A Vacuum Cleaner Story So Disgusting It Is Embarrassing to Tell

Even though not 100% organized, I pride myself on housekeeping to the point of being accused a time or two of being a wee bit compulsive. This brings me to the matter of vacuum cleaners. I’m particular, if not freakish, about vacuums. There was a time when I wore out vacuums so often that the folks at the Recycling Center knew me by name.

Let me take you back to 2007. I’d just blown out my third Hoover Wind Tunnel, having worn that thing down to its last gasp. I carried it in pieces to the Recycle Center. I was planning to replace it with the latest and greatest from Hoover until I heard about the Shark Navigator.

First impressions

I wasn’t that impressed as I looked over a new Shark Navigator vacuum at the store. It was on the smallish side, lightweight—certainly not the hefty, beefy Hoover I was used to. But based on a recommendation from a trusted friend, I decided to give it a try, knowing I could return it if this Shark couldn’t live up to my standard.

Oh, my. This might be an excellent place to end this post. What happened next is that embarrassing.

Maiden voyage

I plugged that puppy in and started to vacuum my family room, carpeted with 100% wool Karastan carpet. Look, I loved this carpet and had babied it from the day it was installed. It looked like new, which you might want to take with a grain of salt because I never wear my glasses when I vacuum. Still, I thought of it as pristine.

Within minutes, that canister filled to the top—a condition I had never witnessed in any vacuum to that day. And I was vacuuming a fairly small area. I was so shocked; disgust hardly describes the feeling. I took the canister out to the trash to dump it, hoping the neighbors wouldn’t be peering over the fence to see what was coming out of my home.

 

What on earth?!

This room was not small, but not massive, either. I filled that canister four times before I put Sharky away for the day. The next day, I vacuumed the same room a couple more times, and still, I was sucking out who-knows-what from this carpet. Even my husband was shaking his head. I vacuumed again until the canister remained empty. Finally.

I’ll admit to the carpet being ten years old at the time, but it had nearly been vacuumed to death over the decade. And cleaned routinely. All for naught, apparently.

Shark Vacuum: The final verdict

Buying a Shark Navigator was the best money I’d spent since I got my carpet-cleaning steam vac, which I still use all the time and as recently as yesterday.

I am still stunned at my Shark vacuum’s power and lightweight feature. But more than that, I am so happy to know that the carpet in my home is really clean. I mean, probably as clean as the day it was installed.

And my bonus? No more pricey, disposable bags!

Epilogue

Since getting my first Shark Navigator, I have updated more than a few times—not because a Shark died, but because I need to do a lot of testing. When I buy a new model, I give away the oldest in my current cadre of vacuums. I am still 100% sold on Shark Navigator Lift-Away—often you’ll find “Professional” in the name depending on the model—which remains our pick for EC Best Inexpensive.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away is far and away the best vacuum I have ever owned, tried, or tested. Shark vacuums across the board are low-cost. At this writing, I own three, one for each floor of my home. The “lift-away” aspect is wonderful as I can lift off part of the vac to make a small portable size to vacuum stairways.

As for longevity, Sharks just don’t wear out as other vacuums are inclined to do. And should there be a problem, Shark’s customer service is remarkably helpful and responsive.

Updated for 2024 on 2-27-24


 

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  1. Coastymom says:

    Same here. Bought the same one. Had a Dyson and it didn’t even work as well as the Shark. That sweeper is fantastic

    Reply
  2. Disappointed says:

    Sorry Mary, I love you column and read it daily…therefore I was disappointed to see that now you are doing “advertisements.

    Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Everyday Cheapskate has always contained ads from the wonderful people who sponsor it and make it possible for us to pay the bills. I think you would be surprised how much it costs to send out a daily email and to keep this blog site up and running. I don’t do this by myself. I have a staff of employees and they have families. And, I’ve discovered, they like to get a regular paycheck. Everyday Cheapskate and Debt-Proof Living will continue to offer ads, products,and services that are congruent with our brand–goods and services that I use personally and that I believe will add value to my readers.

      Reply
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Everyday Cheapskate has always contained ads from the wonderful people who sponsor it and make it possible for us to pay the bills. I think you would be surprised how much it costs to send out a daily email and to keep this blog site up and running. I don’t do this by myself. I have a staff of employees and they have families. And, I’ve discovered, they like to get a regular paycheck. Everyday Cheapskate and Debt-Proof Living will continue to offer ads, products,and services that are congruent with our brand–goods and services that I use personally and that I believe will add value to my readers.

      Reply
      • Mary says:

        I’m very happy you talked about your Navigator. I was saving to buy a Dyson. No way, now because I have enough money for the Navigator. Thank you, Thank you. Now we will have money left over to get other neccessities.

  3. PEG says:

    THE SHARK NAVIGATOR IS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD.(.SORRY ABOUT THE CAPS BUT MY KEYBOARD IS FROZEN.) I HAVE 6 CATS AND ONE DOG AND MY CARPETED STAIRS WERE ALWAYS COATED WITH HAIR EVEN AFTER VACUUMING WITH MY MIGHTY MITE ..I WAS FLOORED WHEN I USED THE NAVIGATOR AFTER USING THE MIGHTY MITE..THE AMOUNT OF HAIR WAS JAW DROPPING!! THE DYSON MUST REALLY BE TAKING A HIT SINCE THE NAVIGATOR MOVED IN..I AM A FAN FOR LIFE..
    .

    Reply
  4. Cris says:

    Shark is made by Euro-pro. I hope you have better luck with them than we did. I love their products but their customer service is the worst! I will not buy another Shark product because of their customer service. : (

    Reply
  5. Char says:

    So I had to come back & post again. Susan mentioned you can rinse out the dirt canister. Foam filters are located just above the dirt canister and should be rinsed and dried every few months. This helps prevent that stale, musty smell.

    Reply
  6. Karen says:

    The Shark Navigator is the the best vacuum ever made! My Oreck gave out and I had seen the ad for the Shark on TV and decided to buy one, thinking it couldn’t be as strong and lightweight as they advertised. I love this vaccuum! I was amazed, like Mary said, at how much dirt came out of my carpeting that I vacuum every other day. I have 2 dogs and lots of hair, too, and the pet hair attachment works great, too! I recommended it to two of my friends and they love it, too!

    Reply
  7. Diana says:

    I got another, larger unit because I have all carpet now….whew! I traded because I have no extra storage space and don’t mind doing a little at a time, well, I saw more cat hair than I ever had before, it is a dustbuster size Shark, bagless, and I love it beyond the beyond.

    Reply
  8. LisaD in upstate NY says:

    I agree with all who bought the Navigator! I’ve had mine for a few months and it IS wonderful. I bought the larger of the two.

    Reply
  9. Char says:

    Mary, I love my Shark Navigator! A friend referred the Kirby company to me. Two young ladies came to my house to try to sell me a new Kirby vacuum with a $2,000 price tag. They asked me to do a side by side comparison, and my Shark kept up with the Kirby…they couldn’t believe it!
    The only option I wish I had was the detachable canister that allows you to vacuum stairs and ceilings, etc.

    Reply
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