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~A mediocre carpet cleaner~
Having bought and used a number of good old fashioned carpet sweepers over the years and found the bristle brush type ones to be rather good in the main, I found that the Leifheit Regulus Supra carpet sweeper, with its so called ultra modern rubber style bristles somewhat of a let down. Why the product manufacturers decided to use these super duper (not) replacement rubber bristles (on a roller) on this carpet and solid floor cleaner, when it was designed is a complete mystery to me. In my honest opinion after having put up with this product and tried to make the best of it for some time, I found the rubber bristles really didn't stand up to the job they are meant to have been designed for.
When I was thinking about choosing a new carpet sweeper that I could use on rugs, carpets, laminate and tiled surfaces I thought it would be good to pick a slightly more modern system than I had used in the past, which is how I ended up with this product in the first place. After having used this product with very lack lustre results I feel that I wasted my money on it. Even though this cleaner looks modern, being nice and neat and also easy to put together, I found that that I couldn't get along with it. I know this product was designed to feel light to handle, yet it was never able to pick up everything it ought to have done when it was in use. I feel that there is no point what so ever in having a nice looking product, that then fails miserably at doing the job it was bought for.
A minor plus point for some users of this product may be in the lightness of it though, as fully set up it weighs in at just under a kilo, which would make it easy to lift, handle and use for anyone who finds heavier carpet cleaners hard to work with. Most of the weight is around the main body of the cleaner, with the handle and support pipes being very light indeed in my opinion. I found that I wasn't overly keen on the angle of the light weight handle used on this cleaner. I am sometimes a little heavy handed when hoovering up crumbs etc and would have liked a slightly weightier, stronger feeling product to work with that could stand up to repeated usage and also clean better.
In use on laminate flooring and other hard flooring surfaces the rubber bristle roller worked very slightly better than it did on carpets and rugs. When I used this floor cleaner on laminate flooring to pick up light crumbs and dust it mostly picked up what it was faced with, only requiring an average amount of effort on my part. I feel it gave satisfactory results in most cases on hard surfaces, although results were no where near as good as they are when I am using a powered vacuum cleaner to pick up dust and crumbs with.
When using the cleaner on carpets and thicker pile rugs, the rubber bristles fitted to the cleaner gave results that were not overly good. I found it could be hard work to use the product to get a good finish on carpets a lot of the time, as I was unable to pick up everything that should have been picked up first time with this cleaner. I must admit that this cleaner was pretty rubbish at being the quick fix it ought to have been for use during those times when I didn't want to cart the mains powered vacuum cleaner out to give everything a quick spruce up.
In my opinion the lack of effectiveness of this cleaner most certainly defeated the object of me having bought it, as it was meant to save time and effort when picking up the odd few crumbs here and there. Had this cleaner worked as well as I hoped it would, I know I would have continued to use it on a regular basis. Sadly I feel that this floor cleaner really was a waste of money, as it was not up to the job it was meant for and often made a small quick and easy job far more time consuming. My rating for this cleaner is 2 stars as I feel it didn't live up to my expectations. This cleaner can still be purchased if required for around £20/ £25.
When I got rid of the horrid Argos Value carpet sweeper a short time ago (gave it to a local nursery of whom I'm led to believe the children are using as a toy) I wasn't in a hurry to make the same mistake again of considering Argos Value for mechanical sweepers. When I'm living with fresh carpeting that needs extra care, getting a carpet sweeper has been a necessity since my daily job is long hours and not much energy by the time I get home in the evenings. I knew that in my heart what I wanted was a carpet sweeper that my family had owned since the 1960's in the form of a Ewbank model. I baulked at the prices however online; £40 here and there for a mechanical carpet sweeper is too expensive in my book, particularly when you can buy a cordless model from Argos at £10! It was at the Argos store I usually go to (North Bridge, Edinburgh) that as per usual they didn't have any Ewbank sweepers in stock and until I passed by a private electrical hardware shop on my way home, I caught sight of an alternative in the form of a Leifheit carpet sweeper. At a cost of £15-99 I came home with the nattily titled "Regulas Supra," mechanical carpet sweeper.
One of the features that attracted me to the sweeper apart from its low price at the time is the immediate ease of putting it together and how light the whole actual product is. Comprising of four lightweight tubes of which one has a "helping hand," handle similar to an upright vacuum cleaner at the top, I found putting the handle on the Leifheit incredibly easy to do, even if the final installation of all four pipes push-locked together felt a little weak and liable to bend. However this did change somewhat when I locked the last of the long handle into the main body of the sweeper. The handle also has a hanging hole in which you can successfully mount the sweeper on a hook for storage. It is quite a modern looking carpet sweeper in its own right, composed of an outer silver painted exterior with green matching accents and looking forever like some kind of environmentally friendly promotional broom complete with a green thin curved bumper to minimise scratches and bumps. The main body before the pipes weighs 685g and with the pipes added, goes up to 715g. It is therefore very easy to lift out of the way as well as generally use - or so Leifheit would have you believe.
