* Prices may differ from that shown
When my husband and I moved house a few years ago, it was a necessity to clean the cream carpets in our rented flat. Whilst we had a few options to do this, including getting the services of a reputable company, I had seen various advertisements for the Rug Doctor and so took one home to try. Fast forward a few years, and impressed with my previous experience of the Rug Doctor I went ahead and hired the Rug Doctor Mighty Pro recently to tackle some old carpets in our new property which needed a clean. Although we have replaced quite a few of the carpets in our new home, there are still a few old ones remaining on the stairs and hallway and spare room which were beginning to look slightly grubby and which I don't want to waste money replacing seeing as we intend to move next year. There is something quite disgusting about other peoples carpets and being a the clean freak that I am I was quite anxious to thoroughly cleanse the contents of my now inherited carpets and try and restore them to their original selves.
~Finding a Machine~
In my experience, it is very easy to get hold of a Rug Doctor machine as they are hired through large retailers such as B&Q and Homebase and can also be hired through smaller outlets such as laundrettes and it was from my local laundrette that I hired mine. The Rug Doctor is available to purchase and costs in the region of £450 - £500, however with the knowledge that I only use one periodically I personally think that they are better value when hired as for a days hire mine cost £25 plus the required shampoo. Upon arriving at my local laundrette I was shown the machine and given a few verbal instructions on to how to use it including how to fill it up with the water and carpet shampoo solution. After a brief chat the man helped carry the machine to my car and I left, promising to return it by the end of the day.
Looks wise, this machine is quite a bulky looking contraption. The body of the machine is mainly blue in colour and it is manoeuvred using a pair of wheels which are black in colour and a handle at the top of the machine to pull it around the room and to spray cleaning solution onto the carpet. At the front of the machine is the vacuum slot and this is coupled with a brush underneath the body of the machine. The bristles of the brush effectively distribute the cleaning solution from the lower tank onto the carpet and scrub it into the carpet pile whilst the vacuum nozzle sucks up the excess water back into the upper tank. There are two tanks inside this machine, the first lower tank being inside and therefore not visible which serves to store the water and cleaning solution mix. The second tank which is visible on the top of the machine stores the dirty water as it is sucked back up into the machine. As you go over the carpet this tank gradually gets filled with dark colour water and is a good indication of how dirty the carpets really are.
As this machine uses a carpet cleaning solution, it is also necessary when hiring the machine to buy a bottle (or couple) depending on how much floor area requires cleaning. As an idea, a 1 litre bottle of cleaning solution is enough to clean two rooms (38 m2) and a two litre bottle is enough to clean 4 rooms (75 m2). In my case I was only doing a small area and so purchased the one litre bottle which cost £12.99 at my laundrette.
~Application and Use~
I used my Rug Doctor on our twist pile carpets however it can be used on looped carpets. As with many cleaners, it is recommended that you test the cleaning solution on a small sample of carpet prior to using. As with the first time I used this machine, the second time I found it incredibly easy to use although slightly bulky to pull around. The first step in setting up is to remove the recovery tank and this is done by simply lifting the latch on the top of the machine, raising the hood and taking the tank out. Underneath the recovery tank is the second tank which stores the cleaning solution and this should be filled using a solution of 150ml of carpet cleaner to 9 litres of hot tap water which I mixed in a spare bucket prior to filling. The lower tank can be filled by pouring the solution through the filter screen and once full the liquid should cover the filter screen. Once filled, the recovery tank should be put back into the machine and the hood closed, you are then ready to plug in and go.
Once full, the machine should be switched off and the recovery tank removed. The dirty water can then be poured away down the sink.
I enjoy using this carpet cleaner, firstly because I get pleasure knowing that my carpets are clean and secondly because there is nothing quite so satisfying as seeing the dirty water filling the recovery tank. In my opinion, this machine is easy to manoeuvre over carpets although slightly heavy when filled with solution and leaves a strip of slightly lighter coloured carpet as it goes. Stains appear noticeably reduced as this cleaner goes over them and the only residue left behind is a slightly damp area of carpet. In my experience it is well worth planning your route before starting the machine as it is best to work over the areas furthest from the door and work back to the door so that you are not treading on patches of clean, damp carpet. As the machine works it omits a humming sound rather similar to that of a standard vacuum cleaner and this is just an indication of the brushes working the solution deep into the carpet pile. This machine can be used on upholstery and difficult to reach areas using the handheld attachment, however as my floor areas are generally quite square I only had to use the attachment handle to do the awkward stairs.
After using this machine it was apparent how dirty my carpets were to being with judging by the pool of dark water which I had to drain away. My carpets were left looking spotless and smelling clean which was a lovely result having lived with them being dirty for a while. Although damp, my carpets did dry within a couple of hours and I was able to move my furniture back into the cleaned rooms and enjoy my newer looking carpet.
