Ok, so I missed the 1 year anniversary due to a summer AMA, that kept me from posting.

I'm here to make your life suck better. I'm commission free, loyal to no brand, and not plugging anything but my YouTube channel. Proof

I want to thank reddit for putting me on the map. You've so surprised me by giving a shit, at all, about anything this old asshole has to say. You made is so I got over 7 thousand subscribers to my YouTube channel in less than 72 hours! Thank you again.

I'm so happy to hear from so many people who've bought vacuums, based on my recommendations, and are much less miserable when cleaning. If you bought a Miele because of me, let me know.

So, on to business...here's the copypasta.

First AMA (archived)

Second AMA (Open)

Last AMA

Here's some basics to get you started:

*Dollar for dollar, a bagged vacuum, when compared to a bagless, will always:

1) Perform better (Actual quality of cleaning).

2) Be in service for much longer.

3) Cost less to repair and maintain (Often including consumables).

4) Filter your air better.

Virtually every vacuum professional in the business chooses a bagged vacuum for their homes, because we know what quality is.

  • Things you should do to maintain your vac, regularly:

1) Clear your brush roller/agitator of hair and fibers. Clear the bearing caps as well, if possible. (monthly)

2) Change your belts before they break. This is important to maintain proper tension against the agitator. (~ yearly for "stretch" belts)

3) Never use soap when washing any parts of your vacuum, including the outer bag, duct system, agitator, filters, etc. Soap attracts dirt, and is difficult to rinse away thoroughly.

Types of vacs:

1) Generally, canister vacs are quieter and more versatile than uprights are. They offer better filtration, long lifespans, and ease of use. They handle bare floors best, and work with rugs and carpets, as well.

2) Upright vacuums are used mostly for homes that are entirely carpeted. Many have very powerful motors, great accessories, and are available in a couple of different motor styles. Nothing cleans shag carpeting like the right upright.

3) Bagless vacs are available in a few different styles. They rely on filters and a variety of aerodynamic methods to separate the dirt from the air. In general, these machines do not clean or filter as well as bagged vacuums. They suffer from a loss of suction, and tend to clog repeatedly, if the filters are not cleaned or replaced often.

4) Bagged vacuums use a disposable bag to collect debris, which acts as your primary filter, before the air reaches the motor, and is replaced when you fill it. Because this first filter is changed, regularly, bagged vacuums tend to provide stronger, more consistent suction.

My last, best piece of advice is to approach a vacuum, like any appliance; Budget for the best one you can get. Buy one with idea you will maintain it, and use it for many years. And, for the love of Dog, do not buy from late-night infomercials or door-to-door salesmen! Stay out of the big-box stores, and visit your local professional who actually knows what they're talking about.

Comments: 3895 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

Blackneomil730 karma

Dollar for Dollar, what has better suckage: An eighty dollar vacuum or an eighty dollar prostitute?

touchmyfuckingcoffee1142 karma

If you're buying new the prostitute....I assume.

zukalop295 karma

But wouldn't the old have more experience?

touchmyfuckingcoffee1115 karma

Maybe, but they lack eagerness.

severed_reverie569 karma

Considering the awareness you've brought to their brand, has Miele reached out to you at all?

touchmyfuckingcoffee1096 karma

Not yet. But, they did recently get a spreadsheet of all of the redditors who've emailed me, letting me know they bought one on my recommendation. It's about 150 people so far.

Who knows what will come of it.

becauseTexas107 karma

I bought one on Amazon last week. s8 cat&dog

touchmyfuckingcoffee234 karma

Since you're in Texas, you should have come to see me about a vacuum.

sammaverick114 karma

Wait wait, where in Texas are you? I'll come by if you are close for future vacuum purchases!

touchmyfuckingcoffee34 karma

I'm in Fort Worth.

Chubbstock384 karma

I'm about to move into a house that is REALLY big. I was thinking about getting two separate vacuums, one for the carpeted floors (mainly upstairs) and one for the hardwood (mainly downstairs). What should I look at when choosing what would be best for JUST that kind of floor? Most of them have a switch or something but I want something specific.

touchmyfuckingcoffee670 karma

I've got a great package for you that won't break the bank.

