Everybody wants a clean home but few of us enjoy cleaning. Absolutely seeks out pretty cleaning tools for the cupboard under the stairs
Words Pendle Harte
Our edit of pretty cleaning tools
Vorwer’s Robot Hoover
Watching a robot hoover work its way around my living room is a bit like watching a crawling baby. It’s clear what it’s trying to do, and you can plainly see what’s stopping it achieve its aim, but you can’t do anything at all to help it. A baby might simply need to move its leg slightly to one side, but any amount of explaining won’t help it understand that, and it’s the same with the hoover. Vorwerk’s stylish looking model is quietly and systematically covering ground according to a clear plan of its own, cruising niftily under the sofa and skimming along the skirting boards, but despite its smooth manoeuvring it is visibly confused by obstacles.
Inevitably there’s a chair leg in its path, which it happily crashes into. Undeterred, it performs a neat reversal followed by a slightly laboured three-point turn that sets it off on a tangent, but of course the problem with chair legs, as we might explain to a baby, is that they come in fours. So, predictably, this happens four times, by which time we are feeling a bit sorry for the thing.
Lifting it up with the aim of helping it escape the chair results in all the green lights turning red and the words ‘do not lift’ flashing on its little screen. We have made the baby cry. It’s hard not to anthropomorphise this machine, but its relentless eagerness is very cute and repeated attempts to scale the rug are endearing. The rug is what causes it the most trouble really, like trying to mount a kerb without lifting your foot up. Again, we watch helplessly.
Still, it’s very effective and its slim inside compartment opens to reveal an impressive dust haul. As pretty cleaning tools go it’s certainly stylish. Really, they should make one that can communicate, so we can shout ‘mind the table’ at it. And then perhaps could they make one that feeds the cat too please?
Menu’s funnel and sweeper is a better looking dustpan and brush with a simple, sleek design. Put the sweeper in the funnel and hang it up; it even looks decorative.
Ferm Living’s range of stylish accessories includes several cleaning sponges, cloths and brushes along with clothes airers and laundry baskets – all these generally boring items are sprinkled with Ferm’s trademark Nordic style to make them highly covetable.
Iris Handverk’s brushes have been handmade in Stockholm since the late 1900s by visually impaired caftsmen and not much has changed over the years. They’re simple and minimal, made with natural materials to last forever – and their Instagram account makes cleaning seem aspirational.