Overall this is an excellent machine and one which I wouldn't hesitate to use again in the future. The results speak for themselves in my opinion, and the relatively cheap rental costs mean that it is well worth hiring for a day. As a result I would highly recommend this product.
As a result of the above this machine scores an excellent five stars from me.
Thanks for reading! x
With two boys plus a long haired dog in the family the carpets were looking in need of some drastic cleaning attention. We were lucky enough to inherit all the carpets in the house from the previous owners, but as they also had children there were several stains of an unknown nature! I had considered replacing my youngest son's bedroom carpet but really didn't want the expense. Whilst shopping in Tesco last week I decided to take a closer look at the rug doctor carpet cleaning display and took home a leaflet to read.
I was impressed by what I read and decided that I would hire a machine in an attempt to clean the carpets and save having to buy new ones. The rug doctor can be hired from a number of retailers including Tesco, Morrison's, B and Q, the co-op, Johnsons and Asda.
To hire a machine you can either call the free phone number given on the leaflet or book via the rug doctor web site. I decided to call the free phone number. The process was quick and simple. Rental periods are either 24 or 48 hours costing either £22.99 or £28.99. I opted for the longer time as I didn't want to have to rush things. After providing my credit card and address details I was given a locker number plus access code to collect the machine.
In addition to hiring the machine you will also need to buy cleaning products. There is an extensive range of stain removers designed to deal with most types of stains. However at £ 2.99 a bottle I decided to stick with my cheaper supermarket own brand of spot stain remover. I still needed to buy a 2 litre bottle of carpet detergent at £14.99, a 1 litre bottle of upholstery cleaner at £9.99 and a 1 litre bottle of anti foam at £2.99.
The machine is quite heavy weighing 15.9 KG so you may need help to lift it into your car. The customer service staff member was really helpful and asked a male colleague to give me a hand. I was pleased that I had help as the locker proved very difficult to open! The machine has a fold down handle so is easy enough to push once it has been removed from the locker. It should fit into most car boots and measures 25 inches in height with the handle folder down x 21 inches x 11 inches.
Before you use the machine you will need to pre treat any stains with spot remover and then give the carpet a through vacuum. It is recommended that you remove all furniture too.
Setting the machine up...
There are clear instructions printed on the machine in addition to those given in the welcome leaflet provide. I decided to start with the carpets so needed to mix 150 ml of carpet detergent with 9 litres of warm water. Before you can fill the lower red tank you will need to remove the white retaining tank. This is easy to do by pulling down the retaining bar. The red tank is then filled with the cleaning solution through the filter until the liquid comes half way over the filter. Next replace the white tank ensuring it is secured with the retaining bar.
It is important to ensure the machine is on the right setting, either carpet or upholstery. This is done by moving the rocker switch on the top on the handle. The plug has a test and reset button and this will need to be pressed before the machine will work. The on/off switch is located on the handle. The first thing to say is that this is a very noisy machine! It is operated by pulling it backwards and I found it quite heavy to operate despite the company telling me otherwise!
As you pull the machine backwards you also need to hold down the red button that releases the detergent. It is recommended that you work by started in the corner of the room and then move the machine up and down the carpet in lines ensuring you cover the entire area. You will be able to watch the dirty water being sucked into the white tank and therefore see when it needs to be emptied. It is very rewarding seeing just how much dirt is removed! It is suggested that each litre of detergent will clean 2 average sized rooms, although I found I used less than this.
It is a real pain having to keep stopping to empty the white tank. The red tank is not big enough to take a full 9 litres of the detergent solution and will need refilling regularly; another pain! However on the positive side the machine does soak up a lot of the water so carpets will dry quickly.
On with the upholstery attachment....
The upholstery attachment comes with the machine in a separate bag. It is basically a 3.5 metre hose that attaches easily to the back of the machine to enable areas that require a hand help device such as stairs, soft furnishings and mattresses. It is also possible to take the machine outside to clean car upholstery although this was a job too far for me! To attach the hose you will need to pull down the brass ring at the rear of the machine and insert the hose fitting. You will also need to fit the second larger grey tube to the machine. There is a diagram included so don't worry! The rocker switch on the machine will need to be moved to the upholstery setting.
Unlike the carpet detergent the upholstery cleaner has a useful measurement markets on the bottle so I didn't need to use a jug! Mix half a bottle with 8 litres of warm water and pour into the red tank as with the carpet solution. It is very important that you add about 150 ml of anti foam to the top white tank. I stress this because I added the recommended 50 ml of anti foam and ended up with foam pouring out the back of the machine all over my wood floor! I called the help number provided and was told that I needed to add more anti foam than was suggested on the bottle!
The hose is operated by pressing the level on the nozzle that will release the detergent. As you pull the nozzle down the area to be cleaned the dirty water is sucked up into the white tank. It is really easy to use.
