When I was young, Mamaw always loved her vacuum cleaner. No, I am not kidding. In the late nineties, she bought a newer version of it that cost her an arm and a leg, but she paid it happily because she LOVED her vacuum cleaner. What did it do that was so special? It vacuumed. I'm not kidding about that either. It's one of the single most effective vacuums I've ever met. But it's hellishly expensive and pretty high maintenance, so I've never met anyone else who has one.
None of the rest of my family liked to use this vacuum because it was, as I mentioned, high maintenance. There's a tub of water in the bottom that you have to fill before you vacuum. All the dust and dirt goes in there, rendering it pretty stationary so it doesn't blow back into the room like other vacs. The down side to this is that the tub has to be emptied at the end of every vacuum session. You're left with a tub of mucky water and sludge that has to be disposed of, and the tub has to be rinsed out really well, and all that and people just don't want to do that.
When Mamaw died, the only possession of hers that I asked for was that vacuum. The family willingly handed it over because no one wanted to toss it (hellishly expensive, remember?), but no one wanted to USE it either. My aunt brought it to me sometime in the winter, but it sat in a closet in the nursery because it needed (guess!) maintenance. Whoever had used it last (not Mamaw, she was bedfast) had left the water in the tub and it was SKUNKY. I had rinsed out the tub and turned it on, but the smell was too much. It smelled like Mamaw's house with a pretty serious overtone of dead ass. So, it sat. I have hardwood floors and a few area rugs, so my Swiffer Sweep & Vac does most of my work. But I also have dogs. And a toddler. I really needed more muscle.
My loving husband kindly took the entire thing apart (literally, he removed every screw) and cleaned it for me. He bleached the tub and made it all nice and shiny again. Today, I not only filled the tub, but put a couple drops of jasmine essential oil in the water before I vacuumed the couch, rugs, and baseboards. My house smells terrific. J got home and started to grump about the fact that I hauled the enormous beast from its cave, but stopped when he smelled the air. It's like I was running a giant air purifier while I cleaned.
Okay, this isn't a product review. Well, it kind of is, but not really. If you don't mind the water thing or the price, go buy one right now. It's worth it. Your house will be spectacularly clean. But the point of the story is that Mamaw loved this vacuum. I loved it originally just because she did and maybe also because I felt a little sorry for it because no one else loved it. Now, as an adult with a house that needs cleaned every 27 seconds, I understand the true value of the thing and love it even more. AND! My husband, who thought it was a dumb idea (he didn't say that, but he did complain quite a bit about cleaning it) has come to love it too. Something about that makes me exceedingly happy. J didn't get to know Mamaw very long before we lost her, and this is like some kind of bizarre connection to her. I can give him that. I can teach him to love the vacuum that only she loved.