Bissell OptiClean Vacuum
-we recently bought one of these vacuum cleaners, and I thought that others might like to know how it works. This is a fairly small canister vacuum. It has a plastic "dirt cup" assembly that is emptied after an hour of cleaning, or more often if necessary. There are no bags to replace, but there are several filters to keep clean, and two of these are pleated paper filters that will need to be replaced eventually. The vacuum is powerful, and is very good for cleaning furniture and bare floors, wood and tile. I was able to get a 5 by 8 carpet clean, but I had to remove the "cleaning nozzle" intended for carpets, and use the steel wand, with no attachments. It took me about 20 minutes to do a 5 by 8 carpet, that had been heavily loaded with dog hair. I don't think this vacuum would work out well for those with wall to wall carpeting, but if you have mostly bare floors, with a few smaller area rugs, you might do OK. There are two foam filter pads that must be periodically rinsed clean, and allowed to dry. Also, the pleated paper filters will need to be removed and shaken out after several hours of use, and eventually they will need to be replaced. The dirt cup assembly is plastic, and can be easily washed in warm soapy water, rinsed clean, and allowed to dry. If the filters are kept clean, the vacuum will maintain suction, and it should continue to clean well. It is true that there are no bags to replace, but cleaning the filters is a periodic chore, so this vacuum will require some DIY maintenance to keep it operating well.