Wednesday, January 12, 2011

WonderWife Power Tool: Review of the Electrolux Unirapido Vacuum

When Brian and I adopted the Delightful and Wonderful Beauregard, the war on dog hair began and hasn't ceased. At first I was convinced that the shedding would decrease as his body got used to being an 'inside dog' (we think his fluffy coat was a result of living outside for the first 8 months of his life). But after he shed that extra fur, we changed his diet. And then changed it again. And each time we adjusted his food, a flurry of fur ensued. Since then, we've settled on the perfect kibble, but the changing seasons and Bo's general existence mean a constant cloud of shedding. He reminds us of Pigpen; when he stands in the sunlight and shakes his coat, the resemblance is startling and disgusting.

As much as we love Bo, Brian hates, hates, hates the fur everywhere. Our floors are all hard, with one 8x12 berber-style area rug in front of the fireplace, and when the sun shines in it is easy to see a trail of hair gathered along the baseboards. GROSS. Thus, I sweep a lot. But brooms are a pain because they often push things around, into cracks and under sofas. My mom is always telling me that I need a dust mop, one of those long, furry yarn pushers, and I tell her that I DO have a dust mop, but it's just not a perfect solution.

"Why don't you just use your vacuum, Maegan?" Good question. Because it's OLD, as in 'at least twenty-five years old' and 'doesn't work at all on the wood floors' and 'I don't know why we still have it'. But I couldn't justify the purchase of a brand new expensive vacuum when a.) we don't have any carpet, and b.) I couldn't imagine pulling out and plugging in a heavy Dyson or Oreck every time I spotted that nasty trail of fur along the wall.

Ah, but enter the $80 Electrolux Unirapido (listed here, at When I bought it, it was $71, so I felt like I got a great deal. My brother- and sister-in-law have two big golden retrievers, and I was surprised by their fur-less floors when I visited them. They raved about this vacuum, but I didn't give it much thought until they bought one for Brian's mom for Christmas. I tried it out when we were there, and I was hooked. As soon as we got home, I bought one.

Let me tell you what: I love this thing. I LOVE it.

The basics: This vacuum is essentially a full-size dustbuster that charges on a stand. (Incidentally, Electrolux also makes a similar vacuum, the Ergorapido, WITH a dustbuster that can detach. I'm not reviewing the 2-in-1 model, just the basic floor cleaner. I don't think I'd use the dustbuster very much at all.) There are no bags to change, just a dust bin that pops out very easily and that rinses clean. The two filters inside the dust bin also rinse clean. The vacuum has a runtime of approximately 20 minutes when fully charged, and has two settings of suction power. The higher setting is best for carpets, and the lower setting lengthens runtime and works just fine on my hard floors.

1. It is cordless. This means there is nothing standing between me and a 15-minute vacuumed house. Nothing to tangle, fuss with, or limit range.
2. It is quiet. The lower setting sounds like a hair dryer.
3. It SUCKS. Very powerfully. The feeling of popping out the dust bin to see all the fur and dust I've picked up in one cleanup is extremely rewarding. It also works well on our area rug - much better than our 25-year-old Eureka. The rug itself is difficult to vacuum, because things get caught in its loops so easily, but this vacuum does a very good job of picking up fireplace debris and dog hair.
4. It's fun to use. The head swivels sharply, with just a slight turn of the wrist.
5. The dust bin and filters are very, very easy to clean. When I rinse them in the sink, they look brand-new clean.
6. It is absolutely perfect for hardwood floors. It doesn't scratch them, and the suction power is strong enough to pull stuff out of the cracks - unlike a broom.
7. It is very light - less than five pounds. I have it charging behind our bedroom vanity (set at an angle in the corner of the room) and it is nothing to reach behind there and lift it out with one arm. It's hidden from view, like a secret agent that I can deploy at will.
8. The brush wheel is easy to pop out and clean - no screwdriver needed to access it.
9. It works really well for vacuuming the leather furniture. Even though Bo is not allowed on the couches, his fur still winds up there.

1. Only a 20-minute runtime on a full charge. I've never had it run out on me, because it cleans fast, but the threat is always in the back of my mind, especially since it's so goshdarn fun to vacuum with it. ("How long have I been using this thing? Hope it doesn't run out.")
2. The filters need to be rinsed fairly often before the suction power starts lacking. However, like I said, this is really easy to do.
3. The button to open the dust bin is large, and sometimes the button accidentally gets bumped during a cleanup and the dustbin cracks open. But the vacuum continues to run. It's not like the dirt goes anywhere when this happens, but if I didn't notice it, I imagine that the vacuum performance would be reduced.
4. The brush wheel doesn't do well with long hair. Every two days or so, I have to pop out the brush wheel and snip off all the hair wrapped around it because the suction power will weaken. STILL, I'd rather do that than have my long hair being tracked around the house. Plus, it's super easy to get the hair off the brushes.
5. I suspect this is like most vacuums, but if there is crud right up against the wall, I have to brush it out from the corner so the vacuum can get it. I don't think many vacuums can get stuff that far into a corner, but a broom can. I suspect this is the only thing that my broom has got on the Unirapido. Also, I prefer to do stairs with my broom. Too many little crevices for the vacuum.
6. It's not a work of art, even though they offer it in a couple (bright neon) colors. But if you can find a discreet place to plug it in and charge it, it won't be on display.

None of the cons outweigh all the positives of this thing. I love it. My broom has lain neglected in the closet since I bought it, and my floors have been so much cleaner. For someone whose house has a lot of hard floors, I would highly recommend this thing. I feel like it's a secret weapon.

Well, not so secret anymore, but I suppose that is my gift to you.

And if this sounds like an ad, it's not! I wish.


No comments:

Post a Comment