Thread Number: 38828  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
I rented a rug dr (rant)
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Post# 412515   8/8/2019 at 15:50 (334 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

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My mom asked me to shampoo her carpets this week. I took my Bissell Big Green and discovered it wasn't outputing water, after a lot of tinkering I believed it to be the solenoid which there wasn't anything I could really do about.
So I ended up having to go to a local hardware chain and rent a Rug dr. I wasn't about to back out, the furniture was already moved and the carpets were thoroughly vacuumed.

So I load it up and take it to her house, fill the unit and start cleaning. I made it about 6 lanes 10-12 ft long and it was already out of water. I was planning to do the whole house (1 living room 2 bedrooms) but I knew the 32oz of Unique cleaner just wasn't gonna be enough with such heavy solution usage, and really the living room was the main concern. After making a pass the carpets still felt really wet so I ended up having to make dry passes to try to get some additional water out. It was still really wet. -_- I just finished up the room which took me like 6 gallons of solution including the initial tank and then used another tank going over this dark mark by the couch depleting all the chemical I had with me. I then ran my Bissell over it and found about an additional gallon or more of water.

I couldn't believe what a pain the Rug drs are. When I worked at the vac shop we rented them out all the time and people seemed to love them but I never really used them myself aside from the occasional spot on the flat pile carpeting we had. It was so short that someone my height (6'4") has an awkward time using it. The solution output was crazy and the extraction was terrible. If I never use one again I'll be happy!

Sorry for not taking more pictures of the machine, I was pretty annoyed at the time and didn't think of it. It didn't seem to have anything wrong with it either.

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Post# 412518 , Reply# 1   8/8/2019 at 20:27 (334 days old) by RoyalFan103 (Seattle,Washington)        

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In a HSN video advertising the Hoover SteamVac. They brought in a Red Rug Doctor and showed the underside of the Rug Doctor. The brushes that would scrub the carpet on the Rug Doctor had pet hair from use in a pet owner's home. They also brought in a Bissell Big Green that was also a rental and had the same pet hair problem too. Rentals can put dirt, germs, and pet hair into your carpet because of how the stores you're renting them from don't maintain them sometimes after people return them. So you have to clean the rental machine before and after using it for your carpets before returning it to the store.

Post# 412520 , Reply# 2   8/8/2019 at 21:48 (334 days old) by FantomLightning (Ohio)        

I picked up an X3 because I trust the reliability of the Bissell machines about as far as I could throw one, and dislike the size of the tanks. If it's leaving the carpet that soaked it's probably a motor that's been used/abused far past its prime. When I use mine it extracts most of what I put down, and the carpets are normally dry in no more than 3 hours even when humid. Another thing that could contribute is the handle position and your height, you're correct they're nearly unusable for someone of your height. That could cause issues with it contacting the floor.

Post# 412528 , Reply# 3   8/9/2019 at 00:18 (333 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Is it possible the machine is simply broken / out of adjustment?

Post# 412530 , Reply# 4   8/9/2019 at 00:20 (333 days old) by huskyvacs (Midwest)        

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The other problem with these carpet shampooers is they put more soap and water in your carpet which makes it more sticky to grab more dirt.

What pro carpet cleaners do is dilute Tide powder or Simple Green or some other enzymatic soap into a pump-action fertilizer sprayer and pre-treat the carpet with that. Wait 10-15 minutes, and then take the shampooer of choice with only hot water in it and only use it to rinse and remove the solution from the carpet.

With these shampooers, all you do is squirt soap into your carpet and then 5 seconds later suck it back up, giving it no time to work or clean.

I never had to rent one of these but I thought about it for my basement which has just commercial pile carpet - but I see the Rug Doctors on the rental queue and they are not washed at all. They usually still have dirt and hair stuck on them.

I have a Bissell ProHeat Pet upright shampooer that does a great job with everything, and the motor exhausts to the carpet which helps also dry the carpeting as you go along.

