“ Brand: Bissell / Type: Manual Carpet Sweeper „
I have a child who is so scared of the vacuum he screams when we use it. Having 2 toddlers i need to clean up half a dozen times a day anyway so i thought a carpet sweeper was the way to go, and it means i only use the vacuum when he's out or asleep!
It works perfectly on my carpets, is almost as good on the lino in the kitchen although our floors are quite uneven so it does miss bits in there.
It is very easy to put together and pretty light as well. My toddler uses it so it can't be that heavy anyway! It is also very easy to empty and clean out. Ours was only about £13 from Argos which is pretty good value to say it gets used every day more than a few times, even by small children as well. Would definately recommend it.
With the exception of the kitchen, all the floors on the ground floor of my house are wood laminate with the odd rug scattered here and there and rather than going through all the hassle of getting the vacuum cleaner out to clean a couple of rugs every day, I decided that my best option would be to revert to a good old fashioned carpet sweeper which I hoped would be effective enough to also contend with the dust bunnies which tend to roll across the hard flooring like tumbleweed (one of the penalties of owning a dark haired cat!) as well as dealing with bits dropped onto the kitchen floor etc.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
I didn't want to spend a fortune on something which may not actually be up to the job so I plumped for the Bissell Carpet Mate which I bought from Argos for £9.99 a couple of months ago. This particular carpet sweeper is available on line from several different suppliers for around £12 or £13 plus postage, or for £17.99 from Amazon with free delivery, but the Argos price was by far the cheapest I could find.
Putting it together and appearance
When I got it home and unpacked it, the first thing I noticed about this particular model of carpet sweeper was its size. It's really quite dinky, being only the size of an A4 piece of paper. The metal handle comes detached from the main body of the sweeper (which is also made of metal) and is in 3 pieces but these are very easy to put together with the first part screwing onto the carpet sweeper and the remaining two pieces are simply slotted together and the whole thing is topped off with a plastic hand grip which screws onto the end of the handle and which has an elongated hole so that the sweeper can be hung up. There is an additional piece of kit which comes with this carpet sweeper and that is a plastic brush comb which clips onto the handle. This brush comb is for cleaning the brushes on the underside of the carpet sweeper.
The underside or business end of the carpet sweeper comprises a large central softish brush on either side of which are two metal dust container that have a smaller stiffer brush attached and at each corner is a small square rubber brush. The four wheels which propel the carpet sweeper in turn move a smaller cog wheel which turns the central brush, thus sweeping the dust into the containers as it's pushed along.
The metal dust containers have two depressions and an arrow with the word "push" under it to demonstrate how the containers are opened for emptying the dust. Holding the sides of the carpet sweeper and pushing down with my thumbs, the container easily opens and all that's required is tipping out the contents into the bin. In fact, as most of the sweepings are organic in content, being mainly dust and cat hair, I empty my carpet sweeper into the compost.
Using the carpet sweeper
Being a manual carpet sweeper, there's no need to look for the nearest electric socket, you just get pushing. Using a to and fro motion and a bit of pressure, the carpet sweeper gets to work efficiently whisking those stray crumbs, dust and mainly Poppy's hair into the dust containers. As the handle can be pulled down until it's parallel with the floor, it's very easy to get to those awkward to reach places under the furniture, too.
Pros and cons
The biggest plus for this little appliance is that it doesn't use any electricity and with energy prices rising practically by the day, that has to be a good thing. You'll also expend a few more calories than when using a vacuum cleaner.
If you only have a small area which requires attention, it's much quicker and easier to get the Carpet Mate out of the cupboard rather than going through all the rigmarole of getting the vacuum cleaner out, plugging it in to clean up and then reversing the process to put it away.
The sweeper folds flat against the handle which means it can be hung up inside a cupboard and takes up very little space.
There are a couple of cons with this particular model, however. It's size means that the dust pans fill up rather rapidly and once filled, if you don't empty them immediately, the sweeper takes great delight in regurgitating great lumps of fluff and thread and crumbs all over the part of the floor you've just cleaned which sort or defeats the object of the exercise.
Also I've found the handle is a little on the short side, even for a vertically challenged person such as myself. The handle is 36" long (92cm) and to operate the carpet sweeper the user will need to bend over at a very awkward angle. Too much carpet sweeping could lead to back ache but as this is really meant to be used as a quick fix, this isn't too much of an inconvenience.
SUMMING IT ALL UP
This little appliance won't supplant your vacuum cleaner because you will still require the strength of suction the vacuum cleaner supplies to thoroughly clean your rugs and carpets but for picking up a few crumbs, pet hairs or pieces of thread and lint from the surface of your carpeted areas as well as dealing with the same on your hard surfaces, this is a great additional tool in the household armoury. It's quick to use, easy to store and the initial outlay is very little for something that hasn't any electronic parts to go wrong. As long as you remember to keep emptying the dustpans each time you use it, this little carpet sweeper really will be your mate and will give you years of trouble free service.
Also posted on Ciao under the same user name