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Problem: One day, I took a good look at my oatmeal coloured carpets and realised that they were really grubby. I knew from past experience that hiring a professional carpet cleaner would only be a short term solution before normal wear and tear (spilled drinks, muddy feet and paws, etc.) started to show up again. Solution: For less than it would have cost to have a couple of rooms cleaned by a professional cleaner, I bought myself a Bissell Quick Wash Lightweight Deep Cleaner. This means that I can now shampoo as small or as large an area of carpet as I like, anytime I want to. It's almost as simple as hauling the vacuum cleaner out from under the stairs, but with the addition of some cleaning solution. It's lightweight (less than 5 ½ kilos), easy to assemble and very uncomplicated to use. It comes with a good supply of cleaning solution, and a clear set of instructions, so you can get started straight away. I've found the best time to use it is last thing at night, because it's unlikely to get walked on while it's drying. By morning, any areas I've cleaned are usually dry. You do have to clean the brush head and dirty water tank after use, but that isn't too difficult. The Results: It works very well. There had been some areas where spilled drinks had stained the carpet, and I had to go over those a couple of times before they disappeared, and they haven't resurfaced. I've been very happy with this machine, and I no longer worry about anyone trailing in dirt, or pets leaving muddy paw prints on my carpet, because cleaning it all up is now so easy and the appliance for the job is stored right under the stairs. The Cost: Available for £70, it comes with an unlimited 2 year warrantee. I haven't used the hard floor attachment, so I can't comment on that.
I got the Bissell Quick Wash after spotting it in Tesco for a measley 70 quid. We have been planning to clean our carpets for some time. Bringing up 3 youngsters I shudder to think what lurks under my Shag Pile. So an impulse buy really, the idea being that hiring a cleaner wouldn't be very satisfying if that tummy bug comes back or my youngest fails his potty training test. I was quite impressed by how well it locked together with the minimum of assembly required. A Phillips screwdriver and three screws and you are there. The unit comes with a goodly supply of cleaning fluid. Four bottles of carpet shampoo and 2 of hard floor cleaner. This was a bit annoying as I had bought some extra, it doesnt state they are included on the box. Although the unit is intended for carpet cleaning primarily it does come with a hard floor attachment to replace the brush that you use on carpets. Operation is a piece of cake, just lift off the clean water vat, fill to the cleaner line with fluid then top up with hot tapwater. Pop it back on and you are good to go. You use a trigger to release fluid then suck it back just like using a vacuum cleaner. The fixed brush helps agitate the pile and dirty water is collected in another tank which is easily removed and emptied. The cleaner is fairly quiet and efficient however the fixed brush does not agitate the carpet as much as i would like. I think after a few more washes however my carpets dead pile will be restored. On another downside the hard floor cleaner is pretty pointless leaving the floor dripping. A mop and bucket is a far simpler and more effective option. The dirty water tank also tends to collect filth which you cannot empty out however well you pre-vacuum the carpet. I have sand in mine from the girls bedroom for example, so once used it suffers from the Dyson problem of never looking new and clean again. Al said however an extremely useful cleaner and for less then 100 notes (or shiny gold coins nowadays). I would certainly recommend this to buyers however don't expect a miracle for your money, it does however do a good job a keeping a better level of cleanliness and with repeated use improve you carpets lifetime. There are better cleaners on the market I'm sure but not for this money.
Short name: Bissell 1970