Best Vacuum for Stairs

Finding The Best Vacuum for Stairs

When cleaning your stairs at home you want a vacuum cleaner that is going to be easy to use and get the job done. There are several things to think about when considering what makes a good vacuum cleaner for stairs such as maneuverability, effectiveness, reaching into the corners and weight to name a few. A lot of people make power a priority and while that might be a factor, for you stairs the top consideration should be is it easy to use on the stairs! There is no point in spending money on a vacuum you have to battle with each time you want to do the stairs. Here are some other things to think about when looking for the best vacuum for stairs.

Best Vacuum for Stairs

Types of vacuum cleaners

When you want to purchase a vacuum cleaner for stairs the key word you want to find in its description is lightweight! A lot of uprights at full size are not lightweight so it is quite possible you have a cleaner already that you are happy with in terms of cleaning the rest of the home but it is not something you find easy to use when it is stair cleaning time. If you prefer the upright style but want one that could work on the stairs there are some lightweight models that could work. Some come with canisters that detach like the Shark Rotator all in one cleaner. You can even get cordless ones.

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One option in this case would be to get yourself a handheld vacuum cleaner for stairs. Good brand names like Dyson or more affordable ones like Eureka do some good handhelds that are easy to move around the home and light to hold. Some are quite powerful too so can even handle pet hair or more worked in debris. Some later models even come with their own attachments and some are cordless too if you do not want to deal with a cord and want the option of using it for a car.

Features to look for in a good vacuum cleaner for the stairs

The key components to a good vacuum cleaner for stairs are the same whether you go handheld or upright. You want lightweight, portability, long cords or cordless, attachments for small areas and crevices, a portable canister if it is an upright and it would be great if it had a pivoting head. While there are varying degrees in how much a pivoting head moves, something that does 180 degrees would be good.

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Attachments can be very helpful when you are doing awkward cleaning like furnishing and stairs. Deep cleaning brushes and crevice tools will help you get to the corners and reach into the carpeting if there is some and get out even deeply imbedded pet hair. Just make sure that there are not too many which then puts more weight on the cleaner or makes it awkward to use. You should at least want a hose that is 3ft or longer and a crevice tool!

Many people do better with a cordless cleaner when it comes to stair cleaning. You can get handhelds with Lithium Ion batteries that are rechargeable so that you do not have issues with power fading. Such a device would also be very handy for people who have pets to clean up the occasional clumps of pet hair, as well as for people who live in busy homes where the occasional accident happens and needs cleaning up. Get one with several brush options and the best kind of filter (HEPA) so that there are fewer tiny particles left floating around your home.

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Black & Decker Dustbuster Review

Black & Decker Dustbuster Review

One thing satisfied customers agree on about the Black and Decker Dustbuster handheld vacuum cleaner is the power such a small machine has. Despite being one of the smaller handhelds you can get at just 4.6 pounds it still comes with the power and suction you want to be able to reach all the nooks and hard to reach places when cleaning. Due to that powerful cyclonic action the dirt and debris is spun away from the filter as soon as it is collected ensuring there is no clogging and no loss of power.

black & decker dustbuster

With this model you get 50 per cent better reach then others so you can reach even the hardest of places to remove cobwebs, dust, debris and so on. No more hurting your back as you try to reach places other handhelds cannot get to. Another great thing about this machine is that it has been designed with a wider mouth so that larger particles can also be picked up. Those cereals your 5 years old dropped this morning at breakfast time are now quick and easy to clean up, no more crunching!

Wherever you are in the home or even the car the Black and Decker Dustbuster can be a handy machine to have. With tools that also store on the cleaner so you do not have to find storage room for them, and potentially lose them, this vacuum can do any job you need it for. When it gets full it is easy to see thanks to the clear dirt container. This is easy to remove and empty, clean then reattach. Plus the three stage filtration system means it works better and has less issues with clogging than some models.

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The Battery

The Energy Star approved battery means you conserve power, it takes just an hour to recharge and there is in indicator to let you know when the charge is complete. It comes with a 15.6V Lithium Ion battery Nickel Cadmium which once charged it has a good run time of 20 to 40 minutes. The power can fade slightly over time though but it is still very effective for small cleaning jobs. There is a two year warranty that will cover the charger and battery should you have problems with a fading battery in that time.