Right enough about how it's done, does it produce good results? In a word YES! I cleaned 2 bedroom carpets plus a very disgusting playroom carpet. As I have indicated I didn't use rug doctor spot stain products and found a cheaper supermarket (Waitrose) very effective at half the price. The machine is quite heavy to pull and its certainly not as easy as using a vacuum cleaner as the manufactures would have you believe! I also found having to repeatedly empty the dirty water from the holding tank a pain. It would be useful if the machine had a bigger red tank to avoid having to keep refilling it.
However that said the results were truly amazing! My son's cream bedroom carpet now looks almost like new. Not only have the stains gone but the pile is thicker and it certainly smells better! The playroom carpet is also much improved although I did go over it again once it had dried the next morning and was surprised that the water was still quite dirty!
I used the upholstery attachment to clean the cover on my futon and was amazed at how bright the colours actually are. I also used this attachment to clean my stairs again with really good results. I would advise that if you decide to clean your mattress as I did that you leave enough time for it to dry; as I didn't! It is recommended that you first stand the mattress against a wall to ensure it dries thoroughly. I stupidly decided to clean it in position on the bed and then had to remove it so it could dry! It helps to open the windows when you are cleaning to help drying.
I would definitely hire one of these machines again although not every 6 months as recommended.
After deciding that the carpets needed cleaning and comparing the cost of a professional cleaning service and hiring the machine from the local dry cleaners I decided to hire this cleaner.
It is slightly difficult to fit it into the boot of a micra but once home no problem.
The instructions are easy to follow and first of all the detergent needs to be mixed with hot water and then poured into the base of the machine and the top removable tank needs to be replaced. The cleaner then needs to be pulled backwards while holding down a red button. The used water can be seen swirling in a clear reservoir as what seems to be foam.
It takes some time to fill up the machine with hot water but the actual cleaning of the carpets is very simple to do and the carpet cleaner moves easily so it doesn't seem as heavy as it is to manouvre. I needed to refill the reservoir three times to do all the carpets that I wanted to clean.
I found that if you stop moving the machine and release the red button at the same time there is water that hasn't been hoovered up. It is very effective and does a wonderful job on dirty carpets in a household of boys and dogs.
The attachments make stairs very easy to clean and are easy to use once attached to machine which I found fiddly.
The carpets took from approx three hours to a day to dry depending partly on how warm the room was I think. I recleaned a couple of areas in the hallway which were the dirtest part of the house.
I found cleaning the machine at the end straightforward to do. A case of removing dog hairs even though I had hoovered the carpet before I started cleaning the carpet as recommended.
In the run up to Christmas, my wife and I decided that we needed to give our carpets a thorough clean. We had hired professional steam cleaners in previous years, real people that is, but found them to be expensive. We had half-caught adverts about the Rug Doctor and this seemed to be a low-cost alternative. It is available to hire from a range of respectable, high-profile outlets including B&Q, Johnson's the Cleaners, and Morrison's to name a few. We decided to hire ours from Johnsons, who were very helpful in demonstrating how it worked.
The Rug Doctor is a little bulky, and not the lightest implement to wield up the high street. However, the assistant was happy for us to wheel it to the car.
It does resemble what I would imagine to be something like a rudimentary Russian prototype of a vacuum cleaner. The one I hired was very similar to the one in the image above, being very square in design, except that mine was orange. It also reminded me of non-specific prop from a 70's Dr Who episode! Nevertheless, I found this basic design quite reassuring; after all it is designed to clean in straight lines, so why complicate things with fancy, curvilinear geometry?
The cleaner comes with a sheet of very easy-to-follow instructions, although the website goes into considerably more detail, especially for cleaning upholstery.
First and foremost, you need to vacuum all intended cleaning areas. It is not suitable for use on wooden floors, indeed it is also recommended that you don't even let it stand on these types of surfaces without the protection of a non-porous mat.
===Mixing up the medicine===
The instructions recommend mixing 150mls of detergent with 9 litres of hot water. I ensured the water was as hot as possible, although there is a cautionary rider to be aware of scalding. I used a 10 litre mop bucket which was quite manageable and of ample capacity. It is useful if your mixing/pouring container has a spout as the filter chamber has a fairly small aperture.The mixture is poured over the filter in the base chamber of the machine. You can pour quite swiftly as the filter absorbs it relatively quickly.
You should manoeuvre the Rug Doctor to your required location before adding the water - particularly if it is on another floor or level. 9 litres of liquid and the machine is quite a weight to negotiate the stairs with. The capacity in the tank is approximately 9.8 litres.
Once the chamber is full, merely clip the upper reservoir handle up to secure it on top, and you are ready to begin.
Please also ensure that the switch is flicked to 'carpet cleaner'.
The Rug Doctor will only move backwards when cleaning. Therefore, start at the outmost extremities of the room and pull back in a straight line. You also need to simultaneously engage the water dispenser, which is done by suppressing the red button on the stem, while you are manoeuvring the machinery. This can be a bit trying on your digits. I found it easier to grab both handles (which are like a T-bar) and push both thumbs against the water button. You must keep the button pressed in all the time to dispense the water.
