The Dyson Story

So, I've wanted a Dyson vacuum cleaner for a very long time now.  The things is that they're just rather expensive, and I haven't felt like we could spring for that sort of an investment.  It's funny how your priorities change when you know there's going to be a little child crawling around on the floor with all the cat hair and only God knows what else.  Add to this the fact that we had sorta killed our previous vacuum (more on this later) and well... we were due a new one.

With this in mind, we made the decision to finally purchase a Dyson.  After quite a bit of research we went for the DC25.  Model numbers are confusing at first, but the DC25 is essentially a lightweight vacuum with the same power as the larger Dysons.  It has greater manueverability (it sits on a ball instead of wheels) and a smaller capacity (by half).  We went with the "all floors" version which just means you don't get an extra attachement for the "wand" that helps with animal fur.

Now, it requires a little assembly, but not much, so after assembling it I of course had to vacuum the house.  I wish I'd taken a picture in its clean state, but I really didn't fully comprehend what was about to happen.  I flipped it on, and immediately got white powder in the collection area.  This of course deserves an explanation.

You'll remember I said we had killed our previous vacuum... well about two years ago now our cats got fleas, and introduced them into the house at large.  I didn't really like the idea of poison, so we researched other solutions and came up with diatomaceous earth.  Diatomaceous earth is a white powdery substance about the consistency of flour.  It's basically chalk in powder form.  They say it's ground up sea shells and such, and so the individual particles are supposedly sharp enough to kill bugs.  This sounded great in theory but when you put something the consistency of flour on your carpet, you're asking for trouble.

Dyson Vacuum 3/4 shot

Now around this time we were leaving the country to go visit Ju's folks in Indonesia, but we didn't want to come back to a dirty house, so we tried to clean it.  I say "tried" because the existing vacuum didn't make it very far into that job before it was so clogged that it refused to suck.  We decided "Screw it, we're leaving." and that we'd steam it when we got back.  Certainly two week of the stuff being down would eliminate any lucky fleas (it did).

Upon our arrival back home we found that mom and dad had had the carpets steamed for us while we were gone.  This was a VERY pleasant surprise.  Now we had an inkling on the way to the house because all down our street was a big white mark that ended at our house.  The steaming company had actually steamed the whole house twice trying to get all the diatomaceous earth up.  Since that time I'm unsure how many times we've vacuumed but it's been plenty.  I say all this to lay the ground work for the rest of our story.  Any time you see Dyson commercials, or research it on the web people always talk about how much dirt it pulled up, etc, etc.  That's great but I don't think any of them have had the experience with this machine I had.

Dyson Vacuum canister close up

So back to the white powder.  I hadn't vacuumed 5 inches of carpet before it started pulling up white powder, which is of course the diatomaceous earth.  Once I started I couldn't stop, it was sort of like one of those fascinations where something is gross but you just can't stop looking at it.  So I vacuumed the living area first, and got an entire bin full of diatomaceous earth and cat hair... the job it did on the living room alone was worth the money we paid for it.  For every room I cleaned I had to empty out the bin, even the hallway warranted its own emptying.


So, in short the Dyson pulled up "dirt" that I know for sure is at least 2 years old, it did it better than professional steaming equipment + 2 years of combined effort from my personal vacuum.  So yeah... I'm impressed and can't suggest it enough.


6 December 2012

I have a new Dyson vacuum and I too am using diatomaceous earth to kill fleas. But in the past, I had used the DE and it killed theh motor on my Bosch, which too was an expensive vacuum. I am afraid of what it will do to my new Dyson but I hate chemicals. Will my Dyson survive the DE? Please let me know how your Dyson is holding up.


7 December 2012

Yes, it absolutely is still working, a couple caveats here though. I'd really suggest you do what I did and have a carpet cleaner come out and do the first pass on the DE. The water+soap solution will be WAY better than trying to do that with your vacuum and should be fairly inexpensive. Since that time I've used the Dyson, and it works great. Still pulls up DE to this day out of the carpets, and I probably need to clean the vacuum a bit more often than if I'd not done the DE, but all is well. I even bought a second (hand held) dyson for the hard floors, it's worked out so well.

I'd be really interested in putting the Dyson through a torture test and vacuuming the DE straight, but there are a lot of good reasons not to do that. DE in the air can actually be REALLY harmful depending upon the grade of DE you used (and the grade to kill fleas is suppose to be harmful if breathed as I recall so...) mixing it in a water solution and disposing of it that way is probably a much better idea.

As an aside, we had a cheap vacuum when we started that project, and yeah it died in the first 6 inches of carpet (not exaggerating), so I understand your hesitance. If I had it to do over again... man I doubt I would. The DE was a total mess and I still have a mostly full bag of the stuff.Still I understand your position about the chemicals. My ultimate solution was to find better homes for our cats. We've had 2 kids since then in any event and having a really great vacuum has obviously served us well in that capacity too, so yes I'm still gold stars all around for my Dyson. My parents have even bought 2 at this point and are loving them as well. I hope your flea situation works itself out, that's totally miserable.

Anonymous (not verified)

19 October 2014

Can't help but commented along with the other person on how you found the ultimate solution of getting rid of your cats to solve this issue. A proper pet owner takes responsibility and looks out for the best interest for their pet, regardless of the circumstances. You never should have been a pet owner. Maybe you should toss out your children to the curb too, when they have given you too much grief. Enjoy the vacuum - douche

8 October 2016

A proper pet owner takes responsibility and looks out for the best interest for their pet, regardless of the circumstances.

