Upright Vacuum cleaners
In our Vacuum Cleaner Reviews we have to first of all consider the Upright Vacuum Cleaners as these have
been around the longest and have made such a contribution to the cleaning industry.
The basic design of the upright cleaner didn't really change until the inventor Richard Dyson entered the
industry and challenged the mindsets of the Vacuum Cleaner Manufacturers.
Over the decades, the basic design of these upright cleaners was to have a waste bag connected to a handle
that pushed a small electric motor that created a vacuum. This motor was housed on top of some small wheels and at
the front there would be a vacuum aperture over a motorised brush and beater bar.Cleaning
The cleaning principle was for the motorised brush to agitate and loosen all the soil and debris from the
carpet fibres, and the beater bar would vibrate the loosened soil into the air so that the vacuum would catch this
soil and transport it into the waste bag.
This is an example of an upright vacuum cleaner
manufactured probably in the 1950's or 1960's. This model even has a light at the front to illumnate the
carpet under obstacles such as beds or sideboards.
In the U.K. the most well known of this type of cleaner was the Hoover Junior and even though it could be
as much as 40 years since they were last made, we do hear of some models still being in use.
These cleaners really were made to last,and with the easy availability of spares, they could be repaired time
and time again.
Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case, now. The idea now is that cleaners are so cheap that
as soon as they break down they should be thrown away and a new one bought.
Hard Floor Damage
These upright vacuum cleaners were designed for cleaning carpets and so the early models could damage hard
floor surfaces when the beater bar would dent these surfaces. Later models had the facility to raise the brush and
beater bar so that the brush only lightly touched the hard floor surface.
This also helped with different heights of carpet pile, and so these machines can be used to lift tired
carpet pile. This helps to bring back the spring into older carpets, and also prepares them for further cleaning
A further benefit of these upright vacuum cleaners was the ability of these motorised brushes to remove pet hairs
and fluff from the carpets. Nowadays, when many cheaper models of upright cleaner do not have these motorised
brushes, they depend totally on the strength of the vacuum to remove all of the debris.
The problem is as many of us know, that static electricity can cause hairs and fibres to stick to the pile
and so some form of agitation is needed to help to remove them.
The major problem with these upright vacuum cleaners was that as the waste bag filled up there was a loss of vacuum
power and so cleaning efficiency. These early model vacuum cleaners had no filtration and so a fine cloud of dust
could be spread around the rooms and left in the atmosphere to fall back onto the freshly cleaned surfaces.
They did need maintenance, such as, taking the brush and beater bar off to be cleaned. The
renewing of the rubber drive belt for the brush. A supply of waste bags was needed. Not suitable for stairs or hard
floors. Early models were heavy and difficult to manoeuvre, especially under furniture.They were also quite
Modern upright vacuum cleaners
The Dyson company took the Vacuum Cleaner industry by storm, literally, by using their
tornado effect cleaners to replace the old waste bags with plastic containers.These vortex cleaners do not lose
their cleaning efficiency as the waste compartment fills up, and todays cleaners are much quieter than their
It seemed to me that the original vacuum cleaner manufacturers were paralysed by the
innovations that were coming into their industry through the Dyson company, but there have been signs of these
manufacturers begining to fight innovation with their own innovations.
So it will interesting to see the shape of the upright vacuum cleaner in the years to come.