Perhaps the most labour-intensive part is having to empty the chamber and refill with clean hot water and detergent. I found I had to refill once to do our pretty average-sized living room.
The carpets are pretty damp after cleaning and drying time can vary according to pile length. Our front room dried completely within a couple of hours, the stairs took more like a day.
The Rug Doctor was also supplied with a smallish, neat brush/vacuum head attached to a long hose. This proved indispensable for cleaning crevices, stairs and upholstery. To activate this you need to knock the two-way switch to the hand tool setting. In order to dispense the water you need to simultaneously squeeze the trigger while drawing the vacuum back over the required area. This proved highly effective. The suction was extremely powerful and the water issued forth in a most facile fashion.
The machine is very easy to align and keep straight, due to the reassuring weight and straight lines of its design. It leaves nice tram lines where the 'doctor' has worked his magic. But even more reassuring, if somewhat embarrassing, is the evidence of murky water swilling around in the reservoir. That has been in my carpet! This just goes to show that however clean we think our determined Dysons can make carpets, it is a purely superficial cleanliness.
With a crazy Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross in permanent residence, in addition to weekend visits by a clearly unhinged Westie (mother-in-law's!), the stairs had taken a particular battering. The Rug Doctor rose to this ascending challenge most admirably. This is where the hand tool came into play. Although tempted to rub and scrape with knuckle-whitening vigour I found that equal results were to be had by slowly, gently drawing back the vacuum/brush head while pressing the water trigger. It worked superbly on small landing squares, risers and treads respectively, giving that before and after look of an illuminated stripe cutting a swathe through the relative grime!
Another tip, which may seem like common sense, is to ensure there is plenty of slack in the hose when cleaning the top half of the stairs - better still move the Rug Doctor to the bottom of the stairs when you reach the midway point. It would be a headache to remember, or possibly not, were that lot to come tumbling on your bonce!
You can also use the Rug Doctor to clean upholstery. However, you need to avoid cleaning Silk, Haitian cotton, velour, brushed corduroy, leather, non-colourfast fabrics or upholstery fabric with cleaning codes S or X . Some stains require professional treatment. Use cool water when cleaning wool, wool blends or delicate fibres.
===Price and availability===
For two nights hire (over the weekend) with four litres of detergent the cost factored out at just under £45 (this is after I had been refunded the £25 deposit on return). This was made up of £19.99 for 1 day hire, plus a further £4.99 for the additional day. The four litre bottle of detergent also costs £19.99, but you can keep what you don't use - in our case we have almost 2 litres left over.It seems to be required practice to produce two forms of ID when hiring the Rug Doctor, so I would strongly recommend checking with your intended rental outlet prior to hiring it out. The www.rugdoctor.co.uk website is very helpful, crammed as it is with instructional and operational information, as well as FAQs and testimonials.
The website also contains a very helpful rental outlet locator, which I wished I had known about before hiring it myself! A subsequent search revealed several outlets that were considerably closer and more convenient than the one we decided on. The site cites big names such as Johnson's, Morrison's, B&Q, Homebase and Focus. However, these have probably paid to have their logos plastered on the homepage. My advice is to still try the postcode search as there are many other smaller outlets which may be nearer to, and more convenient for, you.
===Buy buy piles!===
The Rug Doctor costs £449.99 to buy and the aforementioned website offers it at this price, with free delivery and a 30 day risk-free trial period.
If you think your carpets are clean, think again.....you'd be amazed what lies beneath!
My carpet was soiled, dirty, trodded in, spilt on, written on, splashed, trashed and most of all, white. Now I know, a rookie mistake to purchase a white carpet, especially in a high traffic area such as my front room/hallway. Yet despite believing that all had been lost, and resigning to the fact that the date I had with 'Shirley from down the road' would end in her taking one look at my carpet and running for the hills, I found the greatest saviour of my sins since the big J.C. This messiah had one name - Rug Do...TWO NAMES...RUG. DOCTOR!
I was scepticle as to how benefitial the beast would be - for it was a beast, taking two fully grown boys to pull it home - as I had used other products such as Vanish to no avail. This felt different though, this was a proper cleaning machine, a god of cleanse. After pouring in the ungoldy amount of water, and putting in the 'secret formula', I turned it on. It rumbled with the beauty of a Ferrari, and purred like a little biddy kitty-kitty-kat - and it werent too bad on the eyes neither! Then it started its work, and wow, did it get to work. Within one sweep across the room, most of the dirt had gone - the carpet could be seen again, I was amazed and couldnt stop giggling.
Pass after pass, move and move, the red behemoth destroyed that dirt and restored my living room to its former glory, beautiful once again.
And so the time came for the romantic meal, I lit the candles, took the pot roast out of the oven, and put Neil Sedaka on the stereophone. I called 'Shirley from down the road' up and told her I had a new love. Looked across to my beautiful Rug Doctor, and knew that this one, would last...
