If you have hard flooring, carpet or flat surfaces in your home, which just about covers every possibility—there are three specific vacuum cleaners that deserve your attention: an upright, a cordless stick vac and a cordless handheld. These are the worker bees that I own, love, and do not want to live without.
Once you familiarize yourself with these vacuums and their specific uses, you’ll know why each one gets my designation of for Best Inexpensive™ in its specific category. Because life is uncertain and things can change with a minute’s notice, today I am updating and republishing this post with new and exciting information.
In the decade since I met and fell in love with my first Shark upright vacuum, I’ve purchased, tested, given as gifts, and worked nearly to death (it’s really hard to wear out a Shark) many Shark vacuums because the company comes out with a new model or two about every week, or so it seems. I can say with confidence, there is no better basic corded, upright vacuum cleaner on earth.
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/PicMonkey-Collage-16.jpg11501000Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2019-10-21 00:29:312019-10-30 09:36:28The 3 Vacuums I Use Every Day and Absolutely Swear By
It’s been several years now since one of my awesome readers told me about an inexpensive, super effective tool I could attach to my vacuum cleaner’s hose that would let me vacuum places no vacuum had ever gone before. Every time I use it, I wonder how I had lived so long without VaccuFlex.
That’s it. Just a multi-piece kit that attaches to any vacuum cleaner that has a hose—like my Shark—which then turns it into a vacuum cleaner that can get into even the tiniest crevice, corner or space.
What’s so ingenious about a VaccuFlex kit is that within those seven pieces—which are food-grade so safe to use in the kitchen—is the perfect combination to fit any size vacuum cleaner hose to get into any size space. And this is not like some little battery-powered mini vac. I have all of the power of my Shark behind VaccuFlex.
I use VaccuFlex to vacuum all the crumbs and bits out of my kitchen drawers in a flash, because there is no need to remove flatware, utensils and so forth. And that area around my coffee grinder? That thing is messy and throws fine coffee grinds into cracks, crevices and drawer guides. VaccuFlex to the rescue for that and for reaching under the refrigerator, too.
To me, car vacs are troublesome. They’re either too wimpy and powerless or the cord is too short; or if cordless, lacking in runtime. Using a full-power vacuum cleaner with VaccuFlex is the way to detail the inside of a car.
See that tiny hose? That can get into the tightest spots to super-suction out all of the stuff that accumulates in car seats, floors, door compartments, center console, and dashboard. This is the way to vacuum tight spaces!
Door and window tracks
What is it about door and window tracks that they simply refuse to get clean? It’s the corners and that area right next to the track that seem absolutely impossible! The solution is to make sure those areas are perfectly dry, then put VaccuFlex on the job. I’ve discovered it’s a lot easier if I loosen the dirt and debris with a good brush first.
My first clue that things were not quite right with my clothes dryer—suddenly, it was taking forever to get anything dry! I’d check and re-check the lint trap, so that wasn’t the problem. Turns out it was all kinds of lint that had been trapped, behind the trap farther inside the machine. And in the dryer vent line.
My laundry appliances are stacked so pulling the dryer down to get into those areas from the back was not at all practical. And that’s when in desperation I ordered a VaccuFlex kit. I removed the lint trap and stuck that hose all the way into that area. It was amazing. Shark nearly filled itself before I stopped pulling out lint balls. Then I went outdoors to vacuum through the outside of the dryer vent. And that fixed the problem.
Warning: You must attach VaccuFlex to a wet-dry vacuum to perform this household rescue. Shark vacuums are NOT wet-dry! This Vacmaster is an excellent wet-dry vacuum, which would work well for this.
If you have a hopelessly clogged sink, it’s possible that you can quickly clear that clog with VaccuFlex attached to a wet-dry vacuum. Video demonstration here.
There are so many other ways VaccuFlex has made my life easier—cleaning out air returns, condensate lines, p-traps, and HVAC systems to name a few.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon affiliated sites.
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/71PPTlFGXcL._SL1500_.jpg6671000Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2019-08-05 00:40:182019-11-03 20:04:43How to Clean Where No Vacuum Has Gone Before
You know by now just how much I love my Shark vacuum cleaner. And given my readers’ letters and comments, I know that many of you have Sharkies, too. Now you need to how to clean a Shark so it keeps performing at top efficiency.
I love your messages. They make me smile because I understand the range of emotions that come from using a Shark vacuum for the first time—from amazement to flat out embarrassment.
Where on earth did all of this dirt and debris come from?I can’t believe what’s been lurking in my carpet!
