Electrolux vacuum

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by tonyb, Apr 19, 2020.

  1. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Anyone here (59Lark, maybe?) have an informed opinion on the practicality of a vintage Electrolux canister vacuum for regular domestic use in 2020?

    I’m considering purchasing one of those bullet-shaped deco/moderne jobs, because the look real cool and because, being canister-type vacuums, they’re just the thing for cleaning under beds and dressers.

    What might I be on the lookout for? Or against?

    The things aren’t scarce at all, judging from the numbers listed for sale online any time I look. It appears that a hundred bucks or so will get ya one. That price compares quite favorably to new vacuums, most of which can be expected to last the average home user maybe five years, ten at the outside.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
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  2. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    They come highly rated, perhaps check out the pricing on a used one that has been refurbished by a shop. That way you are not paying for a crap shoot. We had a cheap vacuum we picked up at Costco as we have mostly hardwood. It worked okay. But when my Mother passed I inherited her Cadillac vacuum, a TriStar cannister. The difference was amazing. According to the vacuum shop in our town the Electrolux is close in performance to the TriStar.
     
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  3. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    ^^^^^
    Thanks. I’m currently using a Bissell upright, a bagless wonder. It works okay, but I don’t expect it to last more than a few years, seeing how it’s made mostly of cheap plastic.

    I’ve been in a couple of pricy vacuum cleaner retail stores in recent years and I believe the salespeople who tell me that the vacuums at Target, etc., are real pieces of doo-doo in comparison to what they sell. But I can’t quite get myself to part with several hundred dollars for a vacuum cleaner. If I were a janitor by trade, I could see parting with that kinda scratch. But not for my own household use only.

    The earlier Electrolux models, the Model 30, for instance (made from 1937 to ’52, according to a couple of online sources) use a cloth bag to collect the dirt. You just shake it out and put it back in the machine. Later models use disposable paper bags, which are impractical for me on account of my pets. Every few days I’m vacuuming up handfuls of pet hair, enough to completely fill a disposable vacuum cleaner bag. That would get spendy, even when the bags are bought in bulk, for less (but not much less) than a buck a throw.
     
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  4. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I grew up with Electrolux canisters and have owned and used a Model 30 for many years. When the cloth bag is full of cat hair, I take it out and empty it in the back yard, and whack the empty bag against a tree a few times to disperse the dust.

    The bag has a rubber gasket that might eventually dry up or warp with age, but new bags are still available on the aftermarket. The rubber carrying handle on mine finally gave way to rot and broke, but aftermarket replacements are easy to install with a screwdriver. I am told that sometimes the on-off switch on these go bad, but that hasn't happened to me. If it does, a replacement is easy to find. There's also a fiber-type exhaust filter that will probably need replacing, and these are easy enough to find on the aftermarket.

    They use a standard Electrolux hose, and can use any of the regular canister attachments. You'll want the basic brush head, the metal "gleaner" head, and the crevice nozzle. The furniture brush is also nice to have when pet hair is an issue. There's a *lot* of attachments out there for these machines -- Electrolux even made a spray-gun attachment if you feel like giving your car an Earl Scheib-style paint job. Sometimes the aluminum wands seize up with age-related corrosion and you can't pull them apart, but a bit of penetrating oil and some patience will usually solve that problem.

    In short, I've never had reason to be displeased with any Electrolux product, and the XXX is a really fine machine. It'll outlive all of us.
     
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  5. 3fingers

    3fingers One Too Many

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    I too grew up with Electrolux sweepers. Had one myself until a few years ago. I gave it to one of the kids and it is still in operation. My wife grew up in an upright sweeper household and she didn't care for dragging the Electrolux around.
    Even she has admitted that it did have advantages.
     
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  6. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    We have an Electrolux as our “above the floor” machine on the second floor of the big house. On the first floor we use a little Premier which can hang from a shoulder strap. For the rugs we still use uprights, a Hoover 725 upstairs, and a Premier Duplex down.
     
  7. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    How about those sled runners the canister rests on? Any real danger of them scratching oak floors? Or vinyl plank?

    I’m more concerned about the former, as the latter is in the kitchen only, and I don’t expect to be using the vacuum in there with any frequency, although there is an Afghani rug by the stove that’s a favorite resting place of one of our mutts, the one with the light-colored fur.
     
  8. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    As long as the plating is smooth and hasn't rusted or peeled you should be ok. You could even give them a light swipe with a block of Gulfwax to make them skid better.
     
  9. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    I’ll get one when the right deal comes along. It’s not that I have an urgent need, and my guess is that prices are likelier to dip than rise in the short to medium term.

    As in the case of countless other groovy old artifacts, I kick myself for NOT buying one back when the thrift stores were full of the things.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
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  10. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    It’s a regional thing, I believe, this difference in calling ’em “vacuums” or “sweepers.”

    Ohioans of my acquaintance call the contraptions “sweepers,” or “electric sweepers.” It might be that those Ohioans aren’t representative of Ohioans in general in this regard. I wouldn’t know.
     
  11. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    Ohioans should know, for the Hoover, the Kirby, the Royal, the Hood Housekeeper, the Electro-Hygiene, the Air-Way, the Filter Queen, the Wireless Vacuette, the Premier, the Rexair, the Westinghouse, the Geir Special, the Scott, the Rainbow, and the General Electric sweepers all originated in Ohio. In fact, all originated in Cleveland save for the Hoover (North Canton) and the Air-Way.
     
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  12. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    I would guess so, then. And I’d also guess that t’ain’t a one been built around there in decades. (Hope I’m mistaken about that.)

    I’m not given to conspiratorial explanations, but it doesn’t take an outright conspiracy for a sort of tacit conspiracy to result in, say, the collapse of the Midwestern manufacturing juggernaut.

    The Ohioans of my acquaintance got out of there, too.
     
  13. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

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    Kirby and Filter Queen and Rainbow are still built in Cleveland.
     

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