Get yourself a good Miele canister, with a powerbrush head. Also, get the Miele Quickstep. It can use the powerbrush head from the canister, do your stairs, and be good for quick jobs. The canister can handle the rest.

the_banter_bus363 karma

What's the best vacuum you can buy if you're a broke student? I'm talking $100 max.

touchmyfuckingcoffee873 karma

Used

chris552393157 karma

What about used prostitutes?

touchmyfuckingcoffee689 karma

Always buy new.

MyloByron259 karma

I've heard that it's terrible to vacuum baking soda. Is this true? I'm a big fan if using baking soda to get smells out of carpets and upholstery... Should I change my tune? (I have a small upright eureka bagless)

(Edit:bagless, not canister)

touchmyfuckingcoffee309 karma

I am really not a fan of baking soda for several reasons. It can be left behind, in your carpet and padding, and it can be very bad for your vacuum.

Here is a link that will help. I just would use all of their recommendations, when it comes to baking soda straight on the carpet.

Slick1014243 karma

Do you also give people new identities on the side like the vacuum repair man does on Breaking Bad?

touchmyfuckingcoffee464 karma

Send me cash and let's find out.

Jynx3235 karma

Seriously, how do you guys stay in busuness? I never see a car in those parking lots yet they never go out of business.

Is it a secret society?

touchmyfuckingcoffee280 karma

You can't know our secrets.

Seriously though, it's not a terribly profitable business. But, there is money to be made, if you're smart and honest.

mattshutter211 karma

Hi. I loved your previous AMA and channel. Thanks for taking the time.

I bought a Meile Complete C3 and it initially worked great. After a year it started to stink really bad when we used it. We used fresh bags and replaced the filters regularly. It still stunk so we sent it back to Meile for repair. It came back good but the suction doesn't seem to be as good. I've replaced the bags, cleaned the rollers and replaced the filters but I'm convinced the suction isn't great. (We have a cat and I vacuum 2/3 times a week in an average sized 2 bedroom house).

How often should we be replacing a unit of this quality? It was quite expensive and we've only had it for approximately 15 months.

Bonus question - How and why did you get into the business? All the best. Thanks again!

touchmyfuckingcoffee400 karma

First, with your vacuum; For the best odor control, I recommend using the more expensive Activated Charcoal or HEPA filters. They are far more effective than using the AirClean filter that is provided with your bags. Having your carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year will also help prevent odors in your vacuum.

Here's what you can do at home:

Remove your hose and spray vinegar into it, soaking all the inside. Let that set for a half hour or so, then rinse it out with clear water. Be certain to let everything dry COMPLETELY before using the vacuum.

You can do the same with your brush roller, and you can wipe out the nozzle, inside where the brush sits with vinegar. Do not submerge your powerbrush head in liquids.

Finally, you can buy some scented drops to put onto your HEPA filter, to make the exhaust smell pleasantly.

As far as your suction goes, I'd recommend taking it to a local dealer, and have them put it on a suction gauge and compare it to a floor model. You should be getting a minimum of 70 inches of lift suction from your Miele. If you're not, the dealer can find out why.

Edit: I got into this business as an unemployed hair-stylist, with a background as a mechanic and technician. My boss loved my voice so much, he knew I'd do well...or, at least he thought so. I basically got the job over the phone. It's hard to find good people in the vacuum trade.

touchmyfuckingcoffee189 karma

Thank you.

cynoclast26 karma

70 inches of lift suction

Can I get an explanation on the units at play here?

touchmyfuckingcoffee11 karma

Picture a big tank of water, with a 1 inch diameter, graduated tube coming out of the top of it. Hook a vacuum to this tube, and measure how many inches of water are pulled into the tube.

This is how we measure suction, albeit with a gauge, rather than a tank of water.

loogawa171 karma

What is the weirdest reason you've seen or heard for a broken vacuum? Maybe something stuck inside or something like that.

touchmyfuckingcoffee313 karma

I did come across a vacuum with several .357 magnum, .38 special, and .22 LR loaded cartridges once.

