Vacuum Cleaner Technology That’s Out Of This World

Vacuum Cleaner Technology That’s Out Of This World

Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands on the lunar surface during the first moon landing in 1969. (Image: © Apollo 11/NASA)

Following a two month mission to space, NASA Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley have safely returned to earth. The occasion marked many firsts. The first ever manned mission to space by a private company – SpaceX. It was the first manned launch from American soil in nearly a decade (2011). And we saw the first splash landing since 1975.

To commemorate the occasion, Swanson’s has investigated how space exploration has impacted vacuum cleaner technology. There are many “products we use often, perhaps without realizing they came from space technology and innovation,” according to NASA’s Cheryl L. Mansfield.


The handy, lightweight and cordless DustBuster was a wildly popular handheld vacuum cleaner that literally swept the nation in 1979. But did you know its origins are rooted in Space Age technology?

DustBuster image From

As noted by, “Black & Decker developed most of the inner workings for the device as the result of a partnership with NASA for the Apollo moon landings between 1963 and 1972.” Astronauts traveling to the moon were required to take core samples of the moon’s surface. To do so, Black & Decker used computer technology to develop an “efficient, powerful, lightweight and compact” lunar drill.

That same technology was then deployed and used in homes everywhere through the invention of the DustBuster.


Using Space Age technology, Kirby made vacuum cleaners both quieter and more efficient.

Per NASA, “Under a Space Act Agreement between the Cleveland-based Kirby company and Lewis Research Center, NASA technology was applied to a commercial vacuum cleaner product line.” Kirby set out to study vacuum cleaner vibrations and particle flow behavior.

With access to Lewis Research Center’s holography equipment, Kirby used an apparatus designed to analyze the vibration of jet engines fan blades to study the fan blades within a vacuum cleaner. Using lasers, Kirby could carefully detect the most minuscule vibrations in the fan blades. According to NASA, jet engine blades rotate between 7,000 – 8,000 spins per minute. But vacuum cleaner blades rotate as high as 18,000 spins per minute. Wow!

Relying on vibration testing coupled with the use of an “electronic wind tunnel,” Kirby successfully redesigned its fan blade. According to NASA, “the new blade was constructed from a polymer that was configured for a substantial reduction in centrifugal force. The blade redesign was 300-400% stronger than the previous blade used with a 75% noise-level reduction in certain frequencies.”

So, the next time you grab your vacuum cleaner, take a moment to look to the stars. If not for space travel, we wouldn’t have the same vacuum cleaner technology today.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Swanson’s “Weekly Clean Routine”

FREE DOWNLOAD: Swanson’s “Weekly Clean Routine”

Some people enjoy cleaning. Others…not so much. But we can all agree that we do enjoy when our house is clean.

Cleaning your home from top-to-bottom and inside-and-out, is no small chore. But “keeping” your home clean, a little bit at a time, is a far more manageable task.

Thus, the Swanson’s “Weekly Clean Routine.” Stay on schedule and take satisfaction in “checking off” each box along the way. Your home will become (and stay) cleaner than ever. 

Punch in your email address below and we will instantly email you a copy of Swanson’s “Weekly Clean Routine.” Then, just print it off, post it on your refrigerator, and stick to the schedule. Overtime, this routine will become a good habit and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!

WARNING: Proper use of the “Weekly Clean Routine” may result in your home becoming unrecognizably clean.

5 Vacuum Cleaner Tips For Better Cleaning

5 Vacuum Cleaner Tips For Better Cleaning

Proper floor care is vital to maintaining the cleanliness of your home or office. Vacuuming your floors is the most important step in this process. Following these five tips will have you vacuum cleaning like a pro!

1. Schedule Your Cleaning

Vacuuming once a week or so is sufficient for most homes. If you have household pets or small children that tend to leave crumbs along the way, perhaps you may find yourself vacuuming your floors more frequently. Pick a day of the week that works best for you to ensure your floors stay clean. 

2. Don’t Forget To Empty The Canister Or Change The Bag

This might sound like an obvious one, but your vacuum cannot run effectively with a full bag or canister. Taking care of your vacuum is vital to its performance and cleanliness in your home.

3. Use The Right Setting

Most vacuum cleaners have multiple settings that allow you to adjust based on the type of floor you’re cleaning. Depending on the height of the surface (i.e. long carpet vs. hardwood), you’ll want to adjust the height of the vacuum cleaner to allow maximum suction. As you move about vacuuming your home, be sure to adjust the settings to ensure you’re receiving the highest performance of your vacuum cleaning device. 

4. What About Those Hard-To-Reach Areas?

Oh, those small closets and stairs can be a hassle to clean! That’s where your edge and crevice attachments come in handy. These tools provide a deeper suction for those tight corners and small areas as they’re designed to clean furniture, stairs, corners, and hard-to-reach spaces. You work hard as it is, so let your vacuum do the hard work for you!

