The very first sweeper was introduced to market in the 1800 in England, but it was Bissell's manual carpet sweeper that most North Americans will remember. A popular cleaning tool, it allowed the homemaker to quickly 'sweep' carpets to remove lint, dust, crumbs and other debris from carpeted areas. Manually operated, the sweeper wheels would rotate the brush as it was pushed around, enabling surface debris to be picked up.
Today, Bissell still makes a manual version as well as power cordless sweepers and either style can be used on multiple surfaces, increasing functionality. This company also carries a wide variety of floor cleaning tools including vacuums and carpet steam cleaners.
A floor sweeper works on the principle of a brush roll that rotates as the unit moves to pick up surface debris, crumbs, dirt and small messes and sweeps them into the onboard dustpan or dust bin. Efficiency does vary depending on the design and model.
Cordless models are air-driven, making them somewhat more efficient since they do a better job of pulling in debris. Unlike a stick vacuum, a sweeper has no suction, but can still be very effective to do a quick clean-up. Homemakers consider this cleaning tool a time-saver compared to sweeping the floor with a traditional broom and dustpan.
While not necessarily a home essential, a floor sweeper can come in very handy for quick clean-ups. Manual sweepers are usually less expensive than cordless models, but you might find a power unit more effective and worth the extra money. Before buying a floor sweeper, you should consider the following:
- Can you use it on any floor surface including carpets and tile, or only one floor type.
- Is it manual or cordless? If cordless, how long does it hold a charge?
- Cleaning path width may be a consideration.
- Do you want a compact, easy to store model?
- How large is the dirt bin/dustpan?
A floor sweeper should not be confused with a vacuum, stick vacuum, carpet steam cleaner or carpet spot cleaner. Its main function is sweeping and is limited to picking up only loose surface dirt. Prices range from the low $20 to over a $100, depending on features, cordless function, floor surface design, type of battery or manual operation.
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