lifestyle

Can We Talk About Vacuums?

I’m so curious if people have housekeepers or not. I feel like most of my friends do in some capacity, but I wasn’t sure if that’s the norm everywhere. I have nothing against someone using a service to help with cleaning, but I’m on the fence for it personally. We had a cleaning service come twice and I’m pretty sure a wallet was stolen the second time. (It may just be very, very lost….. but I it disappeared soon after. I wasn’t using it at the time but it did have some cash, no cards, in it, so I didn’t realize it was missing for a little bit.) I also work from home and have two dogs and I personally feel uncomfortable being in a small apartment while someone else cleans, you know? Just wondering what you do if you use a service or if you do the cleaning on your own.

Since I work from home, I actually don’t find it that hard to do the cleaning. I have tasks I do every day and tasks I do every week and other things that I do a couple of times a month. I usually pop in my headphones and listen to an audiobook or podcast whenever I’m cleaning so I enjoy it a bit more. One thing that I strongly dislike? Vacuuming. I love it when it’s done, but I hate lugging a vacuum around and my dogs go absolutely crazy when it flips on. (I don’t know how people do the Roomba with pets– I’m pretty sure my dogs would lose their minds.)

After buying a cheap vacuum that fizzled out in a few months, I went on a hunt for a GOOD one. I read so many reviews on Amazon and settled on this guy. I freaking love it. I still don’t love vacuuming, but I LOVE this vacuum so much. Even though I had been vacuuming my old apartment normally, this vacuum got up EVEN MORE to the point where the carpet looked like a different color. The results speak for themselves and it’s somehow under $90. It’s a little bulky, but honest to god, it’s the best thing ever. I have converted so many of my friends and family to it.

Cut to my Hoboken apartment. We have no carpet (🙌🏻), but we still have rugs. And because we have a private entrance (plus a very dirty backyard), our apartment gets a lot of foot traffic. A lot of dirty foot (and paw) traffic. Mopping is easy enough and I find it rather therapeutic anyway, but I just knew the vacuum, although amazing, wasn’t doing enough for the rugs. I also spilled two cups of coffee on the rug in my office. I did my best to clean it, but there was only so much I could do.

Carpet Cleaner

Again, I went to Amazon to research my options. I ended up going with this carpet cleaner. I’ve only had it for a week and it’s already a game-changing cleaning tool. It’s pretty small and fits in my super tiny utility closet. (Which, fun story, we had to knock down the wall to replace the dryer because it’s so small that it couldn’t fit through the doorway and then rebuild the wall once the new one was in.)

I can’t tell you how excited I was to fire the carpet cleaner up. It did not disappoint. It was very easy to load the water and clean it out– I feel like every component was well thought out, right down to the flat bottom on the clean water tank because it was so easy to fill that way.

Once I got it set up, it took me a minute to get the hang of how it works though. The carpet cleaner has a wet-suction vacuum and a trigger for dispensing water + cleaner (you mix the solution in the tank). At first I did one spray of the trigger and then pulled the brush, but it works best if you press and hold the trigger for one long pull and then go back and forth over with the brush. The best part is that you can see the dirty water getting sucked back up as you run the brush along the carpet. It’s instant gratification.

You do have to get on your hands and knees, but it’s worth it. I did the entire rug in the living room in 30 minutes and didn’t even have to change the water tank. No joke, the dirty water tank was so disgusting that I can’t even post a picture here. I’m sure I’d raked over the coals for keeping a dirty house, but I promise that I clean regularly!

I bought it via Amazon and realized that I accidentally had my parents’ address stored from buying Christmas gifts. So I reordered one for myself and told my mom to keep the one that went to their house– they just got new carpet put in six months ago and have been spot treating stains by hand. I couldn’t wait to hear how it worked for my mom… she loved it, too.

The two of us were texting and sharing how amazing it was. We agreed that it was equal parts disgusting and satisfying to see how much dirt came up.

So…. I’m not even sure what’s worse here. Having two favorite cleaning tools that I am officially passionate about (👵🏻), or writing about said passion at length in a blog post. I just didn’t want to throw it into an “On My Radar” post because I felt like it was too good to get lost in the shuffle!!

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56 Comments

Anna

We have a house cleaner come every two weeks to do the “heavy” stuff like dust, vacuum, scrub the bathroom, clean baseboards, etc and it has been a game changer. It can feel silly in a small place but it’s a simple trying that calms my anxiety and gives me more time to do what I want.

