What a machine! All stainless steel, accented in red, with tubes coming out of the sides. It looks like some sort of Space-Age robot from the old 1960s “Lost in Space” Television series. The instructions are dated pre-1990’s, and look somewhat outdated, as well. I couldn’t help but laugh a little bit at the nostalgic vibe of all this. Never the less, it was all shipped correctly and packaged very well. So far, I have no complaints. Assembling the machine was quite easy. There was no need to even read the instructions. Simply, snap on the waste tank and vacuum motor (all done in about 20 seconds). Next, mount the suction ring and the hoses, (this takes another minute or so), and presto! You are ready to go.
The moment of truth has arrived. I am going to run the machine for 30 minutes on the garage floor with the detergent flowing to break in the brush. All the while, I am thinking, “This thing is supposed to be hard to run. The tendency is to fight the machine rather than work with it.” I take a deep breath, pull the lever, and off she goes, smooth as butter! She glides on top of the garage floor like she is skating on ice!
She is very quiet, but that is because the vacuum is not running at this point. Right now, I am just breaking in the brush (no need to run the vacuum motor yet). Two minutes or so pass and I am gliding forward and backward with no control problems whatsoever. My wife pokes her head out and says, “That is nice! Will you please scrub the entire garage?” “Ok!”, I say and proceed to foam the entire garage without taking anything out.
Thirty minutes later, I decide to clean a rug on the floor (the kind you wipe your feet on. It isn’t very dirty, but I want to see if the Chemstractor is going to fling that thing into orbit! So, I start cleaning (and Son-of-a-Gun!) the carpet does not even budge!. Now, I am impressed, and I am ready to enter the house.
“Man!” I say to myself, “How do I get this thing up that one stair into the house?” You can’t pick it up! So, I pop down the wheels (which pop out when you are cleaning) and drag the thing backwards up the stair. This technique worked very well. So far, no problem.
I start cleaning my indoor wall-to-wall carpet, which is really clean, but I want to see if the it will fuzz or shed. The carpet did not fuzz or shed, which I thought may be a possibility because it is new carpet, and continues to shed as we vacuum. There was very little fuzzing.
This machine cleans really fast! I cannot believe the speed difference, over my CCS Oscillator or my old LMX Dry Foam Extractor. It maneuvers extremely well and only a light touch is needed. The LMX touts ease of use, but I would have to say that the Chemstractor is just as easy to use. Squeeze the handle, push to detergent button, and off you go.
Defoamer application is simple. You spray defoamer in the waste tank and you are done. This is much easier than the new LMX machines, which eat defoamer, and has a defoamer tank which is very cumbersome, hard to reach. The Chemstractor puts everything on top of the motor and all of it is easy to reach. The waste water inside of the Chemstractor was really dirty, so, needless to say, I am very impressed.
I really like the extraction capabilities of the Chemstractor over my CCS Oscillator, which has no extraction other than the vacuuming I do after cleaning. Break-Down took about five minutes.
The next morning, I wake up to find that my carpets are “crunchy”. However, after a thorough vacuuming, the crunchiness went away. I believe this was caused by not doing a very good job of extracting the foam that I put into the carpet.
I remember, back when we lived in Yakima, after cleaning my carpet with the Von Shrader LMX, it dried crunchy, too. When I would clean other carpets, I never had the same crunchy effect. Perhaps, there is something similar between my carpet in Yakima and the carpeting I have now. It wasn’t until much later, I learned that the problem was due to very poor extraction because of my own operator error!
Stay tuned for my next article:
“Side By Side Comparison Cleaning (Chemstractor & CCS Oscillator)”