Thread Number: 37116  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
All this hardfloor cleaning talk
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Post# 396497   8/9/2018 at 10:33 by Rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

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Hard floor attachment and canisters a.k.a. tanks, I donít understand why people say that a Kirby canít clean a hard floor well with the right attachment . Here I am using my 516 Kirby with the floor nozzle attachment and I just picked up beautifully everything I run it over not to mention, you could hook up the hose and floor wand . So to all you who commented on Kirbyís not being any good for tile, wood etc., why is that? where you getting that? what am I missing because mine picks up just beautifully.


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Post# 396499 , Reply# 1   8/9/2018 at 11:14 by compactc9guy (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        

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I never shaw that attachement before its nice when a vintage machine works well

Post# 396500 , Reply# 2   8/9/2018 at 11:36 by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
Cleaning hard floors

That type of pad,also used on Filter Queen & others,is considered more of a buffing pad that a vacuum attachment.I do agree it will vacuum and I had a customer who sanded and refinished hard wood floors who would only use a Kirby with this pad and without the brush and belt.His son later bought a Compact and continued the floor sanding business.After considering the difference between moving 4 wheels back and forth over entire room or moving an attachment with only bristle touching floor I would choose hose and atts.

Post# 396514 , Reply# 3   8/9/2018 at 20:00 by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

For one. That felt attachment isn't made any longer for the Kirby. Yes it does allow you to clean hard floors. However you do need to be careful not to get small stones or grit caught in it or you will scratch floors.

That felt pad was designed to polish the floor. Mostly used on vinyl tile Much more durable than today's engineered floors. Yes you can dust the floor with it. It will however "snow plow" larger objects.

The recommendation not to use the Kirby in upright mode is that you need to disengage the brush as not to leave marks on the floor. I have seen it happen on commercial floors with finish on them. This can also happen to the newer engineered wood floors. With the brush disengaged it is not as efficient at picking up the fine dust and grit as a dedicated hard floor tool.

Post# 396516 , Reply# 4   8/9/2018 at 20:04 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        
Speaking of Hard Floor Cleaning...

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I still wish Royal would have made a straight-suction metal upright cleaner today!

The 311 was the last one they did (from 1945 to 1985).


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Post# 396544 , Reply# 5   8/9/2018 at 23:29 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I have the straight suction royal model 98. It was posted earlier. The back wheels, spacer between wheels and handle is only missing parts.
I got straight suction nozzle polished. I got power took off. I polished about half way done with motor housing. It's cleaned off rust just needs polished. I'm about to open motor housing. It has 2 plates that are used to hold nozzle on. It has 5 of 6 screws out. I sprayed wd40 but that is as far as I have got. Behind the nozzle is brown like agitator brush. It's like wood with paint with rubber coating. I'm going to report it.
I'm getting to wheels and shaft I'm thinking not to hard to find. Is the top part of handle above switch is it similar to 880. If you know or Know someone who might have them hanging around. I'm guessing vacuum is 1928 to 1933. I'm not positive. Anything I know you and hygiene know royal vacuums.

Post# 396564 , Reply# 6   8/10/2018 at 11:54 by Rivstg1 (colorado springs)        
I don't think it was intended...

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purely as a floor buffer as two of you have suggested. I suppose it can scratch floors if sharp objects are caught in it....the same goes for most things. Here is an modern Kirby attachment to my Sentria model which is intended for the same purpose the older one was....using the upright vacuum w/o hose attachments. I don't get the dig on Kirbys for that...just turn off the brush marks...same superior suction on floors which are easier to clean b/c stuff isn't embedded in like with carpet. I did go back and look at the owners manual, its called a 'dust buffer'.

Remember, I"m not saying the hose attachments are worse or better....or if a dedicated tank/cannister is better or worse....just that from what I"M observing....this attaching piece does just as well as the hose attachements...but, in this mode, the Kirby head limits getting under cabinets etc.

Attached: picture of the true Kirby floor polisher ( refrence to someone's earlier post on this thread), not the attachment I showed earlier

#2 modern floor dusting attachment

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Post# 396577 , Reply# 7   8/10/2018 at 19:30 by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

We never had hard floors to buff. There for we never used the duster/buffer pad. We just used the Kirby set up the same as you would for carpet or used the hose and hard floor tool.

I don't see where it would buff a floor very well as that takes pressure and a small amount of heat to polish/buff wax. It could very well work as a floor dusting tool.

