Allow me to be totally, completely random for a minute. Yes, this is a beauty blog. Yes, I typically will switch it up with music, fashion, and/or politics. But today, I’ve got something on my chest and I need to vent. I hate the Dirt Devil Kone. Hate it. My hand-held vacuum is totally ticking me off.

I bought the Dirt Devil Kone shortly after it hit the market — the ads just spoke to me. A hand-held vac that’s pretty enough to display in my home? Get. Out! I had to have it. Then I read a review on Beauty Addict, which revealed that the Kone was designed by Karim Rashid, who created the gorgeous Kenzo perfume bottles that totally belong on my dresser. It was written.

I drove to Target — was admittedly a bit disappointed that they didn’t have a Plum Kone in stock. I bought the champagne colored one, and was thrilled to see it totally blended with my green, brown, and very naturally-decorated living room when I brought it home. I plugged it in — Kone needs to be charged up for like two days before you use it at first — and so far, so great. It cleaned up my dust bunnies without hesitation. It sucked up spilled rice and crumbs in the kitchen, or on the dining table. Random dust on the ground was no longer a problem for me. Then, I got me a cat. Lord have mercy.

(note — this photo is not Max, I got it off I Can Has Cheezburger. It actually made me LOL, which says a lot about me. Sadness. I’m a cat lady).

Max is adorable… but he’s a mess-maker of note. When he eats, he randomly plays soccer with his food dish. He’s got one of those dual-dish cat bowls, so if I give him a little wet food on one side, and dry on the other, he feels the need to mix them together with his little paws. So essentially he scatters dry cat food all over, kinda like this. And don’t get me started on the litter box. All this cute furry fool does is scatter litter everywhere when he’s done with his kitty-business. My downstairs bathroom is a mess at all times. I need flip flops just to deal with it, because I inevitably walk away with litter-encrusted feet. Which is the ickiest feeling ever.

So hey, Dirt Devil Kone, can you come to the rescue and help me clean up these relatively minor spills, in the grand scheme of household messes? Hell no. I outgrew this machine with a quickness. You see, the Kone has a tendency to blow stuff around as you use it. So it actually winds up scattering dry powdery substances around even MORE as you try to clean with it. The power doesn’t last long, the dust cup is tiny, the nozzle is about the size of the circle you make with your thumb and second finger. And worst of all, if you turn it off after cleaning, and it’s borderline full? It’ll just drop the excess back on the floor. The Dirt Devil Kone will make you clean up the mess it left behind, if your mess is too big for it to handle. Which it always is. So for me right about now, it’s a champagne colored waste of my frickin’ time. Sorry if that sounds harsher than my usual happy afrobella tone, I just spent half an hour trying to clean my bathroom with the bloody thing. And I just know the new Kurve is more of the same thing. A pretty, hot mess. Arrrrgh!

A few weeks ago I ventured out to Target — really I was in search of the Eureka stick vac, which for some ridiculous reason is only available online, not in stores. So I settled for the Shark Stick Vac, which works as well as my Dirt Devil would, if it were on a stick. Which is to say, not at all. So now I’m back to square one, sweeping and using a dust pan. Which I’m not really feeling.

So here’s my dilemma — my in-laws are coming to town this weekend! I have major cleaning up to do, and a kitty litter explosion in my downstairs bathroom. Before I make the distant trek out to Brandsmart USA to pick up a stick vac that costs less than $30, do any of you bellas have a particular brand recommendation? And thank you all for allowing me to vent my housecleaning frustration. It’ll be back to beauty after this, promise!

