“ Brand: Miele / Type: Extras „
When I first invested in a Miele vacuum cleaner I was not aware that aside from various consumables that I would need to buy to maintain the vacuum cleaner such as bags or filters, that any other option would be available to me. After all to what extent can you go for achieving versatility in an already versatile vacuum cleaner that puts Miele on top for being the best brand around not just for its reliability, hygienic dust disposal, high filtration, quality and the quiet motors in all of its current range of vacuums? Rather than a marketing exercise or rather, out to rob buyers of hard earned cash, Miele have wisely designed a few sets of cleaning tools and products designed to extend the design of their existing products - and certainly before the age of Dyson, Miele were first to the UK market with tools for additional cleaning, not just the basic tools on offer such as replacement floor tools and various brushes. An adaptor for example also comes with the Car Set free that allows all the tools to be used with other brands of vacuum cleaners such as Rowenta, Panasonic, Hoover and Electrolux that have a different hose aperature/opening measurement.
** This is a long review **
The "Vario" family by Miele sets consists of two different ranges; the original "Car Clean Set Vario" and the "Car Clean Set Vario Plus" that features a longer larger 3 metre extension tube that can be fixed to the existing hose on Miele vacuums for a decent and longer reach value. However over the near identical kits, it is the original car set that proves more of its value and worth. For a start it is easy to dismiss the price of this original basic set at £41-60 then - if you don't own a Miele Cat and Dog vacuum cleaner that already supplies the same mini turbo pet hair brush. On price alone from Miele's rather website accessory shop, you're looking at £25 excluding postage and packaging for the mini turbo brush alone whilst the larger crevice tool at just £5. What you can't buy is the mini extension hose known as the "micro hose," and that alone makes this basic set worth considering over the more expensive "Plus," Vario set that costs £60-00 even though both sets come with the same adaptor for different makes of vacuum cleaner as already noted.
** Use in the Car **
Fixed onto the handle of the main Miele cylinder vacuum, the "pet" hair mini turbo brush is very easy to use as well as easy to clean up thanks to its high quality plastic and friction fit mechanism on the neck of the actual brush, bringing up the contours of velour or material on car seats beautifully. On tougher jobs such as shifting hard to get dirt ingrained in car floor mats, the turbo brush attacks dirt straight away and is an absolute boon to get the dirt out of the boot liner in my car where suction only tools seem to fail. However the brush still copes even though it has a small dirt chamber carrying the dirt to the main though its use is more obvious for material such as roof linings, car seats, backs of the seats and even head restraints.
If anything gets clogged the turbo brush has a handy lock mechanism that easily reveals the internals of its turbine wheel and main brush roll, so removing anything that gets trapped is just as easy as general use. Fixed onto most Miele machines that have 1800 watts or more, it does have the tendency to sound like a small jet engine taking off only at times lessening whilst it has stones and chips flying through its brush and into the main suction hose of the vacuum cleaner. Over other mini turbo brushes I've used the Miele version is made of good quality plastic - as all the other tools are - and it is easy to turn the head around on the handle if you need to get into other areas of the car.
Looking like a first aid kit but clothed in black with Miele's main name stamped on the front, the carry case is easy to keep in the car or transport in the home amongst other cleaning tools and each partition in the plastic inlays means storing the tools snap fit back into the case without fuss or stress.
The biggest surprise however is the 9" crevice tool; this is a tool that is not supplied with any of Miele's cylinder vacuum range and as such I find it very useful to slide under car seats to get the dreaded dirt and stones/grit from under the seats as well as in between the join of the rear seat bench and the seat backs where dirt usually slides down. This crevice tool however provides a much needed relief of quieter sound as the standard crevice tools that Miele have supplied on their cylinder ranges have often been too loud for my liking, where the suction comes out at the end. The longer crevice tool however silences, literally the silence of the suction involved from the main vacuum cleaner making the purpose and exercise of cleaning in the first place, a much quieter and quicker proposition. The tool also slides well into the map sides of the front and rear doors which is also a welcome boon for general cleaning and getting into tight areas as well as being able to be held at the base for trickier angles such as around the back and sides of the handbrake, around the metal frames of the windows and importantly a job I hate doing, getting in between the wheel arches in the boot which seem to attract a lot of dirt I never knew existed.