I think I tried it once at home just to see what it would do. As I remember it didn't do very much for the VCT floor in the kitchen.

Post# 396580 , Reply# 8   8/10/2018 at 21:00 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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Anyone ever see this video that Kirby Co posted? It looks like it's the same type of fluffy roller that you would find on a Dyson stick vacuum. You have to buy the shampoo kit to get it though, but this looks like it could work on older Gseries models too.

Post# 396606 , Reply# 9   8/11/2018 at 11:40 by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

I have see the demo video.

You still have to mop the floor after or towel dry the floor after using this attachment to pick up the excess cleaning solution the hard floor mop doesn't pick up.

Seems to be more work than it is actually worth.

Post# 396777 , Reply# 10   8/15/2018 at 10:33 by sopranojam85 (Austin, TX)        

Many people are trashing carpet, or are building their homes without carpet to begin with. In this case, having a G series Kirby makes very little sense. You are not supposed to use tech drive on hard floors, so you have a bulkier vacuum for no reason.

A case can be made for pre-G series Kirbys on hardwood as they are less bulky to push around. At that point there is little need for a rug renovator unless you take the rugs outside to shampoo them. The miracle head for older Kirbys has fairly soft bristles, but is only supposed to be used with an application of floor wax first. I think the risk of scuffing a hardwood floor's finish is pretty high if you are using the miracle head dry. Engineered hardwood floors these days have very robust finishes so I think it's a case by case test. Still a manufacturer's warranty on hardwood flooring is only valid if you use their suggested cleaning products, so by using Kirby wax, you are typically voiding their warranty. If you have solid hardwood in an older house though, go for it.

Kirby's G series tile cleaner system is an absolute joke. I have tried it. No thank you.

The OP posted the felt duster "Duster-Buffer" attachment and I think that's the safest way to vacuum hard floors of any type with an upright Kirby, but it's only available for pre-G series models. Plus, you can get similar or better cleaning results with many modern day upright offerings that do not require a host of separate boxed / caddy'd attachments, and some that even have built-in soft dusting rollers on the front (such as the Shark Apex Duo-Clean)

All I am saying is that for hardwood owners, the perks of owning a Kirby an all of its accessories are greatly diminished, unless you have a substantial amount of carpet in your home or are cleaning other people's homes with it.

Post# 396778 , Reply# 11   8/15/2018 at 10:57 by sopranojam85 (Austin, TX)        

One more note: If today's Kirby company wants to survive and grow in the market, they have got to re-think their design. They need to launch a completely new model aimed for hard / wood floor owners. It's still a carpet-centric system, with accessories for wood floors which are band-aid offerings, and difficult / cumbersome to use.

The whole system needs a redesign from the ground up to make it easier and appealing for the use of hard flooring owners. That's the beef I have. No matter how much Kirby markets their hard floor accessories, the proof is in the pudding. Try using it yourself and compare.

I'll stop talking now since, after all, we are in the VINTAGE forum, so pre-G series owners, have at it and carry on.

Post# 396780 , Reply# 12   8/15/2018 at 12:03 by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

I agree with Callie.

I think the current Kirby lineup is less relevant for homes that have little to no carpeted floors. One does not need a fancy, expensive machine like these to vacuum up hard surfaces. A canister or even stick vacuum is much more practical and can reach under furniture much easier and be less cumbersome to move around than a Kirby. The Kirby excels at cleaning carpeted floors, not so much for hardwood floors, tile, etc.

It seems like they should be able to come up with some type of new machine that is easier to move around and quicker to use for cleaning hard floors.

Post# 396821 , Reply# 13   8/16/2018 at 02:23 by Rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

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I agree with many of the criticisms of a Kirby...or functional observations, But I don't understand comments like "The Kirby excels at cleaning carpeted floors, not so much for hardwood floors, tile, etc. " Again, how is that? How would a tank/cannister clean any better than a Kirby with the floor attachments? You might could argue the tank is easier to assemble/use than the Kirby, but not clean better on hard floors. I don't understand that comment and seems untrue.

Post# 396831 , Reply# 14   8/16/2018 at 08:59 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Well for one,it won't fit under much furniture, for me that is a no go on floors, have to grab for the hose kit I have. I DO LOVE to use the older Kirby H2 buffer for the real hardwood floors to buff them up, gosh they look incredible, but I can see that warming up the old paste wax

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