For safety concerns, I use a licensed and bonded company and make a habit of “popping in” every now and then while they’re here.

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Elisabeth

Hello Carly!
It is really interesting to know how you manage you vacuum and rug cleaning, to be honest. This is the kind of question I hardly dare to ask whereas I really want to know if everybody has the same struggle as me!
For my part, I do not have a housekeeper, as I really prefer to do all the apartment cleaning myself. I do a little bit of it everyday (washing dishes, tidying a bit around, cleaning kitchen and bathroom as soon as used), a little bit every week (dust and floor) and another bit every month. I need to change my vacuum so thank you for sharing the vacuum and carpet cleaner!
Have a nice day.
Elisabeth.

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Arianna

I work from home full time with 2 kids and I do not outsource any cleaning. I like things done a particular way and would much rather spend my money in other ways! However, I’m 31 in VA and employing a cleaning service for at least SOME bit of the housework is the norm with people near our age here, too.

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Emily

You need to get one of the Dyson stick vacuums! You’ll never feel so dirty until you empty that vacuum! It literally picks up every speckle of dirt or dog hair out there. I love using it!

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Bronwyn

Oh my gosh I just got one of those Dyson stick vacuums for Christmas and I totally agree about emptying the cannister! It’s so disgusting/satisfying… and motivating to keep cleaning!

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Chelsey

We have a black lab who sheds a TON, so we have a cordless small vacuum that I use for daily cleaning. For the rugs we use something similar to you, but ours is a stand unit versus the smaller one you have. I think with pets and rugs you have to have something like that! Also, we don’t have a cleaning service, and majority of the people I know do not, but I live in southeast Virginia so maybe its a regional kind of thing? Although, I’m a renter and am seriously considering hiring someone to do a final deep clean after we move out so I don’t have to worry about it!

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Maggie Troxler

We have someone come every other week. I tried the cleaning service but I never felt like they did a great job and I didn’t like that we didn’t know them. We live on the UWS and one of our neighbors had someone they highly recommended. She has been cleaning for us for almost 2 years now and we love her!

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Ana

I’d love to hear about your cleaning schedule! I always wonder how often people do certain things and have been wanting to get on a schedule myself because I feel like I do some tasks every day and then others I’m like I have no idea the last time I cleaned the kitchen floors!!

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Mackenzie

I started using this weekly cleaning schedule a few years ago and it is such a game changer! I like to keep my house at a “10-minutes to company” level of clean (aka, someone could say they’re popping by in a few minutes and I could just do a few small things and feel presentable) – this short and sweet routine has helped me immensely!

https://www.cleanmama.net/weekly-cleaning-routine

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carly

Luckily the apartment is pretty so small even a DEEP clean doesn’t take more than a couple of hours. I clean the kitchen every night and usually do a little tidying in the morning while my coffee brews and I tidy clothes every night. Whenever I do a load of laundry, I throw the sheets/quilt in as well (at least once a week) and the duvet every month or so (the sheet/quilt keeps it clean for the most part and I HATE putting the duvet back on so I prolong that lol). I don’t have an exact schedule for weekly tasks, but I’m usually pushing the vacuum around once or twice a week, depending on how much we’re home that week, and whenever I vacuum I dust surfaces + mop the hardwood + clean the shower. I keep separate cleaning supplies in my bathroom, so I usually am doing that as needed and it’s part of my night routine where I’ll windex the mirrors and clean the sink/vanity.

Writing this out, I feel like I SHOULD have a more specific schedule, but it’s not too much of a challenge because there just isn’t THAT much space to clean.

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Christy Barrier

I JUST bought that same one a month ago. I had a Bissell little green before that and this one holds so much more solution. I love it!!

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Kristan

I love the iRobot by Roomba
Its amazing. Its a little loud, but honestly it is like a little human doing all the vacuuming for you. We live on a farm so there is a lot of dirt traffic between the dogs and the baby, and it just scoops it all up and gets in all the corners! Def worth the investment. We also don’t have a house cleaner, just not in the budget, though I’d love to have one!

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Rachel

For hard surfaces try a shark floor steamer! I couldn’t believe what it pulled up on my “clean” kitchen and bathroom floor!

