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If you own a Miele vacuum cleaner, then there's every chance that you know the German company stock a whole long line of different accessories you can purchase to custom build your vacuum cleaner to your own needs. It's a bonus that Miele UK have their tools to buy as the Miele arm in the U.S don't have such a facility and customers are made to pay through the nose for specific vacuums with specific tools. However there are some tools that Miele sell which are worth their weight in gold dependent on your cleaning needs and along with German company SEBO, Miele and SEBO both cater well for their likewise owners with optional tools to get the best out of your machine.
A few years ago after my flat had suffered a leak and where I was forced to buy a Numatic Charles wet and dry tub vacuum because of the damage and then the forceful nature of the snow bringing in water onto my laminate flooring, I needed to find a suitable dry dust floor tool for my Miele S4210 vacuum, the model of choice that I use for versatile cleaning and taking out to the car as opposed to using the floor tool that came with the Charles. Numatic machines are fantastic value but cumbersome to live with in a small 2 bedroom flat with little storage space and the hard floor tool they provided was simply too big and bulky to get around smaller spaces not to mention the weight of it!
The cost of the Miele SBB 235 isn't cheap since it is a universal, optional hard floor tool that has a general measurement of 3.5cm/35mm sizing and commands a general price of £24-95 from Miele UK. That won't be the only cost price you'll pay because Miele charge extra for posting at a cost of £5-95 on top unless they are offering seasonal free delivery. Now, although this is the same size measurement as Bosch suction tubes and likewise handle before the tubes, this hard floor brush isn't suitable for Bosch vacuums as it requires a lock for the hard tool to lock onto the suction tubes. Bosch use friction fit tubes, tools and handles and when I tried to put the hard floor brush onto the end of my Bosch tubing, it just wouldn't stay on. Unlike Miele's more versatile round upholstery dusting brush that can stay on, I was expecting better versatility from Miele, here.
Quality and design wise, the Miele SBB 235 hard floor brush is a reasonably well-made floor tool that is compatible with all Miele cylinder vacuums S100 up to the newest S8 cylinder vacuums. Miele suggest that the tool is only suitable for the S2000, S4000, S6000 and S8000 - but they would say that in order to make more money - I can faithfully say the hard floor tool fits easily onto my old Miele S381 series - which uses the same suction tube regardless of the model number!
The floor brush can even be used with the Miele S7 upright but you would require to order another long extension tube without having to break your back. Generally, the floor tool is a universal tool that has a press lock on the top of its neck to lock it to the suction pipe or Miele cylinder vacuum handle., thus ensuring that it never comes off in use. It is also made of thick grey PVC plastic, has a silver detailing around the front of the floor head showing off the Miele name and for all intents and purposes, it looks like a tool that is up to the job of sweeping up dust and directing it into the main suction channel. The underside of the floor head is all plastic and each perimeter has a line of stiff removable bristles for cleaning.
So when it comes to general performance on hard floors, the Miele SBB 235 seems to hug hard floors pretty well, able to protect them from any damage since the whole tool is plastic and no metal on the underside exists that would ever scratch a floor. Two rubberised wheels are added to improve gliding and the floor tool moves with ease along hard floors. But, it doesn't bring much to the floor that Miele's standard pedal actioned "2 way" suction floor tool provides - this attachment is more at home for Miele owners who have bare hard floor, laminate, tile or textured hard floors. The bristles are pretty long too, around 3.5cm in length, quite bushy and medium hard to the touch, also giving the owner a good impression that the hard floor will do the job. The bristles go as far as the 12" floor head sizing allows, which also means the tool is great for getting into corners and whisking hard to shift dust into the suction path of the suction channel.
The only problem is, that whist the bristles have a natural contra-direction in the way they move, I find the hard brush bristles don't tend to clean up any large amounts of dust particularly well. Give the hard floor tool a small amount of dust like crumbs or daily traffic dirt like stones and brittle debris and the hard floor tool picks up fine - and usually first time or requires a few more sweeps but dust like fine hair, pet hair and tumbleweed dust balls that often fly around if you have laminate flooring like mine - tend to get stuck in the bristles and require constant cleaning, or sitting down at a table and picking all the hair off by hand. This is hardly an efficient hard floor tool then that has been designed to pick up all matter of dry dust on hard floors - and hardly hygienic when having to touch pet hair that has stuck down into the hard bristles. Having removable strips is one thing but having to pull dirt off manually isn't my idea of total efficiency. The reason to why some dust types get trapped is down to the fact that like Miele's older upholstery round brush attachment, this hard floor tool has "castle cut" style bristle mounts that are supposed to allow dust fly by the smaller chunks of bristles whilst the larger chunks of bristles gather up the dust. It doesn't always work out though.
In terms of other downsides, I find that the Miele SBB 235 doesn't always sit flat to the floor either. This is because it has a natural angled position on its swivel neck at the top of the floor head. If you are used to continually using the cylinder vacuum to suck up dust on hard floors, the hard floor tool only becomes awkward when it has to go flat, often requiring the handle of the vacuum and the suction pipes to be twisted to an extreme left and right angles going lower than you would need to. In terms of comfort then, this is a compromising problem with floor tools like this and it seems to be a concurrent issue with other brands too including Miele's standard suction floor tools that come with their cylinder vacuums as standard - and all because the park storage hook is located at the back of the suction neck. Sebo's Parquet Deluxe floor tool on the other hand is a far simpler design here and allows you to clean flat to the floor without having to do any extreme bending to the sides - so when you lower the handle head on, the Sebo floor tool moves with you, not against you and doesn't force you to turn left or right to ensure the floor tool stays flat. Sebo put the park hook at the front of the floor head instead, out of the way and doesn't give the owner added stress.
At the end of the day if you require a hard floor cleaning floor head, the Miele SBB 235 is a good idea at the time, especially if all you have in your home is hard floors and nothing else. However, it is a bit of a bind having to pull dust off all the time when dust and dirt sticks to the bristles. Add in the cost price and it doesn't really make sense if you use the suction floor tool that your Miele cylinder vacuum already comes with as standard. The only upside is that this floor tool won't have a metal plate that can damage the floor if you forget to push the pedal down on your Miele floor tool, but if you are used to doing that any way, the only advantage that the hard floor tool does possess is that it is easier and more protective to clean raised tiles or hard flooring that isn't flush. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2012.
The Miele SBB 235-3 Hard Floor Brush is compatible with Miele S 4000 & S 5000 series vacuum cleaners / Made to last, the Miele SBB 235-3 Hard Floor Brush offers reliable and efficient cleaning on uncarpeted surfaces / Technical specifications Characteristics Compatible with Miele S 4000 & S 5000 series / Short name: Miele SBB 235-3