We have ponies, sheep, dogs, cats and hens and their hair, fur and feathers seems to find its way indoors on the bottom of wellies along with the mud that is an inevitable part of life on a farm.
And it gets all over the cream tiles in the utility room, kitchen and bathroom. Why, why, WHY did I choose cream tiles? Because my house is a tiny cottagy thing and anything darker would have made it look like a cave. I'd tackle the problem with a broom and an old handheld vacuum cleaner (which died recently) but, inevitably, seconds after I'd swept, the floor would be all hairy again.
The main problem looks like this:
|Mido can't help being so hairy!|
Labradors, even part-bred ones like Mido, shed copious amounts of hair. He's surrounded by it in the picture if you look closely.
So when AEG said they were looking for people to test their Ergorapido cyclonic cleaner I
begged pleaded pointed out that I had a problem with a black Labrador and cream tiles. They said their machine was well up to the challenge and one duly arrived in a nice shiny box.
What is an Ergorapido? It's a lightweight rechargeable (astonishingly powerful) vacuum cleaner. It's 2-in-1 which means you can use it as an upright or take it apart and whip out the smaller handheld cleaner. It has a rotating brush to pick up all the hairy dirt and headlights on the front so you can see where the dirt is.
It tackled my tiles:
|Can you see the furrow ploughed by the Ergorapido?!|
What makes this such fun is that it's so easy. One swipe with the Ergorapido and the hair and the mud has gone, safely cyclonically suctioned up inside the machine.
Me and vacuuming aren't the best of friends because I have a bad back and find it uncomfortable to do. I tend to leave it to my husband (he prefers to do it rather than find me on my hands and knees using the cleaner or incapacitated having used it). The Ergorapido, however, is light and nimble - a veritable ballerina of vacuum cleaners - and I have no problem with using it (which is good because I now use it at least twice a day!) It's laughably good at turning corners (it should do Strictly...) and there's no fighting with retractable cables because you just lift it off its stand and then lift it back on again when you've finished.
And boy is it good at picking up hair...
|BEFORE: Wound around with hair, sewing threads and hay|
I have long strong hair which is (previously) impossible to pick up. I also do a lot of sewing so invariably there are little bits of cotton all over the dining room carpet. Not any more! The Ergorapido winds them round the brush (see picture). To clean this I just snipped the thick bit in the middle with a pair of scissors and most of the hair just pulls easily off. You then put the cleaner on a hard surface, press the head cleaning button on the side, count to five and Hey Presto!...
|AFTER: Spotless again|
It comes up like new. Every single time. Ingenious. It's a doddle to clean the dust container too. You just unclip the dust box and tip it the bits into the bin. It has an efficient filter (I now keep an old toothbrush handy to quickly brush this clean) and the inner filter has a spring loaded trigger that you ping the dust off with. All done in moments.
|Headlights so you can see where the dirt is|
The Ergorapido is the sort of thing that I didn't know I needed until I got it and now I'm wondering how I lived without it. I'm a fan of Fly Lady style of cleaning (set the timer and GO!) and I can vacuum my whole house with the Ergorapido (just the middles, as Fly Lady says) in ten minutes (less if I run!) This is a Very Good Thing.
The handheld cleaner has two nozzles - one concentrates the suction into a tiny area so you can clean hard to reach places (like behind the pipes in the bathroom). The other has a brush on it (which is excellent at cleaning the dust off the TV). It's so easy and quick to use Brian grabbed it and gave his car a quick spruce up before he went off to work one morning.
I was trying to find something negative to say about it. I first thought the handheld bit was underpowered but it's very efficient once you fit the nozzles on (better than my old one in fact). It does run out of juice after a while (as all cordless things do). I charge it up overnight and use it morning and evening so that's not a problem.
I'll leave the last word on it to R8: "Wow!" she said, as it flitted past whisking up dirt, "that's awesome!"
Disclaimer: AEG supplied me with an Ergorapido to test. I am under no obligation to give it a positive review.