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I have just purchased a VAX Air Force Mach PET.... And given that VAX has invested little in TV advertising I wanted to tell you how fantastic it is. One thing that struck me to begin with was how totally different the new VAX machine is, how totally impressed I am with it in the now congested upright bagless market, why I made the move from another leading brand and I think my opinion is quite valid given my life circumstances. Here is my story... and I hope it helps you in your quest for a decent vacuum cleaner, with great suction and superbly neat functionality..... I'm not a singleton living in a small apartment and no kids... I am married and live with a large dog, living in a part of the countryside that is not far from a beach, and battle daily with the hardships of tidying up after 3 children (ages 3, 8 and 14).... the fact that my vacuum cleaner died a sudden death caused me to go into a little bit of a panic. I would usually look at reviews and research a product before I buy... but this time it was a case of a leap of faith and acceptance of the fact that because of my dire need, I would have to succumb to the stealthy ways of electrical store sales 'colleagues'. Prior to this acceptance I thought a little bit about what I didn't like about my (now deceased god rest its soul) Dyson. Like any relationship, my initial thoughts were full of dreams and the reason why we got together in the first place... but then with a little realism in my nostalgia I was quick to recall the tinsel strands blocking the filters, and the human hair extension wefts wrapping around the brush bar and causing the motor to emanate a smell that was reminiscent of rotting teeth (a former dental nurse, I am familiar with this smell - and I can assure you that it is vile). I also recalled trying to get my fingers up inside the chamber of filth in order to get the dog hair clumps, sand and whatever else my children had laid upon the carpet., out of it I also recalled the sand. Sand is an issue. It scuffs hard floors and gets trapped in carpet fibres and is perhaps the most stubborn but seemingly innocent spillage. At the same time I thought of the horrendous noise that this leading brand machine made when it was put to work on anything other than a cloud. So not being an angel and not living on a cloud, the machine prevented me from vacuuming later in the evening when my children were finally asleep. As I drove into the industrial estate that housed my chosen electrical store, I felt a surge of relief that I might now have an opportunity to lay down the gauntlet to a sales 'colleague', and hopefully not be swept away with the madness of Dyson branding. Walking through the doors, as they slid open, I was making a mental note about what I wanted but then I was faced with 'her'. The sales 'colleague' with drawn on eyebrows, a pierced tongue and (lets face it) no idea of why my vacuum cleaner purchase was so intrinsically important to me. So I simply perused the vacuum cleaning section. But everything looked the same. Then I saw it. I saw a dark purply pinky and silver machine that pitched itself as the WORLDS MOST POWERFUL UPRIGHT CLEANER. Looking at it closer, I was somewhat perplexed. The VAX machine that I was now crouching down to look at looked small. And it seemed to have a hole at the top of the handle..... Like as though something was missing. So I looked at the little brochure that were hanging from it... It was all there..... But my confusion (as I soon found out) was caused by my ignorance of what is simply the most innovative vacuum cleaner that I have seen in my life. I now felt that the VAX Air Force Mach PET required a bit of a demo, needed a little explanation from one of the bustling sales 'colleagues'. The girl with the (lack of) eyebrows was now busy and a 'team leader' came to my aid.
He told me about the functions and features.... Which I listened to but wasn't particularly impressed because I felt as though I could have read that on the brochure. So I told him about my needs.. I was almost sold when he mentioned that the machine looked small because the height of it could be adjusted so that various members of the family would be comfortable using the machine irrespective of height. I was totally sold when he explained how much better than a Dyson this machine would be with regard to having a dog. He demonstrated the power attachment - that latches on simply to the main hose and has what felt like the most amazing suction on my hand. He also showed me how neatly the machine hosted its attachments - and at that point I thought about my 3 year old who was forever stealing various nozzles from my now deceased cleaner. It looked beautiful and with a 6 year guarantee I purchased it. Fantastic.
