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Oreck Orbiter
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Post# 194115   8/9/2012 at 23:59 (2,891 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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As I've said before on other threads, my family is moving to a new home which has heavily soiled carpets. After much research, I deiced the Host carpet cleaning system was the cheapest, and yet most thorough, product for our needs. Since there is only one professional Host cleaner in the entire state of Arizona, I have to clean the carpets my self.

Inorder to clean with Host, you have to rent one of their brush machines. This ened up being a big issue. Our new home, located in Flagstaff, has no Host dealer in the aera. So we would have to rent a Host machine in Phoenix, truck it up to Flagstaff, and when we were done take it back down. In order to clean both our new and old house and return it on time Ace Hardware was charging $375 for a month. Not happenin'

We were just about to go and rent the machine anyway when I remembered that Oreck sells a floor machine that not only dry cleans carpets, but also cleans grout. The store owner told me they had both models on sale for $100 off. Sounds great. It turns out the woman forgot to mention that the cheapest model was no longer for sale. She claims that she can't find one entry-level Orbiter in North America. The TOL is $399, which too expensive because the brushes were over $25 EACH. So it would be close to $500 with tax.

Then I go on Amazon to see how much they are selling them for, if Oreck would even let them. Turns out they do and for MUCH cheaper. The TOL model was only $320! So Tuesday night we ordered it with a starter kit. So $420 for the whole deal, including shipping. We did get the Host as well at Ace for a little under $200 for 60lb.

The Oreck arrived this afternoon. It is simply the best floor/carpet cleaner I've ever used, and I have used quite a few. I can not tell you how much better this thing is my Hoover Steamvac or Rubbermaid exactor. I cleaned a hallway of carpeting and two bathrooms of title in about two hours. I didn't even use the Host for the carpeting, I did bonnet cleaning which is like the most disliked carpet cleaning method among professionals. It did such a good job, I can hardly believe it.

So, if any of you need a good floor cleaner, do not hesitate to buy the Orbiter. American Made with a 10 year warranty. Like I've said before, I will be posting pictures the carpet cleaning of our new house when we get in. That should be Sunday or Monday.

Post# 194126 , Reply# 1   8/10/2012 at 05:23 (2,890 days old) by director12 ()        

Hoover had a version in the late 90's called the Floormax.

Post# 194131 , Reply# 2   8/10/2012 at 08:03 (2,890 days old) by SBakerde (Millsboro, DE )        
love the orbiter

I used to work for Oreck and I do agree the orbiter machine is amazing. Oreck sells their own dry cleaning product line which is a little pricey. I have found the same stuff at Lowes under the capture label for less and it works just as good. I can't say i was every a big fan of the bonnet cleaning method but it does work wonders to get stains out, after a pre-treat of course.

Post# 194155 , Reply# 3   8/10/2012 at 11:15 (2,890 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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I share your views exactly. I think the Oreck dry cleaning powder could be the exact same product as Capture. The tub, sprinkler and material look exactly the same. I've used Capture and it does a fantastic job. It takes awhile to clean really dirty carpets because of the dry time with multiple coatings. Maybe the Orbiter speeds things up. I'll have to see Monday!

Up until yesterday I thought bonnet cleaning was a joke, but it really does make an immediate difference. I've been told the bonnet only cleans the top 25% of the fiber, which would explain the quick process. I'll just use it for maintenance.

Post# 194170 , Reply# 4   8/10/2012 at 14:51 (2,890 days old) by Vacuumfreeeke ()        

Do you have any before and after pictures of the carpet?

Did you say you rented the host machine as well, or just got the host powder? I missed something there!

Glad you found a method that seems to be working!

Post# 194176 , Reply# 5   8/10/2012 at 15:40 (2,890 days old) by trebor ()        
Carpets soil from the top down...

If they are dirty all the way to the bottom of the pile, repeated applications of bonnet cleaning will wick the dirt up. It may seem that the Host would work with the Orbiter, but it just scatters it. The Host requires the vertical movement up the length of the pile,as provided by the Host equipment.  The Capture/Oreck powder collects in the Host machine, and does not fall out when gently tapped with a foot. 



Post# 194180 , Reply# 6   8/10/2012 at 16:35 (2,890 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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trebor: I'm going to test to see if a combination of Host and bonnet cleaning will result in a better looking carpet than just one method. I'd bonnet clean than use Host to clean deeper into the pile. The Oreck dry cleaning brush is pretty soft; I still think it is going to work well with Host. I'll update when I try it in the next few days.

