuum cleaner can be purchased in almost any department store that carries appliances for your home.

The first time I heard about this type of vacuum cleaner was on an infomercial. I assure you that this vacuum cleaner really works.

Shop Vac Passes the Test

I have four cats and a dog. I have found that our Craftsman shop vacuum works wonders on picking up hair from the floor, furniture and carpeted cat stand. It's a lot cheaper than other vacuums, too. You can get several attachments with it.


My Experience

At one point in my life, I was owned by 38 cats (I raised and showed various breeds) and two longhaired dogs. Talk about hair! The easiest and cheapest method I found for dealing with it on upholstery is to put on a regular household rubber glove and rub your hand over the surface. The hair will form long "ribbons" which are easy to vacuum up, or just pick them up and throw them away.

For carpets, I lightly mist the surface with a dilute mixture of fabric softener and water. Allow drying, then vacuum as usual. The fabric softener mix seems to cut down on any static electricity, which is probably responsible for the hair clinging to the carpet fibers.

Thoroughly brushing your dog every day, especially during the major shedding season in spring, will help reduce the amount of hair. During very hot weather, you might also consider having your dog clipped. He/she will be cooler, and the hair that does shed won't be as noticeable as quickly.

Vacuum and "Stair Tool"

The very best is Oreck. It's lightweight, so you'll be more inclined to use it. Also, those lint removers--the ones on a roller--are terrific for picking up hair. On carpeted stairs, take a small amount of water (about a quart), dip a dollar store brush in it, and brush the carpet. You'll be amazed with how much hair you'll get. It's a labor of love, but remember to brush your dog at least every other day, preferably outside. If you must groom your pet indoors, do it in a non-carpeted area, and use the lint remover (have it handy before you begin), to get the fur.

Turned to Fantom Fury

We also had a Dirt Devil, and hated it! We now have a Fantom Fury bagless vacuum, with a HEPA filter. Our two dogs are shorthaired, but shed year round, and this vacuum does a super job of getting up all the hair. The cost was about the same, but the difference in performance is amazing.

Found the Hoover Wind Tunnel to Work

I have had almost every major brand of vacuum on the market. The one I have now is, by far, the best. It is a Hoover WindTunnel. I have three young children (ages five, seven & nine months) who are very rough on my carpet. The older girls and I all have very long hair which get everywhere, not to mention the sand and grass tracked in from outside. I had a Dirt Devil, which would not pick up lint or hair, much less anything as heavy as dirt. The Hoover, however, picks up everything you can see and has an imbedded dirt finder, which gets the stuff you can't see. My carpet looks new after every vacuum. It costs about $400, which is a little high for a vacuum, but it is well worth the expense. I'm sure I spent more than that on all the other machines I tried and tossed after one year of usage. I have the bag version, but it also comes in a bagless version.

Small, Light and Powerful

To the lady looking for a good vacuum: Without a doubt I'd recommend the Fantom Lighting. Initially my husband and I bought one because it was small and light and I could operate it with my bad back. However, we have been more than happy with the results. We have two indoor cats that shed year-round. Not only does our Fantom do a great job of picking up the fur; it also removes an enormous amount of dust. Plus it has an HEPA-filter, and even friends with allergies enjoy a visit if we are careful to vacuum everything (including furniture) before they arrive.

The Fantom is bagless, comes with a great warranty, and the HEPA-filter only needs to be changed once a year. (Hint: buy the HEPA-filter at Wal-Mart, not a vacuum specialty store for significant savings)

Professional's Choice

First off, I am a professional cleaner. I vacuum a LOT! My contracts include a banquet facility, a sports bar(lots of peanuts, pretzels and other nasty things to vacuum up), a small racquet ball/tennis club (grass, hair, paper), a high end restaurant (crumbs and food bits), a small clothing store (hair and tracked in dirt) and a large apartment complex (where I do move out cleanings only). I am the last one in to tidy after the maintenance man and the painter.