On the basis that all sales demos look great in store I put the machine together as per the instructions and put it to the test in my kitchen. I noticed that the suction was so great that the crumbs under the table were sucked up from a grand 5 or 6 inches away. With the brush control on the front it was easy to change the height of the brush and with the innovative hose and attachments it was the quickest that I have been able to clean under my table, under my cupboards and small patches on my rug. Once finished, I peered into the chamber of filth and discovered Christmas tree needles! - given that its now June, and given that I had been vacuuming the kitchen everyday with my Dyson.... I was stunned!.... So I cleaned the chamber out again and rinsed it. I was wondering how good this could be. Given that there is a lot of dust in carpets I vacuumed the rug again. To my amazement - although it looked clean the first time I did it - although my rug looked brighter than it had since I bought it - the chamber had a quite noticeable layer of brown fine dirt. Recalling the bronzing powder that had been trodden into my bedroom carpet last summer I excitedly took the (really light weight) machine upstairs and put the power brush to work on my brown patch on my lilac rug. Within a few seconds the bronzer was gone so with its massively long cord I left it plugged in and got to work in my beastly teenagers room and the younger crumb invested rooms. I was quickly satisfied and felt somewhat irritated that I didn't get one of these before. VAX's Air Force Mach PET is the best upright cleaner that I have ever purchased. It's a quiet machine and I can now clean in the evenings; Its quite small and easy to put away; the cord is massively long; its easy to clean the filters and the way that it manages pet hair is FANTASIC. If you have a dog that moults... buy this machine. It puts the Dyson Animal to shame. It really does.
Always having been a lover of the quintessential orange VAX wet and dry carpet cleaner... my choices when buying carpet cleaning appliances had always been simple. VAX VAX VAX. However, when my VAX machine finally gave up the ghost, I decided to shop around and was excited by the marketing strapline that Bissell where banding about at the time... which was "No other manufacturer of home deep cleaning machines is more experienced in the deep cleaning category. BISSELL deep cleaning machines are recognised as the high quality standard of the floorcare marketplace with ease of use, performance and durability engineered into each unit, every step of the way". After a preliminary search on the internet and a ponder over my loyalty and faith to VAX (I should add at this point that my experience with VAX solutions, machines and customer service had always been great, and I really had not reason to change other than my simple curiosity with regard to the marketing message that was being hurled at me every time I queried Bissell). Anyway.... I jumped in my car dropped the kids off mums and started my quest for a replacement carpet cleaner. Are you feeling the excitement that I was relishing in at the time?.... Buying a new carpet cleaner was big news for me! - It might seem a bit weird, but with 3 children ranging between 10 years and 3 weeks old, a dog, a rabbit and 5 cats.....a slight touch of post natal depression AND living in the muddy countryside.....On that day my carpet cleaner was to me as snow and ice is to polar bears. Really. So now at Comet.... It had begun. My first task was to dodge the door based salesman and navigate myself to the upright cleaner area of the store. I didn't want to talk to anyone... Id done my research I just wanted to walk away with a cleaner and hopefully get the stain off of my stairs that had the clear potential to be poo.
I found the Bissell Proheat ® Pro Tech upright cleaner standing there on a podium in all its glory all shiny and bronze metallic... like it had been kissed by a million angels that breathed gold dust..... It was at this point the salesman obviously saw his opportunity to close in on me. Im not sure if it was my gaping mouth or the fact that my left boob was leaking milk onto my t-shirt owing to the fact that Rosa (my new born) had missed a feed.... Either way the conversation began. There appeared to be no qualification questions needed.... By the look of me (see above) 'Tom' (the salesperson) could see that I had a need for clean carpets. So he just went into this long explanation of how my life would be better if I got this particular heaven sent cornucopia of desire that featured the following:
Scotch Gard (double protect) Applicator (never used it once because the time taken to clean the carpets with the heaviest machine in world left me weak and virtually unable to walk)
Bronze Metallic Colour (perhaps the best feature of the machine - looks like its been kissed by angels... really it does)
Dirtlifter Power 5 Row Brush (that's great but you have to move the machine so slowly for it to actually use these 5 rows of brushes - this feature haunted me every time I used it).
Heater (Now I'm not convinved it does have a heater.... I always had to put warm water in it).
