Miele floor tool accessory advice

graywings123January 5, 2010

I bought a Miele S168 mini-upright stick vac the other day. It has some wonderful features, but I'm having difficulty picking up dog fur, which is the major floor cleaning issue I have. I'm hoping it is just a matter of finding the right attachments for it.

It came with the combination rug and floor tool with two settings - Smooth Floor and Carpets/Rugs. The Smooth Floor setting exposes short bristles that catch the dog fur and prevent them from being sucked into the machine. The Carpets and Rugs setting retracts the bristles and leaves clumps of dog fur on the rugs (fake oriental rugs). So for the moment, I'm using them in reverse - the Carpet setting on the hardwood and the Smooth Floor setting on the rug.

I tried the Miele Direct Connect Powerbrush #SEB 217-3. That did a pretty good job of picking up the dog fur from the rug, but collected most of it in the the brush roller.

Is there a floor tool that removes the fur from the carpet and doesn't collect the fur in the bristles? And oddly, I'm having to remove dog fur that clings to the neck of the machine (second pic). What's that about?

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Would it be possible for you to ask the store where you bought the vacuum for help with this problem?

If not, perhaps you could ask Miele? Is there a customer assistance number in your owner's manual?

I would think a good Miele vac salesperson could provide a solution to your problem.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 1:56PM
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I have contacted Miele but haven't heard anything yet. The store suggested using a wire grill brush to remove the fur, which doesn't quite address the problem.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 4:20PM
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Hi Graywings,

This is something I do know about but I am not familiar with this vac. I had one of those combo brushes on my central and hated it from day 1. The brush is way too stiff and those red strips act like Velcro and hold all of the hair. They sell those with those red strips just to remove pet hair from funiture. There is a brush from Miele which is around $70 with longer, softer brushes. It is for hard surface. The neck is as such that you drop the handle and the front brush will lift from the floor so you are able to suck up a large hair ball. With the combo brush you would have to drop it below your knees to get that to work. I can get you a knock off for $7.00. I just don't know how to contact U. I have to place an order. $7 is not that much. It is the same thing but is does not say Miele. Your are dealing with a ID from Europe and not the standard 1 1/4 we have here. I am sure you saw that with your Dyson.

As far as the static cling on the head. Just clean it off and rub it with a fresh Bounce Sheet. If you don't use those, use Static Guard.

Now, onto the PN problem. What are the "Fakes," backed with? If they have any rubber in the making of the backing, U have no air flow. Is there a air bleeder or a motor speed control? If it has any of the above, give it a try. If it seals itsef to the carpet, it has no air-flo, and U have a "Vacuum," which has no air flow. I sold vacs and collect them and have 45. This is nothing as some members of my club have over 400! I knew I had a sale when the lady of the house brought out her Kirby, Hoover, or whatever set to the lowest carpet setting. It brushed the carpet and looked clean, but with out airflow they were just brushing the dirt back into the carpet. All of you out there just put in a new bag and click your height adjustment a click higher and see how fast the bag fills.. You will be in shock! I sold many vacs as they didn't know how to work the 1 they had. Lux was a great Vac when it was made of metal and you were able to repair the motor instead of replacing it. It's not that way today and the Co. is now called Aerus.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2010 at 9:05PM
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Thanks for the advice, Etienne. So I can solve the problem for the hard floors with a longer, softer bristle brush attachment that would collect and then release the dog fur into the suction? That makes sense - my Dyson canister vac's hard floor tool works well on dog fur. Too bad it doesn't fit the Miele.

So I am still left with the problem of removing the dog fur from the rug. Too much suction is not the issue here - I have tried it at all power levels. The rugs are not rubber-backed. The combo tool doesn't pick up the fur, and the powerbrush collected the fur but didn't move the fur to the bag.

I e-mailed Miele and directed them to this thread.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 8:53AM
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I can't wait to hear what Miele has to say. I went to the Miele site to look at the machine and you should have more than enough CFM to get the fur into the bag. When I was a kid, we had 2 dogs and an Electrolux XXX on the sleigh runners and that had only a 435 watt motor. It inhaled the dog hair and we had carpet and hardwood, also. You have 1,000 watts. We also had a Rainbow D-2 and that had only a CFM of 65. The stats on your machine are 96 CFM. They worked so well that we used them both for years. They did not have the CFM of todays vacs. There is some thing wrong with the vac itself. When I sold Lux when the Super J first was released, they had bad armatures and would pick up nothing or just burn out. I had to go back and pick them up for the armature replacments. I felt terrible. There may be a problem with the motor or the electronic suction control.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 7:02PM
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So you think the 96 CFM airflow should be able to overcome the short stiff bristles of the combo tool and suck in the dog fur?

