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I am the owner of a Dyson vacuum cleaner and whilst I find it extremely effective at cleaning the floors in my home I wanted something that was quick and easy to use, particularly for those occasions when there may be just a few odd bits of fluff or crumbs to clear away. My other reason for requiring an additional cleaner was due to the heavy weight of the Dyson, particularly as my husband is disabled, so he experiences considerable difficulties when using it and is unable to carry it around the house.
I spent a considerable amount of time researching a number of different brands and models to find something that met all our requirements where the product needed to be lightweight, high quality, effective at carrying out its job with cleaning a variety of different flooring types as well as carpeted stairs and it had to be reasonably priced. My research led me to various models, but the user reviews posted on Amazon were rather negative with the exception of one, namely the Gtech SW18 Cordless Power Sweeper. The large number of positive reviews far outweighed the few that were negative and I pondered for a few weeks before finally taking the plunge and making my purchase.
I have to admit that I was quite excited about receiving my new cleaner (sad, I know!), but unfortunately, I'm one of those people who cannot sit still if I can see bits of fluff on the floor! Consequently, unravelling the power cord on the Dyson to vacuum them up proved to be time-consuming and rather frustrating.
ASSEMBLING THE CARPET SWEEPER
Whilst I realised that my new purchase was lightweight at just 1.3 kg I was amazed when I unpacked the box and caught a glimpse. The sweeper with its dimensions of a 290 mm width, 210 mm depth and 280 mm in height is manufactured from a glossy and high quality sturdy coloured plastic in colours of off-white and grey. The 1060 mm in length handle, which is manufactured from aluminium with sturdy plastic edges, is split into three separate tubes, which are effortlessly clipped together by way of a plastic lug located on the lower side of each section.
With my height of 5 foot 3 inches the length of the handle suits me well and would also be suitable for those who are a good bit taller than me. For people who are a little shorter one of the three tubes can be omitted without causing any adverse effects to the product. There are a further two plastic pieces; one of which is the lower handle that was stored in the dust tray and this easily clips onto the sweeper by applying a little pressure. The sturdy plastic easy grip upper handle again easily clips into place and offers an extremely large holding area for the user, so this model is well suited for those who suffer with mobility problems in their hands and fingers. The A3 sized double-sided accompanying leaflet provides easy to follow instructions with basic images on assembly, how to use the sweeper together with a number of do's and don'ts.
OPERATING AND CHARGING THE SWEEPER
The sweeper operates from a 6V DC 800mAh battery and the 12V DC charging unit can be found stored in the dust tray, which is easily removed from the sweeper by gently pulling and sliding. The sweeper needs to be placed on charge for sixteen hours prior to use with the charging power cord offering a fairly good length. A pale green light located next to the on/off switch will illuminate once the unit is charging. However, I would point out that the sweeper should not be charged for more than 24 hours and should be allowed to fully discharge on a monthly basis. I must admit that despite reading a number of really positive Amazon reviews prior to my purchase I was feeling a little apprehensive about its ability to pick up dust and fluff, particularly from carpets.
TESTING OUT MY SWEEPER
The real test for me was after I had been sorting through a lot of the Betty Boop boxes from my huge collection where tiny pieces of polystyrene had settled all over our downstairs wooden floor. I gently pushed my foot onto the large on/off protruding button, which is situated on the rear section of the sweeper and it whirred into action. The sound reminds me of a child's toy and thankfully, whilst I am busy working hard to remove all of the bits of fluff from the floor my dear husband is still able to hear his television programmes over the low noise level of 75dB(A)!
I am extremely impressed at the sweeper's power as the two rear wheels effortlessly glide along the floor with the front located brushes efficiently and effectively picking up any bits of fluff and dust. I was surprised at how easily the sweeper negotiates different levels of flooring, as whilst it is necessary to slightly tilt the front section of the Dyson from one flooring type to the next, the sweeper has the ability to be moved from a tiled or wooden floored surface to carpet with great ease.
I had initially anticipated a few problems in relation to the light weight of the sweeper as I had expected that I would need to repeat the sweeping of some areas of flooring, but this is not the case as dirt and fluff is swiftly collected on the first attempt. The only issue with the sweeper is that it will not collect dust that has closely gathered against skirting boards or the corners of rooms, which is the same with any vacuum cleaner, unless of course, you are using the hose attachment. Consequently, my sweeper is used on those occasions that I want to carry out a quick clean with the Dyson being my preferred method for when I wish to be more thorough.
The accompanying leaflet states that a full charge will offer an operating time of up to 45 minutes dependent on the floor surface. I have slightly exceeded this figure in relation to wooden and tiled floors, which require minimal effort when pushing the sweeper, so the product is well suited for use by anyone. However, when using on carpets I have found the operating time to be around 30 minutes, which I think is reasonable for a cordless appliance and provides me with sufficient time to give all of my floorings a quick clean. For a deeper clean or for long piled carpets the lower section of the sweeper can be lifted, which subsequently, enables the front brush bar to slightly dip, therefore offering a deeper clean.
The sweeper isn't as effective as I had hoped when using on a carpeted staircase, as in order to efficiently operate, the sections of handle need to be removed resulting in just the lower handle remaining. Whilst the handle is easily gripped I find it a little difficult to provide sufficient pressure to the sweeper and therefore, I find myself having to go over the same area a few times before the sweeper will pick up the dust or fluff. In addition, the size of the sweeper is somewhat of a hindrance, particularly as the stairs need to be cleaned from the inner part of the step towards the edge. Consequently, there is insufficient space to effectively manoeuvre the sweeper, so I find myself gathering any bits of fluff with my fingertips and relocating them to the centre of the step.
CLEANING THE SWEEPER
To achieve optimum performance from the sweeper it is recommended that the dust tray be emptied after each use and this is easily carried out by gently pulling the opaque coloured tray and simply pushing back into place. The outer section of the sweeper together with the chamber in which the dust tray fits should be cleaned on a weekly basis with the aid of a dry cloth and this is easily achieved. Any fibres or hairs should be removed from both the brush bar and edge wheel and I am always surprised at how much of my hair winds itself around the bar. The brush bar and edge wheel are easily removed for cleaning or replacement purposes as is the battery and the accompanying leaflet provides full details on where replacement parts can be obtained. As I am not in a position where I need to purchase replacement parts I am unable to advise of the lifetime of the original parts.
The Gtec SW18 Cordless Carpet Sweeper comes with a 12 month warranty and is amongst the best purchases I have ever made. As I am a little disappointed with the difficulties experienced at cleaning the stairs it loses one star from me. However, this is extremely effective for all types of floorings and is a real time saver and as a result, it receives my full recommendation. I still have one challenge to overcome and that is to get my husband to use it as unfortunately, he seems to have recently developed an allergy to housework where he has the attitude of "why clean it when it gets dirty again"!
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
I researched prices on a number of websites when I made my purchase and Amazon proved to be the most competitive and at the time of writing they are still offering the best price where you can purchase this fantastic cordless carpet sweeper for £31.03 inclusive of postage and packing.
I hope you found my review useful and thanks for reading.
This review will also appear on Ciao under the same user name.
Short name: Gtech SW18