A responsible human being is going to take care of the things for which they have taken responsibility... But there is a point where one can have TOO MUCH responsibility and at that point, you have to start compromising.

I took on the cats because I love cats. We gave them the best home we could for many years and when it became apparent that we could no longer do what was best for them, we found people who could. It seems pretty hypocritical that you would equate finding responsible owner(s) who could give the animal(s) a better life with "kicking them to the curb". I didn't drop them off in the middle of the woods or toss them out of my car, I found people who genuinely wanted cats and could give them better than I could. That seems like a pretty reasonable response to being over-subscribed. I'm sorry if you don't feel the same...

Anonymous (not verified)

6 December 2013

Your article was very helpful but I have to say I was a bit shocked when I got to the part where you got rid of the cats. I was very disappointed to read that. Glad the vacuum worked out.

6 December 2013

The cats were great, and as far as I know still are (I've only been able to keep track of one) but they went to better households than what I could offer them. I do occasionally miss them. :-)

Anonymous (not verified)

6 April 2014

We have quite an old Dyson and we bought it as a refurb- it doesn't seem to be as good as the Dyson at my parents', but it still pulls up dirt like a dream!

About the cats: getting rid of animals is not something to be taken lightly. An animal is a commitment for life, and I am also sad to see it being said so lightly that someone has just rehomed their cats due to having children. The cats were there first.

8 October 2016

I love cats. They're amazing animals. They also deserve better than what some families give them some times. I understand the desire to see "re-homing" an animal as being less than ideal, and in fact, I agree. But by the same token I think it's important to do what's best for our furry friends. Sometimes, what's best is that they be put somewhere that can give them all the love an attention they need and I think that decision has to be made on a person by person basis. In our case the cats never had the run of the house (due to my allergies to them) and since they also couldn't be outside, it seemed cruel to leave them in the limbo of having too little living space.

Both cats went on to much better situations, and I miss one of them in particular pretty significantly even this many years later. I didn't re-home them lightly, it was just old news by the time I documented it here. There's a difference.

GO (not verified)

18 November 2016

The cats were there first.

You've got to be kidding me!  I guess you don't have children, if you did you would know that your children ALWAYS come first.  Re-homing a pet you know you can longer properly care for is the responsible thing to do.

2 May 2014

In my opinion, the older DC14 was a better machine than the DC25 you feature here. The ball machines have more to go wrong with them and some spares are expensive.

If you are using Diatomaceous earth or any similar product though, you must wash or replace the pre-filter more often than you would normally or it will stress the main motor.

Michael Norton (not verified)

2 August 2014

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story. I too had a recent flea fiasco and turned to a non-toxic (diatomaceous earth) method to quickly solve the problem (It took half a week). I too also have about 25lbs of DE left over. And my vacuum has lost at least 50 percent of its prior sucking power. My downstairs is good but I need to get the DE up from the upstairs soon and was not sure how to do this. Your article has given me some bright ideas and I'm also entertaining the possibility of purchasing the DC25 (all floors) also.

I completely understand about having to part with your feline friends. I had to find a better home for the best dog I ever owned. I had been diagnosed Bipolar about a year after I got her and a year into that experience I just could no longer meet her needs properly while trying to meet my own. I also found her a loving family where she would get to be around great humans as well as canine playmates. Sometimes you've got to put the health of yourself, your family &/or your home first. :) <3

Michell Lisa (not verified)

10 September 2014

I think Dyson like bose is a bit overhyped and pricey, but for DC34 it truly is one of the best i've ever used. I like vacuuming so have tried many different handheld types (electrolux, hoover LINX, black and decker, stickvacs, handhelds, shoulder mounts, corded vs cordless, etc...). My latest prior to this was the hoover platinum LINX cordless (BH50030) which is pricey as well and highly rated. This is my comparison.

Tina J. Contreras (not verified)

28 November 2014

I have a question for you regarding your vacuum cleaner model? Where did you got this model of cleaner? My friend Loe has the same model and even i am interested buying this model. Can you tell me where to get this and the price range? I would have asked my friend Loe but she has received this model by gift. Thanks

Steve (not verified)

22 April 2015

Well, our previous vacuum cleaner also broke down last week & wondering which new one to buy! We are also looking for the best one for pets' hair. So, as per your story - DC25 seems to be ideal for it...

Anonymous (not verified)

17 June 2015

I used my heavy duty shop vac for DE and got the white cloud after a few minutes. I also burned out the outlet and it turned black. It was pretty scarey and now I have to get an electrician to rewire -- hopefully not too extensive. Perhaps it was the filter but it was the one sold by Home Depot for this particular heavy duty shop vacuum. Now I use a very stiff long handled brush to go over the carpet during summer when DE is used for the cats. Using a spray bottle of water on DE on carpets and the same brush to get it off carpets to minimize. I was told I may have burned out my motor but has not been looked at yet by manufacturer (has a life time warranty).

12 March 2016

With their fantastic powerful suction, dyson is always the real winner. If one's thinking of cleaner that can reach the hard to reach corners and grooves in which no another upright can fit into, then probably dyson is their "dream" vacuum cleaner...

Never miss out even a pinch of dirt..!!!!!!!!!!
Also such a great and detailed review.
Thumbs up.!!

Jackie (not verified)

7 December 2017

I know this is an older post, but to those that may be reading it now......I used our little carpet shampooer to get up the DE before I vacuumed. A long time ago we had a couple of Dysons and they were good machines, but didn't last long for the price.  We now have a Rainbow and a Shark.   I would take a Shark over a Dyson anytime.   It works almost as good, is a lot cheaper and (so far) has lasted longer than both Dysons combined.    

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