Product Type: Bissell vacuums
Newest Review: ... tool that you use to spray the carpet with detergent prior to everso slowly pushing and pulling the Bissell unit over your floor). Crevice... more
VAX versus Bissell....... The reality behind the myth..... Well sort of.
Bissell 7920 Proheat Pro-Tech
Member Name: ratsel
Bissell 7920 Proheat Pro-Tech
Advantages: Nice colour
Disadvantages: Heavy. Needs to be used very slowly. Expensive shampoo. Expensive machine. Leaks a lot.
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.
Summary: I paid nearly £300 to discover that this machine is full of faults, that are described here.
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