Carpet Sweeper Saves The Day

The solution to our ongoing problem — how to keep the carpets clean without scaring the cat — turned out to be a carpet sweeper.  Back in the day, my grandmother had one of these things.  Every afternoon, when the house was clear of grandchildren and other people, she would say “I’m going to pass the carpet sweeper.”  And then out would come the magical implement, and in a few minutes, all the dirt on the living room floor was gone. 

The idea of a carpet sweeper seemed so old-fashioned to me that it would never have occurred to me that they even make them anymore.  But it turns out they do, as my mother discovered when she was browsing in Brown & Roberts recently.  Brown & Roberts carries a cute little Bissell carpet sweeper that comes in two models — lighter version  for $24 or so and a higher pickup model for $29 (the Sturdy Sweep®).  

As soon as I tried my mother’s, I knew I had to have one.  No more lugging out the giant, clunky, heavy, electric-powered industrial model.  We can just grab the carpet sweeper and take care of that spot by the door or the room where you were just sewing for three days or wherever.  The high pickup model that we got picks up really well.  The key seems to be to go back and forth at least once over every area you clean.  That gets the brushes into action in both directions and you can usually pick up everything just with the one back and forth. 

I don’t usually plug commercial products, but in this case, I realized that there was more to the carpet sweeper than just a useful device.  It’s a relatively quiet useful device so it will freak out your pets less.  It’s people-powered, not electrical, so you can save energy usage as well as cost.  And you even get exercise while doing it, helping your body and overall health (not that you don’t get exercise vacuuming too, but too often for me it means sore shoulders and back).  

Then there’s the cost of the carpet sweeper versus the cost of a vacuum cleaner. The carpet sweeper we have costs about 10 times less than a new vacuum cleaner. So even if you can’t afford an electric vacuum, you probably can afford a carpet sweeper.

Finally, you can still have your old electric vacuum as backup or for super-intensive cleaning frenzies such as right before your mother comes to visit.  In between times though, it’s nice to have the carpet sweeper to keep your carpets (and floors) particle-free.

If you get one, don’t forget to buy local!  😉

Comments | 7

  • Lise, Does it pick up cat

    Lise, Does it pick up cat hair? I’ve got Maine Coons that shed constantly and I’d love to find something to use in between heavy duty vacuuming that I do every 2 or 3 days.

    • Cat Hair? Maybe.

      We got one of these way back before we could afford or really needed a vac and still have it hanging with the brooms in the cellar stair. It has outlived 2 vacs, so far.

      I think it depends more on your floor whether it works for cat hair or not. If you have a thick pile carpet, these won’t work great – maybe not at all. But for a Persian rug or low pile carpet and even hardwood, to some extent, they work great. There’s no cord to mess with.

      • A Second

        I have cats, one light, one dark. They are short-hairs so they don’t shed a lot but it definitely gets in the carpet. The carpet sweeper seems to pick up a lot of visible dirt as Amanda said. As for cat hair, it seems to roll it into a ball which at least makes it easier to pick up with your hand if need be. But yeah, for long-haired persians, I don’t know if the carpet sweeper is going to cut it.

  • Love my carpet sweeper

    I confess, I also love my vacuum (for getting the actual sandy-dirt-grit particles up). But for rug and carpet surfaces, the carpet sweeper does an awesome job of getting up all the visible/surface stuff. We used it often on our standard wall-to-wall carpets in our old house. Now we have hardwood floors, and I can use a soft broom on the hardwood and the carpet sweeper on the rugs.

    Best of all, it doesn’t add anything to the electric bill.

    My grandmother gave my carpet sweeper to my family back in the 70s or 80s and it’s still working just as well as then. Relies on static electricity to pick up stuff, and it does pick up hair.

  • My mother had (still has) a

    My mother had (still has) a Bissell sweeper that dates from the early 60s, in typical pink, and I had a little child-size one I would follow her with throughout the house. Quick and easy for light cleanup.

    Yes, they work better on short pile carpets and short pet hair…long pet and human hair gets rolled into a bell (or occasionally, if you’re unlucky, rolled about the sweeping mechanism).

  • Old Carpet Sweepers

    Isn’t it funny? So many of us with carpet sweepers (myself excluded) have old ones inherited from our grannies. I never knew that a carpet sweeper could last so long. But I’m telling you younger folks, they still make them and while they may not have 60 years of life in them, they seem like a good deal for our pocketbooks as well as the environment.

  • simple design

    I really like the simple design. Whomever thought up a rolling brush/pan combo did the world a favor

    I, too, recall carpet sweepers at grandparent’s house, but we also had one ourselves. It was mostly used to get crumbs up.

    Cats are still somewhat leery of this new device – it resembles the dreaded carpet monster – though the lack of loud noises puts it in a different class for them. They seem to be getting used to it.

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