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Mackenzie Praytor

Carly, I ordered your larger vaccuum and it came in the mail a few days ago – GAME CHANGER! We have a huge yellow lab who sheds constantly. It is not an exaggeration when I say it is a constant, daily battle to deal with his hair. We have a roomba that runs every day but I had a feeling it wasn’t truly getting everything up. The Bissell you recommended filled up the canister TWICE just by going over our living room rug – this was just after the Roomba had gone over the same space. I was horrified by how much hair/dirt had been on the rug, but I’m so thankful for your recommendation. I truly can’t believe how well it works for how affordable it is! I’ve been following your blog since your early Georgetown days – so I’m a big fan – but this might just be my favorite recommendation of yours yet 🙂

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Grace K.

What does it say about me that I saw this post go live when scrolling through my phone, but was so pumped about the subject that I purposely “saved” it for this morning so I could read it on the desktop?? I feel old and proud of it.

I have the Dyson V8 on my wishlist and am saving for that–but love the idea of a carpet cleaner that’s not the bulky rented kind!

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Grace Atwood

I could talk about vacuums all day long. I got a cordless Dyson last year and it is the best thing ever… makes vacuuming so easy and much less cumbersome! I have to vacuum every other day as Tyrion flies around and just leaves fur everywhere he goes, so this was big.

I’m always curious about housekeepers too. I hated Handy. I had one guy come and put the duvet cover around the mattress. (LOL that was really hard to take off, I don’t know how he did it!)

Then I got a recommendation from a friend and now his person comes over once a month and does a good deep clean. She’s $80 and it’s the best money I spend. It’s a little awkward when you work from home but I generally just move back and forth between whichever room she isn’t cleaning and we’re fine. It makes such a big difference though – I definitely have cleaning blind spots!

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Tara

You should get a Hoover Floormate for your hard floors. Amazing how much gunk I get up every time I clean them. Think vacuum with cleaning solution and scrubbing brushes for your hard floors. It’s amazing, and for someone who has a large home with lots of wood/tile floors, it’s been a huge time saver and I feel like it gets the floors much cleaner than mopping.

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Amber

I totally get where you are coming from. My husband and I have a housekeeper who comes once a week. I work full time outside of the home, and my husband runs his business full time from inside of our home. And yes, he is home while she cleans. When I first hired our housekeeper, I felt guilty for a short period of time. But the fact that we get to spend more time together and less time doing chores makes the expense 100% worth it! We both are extremely grateful for our housekeeper and recognize we couldn’t do half as good of a job as she does.

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Jessica Taylor

Hello, Carly! Great post. Two blog posts that I would be very interested in reading would be, 1) What’s your cleaning/tidying schedule and do you have any tips or tricks? and 2) How do you manage to stay on top of everything with two pups while still giving them enough play time and attention?? Thanks!

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carly

Re: the dogs, I’m so lucky in that I work from home with a backyard and we live in a town with dog parks readily available. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t work from home (one is usually on my lap/chair and the other on top of my feet so attention is never at a shortage). It’s harder in the colder months and they usually run to their leashes to let me know they’re done, haha.

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Kristina

I have a cleaning service that only comes once a month – that way I know everything has been deep cleaned at least semi recently! I don’t like being home when they’re here either, so I always head to a coffee shop. It only ever takes an hour and a half so it isn’t that big of an inconvenience.

Kristina does the Internets

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erin

honestly, i can’t wait for the day we can afford a house cleaner. even just monthly! my boyfriend is against the idea but he has literally never cleaned aside from putting dishes away or wiping down the counters – ha!

im in desperate need for a new vacuum and the one you linked looks great! i’ve had my eye on a different, slightly pricier, bissell for a while and really just need to pull the trigger!

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Rebekah

If you are ever looking for a great rug/carpet spot remover, you have to try the Folex carpet spot remover. I have white carpeting in my apartment and an accident-prone puppy, so I needed something that would keep everything fresh and clean. That stuff is AMAZING. It will literally take anything out of your carpet and make it look brand new, and it’s like $12 on Amazon. One lady in the reviews shows a before and after shot of her white carpets when her kids rubbed a whole bottle of ketchup into it – it’s pristine. This stuff is savior in a bottle!

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Cindy Gillespie-Lena

Love my Bissell SpotClean Portable cleaner. We take it with us on vacation in our motor home. Of course, having a Labrador we always have a reason to use it during our trips.

Because I was a good girl last year, Santa brought me a new Dyson Ball Animal 2. Who know I would be over the moon with a vacuum. Great suction, picks up everything, my carpet is so fluffy. The machine is easy to clean. It makes cleaning fun, especially seeing what is in the canister.