However of the best benefit far offered and outweighed by both these thick PVC built tools, it is undoubtedly the smaller cleaning "micro" hose which has surpassed its design both in the ways it is made to fit and function. Although these tools have no power determined by themselves and are utterly dependent on the vacuum cleaner's suction, the smaller hose is just like the other two tools provided - they both slip on by friction fit to the handle of the Miele vacuum cleaner and although the smaller crush proof hose may well only measure around 20cm in length, it has a permanently fitted smaller crevice mouth of only a few inches with a small snap down brush that can be height adjusted to three positions.
This may sound confusing, but in reality the hose is apt for getting into the air vents of the fascia in my car, getting into the nooks and crannies where a normal upholstery brush on a vacuum cleaner proves to be too big and bulky, no matter how long the upholstery bristles are. The smaller the tool on its diameter the easier it is to use to get into the miniscule breaks of plastic on a dashboard; behind the ashtray for example I found old ticket stubs and loose change with the smaller crevice tool - it has a small 1 to 2" mouth so coins can never get sucked up plus a tip is to tie an old piece of cotton or a hanky around the mouth of the crevice tool to pick up anything valuable to avoid it getting lost up in the vacuum!
This tool also manages to infinitely suck out dirt that gets in between the plastic glass of the main speedometer and steering wheel, not to mention dirt that seems to make itself known in sunlight such as between the floor and the rubber surround gaiter of the gear stick; I was shocked with the amount of dust and debris my Miele kit was revealing generally the first time I used these tools.
** In the Home **
However if there is one saving grace in the home that this small extension hose has recently been admired for, its simply by my mother's own use when a small needle got stuck down her Janome digital sewing machine and wedged between the main presser plate and the movement of the runners, no amount of magnets and blunt screwdrivers could rescue the needle. We tried adhesive tape but that pushed the needle down further; then we tried a knitting thread puller tool but that didn't work. A patch from an old hanky or old nylon over the crevice tool and the smaller extension hose however lifted the needle clean out of the tiny gap it had managed to fall into, making the exercise of rescue quicker than imagined as well as no destruction involved to this rather expensive sewing machine.
In the past Miele have often used a photo of an owner using the said extension hose and small brush to clean collectible model cars to highlight how easy it is use this tool in their old appliance brochures- in fairness although I haven't tried it myself - I have used the same tool on both my PC and MAC where shifting dirt between the keys and screens can be a tricky business unless you happen to have one of those fiddly USB vacuums. In short if you need something dust free from the tiniest of cracks, nooks and crannies, the "micro" extension hose and small crevice tool is worth its weight in gold; the bristles are well made, equally spaced and do not scratch glass which is also handy for cleaning glass on valuable ornaments where dust attracts.
Another plus point is the use of the micro hose between the strings of our grand piano. I always wince at school if I lift the lid to find a very dusty uncared grand piano, worse if its main strings and hammers have never seen the light of day! As our piano is only around 15 years old, it gets a regular spring clean but the dust between the hammers and strings have always been difficult to get to. The micro hose and crevice tool attached gets in between the hammers with ease and the length of the hose means there is no danger in damaging the wood on the piano itself. On both my saxophones between the springs, seats and mechanisms, dust removal was easy and stress free with peace of mind offered by the smaller bristles to get into the tightly packed metal work between the casings of the keys and the adjustment screws.
Access is therefore easy to apply with the micro hose even though it may involve holding both the micro hose and the handle of the vacuum cleaner at the same time in use.
Over the price then, if there is one final downside of the Miele Vario Car Clean Set, then it's the availability - from time to time the set does appear on EBay and sometimes it can be had for a good price if you are not prepared to pay the full charge. Other than EBay the only other outlet available is Miele themselves who have an online accessory shop that takes all major credit/debit cards. But if you are a Miele owner, you will know already that your vacuum cleaner is a very versatile piece of kit; this tool kit merely highlights it as well of course, extending your use of your Miele vacuum cleaner. No wonder then, Miele seems to be a universal brand for design, quality and versatility; the Car Clean Set Vario is a particularly helpful and much needed set; you can tell what I got for Christmas then! Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2008
** Update June 2009 **
Comet have started selling this tool kit at their stores. Carrying product range code of 541176, Comet are currently selling this product at £39-99.
Set includes a long crevice nozzle, a mini turbobrush and a micro hose / Fits all Miele cylinder cleaners and some other makes of vacuum cleaner.