Light and small

This is a great light handheld, which makes it one that anyone can use, even people who perhaps have problems with their wrists or hands. You can easily move it around to where it is needed picking up debris and dust. Up the stairs, out to the car, these cleaning jobs are less of a chore when the machine we use is light and easy to carry. If you have curtains, walls, ceilings that need a good cleaning reach for the Black and Decker Dustbuster. When done just store it away in a cupboard where it can be mounted, stored upright or horizontally depending on what you have room for!

Tools and attachments

cordless-dustbusterAs mentioned there are a couple of very useful tools you get along with the machine, a crevice tool and a folding brush tool. Both can be stored in the machine which means they are right there on hand when you need them and you do not have to find somewhere to put them. The crevice tool is good for places like under furniture or the fridge, or in tight crevices like car seats. The brush tool is great for upholstery, pet hair, curtains and so on.

90 degree rotating nozzle

The point of a handheld is how convenient it is and how easy to use the machines are. The Black and Decker Bustbuster is all of that but it also has a rotating nozzle that will move 90 degrees in both directions making it even more convenient and effective. You can reach those hard corners without hurting your wrist.

Summary

For small jobs around the home this light and easy to use handheld is a great option. The Black and Decker Dustbuster will pick up after your kids, pets and complete other jobs with ease. But it is not a vacuum cleaner for larger jobs or deep cleaning, it would not replace or be as effective as a larger cleaner. If you want the convenience of having a handheld along with a large machine this gives you great performance and suction. At a great price of under $50 this one is hard to beat.

Bio

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H.B. Lewis began to display an interest in the visual arts at an early age. His parents claim to remember that he was doing portrait painting at the age of four and a half, but some family members dispute this, saying that he was already well into his “blue” period by that time, and wouldn’t have been caught dead doing figurative work.

Actually, Howard was a pretty normal little fellow, who liked to draw airplanes and tractors a lot. He was fortunate to have his parents nickname him Bucky, because Howard was an awfully large name for such a small person to use. Bucky liked to invent things, or at least that’s what he would call it when he dumped a coffee can of junk onto the living room floor at night after dinner. He would collect parts from broken radios and toys, and pieces of wood and parts from his Erector Set or building blocks. These all helped form the nucleus of his inventions, which for the most part were non-functional, but did provide hours of peace and quiet for his parents.

Fortunately for H.B., his parents courageously supported his interest in the arts all the way into college, even though there was no actual evidence that one could get by as an artist (the closest family member with any arts background being H.B.’s grandmother on his mothers’ side, who worked as an interior decorator.)

That little boy is gone now. And Bucky is Buck, or H.B. if you’re so inclined. The popsicle sticks and glue were replaced by motorcycles and sportscars. But the intense figure that his family saw hunched over a table, churning out images of the world in crayon can still be seen in his studio today. Only bigger. And now people are using them on the covers of magazines like Forbes and Newsweek, and on a Kellogg’s Cornflakes box, or in movies like Dreamworks’ Antz, Disney’s Tarzan, Kingdom of the Sun, Dinosaur and others.

And Buck has, of course, illustrated several books for children, including Can I Have a Stegasaurus, Mom?, Santabear’s First Christmas, Mother Goose Stories(a pop-up book), The Klutz Book of Magic and The Klutz Book of Shenanigans. Winnie Mae, his latest, is the first book he’s written the story for. Now his family has proof that even artists who aren’t interior decorators can do okay for themselves.

And he’s not really that old yet, so there’s a good chance there’ll be plenty more to come.

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Interview

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Did you build models as a child?
H.B. Lewis: I did some scratch building, which is when you set about trying to build something from pieces of balsa wood or plastic without instructions. I can’t say I was entirely successful at it, but I loved the idea. And I built a lot of model kits in general during my modeling period.

As in the story, did you have a favorite hobby shop where you spent a lot of time as a child?
HBL: Actually, that aspect of the story was constructed. I don’t recall a specific shop that generated that type of imagery; it was more like a mythical shop, one that I might have wished for as a little kid that didn’t actually exist for me. When I was researching the book, I did come upon several hobby shops that inspired some of the visuals for it. They were pretty amazing places.

