The 70s – Bex-Bissell Carpet Shampooer

Bex-Bissell Carpet Shampooer

“One thousand and one cleans a big, big carpet – for less than half a crown!” – or so the advert said.

Half a crown was 2/6d or 12.5 new pence. And it’s still available! I think the product has changed and the punch line is now, “The magic number for carpets”.

Use 1001 with the Bex-Bissell carpet shampooer and you would have the cleanest carpets on your council estate!

I remember this hand powered device, like an upright vacuum cleaner, spreading bubbles around the lounge. I was told that I had to stay out of the room until it was dry. I don’t recall any way of removing the frothy cleaning solution, because wet’n’dry vacuum cleaners weren’t available, so the job had to be done on a warm summer day with all the windows open. You could find damp patches under the sofa days later.

Bissell (without Bex) carpet cleaners are still going strong, and they still sell those sweepers-on-a-stick, the one you would get out just to pick up a few crumbs. Now they have all sorts of other fancy kit, like dog hair removers.

At least in the 70s you had proper summers to get the carpets dry – and the best way to remove dog hairs is to remove the dog!

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