Whether you make use of a beater brush should depend entirely on the types of surfaces that you are vacuuming in your home. A rotating brush will inevitably cause damage to delicate surfaces such as wooden floors and, therefore, you should invest in a vacuum without a beater bar if your house is made up mainly of hardwood flooring. Rotating bristles could, of course, scratch the polish of your flooring and leave unwanted marks.
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There are even some types of carpeting that would not benefit from a beater bar. Shag carpets, frieze, or Berber-style carpets may take on damage from the beater bar as opposed to getting the deep clean the user is probably looking for. A beater brush should also not be used on other hard surfaces such as tile or concrete, as rather than helping to remove dirt from the area, the brush will simply fling it around.
There are, however, vacuums on the market which serve a dual purpose, in that they have the capacity to take on both carpeted surfaces and non-carpeted surfaces. They may have a switch so that the beater bar can be turned on and off, or the beater bar comes as an attachment that can be detached from the vacuum whenever necessary. Some vacuum cleaners are specifically designed to work well on hard surfaces or delicate carpets like Berber or shag carpets. There are a number of considerations that potential buyers should keep in mind when deciding on which model of vacuum cleaner to buy.
A canister-style vacuum cleaner is one that has very versatile capabilities when it comes to cleaning different surfaces. These vacuums come with a heavy body that sits upright and has a hose attached which is used to suck up debris in the house. More often than not, these kinds of vacuums will not have a built-in beater bar and will only use the suction power and intake spout to rid carpets and other floors of dirt. Some canister-type vacuums do come with a brush bar, but it does not rotate and therefore is less likely to create any wear and tear on all of the aforementioned surfaces.
A Bissel Zing Canister Vacuum is a popular model on account of its many accessories and functions, as well as its very reasonable cost taking all of this into consideration. Canister vacuums in general are ideal as they are fairly easy to maneuver and can often clean difficult-to-reach spaces like around shelves and under furniture. They are particularly effective compared to upright vacuums which tend to be a bit more exhausting to push around.
Models with an On/Off Switch
If your house has a combination of flooring, in that one room may be carpeted while the other has wooden floors, then an upright vacuum equipped with an on/off switch will be very suitable so that the beater brush can be utilized when necessary and will not cause any damage when it is not needed.
If you are cleaning up larger particles, such as cat litter that may surround the litter box, users should be sure to switch the beater brush off so that the littler isn’t flung about, creating a larger mess to deal with.
Some vacuums have so many versatile functions that they can take on high pile carpets, hard floors, and even have a function that resembles a mop to rid floors of even the minutest particles.
There are a couple of models that are equipped with the ability to turn the beater bar on and off. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional with Dust-Away & Microfiber Pads is a well-liked model with this ability. This function is possible because the vacuum has two motors, only one of which is used for the brush. Other models use a single motor to create both suction power and to propel the beater brush. Because the beater brush in the Shark Navigator uses a different motor, having it on does not detract from the overall suction power of the intake spout. Additionally, the motor can be turned off when the vacuum is being used on hard surfaces.
When Not to Use a Beater Bar
Beater brushes should not be used, under any circumstances, on wooden floors. Firstly, it is futile to do so since the debris on the floor won’t be stuck to a hard surface and therefore won’t require a thorough scrubbing that may be needed for thick carpets. As such, the brush will only serve to fling dust around. The brush can also damage the floors as the constant, high-powered, repetitive scrubbing on the floor can cause scratches on the polish or the wood itself.
Another issue with the beater bar is that it tends to struggle when encountering long hair. Hair can get trapped in the bristles and mechanisms of the beater brush, thereby clogging it. The beater brush often needs to be cleaned after encountering hair, even if it was turned off during the clean, and this is a tedious task, to say the least. Inevitably, it may be easier to simply buy a model without a beater bar altogether. Vacuums without the brush have an easier time picking up hair without anything getting tangled and blocked. There are also other products that can perform similar functions to the beater brush. A Carpet Rake, for example, can be used on a Berber-style carpet to expel debris from the piles of the carpet, and can also scrub up hair so it can be easily picked up by the intake spout.
Berber carpets, in particular, may be damaged by beater brushes because their delicate fibers can be caught in and broken by the rotating bristles.
There are also some sensitive carpet types that can only manage a weaker suction power without damage. For carpets like these, users will want to invest in vacuums with suction control abilities so that the suction strength can be altered as needed. You will also want to check the warranty information for your carpet before purchasing the vacuum cleaner, as using certain models and accessories may render your warranty void.
The Benefits of Beater Bars
Beater bars work in expelling dust and dirt trapped in the fibers of a carpet. Once the dirt has been scrubbed out and brought to the surface, the intake spout sucks it up. Some carpets benefit greatly from the use of the rotating brush to get deep into the base of their fibers, but it’s up to the user to check whether the brush would be beneficial or detrimental to their particular type of carpeting.
Vacuum Cleaners that Should be Avoided
In general, users may want to stay away from vacuum cleaners equipped with an automatic adjustable height function on them. The term ‘automatic’ is used loosely in this context because there is no especially technological mechanism to calibrate the ideal height for the cleaner. Instead, the automatic height adjustment uses a plastic plate to determine the height of the rollers and where they should be. This is great for houses that have thin, inexpensive carpets or linoleum flooring. However, this function is not ideal for other kinds of carpeting.
Users with more pricey carpeting should opt for a model that uses manual height adjustment, and should certainly try to find a model that has dual motors and an on/off switch for the beater brush. All of this, coupled with variable suction power, will result in a vacuum cleaner that can tackle pretty much any surface in your home, with minimal damage, clogging, and inconvenience to boot.