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nolagirl says:
April 8, 2008, 10:49 am
I think that $30 would be better spent getting a maid for an hour to clean. With people coming over you have better way to spend your time. As for the future I wouldtry a larger vac with small attachments and a long tube..... you need a plug Bella. You need a vac with a plug.
rosesm says:
April 8, 2008, 11:00 am
Bella, We have three cats and my husband has allergies, but we finally found a (really, really expensive) lifesaver. It's the Dyson 15 Animal - powerful, purple, and cleans up anything. It's super expensive, but worth every penny. I don't think you will find a stick vacuum that will do the trick, but in case you aren't ready to shell out 500 dollars for the perfect vacuum, here are some preventative measures I've learned from my years with the 3 kitties. First, if you don't want Max to play soccer with his food, you have to get food and water bowls that are heavy enough not to move around, and then get a plastic mat with a lip at the edge that will catch what he scoops out and keep it in one place. Second, we got these little mats that go around our litter boxes and keep all the litter on the mats (they have a little astro turf like surface, so they literally scrub off those little kitty feet as they step out of the box, so when we clean, we can just shake the mats back into the litter box. As a side note, if you feed Max only dry food and nothing with fish in it, the litter box room will smell a little better too. We save fish-flavored stuff for treats, and it makes the house smell a lot better. Finally, we got a little box with a lid and a little flap door- the cats kick litter around while they are digging in the box for a place to go, so the lid and flap-door keep that litter from flying out all over the floor as they did. Hope some of these ideas help!
MunyHuny says:
April 8, 2008, 11:06 am
I agree. I have tried many hand vacs & they simply don't work. I finally saved up for a Dyson & it is the best vacuum I ever had.
Bebroma says:
April 8, 2008, 11:16 am
Bella, having lived years with a cat, rosesm is right on. Get a litter box with a lid and flap and a kitty litter mat, all of which you can get at Wal-Mart or Target or whatever. The lids flip right off when you undo the snaps, and some of them have charcoal filter things at the top. Cats like privacy, so they like the lid. Plus, you don't have to look at any lumps of litter in between scooping. And he only needs wet food on occasion, for a treat. Make sure that food is low ash to prevent urinary tract problems.
Selina Kyle-Rodriguez says:
April 8, 2008, 11:39 am
I have a Dyson 15 animal as well it has changed my life!!! I got mine off of and went on flex pay best investment I ever made. Yes its big and clunky but its strong and it sucks and sucks the clean up is easy and if you knew how much crap you will pull out of the carpet you may be freaked out by other people who don't use dyson cause you know their carpet is manky. Anywhoo, not to sound like a PSA but it's worth the 469.00 the air quality alone is worth the investment.
loveydovey says:
April 8, 2008, 12:37 pm
The cat is indoor/outdoor right?? You could always train him just to go outside and do his thing..that would save time, money, and the work that must be put into keeping the box and bathroom clean.
teeheehee says:
April 8, 2008, 12:39 pm
I don't have a cat or advice re: vaccuums... but this is one of the funniest reviews I have ever read. You made me LOL!
misstwists says:
April 8, 2008, 1:08 pm
Hey Afrobella! I have to agree with Teeheehee - this is the funniest review - Ever! Not to make light of your dilemma. I really can feel your pain. There's nothing like being excited about a product review, going on a hunt to find it and then ultimately being disappointed with its performance. Been there, felt that! Which brings me to my first questions - is the Dyson 15 animal really all of that? My latest vacuum is a Walmart special :-) I forget the name and model but I remember it being rated number 2 by Consumer Reports so I felt it was a good deal. We have a dog and my daughter has asthma so anything that will help keep the air clean for her, I am all on it! Okay last question - Nolagirl - where do you find a housecleaner that charges $30.00/hour. I had one come in years ago. Mind you, she and her girls took their shoes off and got down to business - but - I paid more than $30.00/hour. My house has not been that clean since!
Ms. Aja B. says:
