Ask Me Anything: Pre-Owned iPhones, Pet Stains, Carpet Cleaning Machine

Have you seen the latest iPhone X? Read about it? I nearly choked when I learned it comes with a price tag of $1,000 or more.

Granted, I’m no iPhone aficionado, but I cannot imagine spending that much on a mobile phone of any brand, size, or capability. Can you?

Debra writes, “It’s time for me to get a new smartphone and I’m having a hard time deciding. Since they are so expensive, I don’t want to make a bad choice. I’ve been using a Samsung Galaxy 2 for about five years. Everyone else in my family has iPhones and they suggest I do the same even though they have no experience with Android phones. Also, I’ve come across certified used phones which are cheaper, but I’m a bit leery of going that route because I don’t know how safe it is. I would appreciate any advice you could offer.”

Answer: This is going to come down to your own personal preference, however as one who has never really bonded with any mobile phone (my family members are mostly at their wits’ end with me as I rarely even know where my phone is—let alone think I should answer it if I’m busy), I would be hardpressed to give you a specific recommendation. But I do have some thoughts.

If your close family members are sold on iPhone and encouraging you to go that way, you have a built-in team of willing instructors. My experience there is the younger the better. You should see Eli, my 8-year old grandson go to town swiping through iPhone options and teaching me tips and tricks, just like a seasoned pro.

As for the secondary market for mobile phones, do not underestimate this option. You’ll save a ton of money, which is music to my ears, and I’ll bet yours too.

However, be very careful. Make sure you are dealing with a reputable company that has gone through every nook and cranny of that device, refurbishing and certifying it to be wiped clean, brought back to its highest and best like-new condition, and ready to be put back into service. There are precious few of these companies I would trust. But there is one I do trust and offer for your consideration. Gazelle is an online company with a terrific reputation, competitive pricing, and great customer service.

As you may recall, Gazelle buys used devices but also sells them as fully refurbished and certified into the secondary market. Take a look at Gazelle’s warranty and currently-available inventory of mobile phones including iPhones and Androids. Hope that helps!

Mary S. asks, I enjoy reading your column and I remember you recommended a certain stain remover for carpet and upholstery. I thought I memorized the name of it, but have forgotten. Please refresh my memory.”

Answer: It’s called Spot Shot. You can get it at home improvement centers like Home Depot (cleaning aisle), some supermarkets, and online, too. (See My Love-Hate Relationship With Carpet to read more.) Now, you can also get Spot Shot in a non-aerosol option and Spot Shot Non-Toxic Pet Instant Carpet Stain Remover, which is safe for pets. You’re going to love Spot Shot.

Barbara asks, “I recall you writing about the best carpet cleaning machine ever, but I seem to have lost that column. I have two pets who often have accidents and now my beautiful beige carpet is quite the mess. Might you be able to share your experience/wisdom on what you have found to be the best and economic carpet cleaning machine? Thank you in advance if you are able to help me. I love your emails and can’t wait for each new one every morning. I have learned so much from you and your readers over the years! Thanks for doing what you do!”

Answer: Thanks for your kinds words, Barbara. You have a great memory, as I have written about what I believe is the best thing I ever bought—here, here and here—but it’s been awhile.

My Hoover Steam Vac is at least 12 years old now, which I believe is something like 75 in carpet cleaner years, and it’s still working as hard as ever. My venerable model is no longer available because the folks at Hoover just keep improving it with newer models.

The most current model is Hoover Max Extract 60 Pressure Pro Carpet Deep Cleaner. As you go back and read up on my beloved Hoover (see links to those columns two paragraphs above) you’re going to learn that I do not use any kind of cleaning product or shampoo in my Hoover. If you follow that method, for sure you will want to treat the pet stains first with Spot Shot and Nok-Out.

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5 replies
  1. Jeannie
    Jeannie says:

    Spot Shot is a miracle cleaning product! Best ever carpet spot remover. Also LOVE my Hoover Steam Vac (both products purchased from Mary’s recommendations.). As Mary suggests, I do not use anything but boiling water to clean the carpets/rugs.

  2. Elaine Riley
    Elaine Riley says:

    Be careful with older iPhones. I had one that was older and wouldn’t update to the most recent ios. This restricted the apps I could use and even apps that I could update. I eventually switched to a pre-owned Samsung after the iPhone stopped turning on or off. (I checked online and found this was a common problem)


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