Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Where does the muck come from? – or ‘The sure bet’

Project Yuk

I can’t remember the details, but I recall an American vacuum cleaner manufacturer who provided a ‘free’ extra bag with its horrendously overpriced machine. From what I remember, the idea was for new owners of the machine to vacuum their carpets (as many time as they wanted to), then immediately use their new American wonder machine over the same area – and cut open the ‘free’ bag to see what it had collected.

The idea was that the company would cough up some ridiculous payout if the new owners was not impressed by what the miracle machine collected after their old one had presumably stopped collecting anything

As far as I know, nobody ever collected – but I could be wrong.

However, I suspect the truth is simply that you can always collect something, simply by using a different vacuum cleaner, or brush head, on the same area, hence the bet was a sure thing for the American, and their money was safe.

I discovered this a few years ago after a problem at home, and the chance acquisition of one of the then latest Dyson ‘Animal’ cylinder vacuum cleaners with their ‘Root’ technology and updated motor units.

I didn’t believe the Dyson advertising blurb either, about how powerful it was, but on the basis of something rather unscientific – how it lifted not only carpet tiles, but normal carpet, when I tried and lift the cleaning head off the floor, I have yet to find anything else that creates the same ‘lift’ as this one. And I say that as someone who was disappointed by the first two Dyson machines (the upright and the cylinder: DC01 and DC02), described at best as rather ‘asthmatic’ and weak. Their only real advantage was being truly bagless, and that did work – but was wasted by the need to renew their filters, which were not washable. I eventually swapped the DC01 for 14″ TV. The DC01 broke its drive belt far too easily of the brush caught on a bit of thread, and those filters were a nuisance. I still have the DC02 – now with aftermarket washable filters. It comes in handy for dirty jobs which I don’t want to waste my good cleaner with, and ruin the HEPA filter (which is hard to get at, although it can be replaced even though it is a ‘lifetime’ filter.) I used the ‘good’ on some soot once, and ended up having to dismantle the whole thing to clean it. Moral of the story: NEVER use a good vacuum cleaner for soot, or anything like it. Keep an old one that can be stripped down and cleaned once it has been used for such a fine contaminant.

Habitually, I empty the clear container every time I use it, and clean the (non-disposable) filters regularly. And this got me thinking, as it occurred to me that even when there was no through traffic in my home, and I had not been outdoors, I was always collecting somewhere up to 10 grammes of ‘stuff’ every time I used it. I might add that I no longer have any pets running around either.

A year ago, I decided I was either imagining this constant collection of ‘stuff’ every time I used the vacuum cleaner, or it was real, even though I don’t have an endless stream of feet through the house – in fact, I seldom let anyone in, and have even started having outdoor and indoor shoes, thanks the amount of dog muck lying around.

With the end of 2012, I placed the bucket where the ‘stuff’ collected over the year had been accumulated, the total collected (which does not include spills and clean-ups, which were discarded separately)…

2,129 grammes, or 4.7 pounds weight!

I can’t wait to see what 2013 delivers, and compare the end result.

I grabbed a couple of pics to give an idea of how much this represented – and would not be too pleased if I was still kicking this around my floors/carpets (the can of soup is just for scale, it wasn’t vacuumed up with the rest, and the 24-inch ruler is just for scale too):

Vacuum 2012

Vacuum 2012

Just out of interest, I threw the bucket on the scales after the first round of vacuuming in 2012…

Although only a few days had passed, and I had only been out a couple of time, a remarkable 23 grammes was collected.

As I said at the start – “Where does it come from?”


January 6, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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