Using technology to clean up

Moneual Rydis UV-C U60 vacuum. (HO)

Moneual Rydis UV-C U60 vacuum. (HO)

, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

Since the turn of the 20th century, technology has been helping us keep our homes clean. Early vacuum cleaners were so big that that their inventors conceived their use as a service, with homeowners paying a few dollars each time to have their houses cleaned as the machines moved from home to home. The idea of having your own machine, at the time, was ridiculous.

Of course since then things have changed drastically. There are many different styles of vacuums we have now including the upright, canister, drum, wet/dry, pneumatic, backpack, hand-held, robotic, cyclonic, central and constellation to name just a few. To make things even more interesting, other technologies are being combined with traditional vacuums to create new kinds of cleaning machines.

I recently tried out the Moneual Rydis UV-C U60 vacuum that looks like a mini-vacuum and an iron had a baby, but it actually combines the act of vacuuming with sanitization courtesy of ultraviolet light. It's perfect for zapping fabric back into full freshness.

The U60 (as I will now be calling it) works in three different modes. First, you can use a mode that combines vacuuming, vibration, and UV cleaning that will shake rattle and roll dirt off surfaces such as carpets, mattresses, pillows, blankets, chairs and more. Designed to both suck up dust and kill mites, this is the perfect machine if you have allergies or a particular strong aversion to germs.

The second mode combines vacuuming and UV and the third just employs UV sanitizing for small jobs. The functions are controlled from a built-in LED screen and the vacuum will automatically turn off the UV lamp when not pushed against a surface for safety reasons. It's similar to the technology that turns your cellphone's screen off when it is pressed against your face.

There are actually two models of the U60. The regular one and the U60 pro which leaves a fresh scent behind on the fabric or clothes you use it on. In one sense, it is truly the Swiss Army Knife of vacuums. My only complaint is that it is corded, which in a larger home can be an issue.

Breaking free of the cord is just one of the technological achievements of one of Dyson's latest creations, the Dyson DC62 Animal. To say this little devil sucks is the best pun compliment I can give for a vacuum.

Don't let the small size of the DC62 fool you. The little motor inside spins up to 110,000 RPM, which is three times faster than conventional motors. It is labelled as V6, meaning it is the sixth-generation Dyson and, for those that have followed the brand over the years, it is well-known for putting technology at the forefront of its products.

It's easy to be skeptical about the fact that the unit runs on batteries rather than corded electricity. I can tell you, after using this unit in my home for several weeks now that it is not a concern. It will run for approximately 26 minutes on regular clean mode and only about nine when you turn on the "max" setting for really dirty areas. I found that in practical use I didn't really want to vacuum for more than 26 minutes at a time anyways, and the maximum power mode is really only needed the first few times you use it or for areas that have gotten really dirty.

Using the DC62 for "maintenance" cleaning is where it works best and I was surprised at how much dirt this thing pulled out of carpets and floors I thought were already clean. The easy-to-empty container make this a winner all around.

As with many traditional domestic tools we've used over the last century, the improvements in vacuums have accelerated quickly in the last few years. There is no excuse now for dust and other germs to be co-existing with us in our homes. Now we just need to build a better mousetrap.

Syd Bolton is the curator of the Personal Computer Museum and the manager of Information Technology at ACIC/Methapharm. You can reach him via e-mail at sbolton@bfree.on.ca or on Twitter @sydbolton.


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