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Thread Number: 34226  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Vacuums destroying carpets?
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Post# 370887   4/17/2017 at 15:55 by CharlesKirby66 (Manteca, CA)        

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Ever since I have become a Kirby Collector, I have been told that "daily vacuuming ruins carpets".  Does anyone have any information or theory around this?  I presumed that, since Kirby is of high quality and uses its "Triple-Cushioned Vibration" to protect carpets,  they would not harm carpets even with daily use.  It seems to me the carpets get brighter and softer with each vacuuming, but maybe I am biased.


Is there any legitimacy to claims that vintage Kirby units "eat" carpet or "destroy" their nap in some way?


Would modern Kirbys do better???

This post was last edited 04/17/2017 at 16:50

Post# 370890 , Reply# 1   4/17/2017 at 16:30 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
Thats a bunch of bull

Told by door to door salesmen in the old days that sold straight suction machines such as AirWay, Compact and Filter Queen, they used to take a pencil and feed it into a Hoover so it would chew it up, they said this was what it did to your rugs, A Kirby certainly will NOT harm any ordinary carpet.

Post# 370894 , Reply# 2   4/17/2017 at 17:04 by Caligula (Benton, Pa)        
That's garbage! Go ahead and vacuum every day.

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When I was a training manager we took a cigarette, put it between the brush roll and front of the rug nozzle then turned the Kirby on. It drew the tobacco leaving the paper intact. It took practice of course, but our customers knew that if it couldn't harm the paper of a cigarette it was absolutely safe for rugs.

Kirby is the safest machine you can use on carpets, that's what James B. Kirby designed it for.

Post# 370900 , Reply# 3   4/17/2017 at 18:59 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        
Destroy is a Realtive Term,

Meaning over what time period?

Yes, I have done Kirby tests (and some of this holds true for other brands as well) and here's what I've actually found (seen with my own eyes).

Using Kirby brush roll 152505 (oblique tight tufts) on medium pile carpet, about 20% of the HEPA bag contents was carpet fibers by volume.

Using Kirby brush roll 152502 (oblique loose tufts) on medium pile carpet, about 0% of the HEPA bag contents was carpet fibers by volume.

For older Kirby models (G4 and older), pretty much 0% of the HEPA bag contents are carpet fibers.

If I have a carpet I consider to be delicate (I have a few VERY expensive Persians), I would recommend the looser tufts and never use the much harsher (and noticeably louder) tight tufted 152505.

NOTE: Most really cheap vacuums use unbelievably stiff tufts that would nearly rip the skin right off your hand if you touched their spinning brush roll. Manufacturers do this because it's an easy way for lower CFM machines to seem like they are picking up as much dirt as the more sophisticated machines that gently tease the dirt from the fibers rather than simply ripping everything out.

Most of the people in my subdivision use the typical $100 vacs and their carpet ends up being damaged beyond repair in 5-7 years, so they replace it often. On the other hand, some old family friends I know have had the same carpet installed since the 1970's and it still looks brand new.


Post# 370970 , Reply# 4   4/18/2017 at 19:44 by CharlesKirby66 (Manteca, CA)        

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I was pretty sure this idea was crap, but I wanted to get others' feedback. 


Bill-  thanks for the info!  I will have to look into the 152502 brushroll for future reference.  I assumed stiffer is better, but maybe that only applies to *certain* things.  Hahaha!  Do you find your carpets to be just as clean with the looser tufts versus the tighter ones?

Post# 370989 , Reply# 5   4/18/2017 at 20:44 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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On my good wool rug, I won't use the newer certain brand bagless because its all fiber . quite stiff brushroll

Post# 370994 , Reply# 6   4/18/2017 at 22:08 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        

The looser tufts probably do about 90% as well as the tighter tufts, but they rip out almost no carpet fibers. So, I'd have to say that there is only a small difference in cleanliness with the stiffer brush roll. Most people wouldn't notice at all. The 152502 is most definitely quieter as well.


Post# 371056 , Reply# 7   4/19/2017 at 15:07 by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

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Keep in mind that the 152505 brushroll (stiff bristles) will groom the carpet much better than the 152502 (soft bristles) brushroll. I have used both brushrolls in my Kirby Sentria.



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