* Prices may differ from that shown
I am always on the lookout for products that do a good job but are relatively easy to use. I have found with many items that I would call gimmicky that they often don't really deliver as well as I would wish them to, so I am generally reluctant to spend too much on anything that hasn't been tried and tested by a friend, or has many good reviews.
In recent years I have bought many floor mops which mostly have a fault in them from my own perspective, at least. If they aren't expensive then this isn't too big a deal but many of these cleaning labour saving devices are, in fact, costly.
When I look for products to help me with cleaning tasks certain factors are very important. These are as follows:
As I have difficulty dragging heavy items around it really is necessary that the items should be as light weight as possible; this fact has to be considered especially with vacuum cleaners and carpet shampooers.
I prefer items which are easy to store; not taking up too much valuable space. I like items which fold or are telescopic or, if they don't have either of these capabilities then they must be small enough to not be cumbersome.
Of course I also want them to be reasonable in price yet to perform well at the job they were intended for.
When shopping in B&Q a month or so ago (as I seem to be doing a lot lately) I noticed a container at the end of an aisle with boxed items in. On closer inspection I saw that these boxes contained something called a Rug Stick by the well-known manufacturer, Bissell. Well, I have to admit I am a sucker for anything new, and especially something which has been designed to make housework a little easier. Interested, I read the box, and then showed it to my husband who had come to find me after he'd been looking at other items. He said it probably wasn't any good, being only five pounds in price. I thought he might well be right (well, he has to be sometimes I suppose!) but still thought for a fiver it was worth trying. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Of course, I just had to add one of these boxes to our trolley.
The Rug Stick comes in a small box of approximately 10" x 6" x 5" (this is just my estimate) and is fairly light so, if you choose to purchase this in store and have travelled by public transport you wouldn't have any problem transporting it home.
INSIDE THE BOX
The fully assembled height of this cleaner is about four feet (about 120 cm) but the box contains five thin metal tubes which slot together to make the complete cleaning stick/pole. The uppermost tube has an integrated blue plastic handle with a useful hook so that it can be hung up when not in use. The last tube slots into the brush head so that it looks a bit like a modern type broom. The brush head is white plastic with one side having neon coloured nylon green bristles and the other side short blue plastic flutes/grooves.
The brush head also houses a simple mechanism which opens and closes the spray can which fits into it. As the can fits into the cleaning brush in an upside down position it has to be locked when not in use. For this purpose there is a slide control which allows the spray to be used or locked to close.
A trial size (268 ml) spray can of cleaner.
THE SPRAY FOAM FORMULA
Taken from manufacturer's website:
'Formula includes Scotchgard to help prevent re-soiling and a refreshing fragrance that eliminates tough odours from pets, tobacco and cooking'
I actually think the foam doesn't have a particularly strong smell. Once the area has been cleaned it smells fresh and is clean but I don't find it strong in fragrance. This, for me, is preferable as having asthmatics in the house I have found in the past that certain carpet cleaning shampoos and dry cleaning products will disagree with them. Something that cleans without having too overpowering a smell yet can lift any unwanted odours is preferable to me.
Having used this method of cleaning small areas many times now, I have to say that I surprised to still be using the same trial sized (268 ml) can. I am now in the process of trying to find refills at a cheaper price than directly through Bissell. But, if you choose to buy a Rug Stick for a similar purpose to myself and are using it for small areas then I think you will find that, as I did, a little of the foam does, in fact, go a long way. But I think it might be worth mentioning that although the cleaning formula is lasting well, when buying products such as this, it is sensible to think of the replacement costs of the cleaning product used (foam, solution etc.) which can often, in my opinion, be excessive and make the actual product sometimes not worth the initial cost.
HOW TO OPERATE
It's so simple to use and takes such little effort. All that needs to be one is to unlock the mechanism so that the spray foam can be released once you press you press down on the side which has the blue plastic fluted edging. Sixteen lines of foam will then be released in lines as you pull the stick towards yourself.
Once you judge that enough foam has been released, to clean the area you are treating, simply reverse the stick/broom and sweep the foam into the carpet with the green nylon bristle side of the stick.
Leave to dry and then vacuum this area.
