Vacuums are evaluated in a pet-hair pick-up test

March 31, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Keeping floors and carpets clean is a full-time job, some might say, but if you've got a pet that sheds a lot, it's an even bigger challenge.

Consumer reports' latest tests show some vacuums do a great job picking up pet hair, while others let the fur fly.

Samantha Boege wouldn't trade her dog, Rugby, for anything, but she could live without his shedding hair.

Boege, pet owner said, "Dog hair is everywhere, but it's just something that we have, we put up with."

Experts at consumer reports say you don't have to. Testers recently evaluated more than 100 vacuums, including uprights and canisters, bagged and bag-less.

Bob Markovich of Consumer Reports said, "Pet owners want to know two things about a vacuum, how well it sucks up hair and how much of that hair goes clear into the vacuum, rather than getting stuck on the brush."

To size up performance, testers go to great lengths. First, they measure exactly five grams of pet hair and spread it over a piece of carpet. Then they use a weighted roller. Next, testers weigh the vacuum, and then vacuum for 14 strokes.

After that, the vacuum gets weighed again, so testers know exactly how much hair it picked up. They also check the carpet for any hair left behind.

"We also measure how much hair gets stuck to the brush. Constantly having to manually clean out your brushes isn't much fun," Markovich said.

Even more expensive vacuums, like a $500 model that was tested, couldn't pull in the hair. In the end, one of your best deals is a $130 Hoover wind tunnel T-series rewind. This bag-less upright offers impressive cleaning and superb pet-hair pickup.

With a little knowledge on vacuums and Consumer Reports' tests, pet owners like Samantha Boege won't have to put up with a hairy household.


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