I always suggest skipping the "bargain store" brand vacuums and going straight to the commercial models. Eureka makes a (blue) home version of their (red) commercial Sanitaire that is very good that cost a bit less. Sanitaire is my personal favorite. My employees and I have tested many, many vacuums over the years. Some only made it a week before I took it back and went back to Eureka.

Check sale prices for Commercial Vacuum Cleaners on Amazon.

I have also had a fairly good experience with a Fantom vacuum. One of my employees brought one in that she had purchased as a scratched store model (top of the line) so it had been slightly used. We ran it mostly for the very convenient hose feature for almost three years. Please never get an Oreck. They advertise that hotels use them, but even their commercial model fell apart on me in about seven months use. Very disappointing since it seemed to have potential in the beginning. We also disapprove of Dirt Devil for the sheer fact that they fall apart so easily and just don't last. Kirbys are clunky and heavy, hard to keep clean and maintained. We tried out some Panasonic and Sharp vacuums for about a month, I think they make their vacuums under a different name now, but they also don't last. What a waste!

Most people balk at the initial cost of a good commercial vacuum, but these are really made to take a beating and run for long periods without overheating. They are made to pick up tiny dirt and small hairs as well as larger chunks. Even running over small screws has not hurt mine. Another huge plus of the commercial vacuums is that most are made for easy operator maintenance and care. The parts are readily available and easily installed or cleaned, lubricated and checked by the owner. Ask you dealer to show you how to do the take down and maintenance. If he won't, you go somewhere else and say so.

Commercial vacuums last many, many years. I run my personal work vacuum at least four hours a day and it is now two and a half years old and running strong(well over 3500 hours). I expect to use it for at least another two years, even then I will trade it in as a usable unit and invest in a new one.

I use the same brand in my home. Mine is currently six years old and I expect to be using it for another 20 years. My business currently owns four Sanitaires that all work great.

If you can, get a vacuum with a reusable bag or cup to save on the paper filters. Keep your vacuum cleaned. Pick off the bits that collect on your beater, wipe down the base to keep it from building gunk and friction.

One really good hint for any vacuum is to empty your bag often, even if it is not full. It will really extend the life of your vacuum. Your reader who has the dog hair problem may be helped by simply emptying her filter and cleaning her beater every time she vacuums. Another problem she may be having is that she is vacuuming too fast. Try going more slowly over the areas to give your vacuum time to suck it up. Most people vacuum too fast. The key is slower and consistent overlapping strokes.

Check sale prices for green cleaning solutions.

Traded Fantom for a Riccar

I had purchased a Fantom vacuum but the motor burned out after three years. I asked the salesman at a shop that sells and repairs sewing machines and vacuum cleaners how much it would be to repair it. He recommended that I invest the money in a Riccar vacuum, because we have two chow dogs and it would be more efficient at picking up the fur. He said that's why the Fantom vacuum was not working, it was not made for long dog hair.

I have been using the Riccar for three years now and am very pleased. It has stronger suction than the Fantom. I thought the bagless vacuums were supposed to have stronger suction, but I have found that this is not true. Another nice feature of the Riccar is that if there is a clog in themachine, it will automatically shut the motor off. That way you will avoid burning the motor. This happened to me once; there was a huge wad of dog fur in the hose. It was really great to have this feature in the vacuum because it prevented the vacuum from being damaged.

Quality Comes with a Price Tag

Most people agree that the three "expensive" companies -- Electrolux, Kirby, and Rainbow -- offer the best vacuum quality. I have a friend who worked for Electrolux for a short time so I have learned a lot about that particular brand and am partial to it. The great thing about these machines is that they last years and years. My friend serviced machines from the 1950's that people were still using as their original vacuums. However, the prices of these machines are extremely high. One way around this is to call the shops in your area to inquire about used machines. The companies often take trade-ins of older models to encourage people to upgrade to new ones, and frequently sell these inexpensively. You can also get free in-home demonstrations for these products so you can judge the quality for yourself.

Alternatively, check out some consumer magazines with articles about vacuums at your local library and decide what brand you think will best meet your needs. Then call local vacuum repair shops to see whether you can get a used vacuum of a similar model.

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