CptJustice250 karma

Nowadays, the .22lr rounds were probably worth as much as the vacuum itself.

touchmyfuckingcoffee180 karma

Is there a shortage?

scott19930163 karma

I saw your last ama and saw how you disliked rainbow. So what makes them so bad?

touchmyfuckingcoffee246 karma

  • They're way overpriced for what you get.
  • They're difficult to use and require too much maintenance from the owner.
  • They don't have particularly good suction...especially for the cost!
  • They cost too much to repair compared to conventional vacuums.

lWarChicken109 karma

What the fuck man, I my mom bought one last week and she's thinks it's the best vacuum she has ever used.

How do I tell her this? It will ruin her day...

touchmyfuckingcoffee396 karma

Don't tell her...

optiplex9000136 karma

I got rid of my bagless upright vacuum because of your AMA. I got a Eureka Mighty Mite and it works perfectly for my apartment!

I have a cat that sheds constantly, do you have any recommendations on how to remove cat hair from my couch/bed/carpet?

touchmyfuckingcoffee159 karma

This works pretty well. I have a couple of them. Also, any of the silicone pet hair tools work fairly well, also. My car-detailer buddies swear by pumice stones for fabric upholstery. I hope this helps.

ChickenPotPi117 karma

Hey /u/touchmyfuckingcoffee

I went to an authorized Miele retailer and they said while the Miele is good he prefers the Sebo for no maintenance, near zero failures, and better cleaning. What are you thoughts on the sebo, the black model with automatically floor level. I think it was the X6? What would you compare that to in Miele wise?

touchmyfuckingcoffee184 karma

Sebo makes great canister vacuums. But, I don't think they're any more reliable than Miele canisters. I love the Sebos, but I don't think they're as easy to use or ergonomic as Mieles.

Your Miele dealer may be one of those who are still holding a grudge against Miele for Miele choosing to sell at big-box retailers, and fucking the dealer network over. They don't really operate like a family-owned company anymore.

ChickenPotPi53 karma

Oh he preferred the sebo upright to the miele canister. He said you cannot go wrong with either but was okay with miele. He said just don't get the miele upright as its too heavy to really use.

Also thank you for your reply.

touchmyfuckingcoffee62 karma

Yeah, I don't like the Miele uprights, either. I love their canisters though.

vacuumbuyer106 karma

I bought a miele jazz thanks to your ama! It's too bad you can't get credit ($$) for all this business you've sent them.

Now question - know anything about cleaning tile and wood? apparently the first floor of my house requires some other cleaning magic machine

touchmyfuckingcoffee124 karma

What's going on that your Miele can't handle it?

rvdsn105 karma

You have answered this on previous AMAs but perhaps your opinion may have changed. If money is no object, what is the best vacuum you can purchase right now?

touchmyfuckingcoffee178 karma

My answer is still the same; The Miele S8 Uniq.

cheeseflap98 karma

Would you rather vacuum a carpet sized rug, or a hundred rug sized carpets?

touchmyfuckingcoffee90 karma

Gotta be the carpet sized rug.

sionnach96 karma

What are your thoughts on the European Union vacuum cleaner power limits (no more than 1600w motors allowed this year, and no more than 900w in 2017)?

Personally, I think it's a good thing and it will just force manufacturers to make more efficient machines. People don't seem to agree, and stores saw a huge uptick in people buying 2500w monsters recently, before they're not allowed on the shelves.

For background: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/21/anger-as-eu-bans-most-powerful-vacuum-cleaners

touchmyfuckingcoffee140 karma

Even 1600W is more than enough to properly clean your home. In the US, we're limited to 1200W from our imported Miele vacuums, and they clean better than most brands. I really don't think 1600W is an issue, at all. But, I wouldn't want to be limited to 900W either.

sarahbotts96 karma

What do you think are the best vacuums out now?

touchmyfuckingcoffee147 karma

If we're talking about the ordinary, residential market, there are three brands that all make very high quality vacuums. They are Miele, Riccar, and Sebo. There are more 'boutique" brands that are sold door-to-door and by other direct marketing, but I am not including those.

sarahbotts49 karma

Thanks :)

Are there any specific ones from Miele, Riccar, and Sebo?

touchmyfuckingcoffee83 karma

Like I said in my AMA intro, visit a local dealer. Tell them your needs and flooring, and seek guidance based on that. Though, I am a bigger fan of canister vacs over uprights.

gamenut8989 karma

You still mercilessly hate Dyson?

touchmyfuckingcoffee173 karma

I don't hate Dyson. I hate their business model. I do at least appreciate the way they stand by their warranties.