Vacuumfreeeke: I bought only the Orbiter and the Host product. Renting the Host machine was just too much money for temporary use. If we were going to spend close to $400 on something, we might as well own it. Thus the Orbiter.

Post# 194181 , Reply# 7   8/10/2012 at 17:08 (2,890 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        
Before and After: Tile Grout

bagintheback's profile picture
Fantastic job considering this was the first time I ever used such a machine:

Post# 194182 , Reply# 8   8/10/2012 at 17:13 (2,890 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        
Before and After: Heavy Traffic Area

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This is low pile off-white carpet that was installed when the home was built in 1996. Believe me, that was some filthy carpet before I cleaned it. All it took was about four passes (side-to-side) with the bonnet. More pictures to come.

Post# 194187 , Reply# 9   8/10/2012 at 18:07 (2,890 days old) by mieles7 (DFW, TX)        

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That looks like it did a great job. How do you use one of those on a carpet? I've only seen them used on floors. Does it go fast enough to do this?


Post# 194188 , Reply# 10   8/10/2012 at 18:13 (2,890 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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For bonnet cleaning, you first mix water and the solution into a pump sprayer and apply onto the carpet. It helps to spray the mixture onto the bonnet as well to not damage the carpet. Slowly move the Orbitor side to side across the carpet until clean. You have to flip the machine over every once and awhile to check to see if the bonnet needs cleaning. Once you clean with both sides, simply rinse the bonnet in a bucket of cold water. It's very easy.

Post# 194193 , Reply# 11   8/10/2012 at 18:43 (2,890 days old) by Trebor ()        
Even Host Dealers...

cannot buy the machines for rent, they are leased at a cost of 130.00/yr with all maintenance and repair costs, including shipping absorbed by Racine Industries, the mfg of Host

Post# 194194 , Reply# 12   8/10/2012 at 18:46 (2,890 days old) by Trebor ()        
If one considers...

the average Host machine is rented 1 time per week, a month long rental should have been $80.00. Sounds like a dealer who did not rent/sell much was looking to make a killing.

Post# 194197 , Reply# 13   8/10/2012 at 18:54 (2,890 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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They were asking $125 a week, or $375 for an entire month. They discount you a week if you go for a month rental. I did see the Host machines they were renting out while I was there. The two looked very dirty and I doubt they were rented out much. They didn't have the whole nice display most vac shops have. But they were the only dealer in the aera, so we went with the Oreck.

Post# 194204 , Reply# 14   8/10/2012 at 19:28 (2,890 days old) by director12 ()        

The Steamvac would do better on carpet cleaning.

Post# 194206 , Reply# 15   8/10/2012 at 19:47 (2,890 days old) by vac-o-matic (Saint Louis, Mo.)        

Hi Nathaniel, I've worked for Oreck part-time for several years. I love the Orbiter and what it can do. I do recommend to customers who either rent the Orbiter, which we offer for free to Oreck customers, or walk in customers who buy, is that the carpet brush works better in getting the powder into the pile of the carpet. I also recommend using our spot remover No Return in place of the standard pre-mist to the powder. I have older plush carpet as well, and each time I use the Orbiter, it looks great. Glad you like it!


Post# 194210 , Reply# 16   8/10/2012 at 20:13 (2,890 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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vac-o-matic: I have already bought the carpet brush and the pre-mist. I've haven't used either of them yet, but I will on Monday when we get to our new house. I'll post the results when I'm done.

director12: Not to sound rude, but the SteamVac would not have done better. I've owned one for months but it has never gotten my carpets so clean in such little time. An accident happened earlier this week on the carpet and I had to use tons of soap to get it out with the Hoover. When it was all said and done that carpet looked exactly the same as what it looked like before the stain happened, and that carpet is filthy. Worse than the one I posted a picture of. The Hoover is nice for some uses, but the Oreck is many times better in every way. The Oreck is literarily what they use for commercial applications. People make a living using this exact machine. Hoover sells a commercial Steamvac, but all it is is their household model with an orange 3-prong cord.

Post# 194232 , Reply# 17   8/10/2012 at 22:23 (2,890 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

How would the Oreck Orbiter compare to a Bissell Big Green?

I'm not sure which to go for; since I'm going to open a carpet cleaning service.

I hear the Bissell Big Green outcleans other Steam Vacs; but not sure if it'll outclean the truck mount units & Rotovac?