The Rug Doctor, although sounding misleadingly like a wig wearing physician, or something a whole lot ruder, is a top class product. Suffice it to say, it certainly doctored our carpet back to full health.
After a party we recently threw, our carpet was in ruins. It was covered in stains from numerous different coloured alcoholic beverages, was littered with trodden-in chewing gum and ash, and smelt like death. On top of this, with our carpet looking like Jodie Marsh's used make-up-removal wipe, the arrival of our landlord was imminent. We needed action, and fast. So we turned to the only thing we though would have a chance, enter the Rug Doctor.
We bought the machine online, and set about making our carpet as stainless as steel. Much like a real human doctor, the Rug Doctor needs plently of water to survive- 9 litres, in fact, which takes blimmin' ages to fill up with a kettle.
But, our first poor impressions of the Dr. were short lived, he soon won us over. The stains came up effortlessly. As the Doctor made the first journey over our carpet, we waited anxiously, much like a family waiting to hear the results of a complicated surgery being performed on a loved one. The prognosis was ggod, the patient was stable, the Rug Doctor had no trouble removing the metaphorical tumours (or stains) from our loved one's brain (the carpet). Even a red wine stain was no match for the Doctor, and the chewing gum, after we heated it with a hairdryer and took off the top layer (Kim & Aggy, 2009), was removed. The carpet looked great.
The Rug Doctor is also conclusively easy to use. It was, afterall, operated by three adolecent boys with no experience of machine use- i honestly thought it was pronounced 'mack-ine' until i was 19- the point is, literally anyone can operate it. It has clear instructions that are easily understood, and helpful little diagrams of a little man using it, im preety sure its okay for women too, though. One drawback is, however, the price. It is a very extravagant purchase- but, if, like us, you persistently have messy parties, then i woyuld recommend it. Especially if you share a house and then can all put in, lowering your share.
To summise, the Rug Doctor did a brilliant job, and probably saved us our deposit. The carpet looked good as new, we had a clean slate (slate being the colour of our carpet). It was also really fluffy to walk on which is a sign the Rug Doctor really gets deep. Im not sure if the Rug Doctor is actually a real doctor, but it is certainly clear to me that he is a P.H.D- a Pretty Helpful Device that is!
I didn't have a very good experience using the Rug Doctor, unless the machine was faulty. I hired this from B&Q and it looked liked it had been used across a building site. It was filthy and took me two hours to clean it before I could use it at home. My carpets didn't really look that much difference perhaps maybe looked like they had been hoovered well. Not impressed at all. Waste of time and waste of money.
What can I say about this machine, other than WOW! After having tried most other carpet cleaning methods over the years (Vax, Kirby, Dry Shampoo and everything in between!), the Rug Doctor is the one. So good that I bought one of my very own.
OK, so I bought it after a sleepless night watching the dreaded 'infomercial' ... but I'm not a gullible consumer, and one year on I don't regret it one bit. So, after a year's experience with the Mighty Pro, what can I tell you about it?
To start with, it's really sturdy. Well built, well designed, with quality components. The main body of the machine is pretty heavy, especially when you've filled the lower chamber with water and cleaning fluid. It's not a problem though, it's on decent sized wheels, moves about fairly easily and the handle is adjustable to suit you. Water and cleaner is delivered by a powerful pump system; unlike some other machines it doesn't rely on vacuum suction or feeble little pumps to get a dribble of water through.
The real bonus is the excellent hand nozzle. It has a trigger spray and fair kicks clean water out under pump pressure. Unlike any Vax I've ever used, it delivers plenty of cleaner to the nozzle, at any angle you need, onto any surface you like. I use the hand nozzle to clean tiles on the kitchen floor every so often, it's a really deep clean and leaves the floor virtually dry. Change two pipes to quickly swap between cleaning with the main brushes and the hand nozzle, don't forget to flick the switch from carpet cleaning to hand tool use and you're away.
It does a fantastic job of cleaning carpets, upholstery, car interiors and rugs. I loathe housework in general, but I do have a thing for clean floors. We have a large, very hairy dog (who I simply love to bits but he really is a messy beast!) plus 4 cats, so keeping clean floors is no picnic. With the Rug Doctor, I find the results so pleasing that I don't mind spending a couple of hours cleaning a carpet. Whether you're thinking of renting or buying a machine, here are my top tips:
Vacuum really well first, especially if you have pets. The amount of pet hair and grit that will come up with the dirty water is just disgraceful, even if your carpet looks clean and hair free before you start!
If you're doing a whole room, zip all around the edges first with the hand tool. Clean a nice wide border around all the edges before starting with the main cleaning. While you're at it, use the hand tool to pre spray solution onto any difficult patches you spot, so they have a little extra time to loosen up.
If you have rugs, use the hand tool around the edge of the rugs, leaving the middle of the rug for cleaning with the main machine. The machine isn't great at dealing with the edges of rugs and will either chew them or leak a load of water when running over the edges, so I clean about an 8" border with the hand nozzle first.