I just wish they'd make better vacuums.

TheExplorers77 karma

Have you ever been recognized by a stranger in real life and they said something along the lines of "Hey! You're that vacuum technician guy on reddit and youtube!"? How did you react to it?

touchmyfuckingcoffee170 karma

I haven't had anyone recognize me from my videos. But, I have had redditors come into the shop, just to be blown away to find out it was me all along.

tighemyshoe74 karma

Do you ever have vacuum related dreams?

touchmyfuckingcoffee105 karma

Thank your god, no.

Tuskon73 karma

When there are no vacuums nearby and you need to clean up a ton of sand from a carpet, what is the second best thing to use?

touchmyfuckingcoffee120 karma

An air compressor?

tipsymom70 karma

What kind of money should I expect to pay when I bring my Meile vacuum cleaners to the shop to be tuned-up?

touchmyfuckingcoffee95 karma

Miele's really don't require "tune ups". Every 3-5 years, you should have the commutator on the motor cleaned, and the carbon brushes checked. But, that's about it, other than removing trapped hair from the powerbrushes, occasionally.

It's usually around $50-60 here.

LieutenantCheeze62 karma

Are you sure that it's been a year? I remember being in the thread where we asked you to do an AMA like it was yesterday...

touchmyfuckingcoffee210 karma

That was on Oct. 28, 2013. Time flies when you're talking vacs.

Ringtailed7958 karma

Why in the blue hell are vacuums so interesting?

touchmyfuckingcoffee151 karma

I really don't know.

I have a theory that boys are drawn to them for two reasons: They get to watch their moms operate it, and if they're lucky, they get to see their dads (or moms) to work on them too. They combine the worlds between mom and dad, cleanliness and mechanical wonder.

madhasan50 karma

What's your take on robo vacs? Which brands\models would you recommend ?

touchmyfuckingcoffee67 karma

I'm not a big fan of them. But, if you're going to buy, Neato and Miele make the best models.

Atwyay48 karma

What are your thoughts on Oreck vacuums? Also, I just read your first AMA, very entertaining!

touchmyfuckingcoffee60 karma

Orecks are ok, for things like motel rooms. I would never recommend one for someone's home.

davidrico7746 karma

How did it all start for you?

touchmyfuckingcoffee270 karma

Well, let's see. First the Earth cooled. And then the dinosaurs came, but they got too big and fat, so they all died and they turned into oil. And then the Arabs came and they bought Mercedes Benzes. And Prince Charles started wearing all of Lady Di's clothes. I couldn't believe it- he took her best summer dress and he put it on and went to town...

laxvolley46 karma

How about some coffee, Johnny?

touchmyfuckingcoffee53 karma

Always.

ZannaBanana31446 karma

I just moved out on my own and I am looking to get rid of my shitty college belongings and actually get nice things. I am looking into the Miele S2 canister, it's the lowest level canister that I could find that would still be in my price range. Should I save up more and get a higher level or would the s2 still be a good value? I don't have pets but I am allergy sensitive and a bit of a neat freak. Just looking to keep the dust to a minimum in my apartment (mostly carpeted). Thanks for doing this AMA!

touchmyfuckingcoffee56 karma

Congrats and good luck to you. If you can wait to budget more, the S6 and S8 models are of a better quality, in my book, than are the S2. But, it does still have 7 years warranty coverage. So, it's entirely up to you.

31lo43 karma

Hi vacuum guy, Thanks for coming back. I got a Miele S1 as a gift. Should I return it and add more money to get a canister? Or stick with this one?

touchmyfuckingcoffee63 karma

If it were me, knowing what I know, I'd probably go for the canister.

P-Money43 karma

I know this is off topic, but any recommendations for steam carpet cleaners?

touchmyfuckingcoffee111 karma

Yeah...rent.

nerdwithme52 karma

No. No. No.

Renting a carpet cleaning machine is the absolute worst way to clean your carpet. The mechanical operations of a 'rug doctor' do not extract enough 'rug doctor' chemical out of your carpet.

Home owners always spray down too much or too little and use way to much water leaving the carpet too wet.

Spend the few extra $ and call a local non-franchise professional hot water extraction carpet cleaner.

source: Was active in the insurance restoration & carpet cleaning industry for nearly a decade.

p.s. vacuum your damn carpet before the carpet cleaners get there. it will improve your clean exponentially.

touchmyfuckingcoffee21 karma

I agree with you, in principle. But, many people are very wary of hiring a professional to come in the home, and many companies have bad reputations.

cinemachick39 karma

Hi! I'm a college student with a limited budget. I have hardwood floors, so I'm not in desperate need of a big vacuum, but it'd be nice to have a handheld one for little messes. Any you can recommend?

touchmyfuckingcoffee59 karma

Look into the Riccar Butler. I really like this portable canister. I may even buy one, though I don't need it.

denaje37 karma

Thanks to you, I upgraded from a Shark upright to a Miele S8 Alize. Using it for the first time was something akin to taking a hit of acid.

My only issue with it is that the floor attachment that comes with it has little brushes all the way around that often prevent things from actually getting sucked (I have mostly bare floors). Why are these brushes there, if they impede the flow of debris?

touchmyfuckingcoffee40 karma

I'm not sure which brush you have. But, the SBB 300 Parquet Twist Floor tool is Miel's best.

I think they're brush could use some design improvements. You could try snipping some of the fibers around the openings to make them bigger. Just try not to open up the airflow too much.

interwebhobo35 karma

I remember reading through your first AMA when it was linked in another thread not but a few weeks ago. Since the first AMA, have there been any notable changes in the various brands' quality where you might re-evaluate where you place brands in a general vacuum hierarchy?

touchmyfuckingcoffee55 karma

The market is basically the same. TTi is moving Royal into their flagship brand, over Hoover. Miele and Dyson, both, have entered the robotic vac business. Riccar has changed motor manufactures, introduced new models, and bumped the warranties up on their better models.

I think the next big thing will be the EU restrictions to 1600W, which has europeans freaked out for no reason.

jcappmakesraps29 karma

I own a commercial cleaning business and have been looking for a good backpack-style vaccum. Any recommendations or should I just innovate and throw some straps on one of my Miele's?

touchmyfuckingcoffee50 karma

For backpacks, it doesn't get much better than ProTeam.

CrystalMethen29 karma

As a fellow vac. technician left in the dark on how to fix all the brands, where might I go online to educate myself on fixing vacs?

touchmyfuckingcoffee36 karma

YouTube is invaluable.

pharmacist1028 karma

Hello! For your tip #1, cleaning the brush roller / agitator, how exactly do you clean it? I've been cutting the hair out with scissors, but it's kind of nasty. Can it easily be dismantled to free everything?

touchmyfuckingcoffee37 karma

It all depends on the brand of vacuum. Check out my video on the subject, and see if that helps. If not, ask me again with more detailed info.

CoyoteTheFatal27 karma

Do you listen to music when you vacuum like me or do you just appreciate the sound of a vacuum doing its job?

touchmyfuckingcoffee23 karma

I like to have music going in the background when I clean.

kwonza24 karma

So, what new things have you learned in your trade during this year?

touchmyfuckingcoffee46 karma

Other than learning how to work on some models that I hadn't worked on before, there's not much new to learn.

I did learn that Kirby recommends a full tune-up every 5 years, and have incorporated a new service for them, which has significantly improved my average price of Kirby repairs.

RichardCity23 karma

Would you recommend your line of work to someone who as looking for a career?

touchmyfuckingcoffee58 karma

No...There's far better pay in far cleaner professions. Remember, always, that 80% of all vacuum debris is human skin and hair.

RicsFlair21 karma

What kind of "big" advancements in the vacuum industry could consumers potentially see with-in the next ten to twenty years?

touchmyfuckingcoffee41 karma

The next big advancement, that I see coming, is better battery tech. What we have now just isn't up to the task of driving >1000W motors with good suction.

pighalf19 karma

How much to relocate me and give me a new identity?

touchmyfuckingcoffee46 karma

Yeah, you and a thousand others...

