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Old 03-08-2010, 09:18 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
10,354 posts, read 14,207,405 times
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Too funny considering the thread in the house forum about the Kirby vac!

Anyway I'm going to say it might be worth your while to see if you can find a used used Kirby for a few hundred dollars. They are ugly and heavy, but they are also practically indestructible. A lot of them also have a shampoo cleaning kit that comes with it.
I had one for almost twenty years and never had to spend a dime for repairs. Had myself and daughter with very long hair, along with two short haired cats, and one long haired cat to vacuum up after. I would sometimes have to pull the long hair from around the rollers, but never had a problem with clogging.
New Kirbys are ridiculously overpriced, but it doesn't mean they aren't good vacuums. I will also say that the company does a pretty good job of stocking parts for their older models too. I was able to walk in and buy a belt for the Kirby at a local shop just a few years ago, and it was nearly fifteen years old at the time.
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:48 AM
 
511 posts, read 1,977,554 times
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I will look into that one Five Horses!

I looked up the Vax X5. Seems like every vac I've looked up, there are love/hate reviews... some folks swear it the best, others say it's the worst ever. X5 had more bad reviews than good, but the good reviews were pretty glowing. Makes it so frustrating! Which reviews do I go by?

I am definitly thinking Dyson in the future. No doubt in my mind. However it may not be doable in the next 12-24 months. We'll see. Maybe I can rebudget a few things & cut a few corners elsewhere. If not, unfortunatly we need a working vac asap (and the carpets are due for a deep clean from a shampooer/steamer), so maybe I'll just buy something super super cheap to tide us over, with the expectation that it will die a terrible death long before it's time...

Thanks Shelby That's what I was hoping to hear as far as steamers go. I will look into that model. If I must go with a cheap vac for now, I think I will definitly get a steam cleaner as well. For around $100-$150, I think buying one will save me a lot of $$$ (renting a shampooer - $50, buying the special cleaner - $25, having only 24 hours to get the whole house done or be charged another $50...) Regular shampooing was part of our informal agreement with the LL when he kindly agreed to allow us to have pets

Well, I'm off again to search the web... I'm going to go look up prices & reviews on Kirby, Black & Decker, and used Dyson's.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 28,047,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyGirl1 View Post
..I just recently bought a Bissell Pro Heat 2X. Works wonderfully. My only complaint is the tank is very small....but, when I researched other brands and types...they all had the small tanks.
I was also told...the hotter you can get the water for steaming the carpet, the better it works to remove more dirt and grime. Which is why I went with the Bissell I got.
I also just bought one of these. Ugh! The black filth that came out of the carpet.......

Having spent many years in the flooring industry I will tell you that soap residue attracts dirt like a magnet. Make sure to get a machine that has a rinse/water only setting and keep rinsing until you get no more soap. Using plain old hot water will work well, particularly if you do it often.

I paid $170 for mine at Wal Mart.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:04 AM
 
Location: San Diego
5,027 posts, read 13,368,265 times
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We have the Black & Decker and hate it. In fact, we purchased the Bissell Pet Hair one yesterday, but haven't tried it yet. I'll let you know how it goes. We were going to get a Dyson, but we live in an apartment with mostly hardwood and didn't want to spend so much on a vacuum at this point.

As far as the carpet cleaner, I know Bissell makes great products. The one ShelbyGirl mentioned is one that my friend has and he loves it. We got the Bissell Spot Bot to treat spot stains and it is the greatest invention ever. I can't believe I waited so long to get one! If the large ones work as well as this thing, you'll be very happy!
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Old 03-08-2010, 01:10 PM
 
3,593 posts, read 10,638,818 times
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For a vacuum - I now swear by the Bissell Healthy Home Vac. Its got more power than the Pet Eraser model and has all the same attachments. It is heavier but its the best vac in that price range I have ever used. I looked into the Dyson but just couldn't wrap my head around that high price tag. The Bissell has been working consistantly for over 3 years now cleaning up most of that time after 4 retrievers (as well as my husband). Happy to say that we have had no problems with it. As far as steam cleaners go, we also have the Bissell Pro Heat model. It works really well but I think the cleaning solution is what makes the biggest difference. We use the Oxyclean brand and have found it does a better job than most. Hope that this helps!
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:29 PM
 
2,707 posts, read 5,347,955 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SheridanPDC View Post
This is what I'm thinking... For a vac, I've singled out the Bissel Pet Hair Eraser. For the steamer, I'm looking at the Bissel 2080. Dose anyone have either of these? I've read many mixed reviews about the Bissel Pet Hair vac but for my price range it seems to be the best option.
I have a Bissel Pet Hair Eraser. I don't know if my model is exactly the same as the one you're looking at. Here's my take on the machine I have: it works great...except for when it doesn't. When the filters are perfectly clean and the canister is empty, this vacuum works very well and has great suction, especially on carpets. It doesn't just pull up the surface stuff like hair, but gets lots of dust and deep-down dirt out of the carpet. I'm always amazed by the amount of ick that it pulls up out of my carpet. Good suction.

