So, today I crossed over from “disappointed that the woman who used to clean for us hasn’t even bothered to call” to “You know what? Fuck you. I’ll do it my own damn self. I wouldn’t take you back now if you did call.”
I swept out the living room, put all the cushions back on the couches (for some reasons the dogs — the only beings who use those couches — prefer them on the floor).
Earlier I had pulled everything out of the hall closet and only put things back in if we actually use them. (That too has been annoying me for as long as I can remember.)
Before that I had done the same with my clothes closet. (I’m putting my winter clothes away. I don’t care if it snows tomorrow.)
My room/home/office has an area rug (which you can sort of see behind me in the picture above). It needed to be vacuumed. So I took out the vacuum cleaner, checked to make sure the bag wasn’t full, and went to it.
And that’s when things got interesting.
The vacuum didn’t seem to be picking anything up. Oh it was making a lot of noise, and the bar was going around. Dirt and debris was being picked up, but not nearly what it should have been.
I turned it over, and there was a bunch of hair and stuff stuck in it. “Ah, ok, that must be it.”
There was a string of some sort that had gotten wrapped up around the beater bar.
I’m not sure when I started to realize that all of the crevices were packed full of dirt and dust. But I started picking it out with my fingers.
And then a knife.
And then a screwdriver.
What you see here:
is not from the floor. It’s from the inside the vacuum. And that was only the beginning.
Basically the part where the dirt goes from the floor to the hose was packed — and I mean completely, utterly, thoroughly packed — with dirt/dust/dog hair.
Eventually it got to the point that I couldn’t reach any more. I had to start disassembling it.
Now, when it comes to these sorts of home “fix it” projects, I’m about as handy and useful as the 5th tit on a bull. But, given that it wasn’t working at all it’s not as if I could really do any damage to it.
After trying it several times (and pulling another pile of crap from inside the vacuum at least as large as the one above), it still wouldn’t work. I couldn’t reach further into the intake with my fingers, or a screwdriver, or a knife.
So The Wife got me a wire coat hanger.
At first it seemed not to be helping at all. Plus I almost took my eye out. The Wife was holding the vacuum upside down as I was trying to shine a flashlight with one hand and push the coat-hanger in with the other.
"I can’t even believe that women would—" she started to say.
"Don’t even," I said.
Finally we could see that the hanger had made it to where the hose bent to go up.
And then I couldn’t get it back out. I ended up having to use the screwdriver to open the spring-loaded door (which had been stuck ‘open’ until I got all of the crap out of the way, at which point it sealed, quite tightly) and get the hanger out.
That pile of crap above? Add about three more, and you’ll have some idea of how much came out — not to mention that eventually we were pushing it in to the vacuum instead of out.
After all that we turned it on again and!
Still not picking up. We even tried the ‘wand’ and it hardly had any suction either. At The Wife’s suggestion, we opened the bag compartment again, and realized that there was some sort of 4” square outtake vent. I opened it up and the entire thing was packed full. It actually looked like felt, that’s how thick it was.
We put it all back together and!
HOLY SUCTION BATMAN!
It’s like it’s brand new!
The moral of the story is: apparently 3.5 years is too long to wait before giving your vacuum cleaner a good, thorough cleaning.
~ But my favorite part was… ~
The vacuum has a sensor that can tell if the floor underneath is Dirty (red light comes on and the word “DIRTY” illuminates) or Clean (green light comes on, and the word “CLEAN” illuminates). This works really well and tells you when you can move on from the spot you are vacuuming. Plus you feel like you’ve actually accomplished something. “WHOOHOO! Green light!”
While we were both watching it, The Wife said:
"It reminds me of the thing from WALL•E!”
"The thing that saw dirt on the ground and would immediately vacuum it up?"
"OH! That thing!"
"Yeah, what was it that it said?"
"How awesome would that be if it said that every time the red light went on? That would make vacuuming fun!"
(I know, I must have been high from the dust.)
Every time the Red Light went on after that, I said “FOREIGN CONTAMINANT!”
I highly recommend it.
(Although despite the vacuum being described as having “a powerful yet quiet 12-amp motor” that is complete bullcrap. The thing sounds like a fucking 747.)
Anyway, if you can find someone who makes you laugh after 2 hours of inhaling dust and poking a vacuum cleaner with a bent wire hanger, marry them immediately.
Even if she does take a picture of you wearing a mask (which you really could have used 30 minutes earlier but she forgot she had until you mentioned it) where you look like a sweaty deranged psychopath.