Once you've done all the fiddly bits, whip the hand tool off and swap back to main carpet cleaning. You walk this machine backwards, not quickly but there's no need to go at snail's pace either. The machine does a fairly broad sweep. If the carpet is really dirty it does need a large overlap on each sweep as I find the machine doesn't clean perfectly edge to edge, but at least you will see exactly where you've already been. If you start to see foam coming out at the edges, you're probably going too slowly.
Word of warning - this machine will use gallons of water and cleaner! About half the workload is emptying dirty water and refilling the tank, so make sure you have plenty of hot water available. The dirty water tank will be disgusting (even if you're like Hyacinth Bucket but a bit more houseproud!!). I'm still appalled at the amount of grit, pet hair and general nastiness that comes out of our carpets even with regular cleaning, but imagine leaving all that at the bottom of the carpet pile - uck!
I've truly not had a moment's trouble with this machine since I bought it. While it wasn't cheap to buy I think it was good value for money. I reckon I would spend at least a quarter of the cost annually on renting machines or paying to have the upholstery and the cars valeted, so it only has to run for 4 years and we're quits. Actually I suspect it will outlast me and my carpets :-)
Drinks had been spilt, Little Nephew's Play-Doh had dried to small chunks and the Dog was occasionally incontinent. The cream carpet throughout The Boyfriend's flat was looking tired for many reasons. An short notice flat inspection was looming and The Boyfriend sat with his head in his hands.....He decided that vigorous hoovering and dabbing at stains with wet kitchen roll was not going to be enough this time; salvation would have to come in the form of the Rug Doctor.
A great deal of searching on the internet hadn't given us any guide prices for hiring it from Homebase or Morrissons, so we'd chosen to try and find the nearest supplier and go with that. Our local Budgens didn't feature on the store locator, but they had the poster and therefore almost certainly the machine. True enough, it was hanging on the wall with a choice of cleaning fluids. No prices on display again (why is the cost of Rug Doctor such a closely guarded secret??) but we paid £20 to hire the machine, £14.99 for the cleaning fluid and £2.99 for the stain spray. Plus a £20 deposit.
The staff there didn't know how to work it, but instructions were provided in the net bag of accessories and how hard could it be? We'd seen a foul-mouthed Scotsman demonstrate it on youtube and some QVC style clip on the rug doctor website. There was even an e-how on how to clean with the Rug Doctor. We'd asked and the internet had provided. Using the wheels attached, we tilted it and rolled it to the car; the handle folds down so getting it in the boot is no problem.
Arriving home, we mixed the cleaning solution. A word of warning here, this stuff is nasty! I would strongly recommend wearing plastic gloves, getting someone to look after kids and pets and tying plastic bags over your shoes. If you have a throwaway plastic measuring jug, use it and sling it afterwards. Failing that, mark the levels using water on a large plastic bottle that you can bin après cleaning. It smells a bit like lemony puke, so open a window or two if you can. You need to hoover the house with your normal vacuum cleaner and treat any stains with the stain spray before you can begin. I liberally squirted it over a patch of splatters.
We were doing the hallway and living room and started at the front door. You have to fill the lower chamber with cleaning solution and check that it's set to carpets and not upholstery. The handle is similar in design to bicycle handlebars, with a central red button. You switch the machine on and then drag it backwards while pressing the button down.
The Boyfriend did a swipe, but I got impatient and thought I could do it better. Taking over, I found that pulling it slowly along seems to get the best result but the most foam. The instructions said if there was foam then we should buy Rug Doctor anti-foam solution and add this to the mixture - what a load of rubbish - it's their machine, their expensive carpet cleaner and we weren't going to be conned into paying for yet another product. The foam was no fault of ours. Anyway, I discovered that if you let go of the red button, the thing just becomes a powerful hoover and you can suck all the foam up before it sinks in. As this neither damaged the carpet or destroyed the machine, it worked fine for us. (Disclaimer: if you do not live in rented accommodation and have paid good money for your carpet, I take no responsibility for the foam hoovering method and you test it at your own risk)
The machine is pretty noisy; I employed the ear defenders issued to us at work and when I tried it without it hurt! The weight isn't too bad - no heavier than pulling for example a half full supermarket trolley. I didn't ache at all the next day.
The carpet was indeed minging and although it said not to go over the same patch twice and to have a maximum of two inches overlap as you cleaned, we totally ignored this. Going over the same patches around six times dragged the dirt out and left the carpet an acceptable colour. Once or twice was sufficient in 'low traffic' areas but useless outside the kitchen door. Where I'd squirted the stain remover, even marks that had been there before he moved in were shifted. Annoyingly, the bulk of the machine makes it hard to reach the areas next to the wall, so we had stripes of cream carpet showing through the dirt in the centre and greyer areas in the difficult places.