Cindy

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Logan Christine Ranhofer

I was sooooo happy to read this post. I’m always looking for ways to keep my house cleaner with two dogs too!! I even wrote a post on my own blog about how I keep our house clean (I have to vacuum TWICE a day — so much dog hair!!). I’m totally going to look into that carpet cleaner because I’ve had to replace so many rugs the past 4 years because of human and canine messes!
Xoxo Logan
http://www.habitsandhues.com

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Kristin

We do not have a housekeeper/ cleaning service. I have a hard time paying for someone to clean my house but moreover, 2 dogs (hounds) I don’t feel comfortable having someone in my house with them as well- people are crazy. I do the cleaning every weekend all 3 floors in about an hour. I can feel your pain with dealing with dogs tracking in everything and you know, shedding… . I have used the Dyson Animal upright and loved it but my house has a central vacuum system so that is what we use- 2 of the 3 floors are hard surfaces and it does a great job. I do have a Bissell upright carpet cleaner for our second story and it works great- we do it once a quarter or as needed. Bissell makes greats products 

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Shana

Love this post! I’ve never tried a cleaning service and personally don’t have many friends that use one, but I really appreciate these recommendations! Gonna check out that vacuum cleaner. I have an off-brand robot vacuum cleaner that I LOVE, but need a new vacuum. (My dogs went crazy around the robot vacuum at first, but now they just ignore it. Lol)

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Becca

I often think about this topic. In the town that I grew up, every single home on my street had a housekeeping service that came at least once a week except for my family’s home. It is quite expensive and I also find cleaning therapeutic, so I’m not inclined to hire someone. However, if I had a large yard, I would definitely be inclined to hire a landscaping service to do the heavy lifting in the fall. The leaves in New England can become overwhelming!

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Alyssa Shields

I have never commented before, but I am passionate about my vaccuum! It’s a Miele Aluminium, and I bought it 17 years ago! My husband said it cost as much as a mortgage payment, but it has survived multiple large breed dogs and 4 kids😂. I still love it just as much as when I bought it. In fact, I am trying to convince my husband we now need one for our 2nd floor! And, I clean all.the.time, and my house is the dirtiest clean house ever😉.

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Anna

Yes! Miele really are the best. I have one too and it too was absurdly expensive but worth every.single.penny!

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Lisette

I concur! I have a Miele and I love it. My parents have one and it is about 20 years old. It is still as good as new and it does an outstanding job. My piano teacher bought one after hearing me rave about mine constantly and is a full convert 🙂 I actually got mine on a sale at Bloomingdales which never happens on Miele. I somehow found a loophole. They are probably one of the more expensive brands on the market but are worth every.single.penny. I saved up for one and never looked back!

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Caitlin Honard

We have a dog and a cat, so there’s ALWAYS a ton of animal hair in our house. We invested in a robot vacuum (a Deebot, specifically, which I affectionately named Mmmbot!), and I don’t know how I lived without it. It runs every weekday at 10am, and I have to empty it every single day because it’s always FULL of dust and pet hair. The animals didn’t like it at first, but they eventually got used to it and don’t even seem to mind that much if it bumps into them when they’re not paying attention.

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Alyssa

In my last apartment it was part of the lease agreement that we have a cleaner come in once a month. I was hesitant at first, but I soon came to LOVE it. It really does depend on the person– it’s incredible how much or how little someone can get done in a couple hours and the quality of the work. I definitely find hiring a (good) cleaner to do my bathrooms, kitchen, and floors to be worth it. I prefer to do the rest. I’ve always been home while the cleaner was there, and just tend to stay out of sight, out of the way, but still “there” and have never had any problems.

I really love the cordless Dysons! They’re so convenient for keeping up with vacuuming because they’re so light and so quick. I’ll have to look into that carpet cleaner, it’s been on my list to purchase. I second that I’d love to see your cleaning schedule if you have one!

Alyssa | Between Fox and Hare

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Katie

I’ve never had a cleaning service before but I knkw people who do. Most are busy working with kids, so it is probably necessary and a great time saver. So funny because I actually love vacuuming ha. As long as I’m wearing blah house clothes and don’t mind getting sweaty I find it superrrrr relaxing. That’s SO crazy about your wall being knocked down! Sometimes when I go in stores or places, I’m legit like “how on earth did they get that in there?” Ha. Like the other day my mom and I went to winter park and walked around pottery barn. We went up on the second story and I was looking at their massive merchandising fixctures trying to figure out how they carried them up stairs. Then we figured out they had super large elevators!!!

