Being a mom completely changes the way you think about clean. Suddenly, those floors you haven’t scrubbed for two weeks are now being eaten off of, and literally everything eventually ends up in someone’s mouth. You can’t simply dust your countertops or sweep your linoleum and call them clean, so why would you merely run a simple vacuum over your carpets and call it good?
Sure, there’s carpet sprays and professional carpet shampooing to really clean your floors, but those leave chemicals and toxins down where your children play, and can even do more harm than good if you have a child with sensitive skin or allergies. Not to mention they can be costly, especially if you have a large area of carpet to clean. Thank goodness technology has come to save us yet again, and this time it comes in what is quite possibly the coolest package ever: The Oreck Halo XL UV-C Germ Killing Vacuum.
The Oreck Halo is the only vacuum with Ultraviolet-C light technology that can kill germs, mold, MRSA, dust mite eggs, flea eggs, and E. coli while you vacuum. The UV-C light is built into the base of the Halo vacuum and can be activated with a touch of a button. Their patented light chamber provides a concentrated UV light down to your floors that has been shown in lab tests to destroy 99.9% of common germs in as little as a second. The slides below show what was found on both the bathroom floor, carpeted floor and then a tile floor. Horrifying, right? Now imagine what was in that 70s shag carpet that we used to roll around on when we were little. Shudder.
When I heard there was a chemical-free answer for cleaning both bare and carpeted floors, I was more than intrigued. But, when I heard that the solution was a UV-C vacuum that allowed you to vacuum and kill germs in one step, I was in love. In fact, the Oreck Halo made it on my surprisingly short list of things that I absolutely coveted in 2009, and it pretty much made my birthday when my Halo arrived just a few short days before.
Most everyone who knows me would have handpicked this vacuum out of all the other vacuums in the world based on the UV light alone. And while they would have been absolutely correct that this was the vacuum for me, my decision to try it out was based on much more than the UV germ killing feature, and more on research and personal experience I have had with the Oreck brand.
Back in my youth, I spent the swing shift working at a local hotel where we cleaned the hotel from top to bottom with an Oreck XL. Partly this is because of how insanely light the XL is, which is great for cleaning multiple floors or rooms quickly and easily, but mostly we used the Oreck because we only wanted to clean everything once and then move on. I should qualify this all by saying that the hotel’s Oreck may have only been 10 years old, but it had seen thousands and thousands of square feet in that time, and more than a few young houseboys. Pretty it wasn’t, but what it lacked in appearance it definitely made up for in every other area.
Even back then, I loved vacuums. In fact, my mom got me my first vacuum when I was 17, which was the only thing I had asked for that year for Christmas. That vacuum was an infomercial purchase, and something I was absolutely thrilled with at the time. It was a great vacuum for a few years, but the one feature I really loved – the fact that it was bagless – I actually grew to hate. I didn’t like how the whole vacuum was covered in dust and dirt every time I emptied the canister, or that I needed to take out the trash every time I vacuumed in order to really get rid of the dirt and not be worried that it would spread. But, the worst feature was that I actually had to reach in to take off the canister top, which was always completely encased in grime, fuzz and dirt, in order to clean it.
Still, I continued to use it until not even the $80 worth of parts and pieces I had to special order from ebay stopped it from smelling like something was burning or got rid of the obnoxious squeal. After tracking down the company, I was told I needed to send in the vacuum for repair at my expense or buy a new one. Granted, the vacuum was 8 years old at the time, but after just spending $80 and faced with another high bill, I decided that it was time for a new vacuum.
When I was choosing a vacuum to replace my old upright, I knew I wanted to go with an established brand that I could trust and that would be around if I needed parts or service down the road. Having run into the problem of special ordering and a complete lack of customer service before, I was determined to get a brand that anyone else had ever heard of this time. I will admit that it was hard to turn down the first vacuum company that contacted me to do a review, because at that point I really did need a new model, but this time I had my heart set on Oreck. And that was before I knew they had produced the Halo, the most awesome vacuum ever.
