Home and Housewares Show. Think of it as CES for the Home Depot, Lowes and Bed, Bath & Beyond set, with a vast show floor filled with every conceivable cleaning, cooking and serving product imagined (or ones you may try to unimagine after seeing). Our first stop of the show was to check out our favourite category of home appliances: vacuums! We stopped by the Hoover booth where we got to check out their latest and greatest in products that suck...but in a good way. The first unit we got to check out was the new Hoover FloorMate Hard Floor Cleaner with SpinScrub Technology (that's a mouthful): designed to clean hardwood, tile and vinyl floors, the three-in-one cleaner vac, washes and dries hard floors in a couple passes. The vacuum did an excellent job of cleaning the sample spill using a squeegee-type mechanism and is easily switched over to dry vacuum duty, which makes this a parent and pet-friendly device.
On a critical note, we wish Hoover would initiate an industrial design update to their whole product line. In many ways, the domestic vacuum market's design mirrors toothbrush design: a lot of plasticky-bright forms that don't distinguish well from one another, and this line falls under that category. But on the functional end, the Hoover FloorMate was met with plenty of "I own and love my Floormate" cooing amongst fellow houseware media attendees, so they're doing something right. The other notable product we were pitched was the Hoover Platinum Collection LiNX Stick Vacuum. As the owner of an Electrolux Ergorapido 2-in-1 Sweeper Stick, we're avid daily users of these type of quick clean up stick vacuums. The LiNX is an Ergorapido on steroids, with a much more robust vacuum suction engine (which they've patented with the well known moniker, WindTunnel Technology) and partnered it up with an interchangeable lithium-ion battery system that can be used across a variety of cleaning tools. The technological improvements means users only need to glance at a visual display for battery power feedback with power waning mid-use; the LiNX is capable of both hard surface and low pile carpet duty for true any room cleanup needs, and notably the design of this unit is more akin to an European appliance than the typical colourful offerings of their other WindTunnel vacuum line (thus branded with the more premium finish of their "Platinum Collection"). We hope to see Hoover extend this sort of merging of technology with more sophisticated industrial design across their whole product line (we use a Hoover ourselves, but one of their retro-tech canister vacuums).
Additionally, a representative from Cleaning For a Reason shared information about their worthy cause, a nonprofit which offers free professional housecleaning and maid services to improve the lives of women undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. Hoover is the official sponsor, and asked us to put the word out that if any of our readers operate or know a housecleaning or maid service and would like to help. Please contact them via their website for more information. It was the shortest, but possibly the most memorable and important pitch during our Home + Housewares show visit. More details at Hoover Vacuums.