Either hire a proper machine from the booth in many supermarkets or
buy a "George", machine, it is very good. Avoid the "Vax" type of
The real secret is the washing solution used. Some of the commercial
stuff is magic at shifting dirt. There is a thread somewhere in here
on this topic.
As others have recommended Vax, I'd be interested to know why you wouldn't.
Not a troll, just a genuine request for enlightenment from someone who
is in need of a decent cleaner for carpets and upholstery.
Because all it really does is vacuum up a solution it lays. It doesn't
scrub the carpet in any way. So you'd be better off doing it all by hand -
and use a universal wet or dry vacuum to remove the excess moisture if
*7up is good for you, signed snow white*
Dave Plowman email@example.com London SW
But they do lift a lot of dirt along with the solution (just look at
the water afterwards! Pretreating heavily soiled areas from a hand
sprayer and leaving it to soak for a while is effective. The head has a
rubber squuegy type piece that is effective at working the solution
into the carpet if you use a back and forth motion.
A full vax moves just like any other upright hoover. Not sure what
model you've been using, but it sounds very different to what I've
Hand washing is not effective, I've tried it in the past. It lacks the
pressurised delivery and the strong suction, so it cleans nothing but
the surface, doesnt get the dirt out, just moves it to the bottom of
the carpet, and so on. Hand cleaning only cleans the surface, which is
better than nothing but not comparable to a carpt cleaner.
AFAIK Vax make two types of carpet cleaner, a tub type & an upright type.
The tub type attempt o use the pressure/extraction principle but use a
gravity feed instead of a pressure pump. That was the case anyway. They
simply don't have enough solution pressure to clean carpets deep down.
The upright type use the same principle pressure/extraction, but again no
pump mentioned in the spec.
The Henry 'George' does have a pump, but is relatively low pressure low
volume. 1 bar @ 1 litre/min IIRC. Professional machines will have at least
5 bar @ 3 litres/min. Deeper penetration, more flushing action, better
Not knocking the George, for small areas where time isn't a problem it will
do a pretty good job.
I found they're OK for frequent use- they keep dirt down - but once the
carpet's dirty to start with they're not much good. They just squirt
cleaning solution in and suck it out again, there's no scrubbing or
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
2 of you have said that, but its not correct. Best to choose one of the
Vaxes with contrarotating brushes, as it will scrub in 2 directions not
1. Pressurised solution delivery is the most important point, machines
without that are poor.
A Vax is not going to give you the higher pressure delivery of a pro
machine, but they're still pretty good and will clean loads of stuff
over the years, so a Vax may be the better choice in real life.
Here you go, 2nd hit:
dual scrubbing bars, pressurised delivery, hose & hand tools as well as
upright hoover type working. Effective, simple, reasonable price, does
carpets and upholstery. Not a pro machine but quite ok and should clean
lots of things for years.
I'd stay away from the bladder tanks some mfrs use, they will perish if
some types of cleaning solution are used in them.
On a technical note, a high pressure solution pump (3 to 7+ bar) does
provide a high degree of mechanical agitation - but more importantly it also
provides the flushing action required to actually remove the dirt.
The spray in/suck out idea (known as spray extraction) is a continous
Having spent many, many years in the cleaning industry, I'd reccommend that
you hire a Rug Doctor http://www.rugdoctor.co.uk/index.htm
You can hire these and buy the chemicals sale or return at Homebase & other
stores - their site has a rental locater.
The Rug Doctor uses a system known in the trade as 'fast extraction' which
gives a really deep down clean, is easy to use and gives quick dry times.
I have no connection with the company whatsoever.
Seconded - it's a heavy machine, but the vibrating brush and decent spray
plus reasonable extraction means it can shift almost anything - I use it to
fix my house on a regular basis after toddlers/babies have ikked/dropped
food/walked mud everywhere and it works. Sometimes difficult bits need some
spot cleaner applied - Homebase supply this too along with the shampoo.
Yep, great machines. Bit of a bugger to use in our small hall way due to its
size but it still did a good job.
Found it was a fair bit cheaper (>30%) to hire from Morrisons instead of
homebase if you have one local btw.
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