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OK so I have never been one for being house proud, with 2 dogs and varying number of cats all producing a rather large amount of hairs it has always been impossible to have an immaculate house. Then 3 years ago when I packed up work to have my daughter Holly I seemed to have a much cleaner and tidier home. This was of course until Holly found her feet and found she could feed herself then things once again went awry.
Then In January Holly started doing 3 days a week at pre-school, wow, 5 hours time for 3 days a week on my own to get on with keeping the house clean and doing those little jobs that need doing. Hoovering and steam cleaning the laminate floors putting numerous toys away and the house would be fairly clean and tidy. That was of course until I went to pick little madam up. Within 5 minutes of her being in the house there would be crisp crumbs or biscuit crumbs all over the floor. At this point I didn't really fancy lugging the vacuum back down the stairs again so I mentioned to my husband that I might see if I could buy a terminator type arm that incorporated a small vacuum along with various other tools that would come in handy!
A few days later Darren had been working near a large Asda and had decided during his lunch break to take a walk around, supermarkets are not normally his forte but with no DIY shops or garden centres near by this would be the next best thing! So on his expedition he spotted a hand held vacuum and thought that for £24.99 this would be a lot cheaper and a lot less hassle to buy than me having a terminator type arm fitted. So the Vacuum he got me was the Black and Decker NW 3660 Dustbuster which is capable of picking up small dry items and wet areas of split milk etc.
So on opening the box I was presented with a small green and white hand held vacuum 42 cm long. The 3.6v motor is contained in the white plastic shell just below the oval loop handle 23 cm long. On top of this handle is the green on/off button and on the bottom of the handle is an area where the two attachments are contained. These are a light green plastic one for picking up dry things (crevice tool) and a light green rubber one for using on wet spills. Under this is a hole where the charger fits in. Connected onto the white motor area is a clear light green plastic elongated dust bowl 19cm long with a 6 cm hole in the bottom that sucks up the crumbs and dust and liquid spills. The whole machine weighs approx 786 grams and is light to hold. Also in the box was the charger which is white and round and about 10cm in diameter with one metal charging prong and two plastic holding prongs sticking out of it with the ample length electric cable and two screws for securing the charging unit onto a wall near a socket.
Using the machine.
Before the first use you need to seat the vacuum on the charger and leave it for 16 hours. After this time it is ready for use. Connect the crevice tool and switch the green button to on and use it pick up whatever bits you want. For wet spills connect the rubber wet pick-up tool and use as before (it does state in the instruction book that it is better not to use the wet pick-up tool on spills on carpet). If you pick up a wet spill the liquid stays in the main bowl and does not seep though to the filters which mean any fluff or hair in there will stay dry and easier to clean. When finished seat the cleaner back on to the charger and leave for your next use. I leave the charger switched on so the machine is always fully charged for the next use and the electricity just trickles in. I have looked on my electric usage meter and and it uses about 4 watts of electricity which is nothing.
Emptying and Cleaning the machine.
When you want to empty the machine, hold the handle and turn the dust bowl by turning it anti-clockwise. Remove the two filters, one is a large grey plastic filter and inside this is a black foam filter. Empty out any crumbs or liquid from the main bowl, pull out the foam filter and empty more crumbs from the grey filter and remove any fluff and hairs from the foam filter. The two filters and the dust bowl can be washed in warm soapy water dried and put back together. When placing the two filters back into the bowl match up the two arrows then push in place. Push the motor unit into the bowl, then turn until it clicks in place. Filters need to be replaced every 6 to 9 months or whenever worn out or damaged, these can be got from your local Black and Decker dealer which you can check on the Black and Decker Website (www.2helpU.com). I have not needed a new filter so I do not know how much they cost.
I am really pleased with this machine. The suckage (is that a word? if not I'm sure you know what I mean) is excellent. It picks up crisps and crumbs well from carpet or hard flooring, luckily I have only had to suck up milk/water spills from laminate and hard flooring which is does a good job, then completely dry up with some kitchen roll. The machine it light, even Holly can use it, in fact I sometimes think she drops crumbs just so she can use the hoover. The machine is a little noisy but not as loud as using a large vacuum cleaner. It is great around the home where it is so portable you can just grab and clean and great for cleaning in the car. You can get down the sides of car seats and it does a good job on children's car seats. We have ours on the side of a cupboard in the lounge, the main place where I need it the most. I hardly takes up any room at all and uses such a low amount of electricity it is great. It is quick to clean and empty. OK so you could not use it for cleaning the whole house, the charge would run down but if you have any awkward bits to get to then you could use this. I have never used to machine until it has run out of charge so I have no idea how long the charge would last, probably around about 20 – 30 minutes at a guess.
This is the only wet and dry cleaner that Black and Decker make and they do three versions of this cleaner, one with a stick handle that has no attachments, one with a loop handle with the crevice tool and a brush tool and a third with the loop handle with the crevice tool and wet pick-up tool which is the one I have, and they all come with a two year guarantee but Black and Decker also do a wide selection of other hand held cleaners.
You can buy this Black and Decker Dustbuster from Amazon for £26.41 plus postage, from Tesco Direct for £19.97 plus postage or check out your local supermarket where you don't need to pay postage.
Oh I have just found out it picks up sand as well.
Many thanks for reading. Anna
Pictures of Black & Decker NW 3660 N Dustbuster
Black & Decker NW 3660 Dustbuster hanging on the wall