View Full Version : Sweeping vs. vacuuming

Hippy Hollow
08-17-2008, 01:36 PM
Maybe this belongs in Great Debates...

Just as a general observation, what do Dopers think is better regarding cleaning a floor?

a) sweeping with a bristle brush (I'd suspect it's nylon)


b) vacuuming with a bagless upright with a HEPA filter?

Somebody in my house decided to sweep after I vacuumed the kitchen floor because they saw some dirt on the floor. I pointed out that unless they were cleaning the broom after each use, the dirt they kept seeing was probably from the broom itself. It ended up being a huge argument, but I'm wondering if my logic is flawed here...

Green Bean
08-17-2008, 02:37 PM
Vacuuming, with a couple of caveats.

A good vacuum actually sucks up all those fine particles and deposits them somewhere. Sweeping stirs up a lot of the dust, and it can take a while for it to settle back down. Therefore, less dust ends up in the dustpan, and more ends up back on the floor (and other surfaces.) This presumes that the vacuum has a decent filter and has no leaks.

Vacuums with bags are said to be better overall for dust control, because you don't have to empty the canister and puff all those particles back into the air. But a good design and careful emptying can mitigate this problem.

Of course, a broom is better for larger debris and can get into corners and under things more easily. It's also cheaper, smaller, uses no electricity or bags, generally lasts a lot longer. And can be used while hollering and chasing mice.

Personally, I sweep more than I vacuum. (I have all hard floors with a few scatter rugs.) I find it more convenient. Also, it's easy to look in the dustpan and make sure that I don't throw out any tiny toys, coins, paper clips, or what have you. But I think vacuuming gets things cleaner. And FWIW, I find a regular old-fashioned corn broom works better than a newfangled nylon one.

08-17-2008, 04:14 PM
Maybe this belongs in Great Debates...
Probably more of an IMHO poll. Moved.

samclem GQ moderator

08-17-2008, 04:56 PM
I vacuum with the floor setting, then use one of the attachments to go back and go along the baseboards and corners, try to get between the stove/fridge and wall, underneath stuff.

Then I mop.

This thorough clean only happens about every other week, but I vacuum about every week or every few days (it's really dusty here now) as needed, otherwise we'd drown in dog hair dust bunnies.

It's only when something is spilled or broken and a relatively small area needs to be cleaned that I use the broom. I think it kicks a lot more stuff around than I like, and it's more an outside cleaner for me.
Of course, if it's broken glass on the floor, after sweeping to get as much up as I can, I bust out the vacuum, then mop, to try to get all the tiny little spicules of glass. So really, same thing.

And boy, doesn't it look like I need to get a life. ;)

08-17-2008, 05:08 PM
And boy, doesn't it look like I need to get a life. ;)



08-17-2008, 05:30 PM
I do both. With three kitties, I am either constantly on top of fur mitigation or I will have enough to create my own yarn and knit companion kitties.

I also have both a bagless and bagged vacuum. I far prefer the bagged. I detest emptying the bagless machine--it doesn't open easily and the filter has to be hand cleaned which is just yucky. Both have the HEPA filters so they are a draw that way.

Tortuga you come on over to Boston any time you like. I'll let you clean, vacuum and mop to your heart's content.

08-17-2008, 05:53 PM
IMO Vacuuming.

08-17-2008, 10:48 PM
I also have both a bagless and bagged vacuum. I far prefer the bagged. I detest emptying the bagless machine--it doesn't open easily and the filter has to be hand cleaned which is just yucky. Both have the HEPA filters so they are a draw that way.

We used to have a fancy bagless, and I totally agree with you. Much prefer the bagged. Although we didn't have the fancy Dyson Animal. From what I hear, that vacuum is practically a religious experience, and I'm very tempted. That or a Roomba.

And cleaning other people's houses is always so much more fun. So yeah, if I'm ever in Boston, I'll totally clean your floors. ;)

Frylock, I'm just poking fun at myself because I can't believe I wrote so much on my methodology for and frequency of cleaning my frakkin' floor. It just feels a little stereotypical, but maybe I'm just one o' them oversensitive humorless feminist types... :D

08-18-2008, 02:16 AM
I do both.Me too. I got a crawling infant who will mouth whatever he finds on the floor. I first use a nylon broom with little fuzzies attached at the end. After I make a pile of junk in each room, I clean off the broom outside before I move to the next room. Once done sweeping, I get out the bagless vacuum and put on the extender tubes and the attachment with the bristles. I get the windowsills, baseboards, corners, underneath the couch, etc. then finally the piles of swept stuff. I then spot clean with spray-on floor cleaner and the microfiber mop. That is about as clean as I can get it.

08-18-2008, 02:45 AM
Vacuuming with a hepa filter unless it is with a rotary head. the rotary brushes will fling stuff around a bit. A powerful vacuum will grab it but a stick vacuum will scatter it a little (not much).

Also depends on the discharge of the vacuum. I had one that exausted onto the floor so it was blowing dirt around as I moved the unit.

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