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I have the original Kirby owners manual (paper format, VHS and DVD) that you need at my eBay store. It explains everything you need to know about using every part of your machine.
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My INSTRUCTION/OWNERS manuals are reasonably priced and will help you to get the most out of your Kirby. The manual would probably explain the shampooing process better than I can, but here goes nuthin'... :0)
First, you'll need to fill the tank with water (warm or cold). There are three fill lines on the side of the tank. Fill to the desired line and add one shampooer tank lid full of Kirby shampoo for each line of water. A full tank will require three lids full of shampoo.
Remove the outer cloth bag by rotating the bottom boot AWAY from the side of the main unit. Put the tank where the bag was, line up the notch (or may be a small arrow) on the tank with the notch on the Kirby near the hole. Set the tank down onto the Kirby and rotate it toward the Kirby to lock it on.
To remove the Kirby power nozzle, go to the front of the machine and turn the belt lifter clockwise until the red arrows line up. Turn the latch at the top to release the nozzle and take it off.
Make sure that the GREEN arrows on the hood's belt lifter are lined up. Put the shampooer hood onto the tray, covering the shampooer brush and splash guard. The belt lifter should be FACING the hole in the center of the tray. While looking into the large hole in the rear of the shampooer hood, turn the belt lifter slowly and "hook" the belt with the belt lifter. Continue to turn it until the RED arrows on the top or the belt lifter line up. This stretches the belt to it's highest position, preparing it for attachment to the main unit. This action also binds the hood to the tray. It may be a bit hard to turn, as the belt may be stiff if the shampooer isn't used often.
Attach the shampooer assembly to the Kirby in the same manner as the power nozzle. (Put the little hooks on the hood onto the outside edges of the bar in the front, push it toward the Kirby and lock it on)
Now, turn the arrows back to green matching green. This will position your belt onto the drive shaft and make the nozzle ready to shampoo.
Lower the front of the Kirby to it's lowest setting. You may raise it up one click if you have thick carpeting. Either one is fine.
Now, all that's left to do is attach the tank to the tray using the hose. One end goes on the tank shampoo outlet which is located near the on off valve. The other end "pops" into the hole in the center of the tray.
Turn the Kirby on, turn the foam setting to "on" and lay the foam out onto the carpet by pushing FORWARD QUICKLY and BACKWARD SLOWLY. The foam is ONLY being laid out onto the carpet when the machine is going BACKWARD and wastes into the front tray when going forward, so going forward quickly uses less shampoo for the same job. The quantity of foam being deposited to the carpet is controlled by the speed of the backward movement. The slower you go, the thicker the foam.
Lay the foam out in strips, overlapping the edges a bit for good coverage. For tough stains, try going over the area in two different directions when laying the foam in that area. Don't go over an area too many times though...it will get too wet and can cause a thick build-up of carpet protecter and soap. Pick up the foam by turning the shampoo valve back to "off". Simply run the shampooer slowly and smoothly over the foam and it will pick it up and deposit it into the tray in the front.
Once you get the feel for the foam laying process, you should be able to do a whole room without emptying the tray. Make sure that you transition from forward to backward slowly and smoothly, especially as the tray fills up with dirty water. Jerky movements will cause the funk to slosh back out onto the clean rug.
PERSONAL ADVICE>>> I like to lay the foam in 3' to 4' square blocks and then pick it back up before moving on to the next area. This prevents the foam from being spread over too large an area. If it takes you too long to pick the foam up, it may dry out a bit and won't do as good a job as when it's fresh and damp.
Now that you've gotten this far, I imagine that you're enough of a veteran to detach the shampooer and reassemble the vacuum. My advice in this area is for the shampooer cleaning process. Make sure that you release the belt from the hook by turning the belt lifter to GREEN before trying to seperate the hood from the tray. If you don't do this, you'll never get them apart. :0)
THE SHAMPOOER IS NOT LAYING OUT FOAM PROPERLY....
Make sure that your forward motion is quick and that your backward motion is SLOW. The slower you go backward, the thicker and wider the foam trail will be.
STILL NOT WORKING???? Check to be sure that the little tiny suds screen is firmly wedged into the small hole on the front part of the tank where the hose attaches to it. Make sure that the suds screen is not clogged with shampoo residue. Make sure that all outside edges of the screen are firmly glued to the rim of the plastic screen cap frame. You can remove the screen to clean it. If it doesn't lodge firmly into the hole, try a putting very thin strip of scotch tape around the outside rim of the screen cap and reinsert. Repeat until it fits snugly into the hole. Make sure that you are using the correct amount of shampoo. Take the round sponge out and male sure that the holes are both fully open when the valve is turned on. Make sure that there are two "squeegees" on the bottom of the tray. One short one by the brushroll and one long one in the front. make sure that they are straight and not all bent up.
These are the only solutions that I know of for that particular problem.
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