I have a VAX (orange bucket one, not upright), and it's been a handy cleaner in our house. I got it 10 years ago for £150 & it's paid for itself over the years.
I use it every 2-3 months on downstairs carpet (wool) & rugs & I've found it sufficient at getting out the grime & stains. I know a prof cleaning machine would be better but it's been fine for me. The only thing is I can't shampoo the stairs as there's no attachment for that.
I hope no one minds me posting here! My wife uses this forum, she showed me this post and thought I should put my professional point across
The black lines around the edges of your carpet could be two things. a) it could be a build up of dirt that has accumulated over the years (its akward to vaccum out! or b) it could and more likely be filtration marks. Filtration marks are easly removed by any half decent carpet cleaner, BUT the mark will probably reappear i'm afraid. Maybe a month or several months down the line. The only way to stop them from reppearing would be to lay ply board down over the floor boards, creating an air tight environment thus stopping dirty air flow. These filtration marks will very likely appear even if you buy a new carpet!
The "my carpets get dirty quicker" myth. Two things, when you buy a carpet it might of had a protector applied to it. This protector on average lasts 2-3 years. Since your carpet is over 7 years this has probably worn away. A 7 year old carpet thats not been cleaned before will be a worn carpet. A good carpet cleaner will be able to bring the carpet up to a very good standard i.e. removing stains, pollutant, soils, grime etc fully sanatising the carpet. But the carpet will still be a 7 year old carpet. The fibres of the carpet will be worn so
As long as the carpets are thoroughly flushed out leaving no residue in the carpet then they wont get dirtier quicker.
Machine like bissel, vax and the dreaded rug doctor are very poor at cleaning carpets. They are highly underpowered in both extraction phase and putting down product stage. I have a long list of ex-rug doctor/bissel users as customers now
My advice to you is to get a professional carpet cleaner in. Its back breaking work doing trying to do a good job with a hire machine. A pro will charge between £30 - £60 a room depending on size of the room, condtion of the carpet, type of carpet etc. A hire machine is around £40 once you've bought the detergents.
Let me know which part of the country your in and i'll put a message on the a carpet cleaners forum that I take part in.
Nothing wrong with being tight, I can peel an Orange in my pocket. I have also heard this but ours has been fine, once you claean it you tend to notice the dirt quicker. I have had a valeting machine as long as we have had kids, its fantastic but chemical is the key We have one of these http://www.buycleaningsuppliesonline.co.uk/product/166/numatic-gve-370-2-george-3-in-1-vacuum-cleaner-kit-a26a-green
Contact Autosmart, and get the local reps number, they drive a set route each week around local garages and sell some excellent but cheap cleaning products, I use Berry Bliss carpet shampoo, for cleaning carpets, trainers, uphostery. I use G101 for cleaning a leather couch I know you shoudlt but it works really well then feed after, it also removes stubbon stains from carpets clothes etc, cleans the bath too. Its all about £12 a gallon, I clean loads of stuff and use about 2 a year so good value.
I have some good quality wool carpet on my stairs. I would describe it as "lion" coloured, so fairly light. It's not stained or anything and we are a shoe free household, but after 7 years it is looking slightly grubby, especially at the edges because I am obviously a bit slack with the Hoover. I was going to get one of those carpet washer things but a friend tells me that they remove the lanolin from the wool and afterwards the carpet gets dirty a lot more easily. Is this true? The other option I was considering was to use the leftover bit of carpet we have to replace the bottom few treads. Anyone ever done this? (And yes, I am a bit of a tightwad .)