With all of the miles I’ve put on my numerous Shark vacs over the years, I’ve never had one fail. And while the manufacturer boasts that Sharks never lose suction, that is predicated on regularly cleaning Sharkie’s canister, filters, and rotating brush.
It’s right there in the owner manual, which most of us don’t think to read until we have a problem. You need to clean your Shark every three months to keep it working at top efficiency—more often with heavy use. It’s easy.
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/PicMonkey-Collage-18.jpg10001000Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2019-07-27 00:01:502019-10-09 09:05:30How to Clean a Shark Vacuum and Its Filters
Quesitons About Pet Stains on Hardwood, Cleaning Baseboards, Prepaying Mortgage
If it’s Friday, it just might be Ask Me Anything day when I reach into the mailbag and pull out three recent questions from my loyal, loving readers—two of them with the same name!
My dog recently had a “scare” and piddled on my hardwood floor. I did not catch it right away. I now have a stain. Is there anything you would recommend to get rid of it without refinishing the floor? Thank you. Linda
Dear Linda: This is tough. It’s difficult to know if you have a stain sitting on top of the floor or if the floor’s stain has been penetrated and bleached by the heavy presence of ammonia in dog urine. Regardless, it’s surely worth a try to see if this can be reversed. Here is a recipe and instruction for removing dog urine from a hardwood floor:
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/questions-hands-up-copy.jpeg477700Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2019-04-05 07:44:372019-09-02 12:14:21Ask Me Anything: Pet Stains on Hardwood, Cleaning Baseboards, Prepay Mortgage
How often have you been vacuuming and you turn off the vacuum only to see stray hairs—from your own head or your pet’s body—still on your carpet? No matter how hard and often you vacuum, they’re still there. Now imagine all of the hairs you cannot see because they’ve worked their way below the surface.
Experts tell us that one human sheds from 50 to 150 hairs a day. Dogs, depending on the breed, shed many times that amount, as do cats. The mess of pet hair can be enough to drive pet owners nuts.
What isn’t removed regularly gets stuck and eventually embedded in carpet and upholstery, becoming a kind of greasy magnet for dirt, dust, and debris. If not removed regularly it holds all of that tightly within the carpet and upholstery fibers.
I met my first Shark vacuum in July 2012. That experience rocked my world. I was both amazed by the piles of debris, dirt, dust, and who-knows-what-else that thing sucked out of the carpet and plenty embarrassed. It’s not like I never cleaned house.
In the nearly seven years since then, I’ve written about my Shark vacuums a lot. I’ve upgraded several times as new models have been introduced. Currently, I own this Shark Navigator Professional Lift-Away and love it. Given your feedback, I know that thousands of my readers now own Sharks, too. We’re quite the fans!
A New Shark in Town
Several weeks ago, the folks at Shark contacted me, asking if I would like to test their newest upright vacuum, the Shark Apex DuoClean Zero-M Vacuum. I said that I would, but made no promises to review or recommend. I was skeptical because how could they possibly improve on what I consider perfection in a vacuum?
Before this machine arrived, I did a little poking around to figure out what all this means. I learned:
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/13250621_s.jpg565848Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2018-11-28 07:55:112019-09-02 12:23:03A Machine that Gets Pet and Human Hair Out of Carpet Like Magic
My mail doesn’t arrive one message at a time. It comes in piles. Think: avalanche. While I have recently hired an assistant (yay me, and welcome Suzanne), the piles remain deep and wide. But I have big plans and high hopes.
I must have the most patient readers on earth, understanding, too, because while I read every single message, I am unable to reply personally. That’s why I look forward to Ask Me Anything day.
Today I reached in and pulled out these questions…
Barbara writes: We need a new vacuum that is lightweight and easy to carry. We have three flights of stairs in our townhouse and our current vac is super heavy and difficult to navigate—and it doesn’t do a very good job. My new vacuum needs to have attachments including a long wand to dust door frames, drapes and artwork. A bagless vacuum would be ideal. We have a dog and a cat, so cleaning pet hair is an almost daily requirement. My husband and I always read your hints for saving money and we’re confident you can point us in the right direction!
You won’t find a better vacuum than a Shark. I’ve tried just about every vacuum out there, so I say this with supreme confidence.
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/slushpile1_7075.jpg6651000Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2018-07-25 07:27:462019-10-14 10:04:44Ask Me Anything: Best Vacuum | Best Blow Torch | Best Meat Thermometer
Everything is different when you’re a child: The trees are taller, colors are brighter, and every new day is more exciting than the last. And some things stay in our memories for a long time—in fact, sometimes they end up being with us forever.