And what was that like going into them as an adult? What were those stores like for you?
HBL: It was really inspiring. The sensation of stepping down into the hobby shop in the summertime and it still being cool inside. I got all of that from visiting a specific place that was in a small town, and it really does have the feeling of being a kind of a special place. You see all these toys and models and everything and you can feel the invitation to come play. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there were a few of these places around. I thought that they didn’t exist anymore, but they do, at least a few of them.

It’s nice, though, that in capturing something like that in a book it can live on. As a child what was it like to fly with your father, and what was it like to finally fly solo?
HBL: It was really a wonderful gift for my father to share with me as a child, especially at so young an age. I didn’t have any of the fear that you might associate with flying as an adult. It was just having fun, and I totally trust my father. He’s my father, but he’s also been a respected Air Force pilot and, at that time, an airline pilot. He has since retired from TWA, but this has not slowed down his flying activity much at all. He still spends a good part of every month in the air, flying 747s for an air cargo company, testing them for air-worthiness before they get re-assigned to line duty, and he also flies small corporate jets, taking executives back and forth to their important meetings and vacation spots. Back then he was just my dad, the incredibly capable pilot with the patience of a saint. He helped make flying really fun, because he was so unflappable and trusting of his students’ potential. We had access to a very rural area and that’s where we would fly. Predominantly, my flying consisted of small airports with grass runways, pretty much with no radios, just seat-of-the-pants flying, very casual. And it was just perfect for a boy growing up. I think the inspiration for some of the passages in the book come directly from my experience of flying, especially out over farmland and small towns and stuff. It’s just about the best description of flying I could have written.

It probably gave you a very different perspective. It’s so beautiful to be on the ground, but then also to look down at it as well. That’s not something everybody gets to do, I think especially by the age of eight.
HBL: Yes, I think it helped inspire me artistically because I was responding at the time to colors and the different palettes that you would see at different times of the year. Flying over the country in the fall, for instance, as opposed to twilight in the summertime, is very different. Everything about it, the way you prepare the airplane, the smells and the colors, everything is so different. I think as a child maybe I had a heightened sensitivity to that.

And so what was it like when you were finally able to fly by yourself?
HBL: It was a very natural transition. It was the ultimate solo experience. You couldn’t ask for anything better. It was at the end of a summer day, on my birthday, and it was just perfect for flying. No wind, and the sun was going down — a perfect twilight. We were flying at one of our favorite airports, Coatsville Airport in Pennsylvania, and at the time they had a grass runway adjoining the paved runway. We used it for what’s called “touch-and-go’s.” My father and I would be flying, oftentimes with him saying he was just “along for the ride.” I would be doing approaches and landings, and as soon as we would touch down, without bringing the airplane to a stop, I’d add power and take off. We would do these, maybe five to ten of these at a time. After that, as we touched down, he said, “Why don’t you taxi over?” And as he unfastened his seatbelt and climbed out of the airplane, he said, “Well, why don’t you take it around?” And that was that.

It certainly sounds like a wonderful rite of passage, just like driving the car, but so much more.
HBL: I didn’t realize that at the time. I knew it was a very special gift, but I didn’t realize at the time how unusual it was. All of my father’s friends and everybody that was in my immediate circle was associated with flying. Only in retrospect can I see how very special and unusual it was.

In doing some research for this interview, I noticed that there was a book published recently about the life of Wiley Post called From Oklahoma to Eternity. Could you tell us a little bit more about him, considering that he and the plane are obviously the basis for your book.
HBL: The decision to base my book on that particular airplane came from trying to let my intuition guide me as to what would be appropriate. I loved the name, and also I was looking for an airplane from that era, something that would speak to me, something that could somehow represent the overall idea of exploring potential. And I felt that this particular airplane was really inspiring. And Wiley Post, the pilot? I guess I just was intrigued by him because he was such an unusual fellow. As a young boy, I had never seen a person with an eye patch, except maybe Errol Flynn, and I certainly had never considered that you could fly an airplane with the sight of only one eye. Having flown myself, I realize how much of a challenge that would be. I was just totally fascinated with that. He didn’t make a big deal out of it; you only realize it when you see photographs of him. And then to realize that this is the same man who flew this airplane around the world solo for the first time — that’s amazing to me. One of his sponsors on the solo flight was a fledgling company, they made a prototype version of a navigation device, an autopilot. Although this was intended to help make piloting the plane solo easier, it was far from a sure thing, a totally untested device, and extremely crude by today’s standards. A lot of courage and trust in his own intuition was necessary for his achievement. I don’t know why exactly, but I was really aware of the Winnie Mae as a child. It may have been the name or the way the airplane looked, or it might have been the mystique of the pilot. It was definitely a name that readily popped to mind when I was thinking of what airplane I could use for this book. And I was surprised to find that Wiley Post and the Winnie Mae were not really current in terms of historically-available information. Of course you can find out about them, but it’s not like the featured airplane at the Air and Space Museum. It took me a while to hunt it down.