The biggest surprise is that the Leifheit Regulas Supra has rubber bristles as opposed to nylon brush rolls from more traditional carpet sweepers. It also has open-ended sides that are supposed to clear up edges of skirting boards with ease. It did remind me somewhat of the ill fated Panasonic upright vacuums in the 1990's when Panasonic produced their vacuums with open ended brush rolls that would eventually be forced to wear covers when a child accidently put their finger into the moving brush roll. Luckily there is no such power here at play since with all mechanical carpet sweepers the Leifheit is only powered by the push and pull mechanism that you, the environmentally aware owner has to provide! Naturally I couldn't wait to try this sweeper out the moment my carpet was beginning to accumulate in threads and fluff.
Another surprise of the Regulas Supra is that it is a very noisy sweeper. This is because there are only two very small wheels on the underside that squeak and squeal across carpet and hard floor surfaces and then the actual long bristle rubber roller bar trying to turn at the same time. Then there are two larger roller wheels on the underside that compromise a lighter gliding feeling, thus adding more noise. Although the whole design is mechanical I wasn't expecting the Leifheit to be as noisy. Thanks to it's central flexible joint design of the main pipe, this mechanical sweeper can turn left or right very easily, getting around corners similar to the Sebo Felix or Dyson "Ball" type vacuum thanks to the pivot that has been included on the design. It works extremely well and with its low and slim 26cm floor head design, getting the Regulas Supra under low furniture with its low to the floor handle is simply no problem at all.
In general use however the Regulas Supra is let down by the very design element that is claimed to be of great use on all types of flooring; the brush roll. By the third time I got to use it after friends had visited for tea and biscuits, the last thing I wanted to do after a busy day at work is wheel out my larger vacuum cleaner. Out came the Regulas Supra and the brush roll just doesn't like thick pile carpeting. Stubbornly refusing to move unless I place more weight on the handle, the Leifheit isn't a light glider at all and that's a pity. For the most part it feels too heavy to plough through carpet, whilst the viewable brush roll is easy to roll on hard flooring (and picks up dirt quite easily on hard flooring) the rubber bristles have a hard time making contact with carpets and don't always roll. I didn't think for a moment that when you try and "brush roll" a polyester/nylon carpet with rubber bristles that you're going to hit a very heavy obstacle in the form of static resistance. With the resistance of rubber bristles hitting the carpet it is also compromised by the noise of the Leifheit and a failure to pick up crumbs and loose dirt easily such as hair and light fluff the first time around. Going over this debris many times until it goes up into the sweeper's bin is something I've experienced a lot with the Leifheit Regulas Supra and no matter how much or how less weight I apply to the handle, the Leifheit doesn't have the expected light weight gliding factor I was expecting and the cleaning performance is far from wunderban!
This isn't just down to the brush roll; on the underside there are two rubber squeegee scoopers designed to steer dirt in the moving brush roll. Many upright vacuums these days have these built in but it's a different story when it's you who is supplying the power and not reliance of constant electrical power to keep cleaning continuously and precisely. The rubber squeegees get in the way on carpets and despite trying to trim them down they can't be removed because Leifheit have glued them into the body. The Regulas Supra doesn't like thin carpet tiles either for all that the rubber bristle roll is supposed to be revolutionary in coping with "multi style flooring," and despite the open sides to each side of the sweeper, the Leifheit also fails to clean right up to the edge. The front bumper of the sweeper also seems to attract carpet dust, an inherent problem of static pick up due no less to its rubber bristle bar and often dust sits on the outer part of the body instead of being deposited in the bin.
When it comes to emptying the Regulas Supra, there are other problems. Removing the bin looks like it should be easy thanks to a large circular disc in the middle of the sweeper's top. Pushing it lightly unlocks the bin from the main body and it is here that I found the silliest design element of all; a top release bin that has to be angled downwards for it be removed from the actual body and then tipped upwards to avoid dirt falling out. By the time I've released the bin from the main body and having to push it inwards on an angle to release the bin, dirt falls out anyway; the fact that you might just find dust at the back of the small shaped removable bin if it hasn't been tipped out already poses a bonus! Between the bin and the main dust channel of the bristle bar, the apertures are very small so when going to clean up sweetie wrappers or something bulkier and bigger than a stamp, the Leifheit just glides over the problem dust and can clog up if it won't accept the dirt.
Removing the brush roll however is a heck of a lot easier. Simply put the floor head upwards and by pulling both sides of the brush roll, the rubber bristle bar simply pops out of its toothed mechanism. The brush roll is also very convenient in the sense that it is completely washable, although it is best to dry it out completely before you push it back into the body of the Leifheit.
Is it worth all this hassle to clean carpets and hard floors? Not in my estimation. Whilst the Leifheit Regulas Supra looks super-modern and has some good design elements, the biggest bugbear is that it can't clean or sweep on carpets effectively without constantly going over the areas of dusty carpets before the whole task of choosing to use the mechanical dust sweeper over mains powered vacuums becomes arduous and time consuming. The rubber squeegee mounts get in the way for successful light gliding and the four wheels on board do very little to ease up actual pushing. Then there's the difficult to remove bin that chucks dust onto the floor whilst the resistant, persistent rubber bristles don't move easily on carpeting whilst all the time it squeaks and squeals around your home. It is difficult to recommend this sweeper despite being made in Germany and for that reason alone, just because it made in Germany doesn't necessarily mean it's a good thing. Thanks for reading. ©Nar2 2010