Katie | http://www.sunshinestyleblog.com

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Christina

A good vacuum and carpet cleaner will change your life! Take your from tidy to CLEAN!!! It’s always a pain doing it (trust me I live in a 3 story town home!) but it is the fastest way to make a space look brand new and shiny (even if there is still mail on the counters and a few pairs slippers lying around 😂)

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Jules

We moved into a new apartment in September and my hubby said he wanted to get a cleaning service. They’ve come twice and although they stained two things with bleach the first time they reimbursed us and cleaned everything quickly and very thoroughly. They deep clean way more than we (me, especially) would, and we’re planning on having them come one a month or so.

We also have a Dyson cordless stick vac that we love! We don’t have carpet and it works great on our floors. Plus it has all of these cool attachments for spot cleaning!

xo Jules

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Kelly Golightly

We have that same Bissell — it was a must once we got our cockapoo Odee! Total game changer. We’ve even been known to travel with it (don’t ask — haha).

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A Girl, A Style

Haha, this post was so deeply gratifying (and I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s a bit nerdy about cleaning / home gadgets).

We tried a cleaner a couple of times but to be honest I found myself cleaning up first (so they didn’t think I was a slob), and then cleaning more afterwards (if they didn’t do things to my standards or the way I like it), or they’d end up spending time cleaning things I didn’t need doing. I always felt a bit strange either giving them a key, or being home and awkwardly moving around to whichever room they weren’t in. Plus our cat is afraid of strangers and *terrified* of the vacuum, so as we also live in apartment it’s not a big deal to clean and it’s much less traumatic for her if we just do it ourselves.

P.S. You have definitely just influenced me to buy that carpet cleaner! I can’t find the exact model on Amazon UK, but the same brand seems to have a mini version (called the ‘Little Green Carpet Cleaner’) which I’m hoping will do the same job!

Briony xx

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Juliana Grace

That is so funny that you mention the housekeeper thing, because I always wonder that when I go to someone’s place. What’s funny is that the people I know who clean their own home, I find have a cleaner home than those who have a service. I think when you are the one taking the time to clean your house, you are more obligated to keep it clean and organized throughout the week. I love cleaning and living in a clean space so personally, I wouldn’t trust someone else to do it, haha! Have you watched Tidying Up on Netflix? Love that show!

xoxo,
Juliana Grace | http://www.julianagraceblogspace.com

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Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

I live in a small two-bedroom apartment with a roomie! My roomie’s mom bought us a Shark cordless handheld vacuum and I’m completely obsessed with it. Sometimes I vacuum the house simply when I’m bored because it’s so easy to do haha (new hairs always seem to appear out of nowhere…) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

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Cat

I have that vacuum and I really love it! Can you post your cleaning schedule? I work from home 3 days a week and just can’t seem to nail something down.

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Mia

As a clean freak, I love seeing all the dirt vacuumed up, but at the same time wonder how things get so dirty when I Roomba everyday and vacuum twice a week….#kids. I’m thinking I should add this nifty carpet cleaner to my arsenal though!

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Ashley Fried

We have a Roomba that can mop and vacuum and I absolutely love it. It’s also compatible with the Amazon Echo so as I’m leaving my apartment, I can just say “Alexa, tell Roomba to start vacuuming.” Then I get a text once Roomba has finished.

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ED

We hired a cleaning service in 2018 for the first time, it’s a team of 4 women that come every other week. it has changed my life! My apartment is always vacuumed, tubs are scrubbed, everything is dusted, they mop the hard wood floor. I always felt like getting a cleaner was for lazy people or I was worried about stuff getting stolen but now that I have done it I am mad I didn’t do it earlier! I hung around for the first few cleans but really felt like I was in the way. Now I leave. It only takes them 45 minutes to 1 hour, and they accomplish what would take me probably 8 hours to do.

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Nicole M.

This post came at the PERFECT time. I’ve been using a small crappy vacuum for over a year, and it finally crapped out….right in time for the arrival of a new puppy haha. After reading this, I ordered the vacuum you recommend and was amazed / slightly grossed out at what it picked up from my area rug. So thank you for that!

As a dog mom, I’m wondering how you handle puppy paw prints around your apartment? Our floors are a weird dark gray, so they show everything. I’m Swiffer wet jetting multiple times a week to no avail… A friend recommended a steam mop, but I’m on the fence. Any tips?

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Regan

I have that carpet cleaner and it’s awesome. I use it on my couch and the mats in my car too!

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Allie

I find cleaning relaxing sometimes! But how do you all clean hardwood? We sweep and use a swiffer, but I don’t love it.
Does anyone use a steam mop?

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