Post# 194247 , Reply# 18   8/11/2012 at 00:27 (2,890 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

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Having used Host & also working for a carpet cleaning company,the problem you will find with Host or any non-extraction method is re-soiling. It may look good for a while, but not stay clean for long.

With those types of cleaning methods you are not really removing the dirt. Some dirt may come off on the bonnet or be absorbed into powder & vacuumed away, but mostly it is just moving the dirt around & grinding it into the carpet fibers. With an extraction process, you are removing the soil & any detergent residue. It's when these are left in the fibers that you get re-soiling soon after cleaning.

As an example, we don't dry-clean our clothes when they are diry (even though the process is called dry-cleaning for some fabrics, they wash in a solution) we wash & rinse them to get the dirt & residues out. Therefore in my opinion extraction is the better choice. It just needs to be executed correctly to see results.

Post# 194278 , Reply# 19   8/11/2012 at 07:33 (2,889 days old) by director12 ()        

The commercial Steamvac is the household version with grounded power cable you say? Well, the Hoover Floormax, which they introduced in 1999 could be the answer, even if it's off the market.

Post# 194289 , Reply# 20   8/11/2012 at 08:58 (2,889 days old) by trebor ()        

I most heartily disagree with your opinion of the effectiveness of Host, when PROPERLY applied.  Carpet fiber is synthetic, it cannot absorb water. What happens when you spray a dirty wall with a water based cleaner? It collects on the wall until gravity overcomes surface tension, and it runs down.  Carpet has many, many times the vertical surface as it does flat horizontal surface composed of the tips of the fiber.  An ultra low-volume carpet cleaning head will spray .5 gal/min, or approximately 1 oz/min the trigger is depressed.  An extremely high extraction rate of recovery is 90%   ANY water that touches the backing of the carpet begins to compromise the glue that binds the primary and secondary backings together.


The Host wipes the fiber from bottom to top, because there are two 5" diameter counter-rotating brushes.  The proper application covers the entire fiber from bottom to top. You can see the compound turn from rusty gold to light gold/grey or even black, depending on how dirty the carpet is.  Once a carpet is wet with extraction, you cannot tell for certain if it is really clean, or if the water remaining is masking stains/high traffic areas. With the Host, once it is dry and vacuumed away you can simply repeat the application. On really stubborn/dirty areas you can 'pancake' the spot with the Host compound and leave it overnight.  I have removed dried water-base varnish with this method.   The application of Host can be repeated four times before maximum effectiveness has been reached. The Host method uses approximately 1 teaspoon of liquid per square foot, or one tablespoon per square yard.  


Host can be walked on during application and drying without damage to the carpet. It does not pose a danger of slipping on adjacent hard surface floor. It can be used to control dirt in high traffic areas to keep them from spreading. It can be used to spot clean, even in areas where people allergic to cleaning chemicals are present.


Host leaves the carpet toe-scrunching  fluffy, and cleaner longer than extraction because it does not dilute the dirt, only to wick back once the humidity in the room is low enough for the water in the carpet to wick up.


Host really shines as a maintenance process. Once the carpet is thoroughly clean, regular maintenance with Host eliminates the need for any other supplemental or interim carpet cleaning process ever.


The comparison to carpet cleaning and clothes washing is inaccurate. Shirts, jeans, sheets, etc are woven cloth that require water flowing completely through the weave to get truly clean. A lot of water is used up to remove a comparatively small amount of dirt.  A more accurate comparison is  how we clean garments like outer coats, suits, sport coats, tailored dresses. Why? Because these garments have structure built-in that precludes being saturated with water and tumbled.  These garments are treated gently. They are saturated, but with fast-drying chemicals, much less water.


If you look on the Host website, there are articles about school systems, casinos, hotels and health-care facilities switching entirely to Host carpet cleaning systems and methods.  There is almost no downtime, the maintenance is on-going and eliminates concerns about over wetting and drying times.  The company continues to grow. I know of no other system that preserves the life of carpet for over three decades if properly and regularly used.


1) Only 100 sq ft can be covered at one time (500 in open commercial applications) 2) the more brushing, the better it works


I have accomplished amazing results with every carpet cleaning method there is. A lot of is is time and patience, not being in a hurry, attention to detail, and the equipment. But the best, longest lasting results are with Host.

Post# 194304 , Reply# 21   8/11/2012 at 10:34 (2,889 days old) by bravokid ()        
always been curious.

i have a room with really dirty carpet no matter ho many times i steam vac it still comes up dingy i have even used a commercial husky scooter i was thinking of replacing it. would i be able to somehow use a Kirby with attachment combos or what not with the chemicals and methods you fellas mentioned there might be a way i am sure people have dabbled with it. i am not willing to kill any beautiful Kirby over it if any one has experimented let me know how you experiences went. could save money on a rental or an orbiter.