Dear Mary:The sad news that Toys R Us is closing all of its US stores not only has us nostalgic for childhood memories, but it also has me wondering: what should they do with their Toys R Us gift cards? Michael
Dear Michael: This is a very sad topic in my family. My adult kids and grandsons too, are going through a kind of grief as thoughts of Toys R Us flood them with wonderful memories.
As for Gift Cards—there’s one important thing to remember: Gift cards are not the same as cash. They represent store credit. One of the dangers of holding onto Gift Cards is that the store will file for bankruptcy or some other event that causes those Gift Cards to become virtually worthless without notice. My advice is that you use Gift Cards as soon as possible—never hold onto them for the long term.
Get thee to the nearest Toys R Us store you can find that is still open to buy some Christmas gifts! Don’t assume you’ll be able to use those Gift Cards at ToysRUs.com as the online store has been closed. Only a sweet, tearjerker message remains with a reminder me that deep down inside, we’re all Toys R Us kids.
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/5aaac5a7edb6e.image_.jpg640960Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2018-07-02 07:12:402019-09-26 17:50:35Ask Me Anything: Toys R Us Gift Cards | Percale Sheets | Best Upright Vacuum
As I glanced at the day’s news headlines, I flinched when I read that a prominent U.S. politician (who shall remain nameless) had 10 people show up at a recent town hall meeting. Ten! That’s what I call an empty room and the fear of every speaker—that no one shows up because no one is listening.
Before I bring up the subject of my email inbox, I need to tell you again how much I love to hear from my readers! I take every letter, note, and message as an affirmation that I’m not speaking to an empty room. I love your tips, stories, questions, corrections, and challenges.
Now about my inbox—it fills almost faster than I can read, so I create file folders for varying subjects. When a folder gets full I know it’s time to address that subject in an upcoming post.
Once again, I’m working to clear out the folder labeled “Best Inexpensive Qs” where hundreds of messages land that go something like this: “Please tell me exactly which [fill-in-the-blank] is the Best Inexpensive™ option.”
ROOM DEHUMIDIFIER. If you live where it gets unbearably humid this time of year, the way to lower the humidity inside your home is with a good dehumidifier. My pick for the overall best inexpensive 70-pints-per-day unit is rated for up to 2,500 sq. ft. is FRIGIDAIRE Energy Star 70-Pint Dehumidifier It will keep your home comfortable and also protect it from mold, mildew and airborne particles that can make breathing difficult for some people. About $240.
SEWING MACHINE. Two choices here. For the beginner: Janome Mod-15 is a sweetheart of a basic mechanical machine ideal for a beginner of any age who shows great promise with sewing, but has not yet proven the need for a more advanced machine. About $150. For intermediate to advance: Janome Mod-100 is a remarkable top-of-the-line computerized model that has everything an advanced sewist would want, with a price you’d expect for a beginner machine. About $275.
HANDHELD GARMENT STEAMER.Housmile garment steamer is a portable fabric steamer brush for clothes. Perfect for travel because it’s lightweight, comes with two styles of brush heads and produces excellent steam. I much prefer its performance over the more traditional style of garment steamer. It’s great! About $35.
https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/38705557_s.jpg599799Mary Hunthttps://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/EC-Logo-by-Mary-Hunt-Tagline-Trimmed-833x159.pngMary Hunt2018-06-05 05:51:042019-10-14 09:04:46Readers Show Up in Droves with Best Inexpensive™ Requests
Click on the different category headings to find out more. You can also change some of your preferences. Note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our websites and the services we are able to offer.
Essential Website Cookies
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the website, you cannot refuse them without impacting how our site functions. You can block or delete them by changing your browser settings and force blocking all cookies on this website.
Sprinkled throughout this site you will see references to my use of affiliate links or referral links. These references are called disclosures and are a requirement put forth by the Federal Trade Commission. They are there to inform you I have a relationship with a particular product or service and if you choose to purchase that product or service via my affiliate link, I will get a small commission. Of course, this is no extra cost to you, but it does help to pay the bills so I can keep bringing you great tips! I truly appreciate your support in this way. Thank you.
Google Analytics Cookies
These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience.
If you do not want that we track your visist to our site you can disable tracking in your browser here:
Other external services
We also use different external services like Google Webfonts, Google Maps and external Video providers. Since these providers may collect personal data like your IP address we allow you to block them here. Please be aware that this might heavily reduce the functionality and appearance of our site. Changes will take effect once you reload the page.
Google Webfont Settings:
Google Map Settings:
Vimeo and Youtube video embeds: