Hard Core: Even my vacuum cleaner is vintage.

Meet my vacuum cleaner.

She’s an early-1960s Electrolux canister that I bought at an estate sale six or seven years ago. She’s still going strong! I think I paid $12 or $15 for her, and it seemed like a lot at the time because I imagined that I wouldn’t get more than a year or two of use out of her. I had to visit Wal Mart yesterday to get some more canister bags — that’s the only place I can find them anymore, and it’s looking like they might not carry them for much longer. I had to search and search and finally bought the last two packages on the rack. I have wood floors, so the only thing I use a vacuum cleaner for is corners, base boards, and vacuuming the dry mop I use to sweep the apartment.

(Great merciful heavens, look at how dirty she is. It reminds me of the Friends episode where Monica said she needed a vacuum cleaner to vacuum her vacuum cleaner.) Every now and then — like yesterday, when I sense her canister bags aren’t long for this world — I think maybe it’s time to move on and get a new one. I even put the Tech Expert (also known as my husband) on the trail a couple of months ago — I asked him to research how much it would cost to get a well-made vacuum cleaner that’s great on wood floors. He tells me that we should get a Miele for $1000. Um, WHAT? $1000 for a vacuum cleaner? Dude, no, sorry, that’s not going to happen. Although, this Electrolux that I have was probably the Miele of its time in terms of expense — my Mom bought an Electrolux when I was — seven? or eight? — sometime around then — from a door-to-door salesman, and I remember the price being quite a discussion between her and my father. I think it was around $600 or $700, but she might correct me on that. I remember her telling him that it would last forever, and, sure enough, it’s still in use at my parents’ house, thirty years later. So maybe there’s something to be said for paying for quality. But I think I’m going to wait until she gives up the ghost before I upgrade. That color…the typography…her little metal wheels…it makes me happy every time I pull her out of the closet. She’s from a time before planned obsolescence, when people expected things to last a lifetime. And she’s already outlived one owner.

January 26, 2010 - 4:47 pm

Laura Opper Hodo If you do have “to move on and get a new one”, you might look at this Electrolux:

http://smallappliances.electroluxusa.com/node35.asp?ProdID=41689

My husband got it for me last summer as an anniversary gift to use on our new hardwood floors. My inner-feminist was quite appalled at first, but then my grandmother explained “an Electrolux lasts forever”. Her explanation made it seem a bit more romantic. And its funky green color makes it look super cute on its charging perch in my craft room (where so many of my spills happen).

P.S. I work with your mom which is how I found your page! Love it!

January 26, 2010 - 7:02 pm

Lara Jo Oh, that is SO CUTE! And takes up so little room! I must say, I’m pretty much sold on Electrolux at this point, seeing as how the one I have is over forty years old and still going strong. Thanks for the suggestion! (And thanks for reading my blog!)

December 7, 2010 - 7:29 pm

Donna I have this same vacuum cleaner and would rather clean out the filled bags and reuse them, than get a new vacuum!! I got mine for free and I love it! Nothing cleans like it.

December 7, 2010 - 7:38 pm

Donna Here’s a link to where I get my bags, and they are very reasonable.
http://www.geyservac.com/product_info.php/products_id/1808

January 21, 2012 - 11:17 am

Jeff We have one of these, it was my Grandmother’s and it runs like a charm. I think it’s damn near indestructible. I don’t seem to have any trouble finding bags for it.

January 21, 2012 - 12:20 pm

Lara Jo Really? Where do you usually find the bags? I found a ton of them at a thrift store and had stored them under the kitchen sink — and we suffered a massive leak that ruined them all!

January 21, 2012 - 12:21 pm

Lara Jo I’m just now seeing your link, Donna, for some reason – thank you so much! I will check it out.

April 9, 2012 - 2:14 pm

LH Would you be interested in selling the top image (digital copy)?

June 18, 2013 - 3:20 pm

randi Yes, the bags are still available from the original Electrolux USA company (now called Aerus). “Home Solutions” is the brand name of the “style c” (for canister) bags. Also, Ebay generally has them. Genuine Electrolux (“Home Solutions”) bags are best to ensure that the dust is contained and doesn’t get into the motor or your air.

June 18, 2013 - 3:25 pm

Pete You may want to clean the rubber and plastic parts (i. e. wheels and bumpers) with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pad. Wash the metal down with a liquid household (non-abrasive) cleaner. Polish the painted metal with paste car wax–or something similar; and polish the bare metal with Mother’s Mag and Aluminum polish (paste or liquid). Your vintage machine will look like new.

You may want to have the motor checked over/rebuilt by a qualified tech.

June 18, 2013 - 3:28 pm

ranid You can still purchase bags from the original manufacturer, Electrolux USA (now called Aerus). Genuine bags are best to ensure that dust does not get into the motor or your air. “Home Solutions” is their new brand name and the size is Style C (for canister).

November 9, 2013 - 10:56 pm

Matt Wow, that’s a beautiful model G Electrolux you have! I’m 34, grew up with everyone in my family having Lux’s… Seems like when I was about 3 years old everyone traded in their Model G’s for the Silverado Deluxe. And, just the other day my wife and I purchased the Guardian Ultra. Enjoy that little gem you have, they’re great and still last forever. Check them out at http://www.aerushome.com.

November 11, 2013 - 9:35 am

Lara Jo Hey, thanks for commenting, Matt. I will check out that link. I actually had to get rid of my vintage electrolux when we moved from Chicago to Arkansas — the suction on it had failed and I got into too big a hurry to take it somewhere to get it fixed. 🙁 I always have my eyes out for a “new” one at the estate sales I go to, though.

October 1, 2015 - 3:52 pm

Cathy Davis Lara Jo,
My husband has been an Electrolux salesman for over 40 years. Please let us know if we can ever be of help. We are going to be traveling through Arkansas later this month. We are currently rebuilding our website and hope to offer so much more on the new site.
Cathy

October 5, 2015 - 3:15 pm

Lara Jo Thanks for the info, Cathy, I really appreciate it! They’re very good vacuum cleaners! Thanks for reading!

April 8, 2017 - 3:33 pm

Joe Forry You can find bags for these vacuum all over ebay and on amazon. I would never, ever give mine up even if it didnt work anymore. But you can have the motors replaced. I never want any other vacuum cleaner ever!

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