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      14.06.2002 22:49



      I must admit to not doing very much hoovering, or should that be vacuum cleaner operation, around the house. I do keep my little office room clean though, and sometimes the hallway outside the door. I use the household vacuum cleaner, not chosen by me, I didn't really have any say in the choosing of it at all. I just use it, occasionally, for my office. The vacuum cleaner is a 'rowenta artec' hence my writing in this category. It is blue in colour and is a cylinder style rather than an upright, I do believe there is a picture of one at the top of this page, albeit a red one. The vacuum cleaner has two big buttons on the front, one for on/off operation and one for retracting the power cord, which is coiled inside the main body of the unit when not in use. The power cord retraction is very quick and powerful, so if you do choose this model take care that the plug doesn't hit you on the way in, it can be sore. Protruding from the top (if it is standing on its base, if lying flat, which it is during normal operation, I suppose it is the side) is a hose. To the end of this hose several attachments can be inserted depending on the required job. The usual one for floor cleaning is a triangular shaped affair with 'easy glide' plastic pads on it. The triangular shape makes it easy to clean corners. It cleans well, lifting dirt and hairs and fluff and dead skin and whatever other things are lying around like little pieces of paper or stones. All that stuff that looks grey once it is collated. It picks up very well, with very little effort. As a picker upper of debris I'd fully recommend it, but it does have a downside. The bag, I am reliably informed, is very difficult to empty. It is supposed to be a reusable bag, so it needs to be emptied out when it becomes full. However, it doesn't have a zip fastening or any other means of entry other than the inlet. This means that to empty it you have to turn it
      inside out through its own tight little hole, with the resultant escape of the collected debris. If you think you could do that inside a plastic bag then fine, but it might be more hassle than it is worth. Other attachments include a little pointed nozzle and a little brush attachment which is good for cleaning around desks and PC's and in corners and fabric sofas, although I'm not sure about that since I have a leather sofa. Those are kept inside the main body of the cleaner and are accessed by opening the front panel. Oh, and I should mention that it has two big wheels and a small wheel that make it easy to trail it around behind you. Yeah, this is ok as far as vacuum cleaners go, but the bag emptying thing is a pain in the pants. For completeness I should mention that my office has a wooden floor, and the hallway has a carpeted floor - the vacuum works equally well on both. Ours has been in use for about a year and a half and it hasn't broken yet. Would I recommend it? Well, yeah, for pickup it is great, but if you don't fancy the bag emptying then choose another model. Try Argos maybe, they have a good selection of alternatives at prices to suit all budgets.


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