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Greener Living

Vacuum Cleaner

I use a Killi's Mercedes TLK 1100 vacuum cleaner. I bought it from Killi's Kleaners on Glossop Road, Sheffield, and it is still giving sterling service. It is the AK-47 of vacuum cleaners - it strips down into four basic parts, all of which, except the motor, can be dumped into the kitchen sink for cleaning.

In the nine years I have owned it (1993 to 2002) the Mercedes has cost the following:
 Original machine£129
 Replacement head£30
 Annualised cost£17.66
[Update: It is now 2009 and the Mercedes is still going strong. That's 16 years' usage for £159 - less than £10 per year.]

I was watching a documentary on TV today about the Hoover vacuum cleaner company. The chief executive was saying that they had to sell so many hundred thousand cleaners every year to stay profitable and sell them cheaper than anybody else.


In 1991 I bought a Hoover Junior upright vacuum cleaner. By 1993 it was falling to pieces. If I had continued using and replacing Hoovers at the same rate in nine years I would have bought 4.5 cleaners at about a hundred pounds a throw. £450 in nine years, a £50 per year cost compared to the Mercedes' £17 so far.

I expect the Mercedes to give me many more years of active service, thus continuously reducing it's cost. If I stuck with Hoover, it would still be costing me £50 every year.

Last update: 29-Oct-2009