Vacuuming ... we've got it in the bag!
The vacuum cleaner is an essential tool in most people’s houses and we pretty much take it for granted, but did you know that the first motorized vacuum cleaners were invented almost simultaneously in 1901 in two different countries - one by British engineer Hubert Cecil Booth and one by American inventor David T Kenney? And these weren’t the handy, portable machines that we use today … far from it, as both vacuum cleaners were huge machines that had to be operated by a team of people, with Booth's version using a horse drawn combustion engine (see photo) and Kenney's relying on a 4000lb steam powered system!
Luckily, just four years later the first portable vacuum cleaner, marketed at the domestic market, was built by Walter Griffiths in Birmingham and in 1908 The Hoover Company produced its first model, hence the generic term “hoover” often being used interchangeably with “vacuum cleaner”. However, initially the vacuum cleaner salespeople didn’t have an easy job when trying to sell these cleaners door to door and would often have the door slammed in their face. Why you might ask? Well, the householders weren’t keen on the inference that their home was so dirty they needed a technological aid to clean it!
Obviously, times have changed and we now can’t imagine life without our little Henry or Dyson (other brands available), so here are some vacuuming tips you might like …
For good health it's really important to maintain good air quality inside your house so make sure you dust, then hoover regularly, using a vacuum cleaner that has a high-efficiency particulate air filter (HEPA). This is vital as it has been found that unfiltered hoovers, particularly older models, can release a good amount of dust and bacteria back into the air - not great for our general well-being and definitely not good for allergy sufferers!
If you have pets buy a pet hair specific vacuum cleaner to ensure as much hair as possible is picked up. Make sure it has a good filter, and an attachment for furniture and don’t forget to regularly clean the filter to stop it getting clogged up with all that fur.
To ensure you have a peaceful night’s sleep, without any unwanted visitors such as bed bugs (yuk!) give your mattress a vacuum at least once a week
If your vacuum cleaner is starting to smell, add a few drops of citrus or peppermint oil to the canister and filters.