A vacuum cleaner, also known as a sweeper or hoover, is a device that uses an air pump (a centrifugal fan in all but some of the very oldest models), to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt, usually from floors, and from other surfaces such as upholstery and draperies.
The dirt is collected by either a dustbag or a cyclone for later disposal. Vacuum cleaners, which are used in homes as well as in industry, exist in a variety of sizes and models—small battery-powered hand-held devices, wheeled canister models for home use, domestic central vacuum cleaners, huge stationary industrial appliances that can handle several hundred litres of dust before being emptied, and self-propelled vacuum trucks for recovery of large spills or removal of contaminated soil. Specialized shop vacuums can be used to suck up both dust and liquids.
Although vacuum cleaner and the short form vacuum are neutral names, in some countries (UK, Ireland) hoover is used instead as a genericized trademark, and as a verb. The name comes from the Hoover Company, one of the first and more influential companies in the development of the device. The device is also sometimes called a sweeper although the same term also refers to a carpet sweeper, a similar invention.
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