Smart Mix (A feature that allows the machine to dispense a certain amount of detergent based on how far round you turn a dial. Its not that smart)
Turbo Brush Tool TM (I use this for cleaning every time I have used it. Its better than that 5 row brush schmunklepunkel that Tom raved on about)
Bare Floor Cleaning (I have marble flooring in my kitchen. The bar that you attach for bare floor cleaning - just kept flying off. I used a mop and bucket. This machine is for carpets).
Pre Stain tool (The pre stain tool is pretty much the turbo brush tool that you use to spray the carpet with detergent prior to everso slowly pushing and pulling the Bissell unit over your floor).
Crevice Tool (Ive never used this but the temptation was there to use it on my husbands belly button on one occasion that he came hope drunk after a stag do)
Upholstery Brush (this is actually really good. On the stairs. It got rid of 'that stain', - and once wet I could ascertain that it was indeed poop).
Tough Stain Brush
TankinTank TM (this little revelation is quite clever. The clean water tank is inside the dirty water tank. With the former being like a thick semi rigid bag. A float inside the dirty water tank rises up and let the unit know when it is out of water).
10 metre (30ft) Cord Length (I take back what I said about the colour... the length of cord is great because there is never any real need for an extension cord when using the unit).
After some discussion of the benefits of using this machine over my recently deceased VAX, I decided to try out the Bissell. I then enquired about the price. £275. After considering how much it would cost me to get my carpets cleaned professionally, I decided to go for it. On the basis that my carpets would be drier after cleaning than they were after using my VAX, that they would actually be cleaner, that it would be simpler than using the VAX, and that the machine was easier to store.
So there I am waiting for Tom to go and get my machine so that I can hand over my £275. He appears with a box that was approximately the same size as a telephone kiosk. He placed it next to me and asked if I needed cleaning solutions. As there were some in the box I decided not to on that occasion. I paid, he took it to my car. I took the roof off of my little sports convertible and I drove home slowly. Not realising that the slow nature of the drive home was indicative of the speed at which my carpets were to be cleaned in the future.
With the kids still at mums, I decided to have a little go at the stain on the stairs. That was easy. But the bright patch on the stairs needed blending in. Reading the instruction manual, I noted that it said to work in small areas, and work forward and back in line with the speed LED guide on the front of the unit. Then when the back and fore action was completed redo the area across at a right angle. It was then that it hit me. Working slowly doing each bit of carpet at least twice (more like 6 or 7 times actually), the heavy maching had now sodden my carpet, made uneaven patches all over it and it now needed doing again. And another thing. Id should have bought another bottle of detergent as it goes through it like water through a sieve. Off I tottered to Comet to buy a bottle of detergent. I didn't really look at the price on the shelf. It was a bottle of carpet shampoo. How much could it be! - I decided to buy 2. At the checkout I thought the woman said that will be £49.90. I asked her to repeat herself. She did. She said that will be £49.90. Like a fool I gave her my card and then proceeded to my car whilst trying to work out how I was going to structure the lie to my husband about the cost of the machine and its consumables. At a set of traffic lights I decided to just bury the machine in the garden along with the detergent that I had purchased. As I pulled up at my house I realised that I would have to lift the patio before I could do this so rested on explaining the purchase as a slight bit of madness due to baby blues/post natal depression/feeling isolated living in the country.... Whatever......
The conclusion to this review is that irrespective of your needs, this is a big machine, full of promise but sadly lacking in execution. It is a heavy, machine that requires very steady and very very slow use to be effective (despite being marketed as though it can be used in the same manner as a vacuum cleaner). You will need in excess of £300 pounds to discover that you must have exceedingly good stamina and strength to clean a carpet (without actually being able to dry it in the same way that a VAX does). You will also need to accept that the smart mix function relies solely on your experience as a carpet cleaner and that this issue will involve you having massive bright patches on the carpets throughout your home. Unless you are prepared to accept these issues don't buy this machine. It is a waste of money and the money would be better spent on hiring a Rug Doctor (or something like it) a couple of times a year to assist with spring cleaning or mishaps as they happen. Did I mention that the machine also leaks..... Oh the leaks are splendid. They give a certain zippiness to plain carpets.... But a bonus is that hiring a leading professional cleaner quickly removes these.