Post# 194311 , Reply# 22   8/11/2012 at 11:53 (2,889 days old) by briguy (Wichita, Kansas)        

briguy's profile picture
I agree that Host & other "dry methods" might be ok for in between maintenance or spot cleaning. However they are not considered "deep cleaning" methods. The majority of carpet manufacturers & certification companies for carpet cleaning companies recognize extraction as a true "deep cleaning" method.

On the subject of dry-cleaning clothes as a comparison, here is the definition from the EPA website on how the process is achieved:

"The drycleaning process requires 3 steps: (1) washing the fabric in solvent, (2) spinning to extract excess solvent, and (3) drying by tumbling in a hot air stream"

The articles of clothing are "washed" in large front-loading machines & tumbled and spun just like a front-load washer in the appropriate solvents. It is not truely "dry-cleaning". So, fabrics that are "dry-clean only" do require solvents/solution flowing through the fabric to get them clean.
The solution has to wash thru the weave of the fabric to cleanse the fibers.

Post# 194315 , Reply# 23   8/11/2012 at 12:17 (2,889 days old) by SBakerde (Millsboro, DE )        
Beats the proffesional steam machines

I'll chime in on this one. I have using the oreck/capture products removed ding, stains and grime from a beige carpet. This nasty mess was the product of animals, people, and who knows what else. For 5 years consecutively the whole house the cleaned professionally with a truck mount extraction system. Every year they promised the stains would be gone and the carpet would look new. Yet everytime the same stains came back to their full grossness with in a few weeks after cleaning. With nothing more than the Oreck dry cleaning kit and a small brush to work it in, I treated the carpet and vacuumed the next day. The Stains were gone! And now 3 years later they are still gone not having been cleaned since. So as far as the extraction method goes i really have no faith in it. Nor will I ever have someone else clean my carpets for me. Not to mention if the padding gets wet and does't dry quickly that is an open invitation for molt and mildew which can cause a load of health problems. I'm just saying.

Post# 194316 , Reply# 24   8/11/2012 at 12:27 (2,889 days old) by trebor ()        

The people who maintain carpets in the many casinos, schools, and health care facilities with nothing but Host would consider it a deep cleaning method.  With extraction, you reach a point of saturation where no more liquid can be applied, because of the limitation of less than 100% extraction.  The Host must be properly applied, and thoroughly brushed, but the results are amazing.


Kirby shampooer in conjunction with a Hoover Steam Vac or similar unit can yield fantastic results.


1) use 1 1/2 measuring capfuls of shampoo per 3 pints of water.  2) Work in small sections, multiple directions. 3) Shut off suds and pick up suds and dirt until no more can be removed. 4) Use the equivalent measure of white vinegar in the solution tank instead of whatever cleaning solution is recommended. Remember, there is still shampoo in the carpet.  The rinse and extract will get the carpet squeaky clean. Wait until is is completely dry before repeating.


The machines used to dry clean clothes tumble much more gently, and if it is a good dry cleaner, the machines are loaded lightly, not stuffed, and the solution is not watered down.  Spots are pre-treated according to type of stain and type of fabric.

Post# 194381 , Reply# 25   8/12/2012 at 03:29 (2,889 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I have had good results with "Host","Capture" as well.when you wet carpets in my area-even with AC on-The carpet takes HOURS to dry.the bad thing about the Kirby system is that is NOT an extractor.For those that have had bad results with truck mounts-its NOT the machines fault---its the OPERATORS fault there.Find another service.I have seen many wonderful cleaning jobs done by truck mounts-its the OPERATOR that makes the big difference!!He HAS TO KNOW how to operate his system!A neighbor that lived near me did carpet cleaning with a truck mount system.He showed me his equipment and its operation-was one of the most informative morning walks I took!He also did HVAC duct cleaning-the vacuum unit he used has a 27Hp motor and a bag as big as a car!Was amazing the stuff it collected from ductwork!The vacuum motor and bag unit were outside the home.I feel Kirby should adopt a dry clean system involving Host or Capture-An attachment to the Kirby could work the powder into the carpet-then part of the "kit" would be a reusable dump bag to collect the spent cleaning powder.Think this would work well.Using disposable bags for picking up dry cleaning powders gets expensive.And since they can be still damp-causes paper vacuum bags to fall apart.

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