Author Topic: Recommendations in purchasing and using used vacuum cleaners in our homes  (Read 9639 times)

Sri C.

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Since I am handy with tools (though unfortunately less with mechanical and more with electrical), I have been finding it cost effective to buy used (sometimes defective or damaged) items off craigslist and fix them up, ending with a good item at a fraction of what it would cost new.

However, the DW is not very supportive of buying used household items like futon matresses and vacuum cleaners.

Now, I always respect claims backed scientifically and the DW did show me some convincing evidence that buying used vacuum cleaners can be dangerous (infectious diseases and allergens).

However, before throwing away some of the used vacuum cleaners I got from garage sales (I am particularly in love with a 6yr old bagged Hoover Dimension Supreme. In this age of bagless models I actually like this model with disposable vacuum cleaner bags as these double as an air filter to prevent vacuum dust from blowing into the air while vacuuming. This is important as the dust that gets into my electronics is very fine compared to the size of the usual household dirt.
) I would like your feedback.

Has anyone here purchased and used, used vacuum cleaners in their own homes?

If so, which models are reliable (plus points if the replacement parts are inexpensive as well)

Should I "invest" in a $300 Dyson?

Or should I just go to Walmart and buy those $45 bagless Bissel vacuum cleaners and be done with it?


  • Pencil Stache
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If you want to "invest" in a vacuum I'd go for a Miele.  I used to work at a clothing store and someone vacuumed the floor every morning with one for at least 4+ years and it never broke.  The store also had professional cleaners every 2 weeks and the owner of the cleaning company is the one who recommended a Miele since that's what they use. 

I have the cheapest Miele canister model and have had it for 4 years with no issues.  It's seriously the best vacuum ever.  And I'm not the type to get enthusiastic about household appliances.  Maybe try eBay for a refurbished or used one if you can't find them on CL.


  • Bristles
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My mom always gave me her hand-me-down Kenmore canister vacuums when she decided that she needed a new one.  I always found them to work great and never break.  The only reason I got rid of them is because she would give me another one every few years!  So, maybe that would be some middle ground.  I have a central vacuum now, so we don't use it all that often, but that Kenmore she gave us over 10 years ago still works.  We use it in the basement. 


  • Magnum Stache
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For starters, I'd invest in tile or hardwood floors...

We have a local entrepreneur who fixes up & resells vacuum cleaners.  We bought an upright bagless Dirt Devil with a 12-amp motor for $50.  It runs, it cleans, we empty out the canister each time and vacuum the filter once in a while.  All the parts seem tough, and nothing has snapped off or jammed.  It works great.  We've beaten it hard for over a year and it just keeps on sucking.

My mother-in-law has used a Hoover canister vacuum since her 1958 marriage (it was a wedding gift).  Maybe it never breaks or parts are still available, but either way I hope I'm in that good a shape when I'm that age.  We used to own a 2002-model Hoover upright (with a bag) but little plastic attachments kept breaking.  When the wheel carriage snapped I finally quit trying to fix it and gave it to the vacuum entrepreneur.

I'd buy any used vacuum that has a high-quality air filter, especially a HEPA filter.  If a HEPA filter is good enough to vacuum out the reactor compartment on a nuclear submarine then I think it can handle allergens and "infectious diseases".

I would never invest $300 in a vacuum cleaner.  You could probably throw away a $45 Bissell every two years and still be ahead.

As for used futon mattresses, we buy the ones with washable covers.  We've also furnished our whole house from Craigslist, including several beds.  It's pretty easy to check the condition of a mattress.  While I'm sure bad things can happen with used furniture, I suspect that the probabilities are very low and avoided through the application of common sense. 


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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I don't know about purchasing a used vacuum as I have never done that, but I can offer input to the question of investing in a Dyson.

We have both a upright Dyson and the Dyson Cordless Vacuum.

I have had the upright vacuum for about 10 years and have never had a problem with it. The filter comes out and can be washed with water. It works better than the cordless Dyson vacuum for carpeted floors but can be cumbersome on stairs. I like the fact that I don't have to pay for bags, however, I try to empty the vacuum outside so that I do not introduce the dust back into the house.

The Dyson cordless is the best cordless vacuum hands down (I have compared 5 different ones as we are part of Amazon's Vine Program).  It is versatile in that it can be used as a stick vacuum but also has accessories making it a high powered hand-held vacuum. This vacuum is great for vacuuming the car, hardwood floors, and most of all stairs. Again this is not as powerful as the upright, however, it is a GREAT all around option. The downside is that this vacuum only holds a charge for 15 minutes and requires 6-9 hours to charge. I wouldn't even consider that a total downside as I normally do not spend more than that amount of time vacuuming each day.


  • Senior Mustachian
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I also have a Dyson upright . . . it's been going strong for about five years.  It is awkward on stairs, and noisy as hell.  Other than that it works really well.  We've been happy with it.  When we moved into our current house it had a central vac line installed, but we found it was much inferior to the Dyson so we don't ever use it.


  • Stubble
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As for used futon mattresses, we buy the ones with washable covers. 

In order of items I would never purchase or use:

1) used underwear from goodwill
2) used socks from goodwill
3) used mattresses.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Another Dyson fan.  I've been through plenty of cheap vacuum cleaners, the Dyson is here to stay.  Works great!  Pay once, cry once.


  • Stubble
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Are you sure her issue isn't really just that you're buying too many of them? Sounds like you have multiple vacuums at this point...