I contacted Miele 48 hours ago. Still waiting.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 9:17AM
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I have the same Miele as well as a Miele canister (and about 35 other vacuums) and have a certain amount of problems with ALL of them when it comes to dog hair. I have two long hair dogs who are shedding like crazy this winter and even with daily vacuuming, it's a struggle to keep up. For my hardwood floors, I use the Miele parquet brush (longer bristles, easier on the floor) but find that the dog hair gets caught up in it within a few minutes. I have to turn it over and manually (i.e. use my hands) to dislodge the big clumps of hair that collect and put them into the air stream where they are sucked into the bag.

I've tried just about every brush and brand of vacuum and find that no matter what, there's always going to be a bit of hair collecting on the tool, especially if you have longer hair dogs. Also, the hair that collects on the outside of the tool is simply from static electricity build up...as you move the tool it creates static which attracts the hair. It is usually less active in the summer or in high humidity climates, but will always be somewhat of a problem.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 1:11PM
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The reason for the accumulation of excessive hair on the bristles is a design issue. Yes, you will have hair buildup on all bristled hair attachments, but moreso on this euro design.

The static charge around the nozzles tubing is from the movement of air. This air movement will also cause static on the outside of plastic. I have found this on other vacuum cleaners around hoses and tubes near the cleaning surface. The build-up, in this area, will decrease with time.

I would suggest that you look into purhacing a good floor brush attachment with soft natural hair bristles. They will not be hard to find. There is no need to purchase a Miele brand, because generics also work. Wessel-Werk is a major attachment supplier. You will find that more and more brands are using WW like Hoover, Electrolux, Riccar, Simplicity, Sebo and yes, Miele.

Purchase a natural-hair brush that has one wheel on the right and left side. This comes in handy with your Miele, because of the heavier weight of the whole vacuum supported on the attachment. European brands use a fit-all diameter of 35mm. Another option is to find the same floor brush with the American 11/4 diameter fitting and also purchase the 35mm European size fitting(35mm to 32mm-1 1/4)adaptor.

Your best bet, for the carpets, is to use a power nozzle for the pet hair. The PN you have now will collect hair mor that others, because of the smaller diameter brushroll and the bristles.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 5:42PM
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I heard back from Miele and the rep on the phone said the machine as configured is designed to pick up dirt, not dog fur. She recommended switching to a longer/softer bristle brush for the wood floors.

As for the fur collecting on the brush on the Direct Connect Powerbrush #SEB 217-3, the rep suggested that possibly with regular use of the powerbrush, there would be less fur to pick up each time and less fur left in the bristles. I understand the point she was making, but I'm not confident enough of the answer to spend the additional money to test this theory.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 1:32PM
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I have the Miele Capricorn and find that pet hair just isn't its thing. We have a golden/lab mix, a beagle mix, and two cats, all of whom shed like crazy! I have the larger powerhead for the carpet and the parquet brush for wood floors. The brush does collect hair but as cohoss said, I just manually remove it or run the hose over the bristles and keep going. However, I vacuum before mopping the floor and find that I usually have to vacuum after as well. It just doesn't seem to pick up the dust and hair properly. My floor has to be vacuumed at least once a day and washed every two days, if not every day also, so it's not like I let it go for days at a time and then try to pick everything up. As for the powerhead, I had to figure out how to take it apart to clean it as my dealer charges $45.00 to clean them and I need to do it every 3 months or so. They just don't seem to be able to handle pet hair.
The best vacuum I have found for pet hair is my Royal upright. The thing runs like a tank. Unfortunately, it is as heavy and loud as a tank! The Royal and the Miele are supposed to have the same amps but the suction on the Miele doesn't even compare to the Royal. My husband is still a bit miffed that he let me talk him into buying the Miele. Great filtration, but not great for people with pets.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 9:59PM
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Can You return this vac? This is never go to work for you.
The parquet brush with the wheels is a nightmare. The fur wraps itself around the wheels and they are frozen. The thing does not work. I used it 1 day in a house with 3 dogs and after 2 rooms, I had to pull the fur out of them with a tweezers. I pulled the wheels off. Plus, the brush is not always in contact with the floor. I thought you were going to buy a Back Pac, waist canister vac?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 10:25PM
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I have a Simplicity Synergy upright that does an excellent job on carpets, hardwood and slate floors for our brood of animals: a long hair German Shepard, a greyhound (sheds all year) and 2 cats. Never have any problems with hair clogging bristles. Apparently you can trade vacuums at a good vacuum shop....may want to ask about this.