My advice would be to stick with VAX. They have been making machines for the British market for as long as I can remember and really even simply on a cost-v-benefit basis your VAX purchase will serve you well for years.
I saw the advert and thought nothing of it... well actually I did think something of it... I thought they sounded like total nonsense... fodder for the marketers dream. Then ... a few weeks later I had to have an operation and on the basis that they don't let you go home until you have eaten something blah blah blah... I bought a box and took them with me in case NHS food stuffs proved less than a bit naff. I was right... my options were limited, I wasn't allowed to be discharged until I had eaten (and taken my insulin, - I'm a type 1 Diabetic).... And with the most stupendous smugness I took these out of my bag, took my insulin (which requires slow released carbs to be consumed), opened one of the cellophane wrapped packs of 4 biscuits.... And chowed down. A nurse stated that I wasn't eating properly.... So I showed her the box. Put it this way... I was discharged an hour or so later....
Basically this product is a beaut. Why? - well if you eat one of the packets of 4 biscuits, that's pretty much the same slow acting carb as you would get from eating three slices of whole grain toast. If you are dieting, that's great news because you wont get the munchies. If you are going out for drinks after work, that will be great news because its easier to eat a few biscuits than it is to sit down and eats a couple of sarnies or some other food that will potentially stop you from getting too tipsy too quickly.... So on both those counts that is a big bonus.
There are also a whole load of other really interesting nutritional information on the box - which frankly sounds like they are really good for you but since I am not really too bothered about that I wont go into it.... As far as I am concerned there are a limited number of reasons why you would legitimately buy these and not be disappointed.... And they are
(1) if you are in hospital and the food is naff... these are a great option to prop your diet up because they stop you from feeling hungry
(2) If you anticipate suffering a hangover BUY THESE - a sweet cup of tea and two or three of these work wonders for my husband... because they are dry, not at all fatty and have a lot of wholegrain in them
(3) if you are diabetic they are a fab snack because the carbs are not derived from pure sugar
(4) if you are on a diet the high slow released carb and low fat are amazing and with less calories in two of the biscuits than there is in a fun size kit-kat... it's a total winner
(5) my children can always manage to eat a couple either on the way to school or while getting ready for school if they don't have time for breakfast.... And the slow released carbohydrate provides them with good brain food before lunch.
These can be expensive - but ASDA knock them out for £1 for 6 packs of 4... So really they are a financial winner too. Unless you've got any loose teeth which may cause you to need to pay for a dentist (the low fat and wholegrain makes them quite crunchy!)
With 3 active children, and a professional husband, it feels like sometimes I spend more time ironing than I do anything else at home. That is why I purchased this ironing board. My main reason for purchase was the wider than average board, and the shelf underneath for storing ironed pieces. These two features have proved excellent but what makes this ironing board exceptional is the double plug and extension underneath the board (which means the hazard of a trailing wire with an iron attached to it, is lessened) but the most fantastic feature is the heat retention of the ironing surface which holds the heat and means that on items that have plasticised print you need not turn the item inside out to achieve a good finish... all you need to is iron the back.
The board is easy to put up and fold back down and the ingenious hanger rack near to the iron stand makes hanging shirt hangers over doors a thing of the past.
The extra width of the board makes ironing my husband XXXL shirts easier as I need not keep moving the fabric around, but the end of the board is narrow enough to fit it shoulder areas for a smart finish. Ironing my 3 year olds jeans and shirts is also a breeze due to the width because I only need to move the items twice in order to iron the front and back of his garments.
My iron has a high steam pressure, and this ironing board is fantastic with it because the iron rest area is bottomless which means any residual steam doesn't build up as water on the board and can dissipate beneath the board.
The ironing board is sturdy, with excellent features. I only wish I had bought one of these years ago because it probably cuts my ironing time by about a third.