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! 😉