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First a short explanation of how the Kirby shampoo system works: Kirby uses a “Dry Foam” type of shampoo. Basically, it spreads a shampoo foam solution on the surface of your carpet. This foam needs to stay on the surface of the carpet until it is completely dry (usually 1 to 2 hours depending on temperature and humidity) As the foam dries, it soaks up grease and dirt. You then vacuum the carpet and up comes the shampoo residue along with the absorbed dirt and grease. It does a very good job on the surface but will not extract stains from the bottom of the carpet or carpet pad. Several other brands such as Electrolux, Hoover and Koblenz make Carpet Cleaning machines that use the same system. So, you’ve read your manual, you’ve removed the carpet cleaning nozzle and the bag assembly from your Kirby, you’ve installed your shampoo tank and carpet shampooing nozzle tray and you start to shampoo but all you get on your carpet is a puddle of soapy water and no foam. Here’s a few things to look for:
Make sure you are using a Dry Foam Shampoo(preferably Kirby) and NOT an extraction shampoo, the Rug Doctor shampoo you had left over from your last rental will not work.
Make sure you have the correct mixture. If you are using Kirby Dry foam shampoo you simply fill the tank with water and put a tank cap full of shampoo in with the water. You can use other brands of “Dry Foam” shampoo, but the mixture ratio may be different, so read the label first.
Don’t reuse last year’s leftover mixture, it’s probably no good.
Make sure a family member didn’t pour any leftover mixture back into the empty shampoo bottle - further diluting a mixture will not produce any foam.
Don’t use shampoo that’s seen extreme temperatures.
Check the tank and make sure that the sponge filter is in place and if it is in place that it is not deteriorated. The sponge filter is located under the tank at the point where you attach the tank to the hole that you removed the bag assembly from.
Check the hose that runs from the tank to the nozzle. It should have a screen in the end that attaches to the tank (older models had a cloth screen with a metal retainer, models after 1989 have a 1 piece metal and plastic screen.
HERE is the manual When rating my solution rate the clarity of the explanation NOT whatever you like Kirby stair shampoo system. I do not believe this is the way to shampoo either but this is not me who designed it. Will get the job done but it is a lot of scrubbing and rubbing.
If your trying to shampoo your carpets but the water flow is to weak and it trickles through the spout to the carpet leaving small puddles This problem often occurs when the foam filter is not replaced after rinsing or ends up in the shampoo hose at an angle preventing foaming. If you take the small shampoo hose of the shampoo tank the filter should be on the tank, if not, it may have come off and be in the hose. If it’s not there locate it, likely in the area where you last cleaned the shampooer or in the box, and put it back on the tank. While this should be cleaned after each use, care should be taken to replace it and not lose it. The problem may also occur if you don’t actually add the Kirby Dry Foam Shampoo to the water or if you use some thin else. Take care to also clean and replace the air filter after rinsing. It is located under the shampoo tank where the tank fits onto the vacuum.
it depends on the make of the kirby you are using but most kirby systems come with a portable shampooer and special shampoo. I would not recommend using your zip brush for shampooing purposes, the zippbrush is designed to loosen up dog hair, dirt, ect. when vacuuming.
to shampoo upholstery do the following:
remove bag from side of machine,
place hose where bag goes,
remove power head from front of the machine,
place air intake valve on front of machine where power head was (intake valve kinda shaped like a pig nose with small holes on end)
attach portable shapooer to end of hose and fill with water and kirby shampoo
spray shampoo witch is foamy looking on whatever you are shampooing, rub into fabric w/a brush and let sit till dry.
when dry turn kirby back into a hand held vacuum by putting powerhead back on front of machine and putting bag back on side of machine, then vacuum furiture. (make sure it is 100% dry before you vacuum because Kirby is not a wet vac!)
Hope this helped ya out a little