- Page 1 Bosch BCH6PETGB Athlet ProAnimal
- Page 2 Stairs, Pet Hair and Verdict
The hard-floor test was particularly impressive. We were expecting the rotating bar to flick loose particles away. Not so: the ProAnimal’s AllFloor head gave a clean single sweep of the floor tiles, cleared out the grouting groove with ease and didn’t drop any particles on the back stroke.
The same issue pervaded with the edge cleaning, though, and it pointedly refused to collect a row of apple pips along the kick-plate of the kitchen cupboards. Out with the hose and flat tool again.
For really stubborn dirt in carpets, wound-in hairs, or major dry spillages in the kitchen, the Turbo mode turns the Athlet into a serious cleaner with excellent suction for a cordless.
This gave us a solid 13 minutes of run-time, but I’m not sure you’d want to use it any longer anyway. While the suck-down isn’t too sticky, Turbo mode does add a lot of resistance to movement, and cleaning becomes rather physical.
Our solution was to stick with level 2, and when there was a particularly stubborn bit of dirt simply flick the switch to Turbo; here the cleaner offers up a great combination of run-time and power. Sadly, the mighty Turbo mode couldn’t make up for bad floor-head design and so edge cleaning remained just as poor.
Bosch Athlet ProAnimal – Stairs
If you’re fit and fairly strong then it isn’t impossible to use the Athlet in upright mode for stairs using the main floor-head, and even swapping over to the shorter handle if you prefer. This became our stair-cleaning mode of choice with the Athlet, thanks to the head being pretty good at navigating steps on turning angles. It allowed us to get into most areas, switching to the hose and tools for the tightest angels and the edges that the floor-head had missed.
Swapping to the full “over-the-shoulder” number is a little weird at first, but the balance is good and the strap is adjustable and plenty long enough to go over your head to the opposite shoulder. The short handle certainly helps you to move around without clouting every doorway, wall and wardrobe you meet along the way – and, of course, there are no cables to trip over. We tried both the wide tool and the upholstery tool, and both delivered the cleaning goods on our carpeted stairs.
The upholstery tool would be our weapon of choice, since it’s wider and so covers more carpet area in a single sweep. The cleaner’s straight hose handle does make it a little more awkward to keep it flat to the floor than a curved handle might, however. This tool does have a base plate that tilts a few degrees to help, but the mechanism is stiff so you have to select an angle and stick with it.
That said, the combination of the shape, the air-release channels and the protecting strips along the base work well. You can agitate the carpet to lift out ingrained or entwined dirt and, on level 2 or the Turbo power modes, the solid suction results in a deep clean without any problems with sticking down too much.
Bosch Athlet ProAnimal – Pet Hair
For cordless cleaning, the standard Athlet models have proven pretty effective on stubborn pet hairs. The ProAnimal builds on those talents with a dedicated brush and hose tool for pet beds and the sofa. We swapped between the two almost-identical brushes and achieved almost identical results.
Both do a fine job of pulling pet hair from carpet, and on level 2 or the Turbo mode, these are largely sucked in. Inevitably, some hairs do wrap around the brush, but the quick-release and the channel for scissors makes cleaning up very easy indeed.
Using our standard test fare of mixed Collie and Labrador hair rubbed into a 30cm patch of nylon mid-pile carpet, the ProAnimal cleaned the area in about 16-17 seconds. While that isn’t in the big league of pet-busting mains-powered cleaners, it’s respectable for a cordless model. We really could find little actual difference between the performance of the two brushes.
The flat tool supplied with the ProAnimal looks peculiar but transpired to be an inspired add-on for this model. It’s great for getting down the back of the sofa or between cushions, ideal to tackle the dog’s beds and handy for detail cleaning. In Turbo mode it turns into something of a limpet, but level 2 provides plenty of suction and airflow across its narrow opening without sticking down too much.
Our only pet-related issue with the Athlet is one we level at most cordless models – namely, bin size. The frequency with which you’ll have to empty the bin if there are mucky pets around the home is likely to be multiple times per charge.
Thankfully, this is easy with the ProAnimal – and the second filter, like the second brush bar, allows you to continue cleaning even if the first is becoming blocked or tangled. You can then clean both at your leisure.
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Should I buy the Bosch Athlet ProAnimal?
The Athlet ProAnimal builds on the good reputation of the Athlet range with plenty of accessories and pet-specific brush bars and tools.
The 60-minute run-time is a bit of a red herring, since performance in this low-power mode is lacklustre. On level 2 or Turbo power, both carpet and hard-floor cleaning is excellent out in open spaces; edge cleaning was far from the best, though. The upright/carry modes provide incredible flexibility too, making the ProAnimal another worthy addition to the Athlet range.
If cordless convenience is paramount then the Athlet ProAnimal is about the closest you’ll get to the ideal all-rounder, providing good overall cleaning and coping well with pet hair.