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You Can't Just Bank On This!
Ewbank Carpet Sweeper
Member Name: Machair1
Ewbank Carpet Sweeper
Date: 31/03/12, updated on 03/04/12 (111 review reads)
Advantages: Cleans up a quick mess and it is economical and environmentally friendly.
Disadvantages: Can't compete with modern electrical applicances.
Turning the clock back forty years or so takes me instantly to a time in my childhood when my grandmother, no longer able to care for herself, moved in with us. She had her own bedsit as it were, and she loved to retreat into it only venturing out for meals. It was like her den, and she sat in this wicker chair surrounded by all her favourite things. Each day she would get out her carpet sweeper and push it over the patterned carpet to brush up the crumbs she had made with her favourite Lincoln biscuits.
A couple of years ago I was in Lakeland and saw in the reduced section a Ewbank Carpet Sweeper. It was just like the one my gran had, and immediately I know I had to buy it. I thought it would be perfect to just sweep up a quick mess, and so parted with the £15 it was and happily rejoiced in my bargain. You can purchase these for about the same price on Amazon so they are a small outlay, and are especially good if you are setting up home for the first time and can't afford to purchase a vacuum cleaner. There are three models - mine is the Evolution2 which has two height settings. There is also the Speed Sweep which is the basic model with one height only, and the Multi Sweep which has four different heights each corresponding to the thickness of different surfaces it is to be used on.
The cleaner is supplied in a box and all you need to do is to fit the handle which is in three parts which screw together easily. The height is good as it is ideal for ladies of an average height, but it would be back breaking if you were a tall man to use for any length of time.
It is a simple mechanical alternative to a vacuum and requires no power to operate. You simply push the sweeper backwards and forwards and the dirt collects between the rollers. All you have to do from time to time is to empty the sweeper of its contents, which is easy to do by lifting the clip and the dirt pours out.
The thing you have to remember with this is that it is really a tool to sweep up a quick mess, rather than a serious daily tool to use for maintaining a clean home. It can't cope with corners at all, but it really comes into its own if you have crumbs on the floor, and you don't really want to get out the vacuum or use a dustpan and brush. I thought it would be ideal for the mess my cats sometimes make with their dry food or litter and it does a fair job of cleaning this.
The model I have can be used on carpets or on wood or laminate floors and ceramic tiles, so it has versatility, and certainly would be a good stop gap for someone in rented accommodation where a vacuum isn't provided. It has two height settings to facilitate use on all floors, and it also lies flat allowing you to manoeuvre it under furniture. I have been gradually lifting all my carpets and replacing them with laminate, but I still have one deep piled carpet remaining. It is really not suitable for this type of surface as it is really hard to push even on the carpet setting. It is fine on thinner carpets though but not on anything with a substantial pile.
It can't take the place of a vacuum though and certainly I would never claim that it could, but it certainly offers a possible tool for someone who is disabled and finds a vacuum too heavy to use, Ewbank claim that it can pick up dirt and rival any traditional vacuum cleaner, but in all honesty I feel this is simply not true and is misleading. It has no tools for the edges or brushes for the stairs, so it is no competition for a modern appliance in my opinion.
I have to say though that childhood memories are often rosy when maybe things are not as perfect as they seem. I know my grannie dutifully pushed her Ewbank up and down her room priding herself that she was caring for her surroundings. I think in reality this was not as effective as I believed at the time, and certainly modern homes would not be able to function purely with this tool as the only choice for cleaning.
My grandmother was born in 1894 and fourteen years earlier saw the birth of the first Ewbank sweeper. I should think it had pride of place in those days when the brush was the only alternative!
If you would like to look into Ewbank take a look at their rather fancy website at www.ewbank.co.uk.
In summing up I think this tool is an iconic reminder of an era gone by, but which still has serviceability and certainly longevity as its attributes. Buy one of these and I guarantee you will still have it decades later. My Mum still has my Gran's and it still works!
Don't think it can out perform a Dyson- it can't- but it can sweep up a few biscuit crumbs and light dust with no problem. It struggles more with animal hair and will often pass over it leaving it still in situ. It isn't really ideal to clean up after pets, especially long-haired ones which I have the pleasure of owning. However if you are looking for an environmentally friendly relic from the past which certainly functions as a basic cleaner this could be for you.
This review is also published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.
Summary: Could be worth buying for the right situations.
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