We carried on into the evening with the furniture piled high and a constant battle to stop MyDogs from running in and lying on the wet carpet. His hair came up from the carpet in clumps and even a burn mark left by The Boyfriend's naughty dad was no match for this thing. We tipped buckets of filthy black water down the toilet and then had to drag the dog away to stop him drinking it. We were so engrossed we even missed the Hotel Inspector. Eventually we stood back and surveyed our handiwork.
The stripy marks were a little worrying, but after the carpet had had a couple of days to dry out and we'd gone over it again with the hoover, this effect vanished. The drying out certainly took its time; we probably made the carpet wetter than we should have by going over it so many times. Obviously shoes were banned on the cleaned carpet, but The Boyfriend kept soaking the bottom of his socks as a result (I wore flip flops in the house). By the day of the visit, the carpet looked amazing for the hour that it needed to.
Some weeks on, it has to be said that cleaning the carpet has destroyed any ability it had to repel dirt, which now collects in stripes. Overall, it was far more effective than any of the other carpet cleaners we've tried and The Boyfriend has plans to hire it again when he moves out in order to get the deposit back, but owing to the costs involved it's not something we'd use regularly.
I'm just about to rent out the flat I live in and move to a house (how exciting). The agents we are using suggested getting the carpets cleaned before letting tenants move in.
Ever one to save some cash, we rented a "Rug Doctor" from Homebase.
To rent one you need a household bill no more than three months old, plus another form of ID, I used my passport. The machine cost £19.99 to rent and they took a £10 deposit-all from my debit card so didn't need to get any cash out.
The carpet shampoo they had at Homebase was pretty pricey so we just got some of the anti-foaming stuff and I got some shampoo from the pound shop.
The machine is easy to set up, shampoo and hot water in the very bottom part, anti-foam in the top, white bit.
To use it, you clearly plug it in and switch it on, it is very noisy so don't do it early in the morning unless you want your neighbours to complain! To get it cleaning, you push a button on the top and that causes the water and shampoo to get moving, once you can see the shampoo on the carpet, you pull the machine towards you and the shampoo is sucked up into the top bit.
One load of water and shampoo doesn't do that much carpet, about 4sqm so you need to refill it quite often.
We've only had the carpets about 18months and there are just the two of us, no kids or pets so the carpets were pretty clean. Still, lots of fluff and a bit of dirt came out so I guess it would just take a bit longer to do a really dirty carpet.
It leaves your carpet damp but not soaking, you can feel it through your socks though! They do recommend not walking on the carpet for five or so hours-not always practical!
I'm going to give it a 5 for maintenance because we only rented it so don't have to worry about looking after it!
The machine was easy to push and pull along the floor although my OH did the lifting in and out of the car and up and down the stairs. He said it wasn't too heavy but he is 6ft 4 so I think for ladies, it would be quite heavy.
Attachments were available at Homebase but we didn't get them as well as we hand clean our upholstery.
This machine is amazing. It does everything that it says it will - that is that it cleans carpets well. We rent our house and as part of this we need to get the carpets cleaned every so often. We have two young children and a cream carpet in the living room which I'm sure you can imagine gets pretty dirty with juice spills, food spills and just daily walking on.
We had heard good things about the Rug Doctor and as our local Morrison's rents them out we thought we would give it a go before getting a professional into to do it for us. We paid about £36 for it for 48 hour hire plus cleaner which was supposed to do about 6 rooms. As you can also use this machine to clean upholstery we were offered smaller attachments to enable us to do this but as this was not our plan we didn't take them. I was worried about how heavy it was going to be so I took my husband with me but it just wheels along and I slid it into the boot of the car. I would have managed fine without him but it is still quite heavy if you need to lift it for any distance.
We got rid of our children for the day and set about doing it. The instructions are very easy to follow and it tells you how much water and how much cleaner to mix together which you will need a measuring jug and a bucket for. We used warm tap water for this as instructed, so make sure you have plenty of hot water available. It then tells you which part of the machine to put it in and it all comes apart very easily. When you join it all together again and plug it in you are ready to go. You press on the button which will release the water a bit at a time and move slowly backwards, don't stay on the same spot as you could ruin your carpet. As you move backwards you will see the amazing results straight away. We had ash, Pepsi and blackcurrant marks on ours which have all completely gone now. It was not hard work at all and is certainly easier to use than a vax which I was expecting it to be like. We kept everyone of it overnight and it was dry by the morning. It also tells you on the instructions that if you plan to put any furniture down on the carpet when it is damp you should put foil on the bits that touch the carpet.
One thing that I will point out though is that it is very noisy. The cleaner which we bought was supposed to do up to 6 rooms but we used the whole bottle in our living room, this maybe because our carpet needed more cleaning though.
It says on the machine that it must be cleaned properly before returning or they may charge you so just make sure that you do or you may have been cheaper getting someone in to do your carpets after all!
