Cleaning Hack #3: Abuse your Nu Nu


No I’m not talking about your nethers! Pervies.

I’m talking about the Very Most Excellent Nu Nu from Teletubbies. This guy: Nu Nu!

Gotta love Nu Nu, right? Because as the Teletubbies bumble happily through life, throwing Tubby Toast and whatnot all over their weird little spaceship thingy, who saves the day? Why, it’s Nu Nu, come to magically schlurp up all the mess!

And where does Nu Nu put all the Tubby Toast frisbees and bunny poo and dead flowers and whatever else litters up the Tubby Scape? Who knows? And better yet, who cares! That’s the very best thing about Nu Nu: all that mess just goes… away!

Don’t you wish you had a Nu Nu at your house?

(Psst! Guess what? You do!)

I’m not kidding anyone that your vacuum cleaner is an actual-factual Nu Nu — the real Nu Nu is, of course, an independent and intelligent entity who can not only sense when messes are made, but can open and close the Tubby Utility Closet on its own. Nu Nu doesn’t have a cord or a power switch, and doesn’t need any direction at all.

Your Nu Nu is definitely lazier and waaay dumber, but it does do that very best thing that Nu Nu does: it sucks up messes and takes them… away.

My personal Nu Nu is a Kenmore upright, very straightforward. It has a Hepa filter (which I have never changed cuz I’m like that) and a replaceable bag. That’s actually a good thing, the bag, because vacuums with bags have better suction than the ones with cups you empty. Also, you don’t have to look at the Tubby Toast and bunny poo, it just disappears into the bag. Awesome!

I bought this awesome vacuum at the local Sears, AKA, The Sears At Which One Buys All Major Appliances, apparently, because when I need a major appliance, I just find myself there.

And here’s the coolest thing about this particular Sears: it has a vacuum cleaner department which, in turn, has not one but TWO real live vaccum cleaner salesmen. I don’t mean that there are two guys who work in the department, I mean that these guys sell vacuum cleaners, they are old-school Salesmen, and they are hysterical. One is a cranky old guy in jacket and tie, he’s obviously been doing this forever. The other is… really, I don’t know what his deal is. He’s fifty-ish, wears sort of pagan-y necklaces and black nailpolish, is clearly gay (“not that there’s anything wrong with that”) and seems in every way completely wrong for vacuum cleaner sales. Except that he’s got the whole thing DOWN — this guy is as good as it gets.

You will not be ready for this, when you go to get a Nu Nu, because nobody sells anything at department stores anymore… they all just wander around with price guns, and if you ask them a question they start gazing into the half-distance for another employee. You can tell them that there aren’t any other employees because it took you a half hour just to find them, but you realize the utter futility of this and decide to figure it out yourself.

So you find the vacuum cleaner department, and the Salesmen suck you in and show you everything and lean heavily toward the Kenmores (duh, Sears brand) which you will buy and love because if you go to Consumer Reports, you’ll see that they’re pretty damn good.

Here’s the thing though. The vacuum cleaner Salesmen will tell you, as your purchase is going through, that you must NOT allow your vacuum cleaner to inhale anything larger than a speck of dust or it will immediately seize up. Also you must bring your Nu Nu in once a year for service and cleaning and tuning and Reiki and acupuncture and whatever else they do to them in there. You will leave thinking that your Nu Nu is a delicate flower in need of your protection.

Au contraire, mon cher!

Notice, if you will, the fancy beater-brushes and height adjusters and everything at the front of your Nu Nu, yes, these are probably deserving of your respect. But notice also that you can bypass all this delicacy and get right to the heart of the matter. Look on the side, where the hose leads to all the fancy-schmantsy stuff up front. See that? OK, now grab the hose and yank it out.

Looky! it’s Nu Nu!

That’s the key to the kingdom my friend, the sucky hose! You have to be kind of touchy with the other stuff, but this is, what? Just a hose, leading straight to the bag. How can you possibly cause any damage here? The answer is that you can’t. You — especially YOU who wouldn’t be looking for hacks if you weren’t just exactly as lame as I am — YOU are free to treat your Nu Nu with complete disdain, and suck up all manner of scrud, basically anything that will fit. Don’t tell the Salesmen, but I was vacuuming last night and decided to attack one of those corners where all sorts of junk ends up, and Nu Nu ate all kinds of ill-advised things.  Here is a list of the things I sucked up:

  • One ponytail holder
  • One register receipt
  • One Battleship game piece
  • LOTS of dust and sand
  • Several rogue kibbles (actually, I tossed these to the dogs)
  • One unexplained hunk of wood (this might have been the remains of a Jenga block. Milo thinks they’re tasty.)
  • Any number of hot pink boa feathers

And probably a bunch of other stuff. What did I NOT allow my Nu Nu to make disappear? I don’t suck up food (hence the kibbles went to the dogs) and I didn’t suck up the bendy straw. Anything long and skinny like that can’t make it all the way through the tube, you’ll have to open everything up and fish it out again, and how is THAT helpful? It isn’t.

Guess what else you can clean with your Nu Nu? Just about everything; take a look at your attachments! I only have two: that little flat one you use to vacuum the couch, and that soft brushy one. If this weren’t Cleaning Hacks, I’d be embarassed to admit that I only figured out what this is, like, last year. It’s a duster! You know how when you try to dust with a feather or wool duster, everything just sort of flies around the room? And when you try to use a dust cloth on complicated surfaces you just end up spreading the dust around? Hook that baby on and hit everything in the room: lampshades, the TV screen, chotchke shelves — that’s especially satisfying: pick something up, dust underneath it, dust the chotchke itself, then put it back down. Throw away your broom right now — use the extender and the small vacuum head to get under chairs and tables, into crumby kitchen corners, etc etc. Use the dust brush to clean the window frames and venetian blinds. And on and on. And where does all this junque end up?

Well, the environmentally conscious part of me cares. But, sorry Gaia, the slob is in control right now, and the slob is content for all that scrud to just go… away.

2 Responses to “Cleaning Hack #3: Abuse your Nu Nu”

  1. Another cracker, Deborah! I’ve got a refinement of the Nu Nu cleaning hack…Buy a ridiculously overpriced Dyson vacuum that the husband is enamored with and viola – all the vacuuming is magically done by someone else!

  1. 1 I have 274 followers?! What the hell is wrong with… I mean, thank you! | Sub-urbane... so close to cool.

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