Dishing the dirt on dirt – what to know before buying a vacuum cleaner

I know nothing about vacuum cleaners, except that mine kind of works okay and is a dirty exercise when cleaning out the bag. I didn’t put much thought into the whole process when I bought it, but I probably should have.

Allergens are prevalent in the home. These could be made up of house dust mites, faeces and cat proteins, which are triggers associated with asthma and a number of allergic conditions. Our homes contain some or all of these:

  •  House dust mites
  • Dog and cat dander
  • Mould Spores
  • Bed bugs
  • Pollen

Did you know that bed bugs suck your blood? What the…?

Before you reach for the hand sanitiser and plot ways to sterilise everything in your home, you can actually get rid of all of this with a good vacuum cleaner.


We don’t put much thought into what vacuum cleaner we have and how well it cleans up all those gross things I just mentioned, but we should. Having recently attended an event where Dyson showed off their top of the range vacuum cleaning machines (they really are well-designed pieces of engineering), I can now tell you what you need ask when buying your new vacuum cleaner:

  •  Filters and bags. Do you know how they work and what is the process of cleaning them? How often do these need to be cleaned/replaced? If they clog, your vacuum cleaner can lose suction.
  • Flexibility. Your machine needs to be able to get to hidden places – skirting boards, blinds and the like.
  • Can it vacuum your bed? Remember those blood-sucking bed bugs – your vacuum cleaner needs to be able to suction those bad guys off of your mattress, without damaging the fabric.
  • The seals. How good are the seals? Leaky seals and filters mean dust and bacteria expelled back into the air you breathe.

If this is all to much for you, then just go get yourself one of Dyson’s new models of vacuum cleaners, I tried them out myself and they’re an ode to engineering sophistication and precision, with even a cordless model that weighs in at less than 2kg.


(They are available at Dion Wired and Hirsch stores nationwide, starting at R7999.99 for the Cinetic DC52 and R6499.99 for the Digital Slim DC62.)

vacuum dust 50s housewife image pic

We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?


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