Did Post name the Winnie Mae?
HBL: This is something I’m not clear about. As far as I can tell, the airplane was named by Standard Oil. The president of Standard Oil’s daughter was named Winnie Mae. I think Standard Oil was a sponsor of Wiley Post’s around-the-world flight, supplying the airplane and the name. I think that’s how it originated.

I agree with you that it is a wonderful name. It seems to evoke some sort of magic; it almost personifies the plane.
HBL: The particulars of Wiley Post’s life and this airplane’s beginnings are all that exist, but now it’s almost like they have another life in the American mythology. They’re a story, and they exist in that respect as something that inspired me. I like the idea that it was an airplane that really existed, but I also like the idea that my book is a story about a model. It’s sort of one step removed from the airplane. And then from there, the boy’s view and his impression of what that airplane means to him are where I wanted to put the focus of the story.

What about the influence of the fishermen in the town? They struck me as an important influence on the boy’s life. How did they come to be part of this book? Are they based on anyone that you know or was it just something that you thought was necessary for the story?
HBL: To answer that in retrospect, because at the time of writing it resulted from a desire to create a challenge. I wanted to present a challenge that a child might feel, some experience or something happening on an intuitive level that runs in conflict with their cultural milieu, whatever that might be. And so the fishermen offered an opportunity for there to be a dialogue about that. I also love the idea of presenting older people as having a connection with wisdom. That’s something I wanted to have as a reminder for children — that older people sometimes (not always) have opened themselves in such a way that they are incredibly wise.

I thought the contrast between the parents and the fishermen was interesting, not that the parents, too, couldn’t have been wise, and not that parents are bad people, just different.
HBL: There is a duality: parents who love you but who, somehow, are not on your wavelength. I think it’s all too common a device for writers to make parents dismissive. For example, you’re in conflict with your parents and so then you run away, as in the fairy tale motif where you’re escaping from an oppressive stepmother or something. I just didn’t feel that was an appropriate message. It’s more satisfying for me to talk about the duality of it, when someone loves you but they can’t quite connect with you for some reason.

What about the duality of the story and the artwork? Some writers create both the story and the illustrations, as you did in this story. Which comes first, or do they work hand in hand?
HBL: They seem to develop hand in hand. The way this story started, for instance, wasn’t just as an image, but the image had sort of a narrative context to it. It was a night-flying sequence that’s not even in the book. (I guess you would call it a thumbnail or an outline, but it was really just this one scene.) As I was writing I started to draw the image as well. Usually they start at the same time, and that was the case here. And what was it like? This was probably the most satisfying project I’ve done in my entire life. I stepped into the writing in a way that I’ve held myself back from for a long time. I’m usually trying to support someone else’s vision or story, and this was the first time I had ever chosen to do something of my own. I don’t think you can know in advance how personal that is until you do it. I found it immensely satisfying and incredibly challenging. The book is stylistically different for me; I’m typically known for doing humorous work. I realized after writing it that this is not a humorous story at all. This story required the antithesis of that, almost. The challenge was to try to tell the story through atmosphere and composition and palette. It was like I had a whole new set of rules and I had just changed everything for myself.

If there were some sort of message you would like kids to get from this book, what would that be?
HBL: Well, I guess I’m a little uncomfortable with it as conveying a specific message. I love the idea of it conveying a question. I love the idea of inviting children to explore their potential and to explore whatever it is that they have, that they take for granted. I would love to be a part of them beginning to question that.

Perhaps this book will somehow help them do just that.

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