My problem is how to best vacuum stairs!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 10:40PM
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Royal and Simplicity are made by the same company, aren't they? Do they make a model that allows you to raise the floor height?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 8:00AM
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I think the Miele stick vac just isn't a good match for your particular cleaning needs. I agree eteinne, it sounds like maybe you should return it and get something else.

Is there a highly-rated vacuum retailer in your area? If I were in your situation, I'd find one that sells brands like Royal, Miele, Sebo, Dyson and head over there with a Ziploc bag of that dog hair. (maybe call first!)

Seriously. Tell the salesperson about your situation and ask for a demo with the dog hair you're going to be dealing with.

If you find a machine that picks it up to your satisfaction that's in your price range, buy that one, and let us know about it!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2010 at 6:50PM
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The Miele went back to the store. I couldn't get a refund but was able to get a store credit.

I've come to the realization that I will need two vacuums, one for the wood floors and one for the area rugs.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2010 at 8:58AM
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The floor brush with the wheels not working is your opinion. It does work and that is why so many companies use it successfully. The wheels can clog with hair, but not as often as you suggest. When it is time to clean them out, all you have to do it take something like a screwdriver, stick it in the wheel well and pop out the wheels. The wheels then snap right in. This can be done in about a minute. As for the brush not always in contact with the floor, well that is not true. The wheels do not stick out farther than the brushstrips. The wheels come into play when weight or pressure is applied the brush. The brush is allowed to do its job without crushing the softer bristles. Heavier electrified wands and stick vacs, like Miele and Emer, can benefit from this floor brush. With some vacuum cleaners, the wheels never need to come into play.

When you notice that an excessive amount of hair is on the floor brush, just flip the brush over, pull the hair off, suck it up, then go back to vacuuming. The hair comes off much easier than the short bristles on those Euro-designed combo tools. No brush is going to be hair-free, but some will be better.

I am so confused, because you praise Dyson, but want a Back pack vacuum. Then purchase a Miele stick vac. The Miele would have been fine, with the right configuration, but bags would be costly if you have a lot of dog hair.

Royals and Simplicitys are not the same company.

If lack of hair on the nozzle is major issue with you, I would suggest that you find a cheap nozzle which only uses a rubber strip. It will not leave hair on the nozzle like a brush, but it does leave fine dust on the floor though.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 12:26AM
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graywings, I am so confused, because you praise Dyson, but want a Back pack vacuum. Then purchase a Miele stick vac. The Miele would have been fine, with the right configuration, but bags would be costly if you have a lot of dog hair.

geguy - I seldom talk about my personal life on these forums, but since you asked . . .

My vacuuming machine needs have changed. I have lived in three different houses and an apartment in the years I have posted here (and in one of them I had a central vac which I adored). The Dyson upright is wonderful for large carpet areas. I still love it - I borrowed it back to clean the house of an elderly woman recently, cleaning behind and under furniture that had not been moved in 40 years. I lost count of the number of times I emptied the canister.

Right now, I live in a small 2-story house with hardwood floors and area rugs and lots of nooks and crannies where dog fur settles. The Dyson upright is too large to move around this house. Even the smaller, more mobile Dyson canister bugs the heck out of me, getting caught in door thresholds and not adequately cleaning the rugs. I want a small, highly mobile machine for the hardwood floors, which I believe I have found in a Pro-Team Super Half-Vac HEPA Hipster. Unfortunely, I was just informed that it won't be available until Spring. I went to a vac store to buy a belt for a Hoover Windtunnel (someone else's vac) and saw the Miele stick vac and bought it on impulse.

The Miele would not have worked for me - even the rep at Miele said that it's designed to pick up dirt, not dog fur. Besides that, its center of balance is too high on the shaft, resulting in the full 15 pounds of the machine being carried by your arm as you use it.

So I'm back to my plan of waiting for the Pro-Team, and I may buy a lightweight upright for the area rugs. Unfortunately for me, both will be bagged machines, but that's the compromise I have to make.