5. Deep Cleans Are Necessary

Sure, you may have your vacuum schedule down to a science and keep up on your routine, but giving your hardwood floors and carpeted areas a deep clean is vital and necessary. This will help loosen and eliminate dirt that has built up over time. Once you deep clean (steam or shampoo), vacuum your floors thoroughly and start a schedule. By doing so, your floors will remain cleaner over time as dirt and dust will not be as deeply embedded in the flooring surface. 

Are you feeling extra motivated and ready to take your vacuum cleaning to the next level? The experts at Swanson’s Discount Vacuum are here for you and ready to help!

Don’t Throw Away Your Old Vacuum Cleaner

Don’t Throw Away Your Old Vacuum Cleaner

If any good has come from the “stay-at-home” order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that our homes have received extra attention. Garden centers are swamped with shoppers, household “to-do-lists” have been quickly checked off, and we’ve all begun to purge old and unnecessary appliances.

One particular appliance that might be collecting dust – not in the way it was intended – is that old vacuum cleaner that has been replaced overtime. Perhaps it suffered a broken part and was never repaired. Or maybe it was a low-end, “throw away” vacuum from the beginning. Whatever the case, that old vacuum has reached a fork in the road.

Repair Your Vacuum

Curious what it will take to get that old vacuum cleaner up and running again? Swanson’s Discount Vacuum offers free repair estimates. We prepare an itemized detailed of the total cost for parts and service. No part of the repair process begins until you say so. You are in the drivers seat.

If you decide to proceed with repairing your vacuum cleaner, we get to work right away. With over 20,000 parts in-stock, Swanson’s Discount Vacuum is equipped to repair almost any and all vacuum cleaners. In fact, most repairs are completed the next day. Now that’s service!

A recently repaired Air-Way ’88 Sanitizor vacuum from 1960 on the workbench at Swanson’s Discount Vacuum.

Recycle Your Vacuum

If your old vacuum cleaner is beyond repair, too expensive to maintain, or you just simply have no need for it anymore, then don’t throw it away – recycle it! Swanson’s Discount Vacuum is committed to responsibly recycling old vacuum cleaners at no cost to our customers. That’s right – just drop it off and we’ll handle recycling it! Did you know that nearly 90% of a typical vacuum cleaner is recyclable? Don’t relegate your old vacuum to the landfill when a more sustainable solution exists at no cost to you.

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Swanson’s To Offer Curb Side Pickup

Swanson’s To Offer Curb Side Pickup

To continue to serve our customers – many of whom are spending increased time at home – while also supporting the purpose of social distancing to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19, Swanson’s Discount Vacuum is now offering free, curb side pickup at our Machesney Park and Sycamore locations.

At this time, a limited number of vacuum bags and filters are available for online purchase. If the bag, filter, or other cleaning product you are looking for isn’t listed online, please call us at either location.

Ordering online or over the phone allows for limited physical contact. Likewise, upon your arrival during regular business hours, we will bring your order to your car.

As we find ourselves spending more time at home, we are here hope to make your stay as comfortable and clean as possible.

Store Locations

Machesney Park
7507 N Second Street
Machesney ParkIL 61115

(815) 282-2882


Mon-Fri: 9am – 7pm
Sat.:  9am – 5pm
Sun.: Closed


2682 DeKalb Ave
SycamoreIL 60178



(815) 758-4949


Mon.-Fri.: 10am – 6pm
Sat.: 10am – 5pm
Sun.: Closed

Swanson’s To Offer Curb Side Pickup

Seventy-Five Years Later And Swanson’s Discount Vacuums Continues To Grow

Since 1945, Swanson’s Discount Vacuum has been selling and servicing vacuum cleaners in Rockford, Illinois and the surrounding area. From operating out of one location during its infancy to flourishing into two brick and mortar retail locations, Swanson’s has grown substantially. To this day, we remain locally owned and operated where our focus continues to be our customers. We believe in quality care and service that allows every customer who walks in the door the ability to find the right cleaning product for their cleaning needs. Our sales and service staff is the glue that holds our company together. With extensive training and expertise, our staff masters the many vacuum styles and features that are in today’s market. 

Continually reinvesting in our business, customers will soon notice the expansion of our Machesney Park store as the showroom nearly doubles in size with an increasing variety of flooring surfaces for taking vacuums on a “test drive.” And if you’re reading this blog post, you will certainly notice we’ve completely overhauled and modernized our online home: This website was created to help you, our customers, to browse the many styles of vacuums that are available in our stores and warehouse. Having a detailed website where you can compare vacuums based on your personal needs allows for a greater experience in locating the perfect vacuum. At Swanson’s Discount Vacuum, our goal is to give every customer a knowledgeable staff, full service store, and great relationship with you for years to come. 

Thank you for choosing to visit our website. Please stop in to one of our two locations and browse, touch, and test out some of our latest vacuums. If you have any questions, please give us a call or send us an email. We are more than happy to assist you!