But the problem is that there's a foam filter (located in the compartment ABOVE the removable canister) that gets clogged with dust/dirt/hair/whatever after just one use (and by that, I mean just one room, maybe two rooms). And when it's clogged, the vacuum has extremely poor suction. So the vacuum DOES work well, but it's also very "high-maintenance."

My apartment is small (800 SF) and has carpets in all rooms except the kitchen and bath. What's typical for me is that I vacuum the living room, then stop and empty the canister and clean the foam filter. Then I do the dining room/hallway and stop and empty the canister and clean the foam filter. Then I do the bedroom...and stop and empty the canister and clean the foam filter. Such a pain! (And cleaning the filter is no simple task. I keep an old toothbrush under the sink and use that to brush off the dirt/dust/lint/hair that gets trapped on the filter -- EVERYTHING clings to the foam!! -- and then every so often I wash the filter in soapy water and rinse well.)

So I like the vacuum cleaner, but it also drives me NUTS. I hate that stupid foam filter, and I hate how high-maintenance the vacuum is because of the filter.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:51 PM
 
511 posts, read 1,977,554 times
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Thanks everyone for replying! I think we're going to shoot for a Dyson. My dad, who is the ebay master of our family, told me that he bought their Dyson on ebay for $100 and that it is just fantastic on pet hair (they have 3 cats and two large dogs). It's not the $600 Animal, I think he said it was a DC14 or something, but it apparently works wonders & has never had a clog. So I'm going to go the ebay route & try to find a refurbished Dyson. I really have my heart set on a steam cleaner as well now, but that will hinge on how much we pay for the vac. Thanks again for all the input!!
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
446 posts, read 713,452 times
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We bought a Dyson Animal that is guaranteed not to clog and is made to pick up pet hair. OMG....it DOES clog and on a regular basis. When it works, it works great, when it doesn't, well....It's annoying to say the least because we've had the same problem with shedding and keeping the carpet the color it's supposed to be...ya know, the color UNDERNEATH the dog hair?

I don't know what to tell you. We paid like 550.00 for our Dyson. It works fantastic on the rooms where the dogs don't go very ofteen...I mean it cleans so well it's amazing...but when it comes to the rooms they're in a lot I am constantly cleaning out the brush on the bottom, emptying the canister and occasionally clearing the hoses because they CLOG.

I'll have to go read the entire thread to see if anyone out there has any ideas because I certainly don't have one. I think I will, however, complain to Dyson about this.
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Old 03-09-2010, 05:47 AM
 
Location: California
10,091 posts, read 36,748,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandyrn0224 View Post
We bought a Dyson Animal that is guaranteed not to clog and is made to pick up pet hair. OMG....it DOES clog and on a regular basis. When it works, it works great, when it doesn't, well....It's annoying to say the least because we've had the same problem with shedding and keeping the carpet the color it's supposed to be...ya know, the color UNDERNEATH the dog hair?

I don't know what to tell you. We paid like 550.00 for our Dyson. It works fantastic on the rooms where the dogs don't go very ofteen...I mean it cleans so well it's amazing...but when it comes to the rooms they're in a lot I am constantly cleaning out the brush on the bottom, emptying the canister and occasionally clearing the hoses because they CLOG.

I'll have to go read the entire thread to see if anyone out there has any ideas because I certainly don't have one. I think I will, however, complain to Dyson about this.
There is something def. wrong with your vaccum. I have 6 cats and had 2 Goldens....and vac. every day. My Dysons have never clogged. Have you cleaned the filters? If they have become matted down with hair, then the thing won't work properly. But even with all my guys, I only need to clean it out once every 3 months or so. Call the Dyson hot-line.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Middle America
36,452 posts, read 41,634,558 times
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I have the Bissell pet hair eraser...so far, it's worked great. I have a beagle mix that is a year-round constant shedder of fine, coarse hair, not a fluffy, silky-coated dog, so the texture of the hairs to be picked up may play a role in how well it works, not sure. We have almost entirely hardwood floors and a couple of large area rugs, plus microfiber suede couch and loveseat that benefit from this vac. I like the rubberized contour attachment, because it gets hair, etc. off baseboard tops/molding better than any brushlike crevice or contour tool I've used.

I definitely dump the canister after every use (sometimes twice during a cleaning stint if it's been a week since I vacuumed), because he's such a constant shedder...even if the hair's not super visible, it really adds up. I also wash out the foam filter after every use, and leave it to dry and it's ready for the next use. I'd rather have a reusable sponge filter that I have to rinse out than have to constantly replace a disposable one.
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