Widgets Magazine

Oct 12, 2011

Cleaning the Vacuum

See all that food on Baby Doll’s tray? Now do you notice that mischievous little grin? She has a new philosophy. As soon as she is finished, she sweeps all that is left right off the edge and onto the floor. Now this isn’t a problem if the dog is around; Daisy licks everything up real quick. Unfortunately, sometimes she is outside and then I have to sweep everything up.

If I were a stellar housekeeper, crumbs would disappear as soon as they were made. But that’s not my life. I sweep the crumbs (and the cars and the crayons and the candy wrappers…) into a pile and then I wait for one of the kids to take care of it for me. This is probably a big mistake because if I were cleaning “the pile,” I would first PUT AWAY the crayons and the cars and toss the candy wrappers and big crumbs BEFORE I ever get out the vacuum. The kids usually manage to take care of the cars, but everything else goes right up the vacuum!

Maybe if we had a regular vacuum this wouldn’t be a problem, but we happen to have a Central Vac and that means all that dirt (and crayons and candy wrappers…) travels through pipes in my house and down into a large canister in the furnace room. About once a month or so we take this canister off and dump it. It’s a good system …when the kids aren’t using it.

So I finally got tired of having bad suction in my kitchen. We took the 40- minute drive to visit my BIL and borrow the “big drill” and the worm. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned that my FIL was a plumber. When he passed away, he left tons of tools to his kids. This particular worm has cleaned tons of drains and it happens to work perfectly for cleaning out vacuum pipes as well.

It’s quite a procedure! My sweetie is at the front of the line and he is responsible for feeding the worm down into the hole. We station kids about every 5 to 10 feet along the worm to keep it from ripping holes in the walls or scraping up the floor (like we’d notice!).

The kids have to wear work gloves to protect their hands from the spinning metal. Because the worm is so long, we have to take it clear out the front door and into the yard. I get the fun job…I get to run the drill! It takes us about 20 minutes to get everything set up. Then it takes about 2 minutes to clear the blockage.

I’m so glad a married a plumber’s son! The company charges nearly a hundred dollars to come out and do the same thing. I know one lady whose kids kept sticking their Hot Wheels cars down the pipes. That’s a pretty expensive racetrack!

But the best story I know about a Central Vac came from one of my students when I was teaching. He tells a story of building a new house. During the process, they had to put a bunch of stuff in storage. When the house was finally done (with a Central Vac installed), they went to the storage unit to get their furniture.

They carried a heavy dresser into one of the bedrooms and pushed it up against a wall. When they opened the middle drawer, they found a huge horrible surprise. A family of mice had nested there and baby mice were suddenly running around everywhere. My student pulled the door of the room closed and quickly plugged in his central vac. Then he proceeded to vacuum up each of those baby mice until they all disappeared. And not a single one clogged up the pipe. Can you just imagine the smell when he dumped his canister? Ewww!

See any mice, Curly? I have the vacuum out!


Candice said...

I'm not a good housekeep either so I feel you on that one! Thanks for stopping by my blog for the comment love :) I'm your newest follower and would love for you to follow back!


Silver Strands said...

hahaha! When I read your post title I cringed ... it's a quick reminder of something I don't do often enough!

Hope it's a good mid-week day for you!

Sara Bell said...

This is the worst!
We have a mini wet-dry vac only (all that will fit in our little place any ways, he he) so that's at least good. We just dump it out over a dumpster and call it good.

Mr. Taylor and his Lady said...

ugh, i just hate house cleaning. especially when it comes to vacuuming, only because it takes forever! having to lug it around and plug and unplug, plug and unplug in all the different rooms. no fun!
xo TJ

Julie Harward said...

So much constant cleaning with a big family..I know been there done that! ;D

TheRapunzelGirl said...

i would hope that he emptied the canister fairly quickly after sucking up all those mice! i'm no mouse lover, but letting them rot in the central vac bin just seems terrible.

Anonymous said...

I feel a bit bad for the baby mice, but I won't want them in my house either.

Glad you have a handy husband.

GrumpyJaxMomOf3 said...

We have central vac too, but we have yet to have any blockages.... When we do get one however... I'll pay your crew to come and fix it ok? How's dinner sound? LOL

M-Cat said...

We've thought about a central vac for years, but now with everyone gone and it's just me and Splenda, it seems kinda silly. And somehow, pushing the vaccum is kinda cathartic for me. Weird, I know!

Jen + Jeff said...

Central Vac!?!? Never heard of such a thing.

My excuse for not vacuuming is that Leila is scared of it. Except it is not an excuse ;)

Ruth said...

I sweep up huge piles of dirt and food and other junk, and then use the vacuum instead of a dustpan. But I thought I was the only one! I like you even more now. =) (I think I would get in trouble with a Central Vac...)

Elle said...

central vac = genius... every Christmas when my brother and I were younger we would get a box of lego, by the following Christmas there would be none left thanks to Mum's ingenious version of 'cleaning up' I curse the invention of the Dyson... my kids KNOW when I have sucked up a lego piece or a toy soldier... woe.

Elle xo

Irritable Mother said...

Our vacuum wasn't sucking up dirt well. In fact, it was spitting it out. So my hubby "took a look" - and discovered a whole peice of notebook paper in the tube. Seriously! I quickly reminded the kids that if something is big enough to be picked up with their hands, it was too big for the vacuum. *sigh* LOL
As to the food on the floor... I used to say with a sarcastic "proud" tone, "You could eat off my floors! ... And get a pretty decent meal." *wink*

Thanks for stopping by my blog. It's good to meet you. :o)


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