Full Size Vacuum Cleaner:
A vacuum cleaner is the most common floor care tool. It's versatile enough to clean carpet, hard surface flooring. Most vacuum cleaners also have tools that allow you to vacuum stairs and dust furniture and fixtures. You can choose from bagged or bagless models of vacuum cleaners. Whether you choose an upright vacuum cleaner or a canister model, most of your daily floor care needs can be met with this type of appliance.
Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner:
A lightweight vacuum cleaner is often chosen for smaller homes or as a second vacuum cleaner in a larger home. A lightweight vacuum cleaner is usually smaller and more compact, making for more convenient storage. Lightweight vacuum cleaners are more common as bagless models. Often chosen by people with limited storage space, or by those for whom a full-sized vacuum is too bulky to operate, a lightweight vacuum can be a great addition to your cleaning arsenal.
Handheld Vacuum Cleaner:
A handheld vacuum is a very small vacuum cleaner meant to be used to clean in tight places where a traditional vacuum cleaner might have difficulty. A handheld vacuum is also a great tool for quick cleaning of crumbs and other small messes. Typically handheld vacuum cleaners are cordless and have a charging station where they wait until they are needed. Handheld vacuums are nice additions to homes with pets and small children.
A stick vacuum is the ultimate lightweight vacuum. Corded and cordless models are available. These vacuums have a stick like handle and are usually bagless with a dirt cup that can be emptied. Stick vacuums don't carry a lot of power, but they are useful for picking up quick messes.
Sweepers are making a comeback in a big way. Unlike vacuum cleaners, sweepers use a rotating brush to flip dirt and debris into a dirt chamber. Many models are cordless and rechargeable making them convenient, especially for cleaning up after meals. Easy to maintain and ready to go at a moments notice, sweepers are nice for busy homes that need to be able to clean messes quickly.
Battery Powered Flat Mop:
These types of mops typically use disposable pads and a refill system of cleaning fluid. A battery pack allows a jet of cleaning solution to be sprayed in front of the unit. A disposable mopping pad runs across the floor mopping as the mop is moved back and forth. Swiffer WetJet and Clorox ReadyMop are two popular brands. These mops can go a long way towards replacing most mopping sessions, although an occasionally more intense mopping may be needed.
Hard Surface Wet/Vac Mops:
Wet mopping vacuum cleaners are developing quickly, too. Most units spray a solution on the floor, have rotating brushes that scrub the floor, and then suck up the dirty solution into a separate dirty water tank. Hard surface mops are great for those people who hate the workout that can come from scrubbing a floor with a traditional mop. They are perfect for those with more limited mobility.
Most steam mops look like a stick vacuum cleaner. They mop floors without using chemicals, instead using tap water that is heated to form steam. Models may come with disposable mopping pads, or microfiber pads that can be washed and reused. Steam mops still take more work than wet/vacuums, but most models do a nice job on hard floors. These are a great option for those who are trying to use less cleaning solutions.
Carpet cleaners may be full-sized upright models, or more portable spot cleaners. Most carpet cleaners work by infusing a warm water/shampoo solution from the clean water tank into the carpet. A high powered vacuum then draws out the wet solution, taking the stains and dirt with it into a dirty water tank. Some carpet cleaners may come with attachments that will clean upholstery and mattresses as well. Carpet cleaners are a great option for people who want to clean their carpet on their own, or keep it clean in between professional visits.