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As you can tell from my profile picture I have two cats that I love to bits but who certainly keep me busy, not least in trying to keep my house clean. However hard I try I can never avoid dirty cat paw prints on my carpets and general grubbiness and cat hair that builds up over time (and yes I do vacuum!) I used to either get a professional carpet cleaner to come round to clean once a year or hire a machine from a shop, until one day I had an idea that it would probably be cheaper to buy my own carpet cleaner. My worry was that any carpet cleaner would be far to heavy for me to maneuver and complex to operate but after a bit of research I bought this Bissell Cleanview Reach Carpet Cleaner and proved myself wrong!
Bissell is a well-known company that specialises in cleaning products such as vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaners. They also sell a variety of cleaning products to be used with their machines.
On buying the carpet cleaner the first thing I did when I got it home was to assemble it. Inside the box it was split into several sections including the main body of the carpet cleaner, the handle and the hose. Assembling it really just involved slotting a few bits into each other and tightening them with the screws provided so it was very easy and only took about 10 minutes.
The carpet cleaner has a number of features including:
Gravity fed cleaning solution for simplicity
Lightweight for ease of use: less than 6kg
Onboard hose with simple switching for spot stains, stairs
7.5m power cord makes cleaning large areas easier
Microban tank coatings to help avoid bacteria build-up
The Bissell website states that this cleaner is ideal for small to medium homes, especially those with pets and children. It has a two row rotating powerbrush, which provides a deep clean reaching right into the depth of the pile of the carpet and is meant to remove ground in dirt, lift stains, remove odours, and help to restore the original colour and spring of your carpet's pile.
On using the carpet cleaner the first thing I would say is that it really is quite light and very easy to move around including carrying it up and down stairs. To begin with you fill the solution tank with part carpet cleaner and part water and then switch the carpet cleaner to either floor cleaning or if you want to use the hose to get into tight corners the tools selection.
To use the cleaner you firstly move it over the carpet just like you would a vacuum cleaner, with the spray trigger on the handle pressed down so that the cleaning solution is sprayed over the section of carpet. You then go back over the same section of carpet without using the spray trigger so that the dirty water is sucked up into the machine. This takes a bit of getting used to and it has taken me a while to get the hang of it and not keep pressing the spray trigger which just makes the carpet wetter and wetter (and not at all cleaner!) However now I have got used to it, it is not a problem.
The dirty water is drawn up into the collection tank as you clean. This is quite small and needs emptying regularly or it overflows. When you empty it you see just how dirty your carpets are which is really horrifying - the water from mine always look like the colour of mud!
To use the hose attachment you just switch the machine selection button to Tools and the spray and suction then come out of the hose instead of the bottom of the machine. The hose is quite long so it is very handy to use for any corners or to get under furniture that you do not want to move.
As it is so easy to use I find that I can clean the whole of my upstairs carpets in about an hour. It can be a bit fiddly having to top up the solution tank and empty the collection tank several times but this is fine once you have got used to it and I guess is the price you pay for having a smaller machine, which is lightweight. After use I can honestly say that my carpets look loads better, although I probably never mange to get all of the dirt out (they recommend you keep going over the same bit of carpet till the water sucked up into the collection tank is totally clean but I never have the patience to keep going for that long!) The carpet always smells really fresh afterwards and seems to dry very quickly - within a couple of hours - which means that you are not treading on soggy carpets for the rest of the day.
Cleaning the carpet cleaner can be a bit fiddly and you have to take several parts off to wash them and get rid of the dirt. However this is worth it to make sure it is clean and ready for the next time you want to use it.
One thing I don't like about this carpet cleaner is that they state that you have to use their cleaning products with it otherwise the guarantee is not valid. I think this is a bit of a con just to get you to use their products. However they do have a good range of cleaning solutions, including one specially for pets, which are often on sale for 3 for 2 on their website and which do seem to really work well so it is probably worth getting them.
Overall I have been very pleased with this carpet cleaner. It is great to know I can just get it out whenever I need to without a lot of hassle and that within a few hours my carpets will be clean again. It probably would not be great cleaning a really large house or large spaces but for a smaller house with restricted space it is just great. It normally costs about £199 but can often be found for about £130 on Amazon and the Bissell website which is great value for money when you consider how many times you will use it and how much it would cost to keep hiring one or getting a professional in. I would definitely recommend it.