April 8, 2008, 1:21 pm
Hi Bella: I would have to agree with the ladies who mentioned the Dyson, but ultimately, as nola girl said, you really need a vac with a plug. As for maid services--sometimes if you look in the classifieds section, you will finds ads for people who will come and clean your house. Of course, discretion would have to be used b/c this is someone you don't know in your home. If you would rather try a service, there is always My mom tried them over the Christmas Holiday before she had company. They will clean as many or as few rooms as you need. They come to the house for a visit to see what needs to be done and will give you a quote accordingly. I really don't know if they have anyone down in FL where you are, but they are national, so I'm thinking so. I completely feel your pain. When I had a cat (RIP Mitsy), that was the biggest battle...the kitty litter! I think that might be why I am hesitant to get a new cat.... Good luck! :)
Kittykat says:
April 8, 2008, 1:45 pm
Bella I also bought the Kone right after it hit the shelves and I must confess I am totally disappointed in "Dirt Devil". Not only that, I am in Trinidad and bought it through Amazon, trust me, I would have shipped that baby back in a flash. And no, you did not outgrow the machine, and I am going into Trini lingo darm ting wasnt picking up nutten in de fus place - LOL!. Anyway, I feel your pain, mine is now an ornament in the kitchen and a mystery to be solved by my guests.
mellowyel says:
April 8, 2008, 2:08 pm
Hey Bella, My brother bought an Oreck vacuum for his apartment a couple of months ago. It's big, and expensive, but it does an amazing job. It comes with a smaller version and many different vacuum heads so you can use it anywhere. It's also hypoallergenic, which is good if you're having visitors who might be allergic to Max :)
islandgirl550 says:
April 8, 2008, 2:23 pm
Cosign on the Dyson with the purple top! I have 3 cats! Litter, food, crap everywhere!!! The Dyson, while over $500 is the ONLY thing that can handle cat hair. Hi Max!
Denise says:
April 8, 2008, 2:54 pm
aww....sorry about that...we have the same one (champagne color, too) and my soon-to-be husband LOVES it. I don't use it very much cuz I hate cleaning it out, but it works well enough for the little spills here and there.
Ingrid says:
April 8, 2008, 3:00 pm
Hi Bella, No cat to speak of; but I can testify about the Dyson. My mom got the original Dyson and it really did change all of our lives. We had less dust build up and less allergies. It is big, but there are different attachments and different postions that you can put it in to get harder to reach places. I would definitely reccommend any Dyson as an investment!
mistress_scorpio says:
April 8, 2008, 3:50 pm
I'm glad for this review... I'm going to look into that Dyson Animal vac right quick. You know what my best solution is for not having to see or deal with scattered litter? BEING PREGNANT! "Honey, I can't go near the litter box while I am carrying your child..."
nolagirl says:
April 8, 2008, 3:54 pm
I live in new orleans and ( hence NOLA ) you can get a merry maid for about $30 an hour.... or you can hire a maid from a local maid service. the cost of living is different everywhere.
pets says:
April 8, 2008, 5:38 pm
Get your hubby to check out the plug-in vacs as these marvelllous technical tools may be of such interest that he will shell out the dough to get the best one...and as to the cat you know what we ladies home here think! I agree with mistress_scorpio..time for a real human baby!
Shantise says:
April 8, 2008, 6:34 pm
Bella, That thing is made to be used when you have company over not as a real life vac. I do agree you should spend the money on a maid and take sometime to do some research on your next vac. Did Target give your money back for either one of those pieces of junk? Oh yeah dont't get the Eureka The Boss it doesnt work at all and the hand comes out!! Arg! Well hopefully this helps.
hoorah says:
April 8, 2008, 6:45 pm
Bella, My bf brought his two cats when he moved in and swears by Arm and Hammer multi-cat litter. He says he's tried other brands and none ever seemed to work as well. Co-sign on the person who recommended the litterbox with the lid that snaps off - we bought two and the odor dropped dramatically and immediately. I am crazy sensitive about litter mess and cat pee so it was driving me insane. The only thing we haven't dealt with is being diligent about scooping once a day. We're both just a bit too lazy to get to it more than 2-3x a week! Good luck!
