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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1955. Department of Home Economics.


Copyright 1955, the author. Used by permission.


It was the belief of the researchers at the University of Nebraska Experiment Station that all vacuum cleaners should be compared on the same basis and by the same test procedure.Hence, after reviewing existing test procedures, it was concluded that the problem was to develop a test method for evaluating the dirt removal ability of vacuum cleaners where all cleaners would be compared on the same basis.Since this problem would include both on-the-floor and above-the-floor cleaning, and further, since the primary function of the vacuum cleaner as considered to be the cleaning of rugs and carpets, the investigation was soon restricted to the cleaning of rugs and carpets.

The hypothesis on which this test procedure is based is:

First, the use of artificially soiled rugs allows the amount of dirt in the rug to be measured. The use of naturally soiled rugs does not allow one to know how much dirt is in the rug; hence, this type of test is useful mainly for comparing one cleaner with another.

Second, the synthetic dirt sample should contain organic matter because the analyses of 105 samples of vacuum cleaner sweepings from forty states showed that carpet sweepings contain almost 50 per cent organic matter, and,

Third, reproducible results can be obtained by using synthetic dirt containing organic material, provided careful measurements are made and controlled techniques are used.

Specifically, the problem is to devise a method of embedding a synthetic dirt in a rug with a minimum loss of dirt and then to find a method of removing the dirt from the rug such that reproducible results can be obtained.

The data included in this report show that reproducible results were obtained by using the test procedure developed during this research.By following the suggested test procedure given in the summary, reproducible results can be obtained by others if careful measurements are made and the procedure is followed accurately.

Advisor: Arnold E. Baragar