Post# 412531 , Reply# 5   8/9/2019 at 00:32 (333 days old) by FantomLightning (Ohio)        

Yep, you hit the nail on the head with the soap. I use a product called Saigers Sauce that a professional carpet cleaner helped create. Prespray and agitate, then just run a warm water rinse in the machine. Saigers Sauce also drys back in powder form so even if it isn't completely rinsed it'll be vacuumed away later. The right cleaner makes all the difference regardless of machine.

Post# 412538 , Reply# 6   8/9/2019 at 01:01 (333 days old) by cbimmer (USA)        


Yes, if you are going to try to clean your own carpets then that is the way to do it. Leaving soap residue on the carpet will just get it dirtier and wear out the carpets. You can always tell when someone has used a Rug Doctor or other home machine. Their carpets will be crunchy or stiff from the soap left in it. The machine will probably last longer too since only water is being run through the pump.

Post# 412543 , Reply# 7   8/9/2019 at 07:59 (333 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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The landlady rented one from Lowes, I didn't care for it, not just the big bulky but I thought cleaning was just meh and it was wet. Went over it with my ten year old Hoover Steamvac and got a full tank. It was a small space

Post# 412549 , Reply# 8   8/9/2019 at 10:14 (333 days old) by ridgidwd0670 (se wood co ohio)        

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Yrs ago I rented a Rug Dr (the old style 2-pc unit R-40) & didn't do too bad; however I had to hold the carpet nozzle with the wheels off the floor which was awkward. So I rented a Rinsenvac (Thermax CP3 lookalike) (with Power Brush) & does MUCH better & easier to use than the Rug Dr

Now I use my Shop Vac Steam Team (connected onto Workshop WS0915 [aka Ridgid WD0970] 9 gallon shop vac) & the Workshop vac has MORE suction than the rental carpet cleaner

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Post# 412552 , Reply# 9   8/9/2019 at 12:32 (333 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

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I don't think there was anything wrong with the machine. There was a pretty powerful stream of air coming out the exhaust, and the screen in the recovery tank was clean the connection at the back was secure I had no way of measuring anything on me, but I dunno it was just really underwhelming. I think the bissell extracts a lot better due to it's spring loaded extraction shoe and potentially it's motor. Which is a 2 stage 122228-01, Where the rug drs, at least the mighty pros we rented out are a single stage. the additional suction (guessing) creating by the dual stage may just be better at forcing water out.

As for the leaving residue, I use non residue formulas, Typically I use Lindhaus Extractaire which is an organic alcohol based formula, in this case though I used Unique carpet shampoo since it's pet safe as she has two cats. I had planned to do the whole house so the product being safe for the cats was a priority, but it too is a non residue formula.

Post# 412605 , Reply# 10   8/11/2019 at 16:08 (331 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
That's kind of what I do with my Portable deep cleaner

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It's a Bissel that I've had for probably over 5 years now to use to clean up cat puke. Not often my cat will puke but once in a while she does. I never use the sprayer to spray solution. I fill up a big cup of steaming hot water mixed with a little carpet shampoo, pour it over the area and extract what I just poured on. I do it a few times, then I fill the cup with plain hot water to rinse by just pouring it on the carpet then I suck plain water through the hose......never really using the side that holds solution...just dump and clean recovery tank......But that's an awesome idea.....spray the carpet then just use your machine with plain water.

Once I used diluted distilled white vinegar.....I also heard you can use ammonia to clean carpets....I always hate the thought of leaving shampoo in carpets

Post# 412853 , Reply# 11   8/17/2019 at 09:41 (325 days old) by Ctvacman (CT)        
Hated my rug doctor also

My rug doctor did the same thing, I bought mine new. I tried it at my house my grandmothers and my mothers, all the same results. Really wet rugs and not really that clean. Love my bissell big green, u havenít kept a carpet cleaner as long as I have this one. Much better than my north canton Hoover steamvacs, but I keep them for nostalgia reasons.

Post# 413033 , Reply# 12   8/23/2019 at 13:00 (319 days old) by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

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Last time I rented a Rug Doctor, I wasn't as impressed as I used to be. I rented the new version with the rotating brush, and it was AWFUL. I don't want to rent the Big Green either, because the only place near me that has them doesn't take care of them, and last time I rented one, it left a nasty brown streak on the carpet!

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