Bringing Out the Animal to Clean House

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Some people love to clean, moving furniture to get the growing dust bunnies. I am not one of those people even though I live in an old house with kids and cats. You can imagine the constant trail of stuff left behind in a day like cat hair, dried mud and crushed Cheerios.

Like it or not, cleaning isn’t something I can avoid. Put it off sure but avoid never. So you can imagine I’m always open to finding the right tool to tackle one of my least loved tasks and be quick about it.

Enter Dyson’s full size DC77 Animal and the name suits it. This machine brings out a beast when it comes to cleaning power. I know what you’re thinking, a vacuum is a vacuum right? Sometimes but this DC77 delivered on my personal needs of getting the job done quickly and easily in a few ways:

Carpet versus Floor – With the exception of the laundry room and two bathrooms, the overall theme of our home is wood. We have wood floors, baseboards, casements, ceiling trim, stairs and even ceiling beams. But like most homes with wood floors, you’ll find area rugs scattered around. The DC77 easily switches from sucking dust from the floor to using the power head on carpets. No need to change heads or alter attachments, just press a simple button on the machine to turn the brush head off or on. And the self-adjusting cleaner head means better suction and more dirt being pulled up.

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Magic Wand – Although I used the main power head for most floor cleaning needs, the Magic Wand as I like to call it (actually the instant release wand) helps with all your other cleaning needs. There’s no excessive hose to work around when I’m using the main head (like on our central vac system) but the expandable hose in the wand opens up more cleaning options and additional attachments.

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Under the Counters and Furniture – You would be surprised how much cereal and cat food ends up under our raised kitchen counters. The articulating hard floor tool attached to the wand swivels to almost flat enabling me to get even into the back corners under the cabinet. The swivel neck isn’t the same as my beloved Ball™ technology on the main head but it does a pretty good mimicking job for those hard to reach floor areas.

Pesky Pet Hair – If you have pets you know it’s easy to tell their favourite spots in the house by the trail of hair they leave behind. For our cats it’s my lounge chair in the living room and the area rugs in the kitchen.  The main head works its wonder on the carpet but for furniture the Tangle-free Turbine tool is best. Just attach it to the hose after removing the wand extension.

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The Dyson Groom tool included with the accessory kit is one way to cut down on the fur landing on your carpet and furniture. This comb attachment will brush and suck loose hair right into the canister. Sadly, my cats had no interest in this snake-like tool coming at them so perhaps it’s more of a dog tool. I love the idea.

Dirt and Litter – Yes it’s not unusual to see a trail of either of these in our home. The stiff bristle brush attached to the wand or hose directly loosens debris and sucks it up quick.

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Dust Above Your Head – We are fortunate to have fairly high ceilings in our old home but we also have hanging lights and wood beams. Pulling out a little ladder to clean these areas means they don’t get cleaned often. The expandable wand makes reaching these spots easily and without a lot of arm muscle. The wand and crevice tool attachment are light and the hose is deceptively long, expanding and contracting as you need it.

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Up the Stairs – Besides where the cats hang out, the wooden stairs in our home seem to be a magnet to dust. The crevice tool and extendable wand and hose means I can leave the vacuum at the bottom of the stairs and work my way up each step quick and easy.

Quick Attachments – If you need to change one of the attachments the process is quick and easy. Each item just snaps in and a large button for release means no fiddling with those tiny metal buttons found on many vacuum attachments.

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Each Clean – The dirt canister just pops off the DC77 with a simple push of a button. This means just taking the canister right outside to the bin to empty. Since the Dyson is so good at picking up everything, I would recommend emptying the canister right outside to avoid small dust particles in your home garbage. Plus there are no filters to wash or replace.

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Overall I love my Dyson DC77 Animal upright vacuum. I wasn’t sure I would love a stand alone vacuum again (the reason we want to a central vac system) but the versatility and clean results have won me over. I’ll often pull the Animal out to get something done knowing it will be done thoroughly and fast.

I should point out that although the Animal does a great job in vacuuming, it is an animal in size and weight also. It is pretty hefty to carry up and down the stairs but that’s coming from someone who hasn’t used a full size vacuum in quite awhile so I’m not sure if it’s 8.5kg weight is on par with others of its size.

Also, I love the many accessories but there is not bag or storage for them. I now have a small box I bring out that houses these when I vacuum.

Those two points are really minor when I compare the impressive results. I think even with all the gadgets available for cleaning your home (and I love gadgets) you need to have one standard powerful workhorse in your arsenal. This is especially true if you’re an occasional cleaner like me. The Dyson DC77 Animal fits the bill.

Thanks to the folks at Dyson Canada for sending the DC77 for the purpose of this review but as always the experiences and opinions are my own.

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