DOES IT HELP ME
Yes I think this is a great little cleaner. Because of having a dog in the home one of the main cleaning jobs I have to undertake is to be able to quickly and without too much effort be able to clean up after him. I find it easier to use an item such as a rug stick because with this it saves me having to get down on my hands and knees (which can be uncomfortable) which, to me, is the main benefit of this. As I also suffer with loss of power in my hands, it can be uncomfortable and even difficult, scrub hard enough manually on stubborn stains; it is far easier to put the effort in by pushing this device to and fro, as it only requires minimal strength which is mainly obtained from arms, rather than hands. Another reason that makes this cleaner extra handy is that it saves getting your hands dirty, or indeed, exposed to detergents OR the bother of both finding and wearing household rubber gloves for a two minute task. Yes, all in all it is an extremely valuable item to own, from my own point of view.
I consider it to perform well in the task that I wanted it for which is, as mentioned, cleaning up after a pet, especially my dog who sometimes tends to, when stressed, mark rugs and carpet. On these occasions, I find the Rug Stick to be a great easy and quick way to clean up damp spots before they permeate the carpet and leave a smell. And, not only the dog's accidents but a mess made from muddy shoes or, in fact any spills that dirty the carpet can be cleaned with this.
I have found it very effective in removing stains in my dark red/maroon hallway carpet and charcoal grey living room carpet. I have tried it on my lighter coloured bedroom carpet and find a little more of both the cleaning spray and effort is required. But the best use of this, is I feel, is to clean small areas of high traffic, or spot cleaning.
Once dry it should be vacuumed off but I admit to sometimes leaving this until the next day or so and the solution doesn't leave a mark on my carpet. This makes it even more true to say that this is a cleaner which needs very little effort to use effectively.
WHO ELSE MIGHT THIS HELP
I think the Rug Stick is handy for most people; my husband has used it several times and he hasn't any disability. He agrees that it is a better product than he at first thought it would be and also feel its best use is for quickly cleaning small areas.
I feel this is a great idea for the elderly, disabled or for those suffering with arthritis or muscle weakness or back problems.
As it is light and can be taken apart it would be useful to take or keep in a caravan or small holiday home.
The idea of it is to deep clean easily which it does but for me it is most handy to use for quick cleaning of small areas.
DID IT FULFIL MY CRITERIA?
Yes, it is better than expected.
WEIGHT- As it is extremely light in weight it poses no problems to move around the house if necessary and is light in use.
STORAGE- It can be taken apart but then it wouldn't be so quick and handy to use. I can either stand or hook the stick in a corner of my small downstairs lavatory so it stays out of the way but is quickly accessible in an emergency.
COST- Well £5.00 has got to be a good price. I admit that if I had first seen the Rug Stick at a more expensive price of over ten pounds, then I may not have tried it but, I am glad that I did. I would definitely say that it is worth more than I paid. Taking into account the cost of additional spray cleaning solution, I would think a reasonable price to pay is around the ten to fifteen pounds price range; £25 is a little steep, I think, although from my perspective it would still be worth it just for its sheer handiness.
The only slight negative is that the cleaning foam can gather around the bottom of the stick (brush heads) and is just a little messy to change the operation from spray to locked.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
I bought my Rug stick from B & Q (www.diy.com) for the very reasonable price of five pounds and the box, as already mentioned, contained a trial size of the foam cleaner. I have looked on various websites and here is a small selection of prices and availability:
The Rug Stick sells for £24.99 and this includes a 268ml trial size formula and free postage (to mainland UK)
There is also an introductory offer where you can buy the stick and receive a larger 665ml (Rug Stick Heavy Traffic Refill) can free with your purchase.
Rug Stick Heavy Traffic Refill- £9.90 (includes p&p to mainland UK)
Heavy Traffic refill aerosol can for use with the Rug Stick. 655ml cleans up to 16 sq mts.
Rug Stick Heavy Traffic Refill (3 Pack) -£19.80
Rug Stick £20.99 Comes with a free 268ml can of Heavy Traffic Aerosol Cleaner.
Heavy Traffic Aerosol Refill- £8.29
Rug Stick- £ 10.90
Rug Stick £17.99
Cleaning formula £6.99
Rug Stick- £20.99