The Oreck XL Halo UV Vacuum is absolutely in a category all its own as far as vacuums go. The fact that it has a higher and more controlled suction that my old model is great, but when you add in the fact that it is more maneuverable, has a more comfortable design, is quieter (even when it wasn’t squealing) and isn’t baggless, the competition is very much over. When you factor in the UV germ killing properties, you realize there was absolutely no competition to begin with. And really, how can you compare a vacuum with a sophisticated machine that cleans, sanitizes and leaves your house both germ and chemical free?
The Oreck Halo XL specs and fetaures:
*Self sealing HEPA 13 filter bag to prevent dirt and germs from being spread through the air
*Brushroll with easy on/off control located on handle
*UV-C germicidal light with push button operation
*Included on-board tools for ease of cleaning, including a hose that extends 13 feet and can reach just about anywhere
*29 ft power cord so you can vacuum an entire room without having to unplug and change outlets
*5 level height adjustments allow you to clean both thick pile carpet and bare floors
*A great warranty with 3 annual tune-ups at any of their 450 Oreck stores for free
Any time you’re talking about UV-C light, you should also be talking safety, which is why I was so excited that Oreck had included a whole bunch of safety features to protect you and your family. The first is that the UV-C light is only activated if you are pressing the UV-C button on the Oreck handle, so if you let go of the button, the light will immediately turn off. The secondary safety features include an automatic shut off if the Oreck Halo is turned over during use or if any of the wheels lose contact with the ground. This feature does prevent you from being able to use the UV-C light feature on stairs – unless, of course, you have massively large stairs that an upright can vacuum with all four wheels making full contact. For most of us, though, it does mean that you must use the hose and attachments to clean your stairs or for spots too small to run the entire vacuum over. However, when using the on-board tools to clean the stairs, curtains, and more, the Oreck Halo is smart enough to know that the UV-C light should be deactivated until you return to regular vacuuming.
The price tag at $599 might be steep, but when you consider that the Oreck Halo XL UV-C is the first vacuum that really cleans and eliminates germs, bacteria and mold, it could save you quite a bit on professional carpet cleaning while keeping chemicals off your carpets. And, to sweeten the deal for after-holiday shoppers, Oreck is offering a Clean Up After the Holidays 3-for-1 Special where you get the 2-in-1 Oreck Speed Sweep (a $100 value by mail in voucher), and the portable Oreck Car Vac (a $40 value). This limited time offer ends January 17th.
And now for the Giveaway...
One Rave and Review reader will win an awesome Oreck Halo XL of their very own! To enter, just visit the Oreck site and comment below with a vacuum you would love to own (besides the two named in this review).
And, as always, there are extra entries available!
1) Subscribe to Rave and Review, top of right sidebar (2 extra entries, must be verified to count)
2) Become a fan of Oreck on Facebook and leave a comment on their page!
3) Tweet about this Giveaway using @raveandreview and @Oreck after following us both (daily Tweet, just post link here)
4) Blog about this Giveaway with links back to this post as well as the www.raveandreview.com homepage
5) Place my button or logo in your sidebar on your blog or website (must have an active link)
6) Comment love. Enter any of my other Giveaways or comment on any non-giveaway post!
7) Email love. Share this Giveaway with friends and family via email and cc Leanne (at)raveandreview (dot) com for two bonus entries (I will never, ever contact your email recipients)
8) Vote for Rave and Review on Top Baby Blogs, logo in right sidebar (daily entry)
On February 11th at 11:59pm PST a winner will be drawn, announced here and notified via email.
UPDATE! This giveaway is closed. Thank you to all who entered (all 3,139 of you) and congratulations to Sharon, who won the Oreck Halo Germ Killing Vacuum!
A huge thank you to Oreck for sending us the Halo to adore and for offering a giveaway to our fabulous readers. No type of monetary compensation was received for this Rave Review.