Forget the competition. This is one beautiful machine that does what it says it will. It comes with quite a bit of hype and bragging, but when you get it going you can see why.
It's a carpet cleaner. So that's exactly what it does: it makes your carpet clean. Not just superficially, but deep down clean, and prettily textured as well.
We have three cats, and as any cat owner will know, cats are naturally clean animals. However, they are also creatures of habit, as well as good hunters, so there can be all sorts of stuff to clear up. I'm sure you don't need too much detail - let's just say that it's all biological.
I've tried all of those squirty things that cost four quid a bottle, made by a variety of manufacturers. Some work quite well, but there are some cat stains that simply don't come out. If you have light coloured carpets, that is a disaster. (We live in rented accommodation for half of the year so didn't choose the carpets).
In desperation, I went to B & Q to hire Rug Doctor. It's a pretty substantial vacuum machine, quite heavy to load into the car. Somehow, that's reassuring, especially as you pay 20 quid to hire Rug Doctor for 24 hours. You also have to invest quite a bit on their special cleaning fluid, but if you are using Rug Doctor, that's part of the deal - you can't fill it with anything else. I bought two litres, which is quoted as being enough for a 2 bedroom house. That cost 9 quid, but there was plenty - I used about two thirds for five rooms and a staircase.
You mix the cleaning fluid with hot or warm water (lukewarm if your carpets are wool) using 150 ml of fluid to 9 litres of water. This is poured carefully into a reservoir at the base of Rug Doctor. Above this, there is another tank, which collects the cleaning mixture once it has been through your carpet. You have to refill about every 7 or 8 minutes.
Using the Rug Doctor is easy. First of all, you remove as much furniture as possible, so that you can work without interruption. This can give you storage problems for a while, depending on the layout of your house. You then vacuum the carpets normally with your Hoover, to prevent getting a mess when you use the Rug Doctor. When you turn Rug Doctor on, there is a satisfying vibrating feeling. What is happening is that a strong brush is agitating the carpet underneath, and the machine is sucking up anything that it can. You squeeze a handle to inject the cleaning mixture - this gets sprayed into the carpet. Slowly, you pull the machine back towards you. It only works going backwards, so at the end of each run you wheel it back to the next starting point. This is easy.
When you have covered all the ground you can reach with the machine, you then attach the hand operated cleaning tool. The plumbing for this is very straightforward. This device is useful for room edges, or under low shelves, in corners, and on the stairs. It doesn't come with the vibrating brush, but it still works well.
The amazing thing about Rug Doctor is that it works brilliantly well. You will not believe the improvement that it makes to your carpets. Cat stains that we feared were permanent have simply vanished. Just the first pass of the machine astonished me, and I was ready to be cynical about it.
A lot of water is used in the process. For a normal sized living room, it took three loads of cleaning mixture, i.e. 27 litres. Rug Doctor claim that 80% of liquid gets taken up into the top tank, and I think that that's probably a conservative estimate. If you can leave your windows open, the carpets will be dry in 24 hours. And they look like new!
Rug Doctor are realistic. They do tell you that some stains are impossible to remove, and this was true in my case of some dye that had leached out of a rug on to the carpet below after a little feline accident. But the biological stuff has disappeared - kapow!
Should you buy one or rent one? 20 quid to rent for 24 hours, and our 2-bedroom house took four hours to clean. Often, it will only cost you another fiver to add on another 24 hours, so you could share the costs with a friend or two To buy a Rug Doctor costs around 400 smackers, so you would need to be having messy carpets on regular basis for that to be worthwhile. But if you have a huge house, or lots of houses, then it could be worth it. Rental machines come with a built-in guarantee of working properly.
I hired from B and Q. You need two forms of identity. I didn't know this when first turning up to hire, which was a bit annoying as they would not let me have a machine One is to prove your address, so a recent utility bill will do. The other needs to be something like a passport or driving licence. It seems a bit heavy, but is a measure of how good the machines are - people want to nick them! By the way, the rental ones are red, and the bought ones are blue, so don't buy a red one if you are an honest person!! (PS, there are some old red ones that are non-hire, but if you see one for sale, check it out with Rug Doctor first of all).
B & Q also wanted a 50 quid deposit, and say that you won't get it back unless you clean the machine properly. That's fair enough, and it takes about seven minutes to do this. After all, you don't want to pick up a machine that has someone else's dirt in it.
Around the country, there are apparently about 2000 outlets where you can hire Rug Doctor. If you go to www.rugdoctor.co.uk there is a store locator. The website also contains plenty of information, including some powerful testimonials.
Rug Doctor also sell some little bottles of cleaner, including one that is specifically for Pet Stains. Of course, our cats have behaved perfectly since I cleaned our carpets, so I have not been able to test this yet, but I bet it works.
It was quite hard work to use the Rug Doctor, but immensely satisfying. Instructions for use were clear and easy to understand. This is a quality product that really does the job. I can't wait for when my wife sees the results!