mikala says:
April 8, 2008, 6:58 pm
I havent had any problems with mine.. yet.. :) i have a cat too and i def. feel your
Neek says:
April 8, 2008, 8:47 pm
LB (Miss Lisa) says:
April 8, 2008, 9:04 pm
I have to vaccum at least two to three times a day because I have a Keeshond who has a lot of hair. I use a commercial vaccum cleaner (Hoover) at my house. I do love your cat caption who looks like my old child hood kitty. Rest in peace Frisky.
NaturallyFee says:
April 9, 2008, 10:43 am
I have heard great things about the Dyson vacs - as witnessed by several commenters. But, if you're not ready to commit to the $500+ price tag . . . or if you just prefer something smaller . . . maybe you should look into the Dyson handhelds. On the Dyson site they range from $150 to about $200 (and there's a purple top one, and an "Animal" one). I'm sure you could probably find it cheaper somewhere other than I have a couple friends who have hired maid services and spent maybe $50, but were extremely pleased. So that may be worth looking into. Besides, then you can spend your time preparing in other ways. Either way - I hope you're able to find the right solution. Best of luck!
Shones says:
April 9, 2008, 11:37 am
Rosesm is on-the-money! I don't own a Dyson, but everything she said about cat-mess containment has worked for me. The little astroturf mat for the litter box is such a lifesaver. What is the deal with them playing with the dry food?! My husband and I are completely convinced that when Cleo is eating alone, she shakes her head while she chews. Kinda like a cookie monster effect.
The Fitness Diva says:
April 9, 2008, 7:26 pm
This one works for me. 3 detachable heads, and it picks up litter pretty damn well. You only have to charge it for a couple hours, and it's ready to go. Just keep the trap inside clean and cat hair free.
lauren says:
April 9, 2008, 7:33 pm
hey bella, i loved the swiffer sweeper line for mopping my tile. Try the Swiffer Sweeper Vac. It's $32 on, and got good reviews on, it might work. U can use it as a vaccuum and a mop! oh ya, at big lots the swiffer mop pads are way cheaper than at CVS. good luck!
Jamillah says:
April 9, 2008, 9:22 pm
I was going to get one for my Mom. Thank goodness I didn't....I have an Eureka Capture. It is nice but the cord design sucks. I wish I had money for a Dyson. I had a cat but had to get rid of it cause she was in heat and got no help from DH about getting her fix. Wish you luck on the clean up and the In-law visit!
heyhey says:
April 10, 2008, 7:01 am
I concur with the others: Plug it in, plug it in. All that Max Power (tm Simpsons) sucks up the large Trader Joe's pine litter, cat hair, you name it. W/ regards to the messy eater, I put my cat's food in an upside-down bootbox lid (i.e. the box a pair of boots came in). I line it with a custom cut old place mat to offer some traction for the food bowl, protect the carpet from spillage, and the lid walls are just high enough to stop stray dry food from shooting across the floor when RoRo feels like scooping snackage in her paw. Hope that made sense!
lola gets says:
April 10, 2008, 2:22 pm
Well, because Max is still a kitten, hes gonna play in his food, thats just what they do. But he should grow out of it once he gets older. As for vaccums, I dont even bother with those, lol. Im a broom and dustpan kinda gal myself, and it does well in the "kitty bathroom." I also use white vinegar to wash the floor down with: Its good at fighting any odors and/or stains that might occurr. L
Alousionist says:
April 13, 2008, 6:24 am
Hey Bella, I use two vacuums to clean up after two cats and two dogs, a Eureka Boss Smart Vac 4870GZ (consumer digest best buy last year) and the Shark Cordless Handvac (was a consumer digest best buy 2 yrs ago when I purchased mine). Both do a great job of removing pet hair from our furniture and carpets. I agree with lola gets on the white vinegar (its also good for cleaning the urine smell out the litter box too (max will appreciate it) after you clean with soap and water)and with the rest on heavier (separate food/water dishes) and a covered litter box with filters.
Brandi says:
April 19, 2008, 11:15 pm
I can't believe no one else brought this up. I want a cat but I'll be training it to use the toilet. No I'm not crazy. This is very doable and only takes about 2 weeks or less, depending on the cat and your patience. About the food, try the rosesm's tip about the mat. It should work.
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