* Prices may differ from that shown
We'd been putting off redecorating for so long, Victorian wallpaper was becoming fashionable again. The thought of the hard work involved in scraping off the old before sliding on the new was daunting, particularly as I have arthritis and would be no help at all. This particular wallpaper stripper was introduced in 1994, so I really don't know why we didn't get one sooner. The result was quick and professional-looking.
Ta da !
The BOSCH PTL I WALLPAPER STRIPPER
A safe and powerful little machine, which promises to "Take all the hard work out of redecorating." Bosch's claim is 100 per cent truthful and the only downside is that we have now run out of rooms to redecorate. It was very therapeutic exercise gently peeling away layers of wallpaper in a continuous strip. No hacking away with a scraper was necessary and the walls were left smooth as a baby's bottom.
2.4 Litre capacity plastic Tank
3M Black plastic kink-resistant hose
1 Steam Plate 7" x 11"
Power Input 2000W
Screw the hose into the base unit. Attach the steam plate to the other end of the hose.
HOW IT WORKS:
The tank works on the same principal as a kettle. Fill with water, switch on and after approximately 8 minutes, if using cold water, it will come to the boil and you are ready to start stripping.
Tip: Use hot tap water and cut your waiting time and electricity costs.
HOW TO USE:
Unscrew the black plastic cap at the top of the tank, fill the tank with water, replace the cap. A transparent window at the side of the tank is marked with a water level guide. I initially filled the tank up to maximum capacity, then just topped it up a couple of times when it got to almost empty. This is not absolutely necessary, but I felt that the steam was losing some of it's oomph when the water got very low.
Prior to use, the steam plate rests safely and snugly on an integral steam 'plate' located on the back of the tank. NOTE: Once the water is boiling, the steam gathering on the plate will, obviously, turn to water which, unfortunately, drips onto the floor until you start to use the plate. I recommend you place the tank on the floor at all times, and if your floor is carpeted, you'd be well advised to put the tank onto newspaper or similar first - but this is only necessary when you have the plate on its 'rest' at the back of the tank.
The appliance is ready to use once you hear the water bubbling up. The hard of hearing will know when steam starts invading the room. Tip: Open a window! It really is like being in the same room as a permanently boiling kettle.
My preference was to start from the bottom and work up. Place the steam plate at bottom of the wall to be done. Hold in place for a few seconds then start moving it up gently pull the wallpaper away from the wall as you go. This operation is clean, easy and quick. The plate can be turned sideways to remove paper from the section of wall above door and ceiling.
You will get approximately 45 minutes of continuous usage before you need to refill the tank.
Our kitchen measures 10 ft x 10 ft and it took about 2 hours to strip off the mix of both standard and plastic coated wallpaper designed specially for kitchens and bathrooms.
The plastic coated wallpaper took about 15-20 seconds to loosen the first 'square' of paper prior to peeling. The standard wallpaper only took 3-5 seconds.
An integrated temperature control
Insulated stay cool body
Water level indicator
Illuminated on/off switch
Lock-bayonet hose which prevents accidental removal
I have arthritis in my hands and I wondered whether I'd find the job painful. However, the steam plate is feather light and the lightest of touches on each section of wall ensures the loosening of the toughest of wallpaper. The tank is lightweight too and I had no problems moving it. There was no need to use a wallpaper scraper at all.
There are bigger, fancier machines on the market, but I found the Bosch Wallpaper stripper simple and effective to use. There is an instruction leaflet which comes with the product and it's easy to follow. Should you lose it, the usage and safety instructions are clearly and concisely printed on the top of the unit and are exactly the same as the paper instructions.
The machine would be even better if it had been supplied with an additional, narrower steam plate for awkward and narrow wall spaces, but you can buy an additional steam nozzle which fits onto the hose and this is for steaming off wallpaper in awkward nooks and crannies. Personally, I think Bosch were being a bit stingy by not including the nozzle with the purchased unit. So I am deducting a star for this. Otherwise, I was pleased with its overall performance because, as promised, it took all the hard work out of redecorating.
We paid £35.00 at B & Q. but it pays to shop around because the price can differ widely. I have seen the machine on-line for anything between £30-£40.
2 year warranty
Replacement parts and accessories (steam shield, hose, steam nozzle, tank cap and sealing disc) can be purchased.
Bosch technical enquiries: 01895 838402
The steam plate can also be used to rid curtains and garments of heavy creases. I know, because I tried it! No more using foul language at the ironing board when trying to get creases out of unwieldy garments. Just hang them up and steam them.
The steam plate also proved very useful for removing stubborn grease from the floor behind the cooker. A few seconds of holding the plate on the linoleum and I was able to wipe up the grease very easily without scrubbing.
Wall to wall a'peel'!
Thanks for reading!
© Louise Saunders 2006