Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Hey, Rug Doctor, give us the magic words!

Photo of the Rug Doctor machineOn Wednesday, we will finally give back the keys to the flat that we’ve rented for the past four-and-a-half years. As with most tenancy agreements, we’re required to give the flat back in a clean, tidy state, and so we spent most of Saturday cleaning.

Whilst we had vacuumed the carpets… occasionally in that time, at no point had they been properly cleaned since we moved in. So, we hired a carpet cleaning machine.

Our local Tesco allows you to rent Rug Doctor machines: £23 for 24 hours, or £29 for 48 hours. You have to book in advance, although the night before is fine, and you can do it online or by phone. The rental charge is paid upfront, and in return for your fee you get an email with a code and locker number at the location selected.

When you go to pick up the machine, you find the Rug Doctor display, open the locker with the code given, and collect the machine, a handheld tool for stairs and corners, and an instruction book. You also need to buy the detergent at this point which you pay for at the checkouts; it’s £10 for a bottle that does 1-2 rooms, £15 for a bottle that does 3-4 rooms, and a larger £20 bottle.

Rug Doctor - before and afterThe Rug Doctor machine is quite heavy and bulky, and although it’s quite easier to move on flat surfaces, good luck getting it up stairs. However, it does the job well – you can see the difference in the photo (the light-coloured bits have been treated). It works by spraying the detergent, mixed with water, on the carpet and then brushing it. It also incorporates a vacuum to suck up the dirt. You end up with a tank full of dirty water to flush away.

It’s quite quick – you can probably do most rooms in about 20 minutes, although we found that our carpets needed two treatments as they were particularly mucky. And you will need a lot of warm water – the Rug Doctor machine requires regular top-ups and we probably went through at least 20 litres of water.

Because we had the machine for 24 hours, we also had time yesterday to clean some of the carpets in the new house. These were cleaned in the summer by the previous owner before we moved in, but they’ve ended up mucky thanks to all of the disruptive renovation work we’ve had done since. Although the carpets have been vacuumed several times, I was surprised just how much muck came out after just a few months. As an asthmatic, I’m supposed to minimise my exposure to dust and yet there was still plenty in the carpets that our vacuum cleaner couldn’t remove.

Being able to get the machine from a local supermarket was really helpful, as supermarkets tend to be open long hours and at weekends. Our local hire centre, for example, is only open until 5pm (no good for us as we’re not home by then) and is shut at weekends, so we’d have to rent their machines for longer. Although we rented ours from Tesco, it looks like they’re available at some Asda supermarkets as well.

I was impressed by the Rug Doctor – it was quick, and the results were great. Hopefully the landlord will agree when we give the keys back this week.

For those who don’t get the reference in this blog post’s title, have a YouTube video.

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