Getting on my soapbox for a minute, this is why I argue with the the Kirby guys when they swing by this forum and try to say that the Kirby is the best machine out there. There is more to selecting a vacuum than cleaning power. The machine has to work in the specific home and it has to work for the user.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 9:48AM
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There is more to selecting a vacuum than cleaning power. The machine has to work in the specific home and it has to work for the user.

graywings, I think you hit the nail on the head with that comment.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 4:59PM
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Greaywing, Did you try out the SEBO Felix? You have many different requirements that probably you won't find ONE vacuum to fit all your needs but you might want to demo a Felix. It is one of the most versatile vacs on the market.

PS I'm not sure a back pack will be the answer either

    Bookmark   January 11, 2010 at 5:18PM
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I just purchased a Miele S7210, which isn't the stick type vacuum, but in defense of the Miele brand, my vacuum works very well on tile and carpet. I've got three dogs, two of which shed moderately and a lab which sheds a lot. I vacuum the tile floors every day and the carpeting every other day to keep up with the dog hair.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 11:59AM
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I have a friend that is in the same boat. He has tried all kinds of different attachments on various machines over the years and hair gets stuck on the bristles of every type of floor tool he has tried. I think it might just be something you deal with as a pet lover. The Miele he has is an older model with power head that does fantastic on carpet and rugs but the floor tool gets hair stuck to it and he has to vacuum that off regularly. I do remember him telling me that the attachments for Miele are expensive and didnt have much luck with generic offerings either as Miele attachments are a different fit than most. Good luck in your quest

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 12:29PM
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I'm with mettapeace, what about the stairs??

I have a Kirby that does a good job sucking up the hair and dirt but nimble it is not. It does have a hard floor attachment that I like but I don't often go through the PITA of re-configuring the vacuum to use the attachments unless I'm on a cleaning spree. We have tile, wood, rugs and carpeting in this house with 2 black labs and 2 cats. Usually I just haul out the Kirby and leave the drive off and use it on the floors. I also have a Rooomba (which I really like but I won't tell you they do a perfect job by any means and the dog hair is a problem when there are area rugs involved) that I put to work in a room once the floor is Roomba-ready.

My problem is the carpeted stairs. The Kirby is pretty useless on the stairs (mine is 15 years old, maybe they've made changes, I don't know). I had a cordless Shark that I liked until the battery quit and it seems to require destruction to remove it so replacing isn't happening. I have a Dirt Devil corded (Platinum Force I think) but the brush was weak to start with then quit working. The suction is decent so that's what I'm still using until I come up with something else.

Good luck on your search. Maybe someone out there reads this stuff and will come up with something good.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 2:14AM
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I'm with lucky51 on the Sebo Felix. I bought the Felix Pet in 2008 when we lived in England and think it does an excellent job. My only problem is I am now back in the US and am told that I cannot just get the motor changed to a 110 to get it to work here.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2010 at 6:42PM
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Graywings is not going to like a Sebo Felix, because he says that he does not like the higher "center of balance". The Felix does have some weight in the handle. It is not that the Sebo would clean badly.

I have a problem with backpack vacuums. They are not the best to use in a small home, because the hose is going to hit things like table lamps, knick knacks. The user will also have to clean the whole house at once or go through the routine of vacuuming once, then stop, take off the backpack, then put it back on and continue vacuuming. Backpack vacuums would work well in a situation like a church sanctuary, where there are rows and rows of pews to vacuum in between.


It is possible to vacuum stairs with a Kirby. Years ago, I would vacuum the stairs in "upright" mode. Grab the vacuum at the lower carrying handle(near handle pin), then grab the higher part of the handle with your other hand, for balance. Then just move the vacuum forwards and back. Do this with each step.

Another option is to use the portable handle for the Kirby. Remove the long handle and attach the small handle grip, then the Kirby becomes a hand or portable vacuum cleaner like your DD Platinum, but heavier. You would thenuse the vacuum like the Platinum on the stairs. You could also use the vacuum to vacuum your mattress. As for the time it takes to convert the Kirby for this function, I would have it converted by the time you grabbed the DD out of the closet and plugged it in. There is yet another option.

You could purchase a mini turbo brush and connect it to the end of the wand. Then just vacuum each step. As you move up the steps, the Kirby should sit fine on the steps. The mini turbo brush can also be used to vacuum the furniture and the family vehicles. I do not care for Kirby's Zip brush. You can find generic mini turbo brushes at reasonable prices. Just pay your local vac shop a visit.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2010 at 1:29AM
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