PorridgeEnema16 karma

How does it feel that you are more positively received here on /r/Iama than some celebrities?

touchmyfuckingcoffee43 karma

It's very flattering. I like the old school AMAs, before it became a place to whore out an "artist's" latest work.

HSMeans15 karma

As the most interesting man in the world, what beer would you recommend?

touchmyfuckingcoffee22 karma

There are so many good labels to choose from. Personally, I am an IPA guy.

mr_glasses7 karma

I live in an old apartment with creaky floorboards and lots of crevices. What kinds of attachments and settings should I use on my upright?

touchmyfuckingcoffee10 karma

You should get a good floor brush tool for it. Look into the Riccar SoftSweep.

poo_finger5 karma

Rainbow, Kirby or Filter Queen?

touchmyfuckingcoffee13 karma

There's this new thing called "The 21st Century". You should look into it.

Of the three you mentioned, only the FilterQueen has great suction. But, they're a pain in the ass to use. If you want a great canister, get a Miele or a Sebo.

stickinitinaz3 karma

Hello, thanks for doing this!

I have a TriStar model A101 canister vacuum that I brought from a door-to-door guy for about $900.00 I purchased it over ten years ago and it still seems to work great although I probably spent way too much on it! I do get a yearly tune up on it and empty the "bag" often.

My question - Is this still a good vacuum? Could I replace it with something better fairly inexpensively?

Lastly, I frequent Goodwills and am always seeing a ton of vacuum cleaners from Kirbys on down - are there any gems I should keep my eyes open for that could be reconditioned easily and possibly resold or used at home?

Again, thanks for doing this and enjoy your coffee!

touchmyfuckingcoffee6 karma

I love some of the older TriStar vacs. They have tremendous suction. As long as you're happy with yours, and have it outfitted with HEPA filtration, there is no compelling reason to trade for a newer vacuum.

When it dies, look into the Miele canisters. I think they're about the only brand that would make you happy after owning a TriStar.

reddy933 karma

My dog sheds like a motherfucker.. Advice?

touchmyfuckingcoffee7 karma

That's a little open ended. But, get a Miele, Riccar, or Sebo.

Tyranitard3 karma

Best vacuum for wood/tile floors? I hate sweeping.

touchmyfuckingcoffee4 karma

A Miele canister vacuum.

welp423 karma

Best sounding vacuum?

touchmyfuckingcoffee8 karma

Miele makes the quietest sounding vacuums. If I could just get one that sounded like a jet turbine firing up...

bumchala3 karma

Which vacuum is the best for a cotton fiber carpet?

touchmyfuckingcoffee5 karma

How thick is the pile? Is the cotton as abrasive as wool?

nakine012 karma

How do you feel about Kirby? Is it really worth it?

touchmyfuckingcoffee4 karma

Short answer: No.

I'm not a fan of Kirbys, despite there being many. They have poor suction and are overly complicated.

Lillipout4 karma

A long time ago, I answered an employment ad for a sales position, no experience needed. I figured what the hell, I've never done sales before, let's see how it goes. I showed up in an anonymous industrial park in a suit only to be dragged into a room with 20 other people where they were demoing Kirbys. Eventually the salesman asked us how much we thought it cost to buy this complicated looking antique and someone blurted out $400. When the angry salesman said, no $1600!, I couldn't contain my laughter and walked out. That was more than I paid for my car. Anyway, that's my Kirby story.

touchmyfuckingcoffee4 karma

Thanks. I hear that story often.

PedroKosa2 karma

What was the worst misuse of a vacuum cleaner you ever saw?

touchmyfuckingcoffee1 karma

A $1500 vacuum being used to vacuum up baking-soda, cat piss, and dog shit....for fuck's sake!

Slippery_Freud1 karma

Would a Kirby vacuum be safe to buy used from an auction? Or is something like that much better new?

touchmyfuckingcoffee3 karma

I don't recommend Kirbys. Modern vacuums are far better. If you're going to buy used, look for a Miele, Riccar, or Sebo.

rollsorbagels0 karma

Pizza rolls or pizza bagels?

touchmyfuckingcoffee2 karma

Dude...