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Best Carpet Cleaners

Candace Osmond

Many people prefer carpet flooring over hardwood due to its attractive looks and cheaper costs of installation, but without regular and proper maintenance, carpets can easily lose their initial appeal. Even with regular vacuuming, after some time carpets start to look worse for the wear, especially in high foot traffic areas. That’s why carpet cleaners are a must if you want to prolong the lifespan of your carpets and make sure they look brand as new for years after you install them.

Carpet cleaners can be rented but if you have carpet flooring or even regular carpets in most rooms of your home, it makes more sense to invest in buying one of these appliances for your household. It will make carpet maintenance both affordable and more efficient.

1. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine – Editor's Choice

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  • Weight: 18.5 pounds
  • Tank capacity: 1 gallon
  • Upholstery attachment: Yes

2. BISSELLProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro

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  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
  • Tank capacity: 1 gallon
  • Upholstery attachment: Yes

3. Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner

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  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Tank capacity: 1 gallon
  • Upholstery attachment: Yes

4. Aqua Power C4 Quick Dry Hot Water Carpet Extractor

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  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Tank capacity: 4 gallons
  • Upholstery attachment: No

Best Carpet Cleaners

1. Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner Machine – Editor's Choice

Highlights

  • Weight: 18.5 pounds
  • Tank capacity: 1 gallon
  • Upholstery attachment: Yes

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Good for deep cleaning
  • Offers a range of accessories included

Cons

  • The tank can leak after a while

Hoover is one of the biggest names in the vacuum cleaner industry and its products traditionally dominate the market, owing to their superior quality and performance. And the same remains true for their range of carpet cleaners! This particular model is one of their top-selling and with good reason. It features the company’s exclusive SpinScrub Technology which means a multiple brush system with 360-degree rotation for more thorough and deeper cleaning. The counter-rotating brushes are spinning rather than rolling so the contact with carpet fibers is contact.

As the brushes work to break away stains and dirt, the large DualV Nozzle also applies heated air directly to the carpet to speed up drying time and eliminate the possibility of cleaning solution residue or wet spots. To further make the cleaning process more efficient, the carpet cleaner’s 1-gallon tank has separated chambers for clean and dirty water so you can empty and rinse the tank easily without wasting time.

In addition to the carpet cleaner with the 12 inches wide cleaning nozzle for carpets, you’ll also get a stair tool, upholstery tool, and crevice tool- so you can deep clean every little nook and cranny of your home with this one handy tool. And with a 20-foot cord, you’ll be able to clean room to room without having to plug in and plug out constantly.

2. BISSELLProHeat 2X Revolution Max Clean Pet Pro

Highlights

  • Weight: 17.5 pounds
  • Tank capacity: 1 gallon
  • Upholstery attachment: Yes

Pros

  • Targeted spot cleaning for stains
  • Low profile for easier maneuvering
  • Superior nozzle for deep cleaning

Cons

  • Small tank for dirty water

After almost one and a half-century in the business, BISSELL Is one of the most trusted brands in the vacuum cleaner industry. Their ability to consistently deliver carpet cleaning products that set the standards on the market is represented with this carpet cleaner aimed at pet-friendly households. Every pet owner knows how much work it takes to keep their home tidy and clean with a pet that sheds (and or has potty accidents from time to time) and this deep cleaning carpet machine is specially designed to tackle those pesky issues.

The nozzle features 12 rows of Dual DirtLifter Power Brushes that, combined with the Heatwave technology and Clean Shot Pretreated feature, make a perfect combo for removing urine stains and deeply embedded dirt. The powerful brushes will have no problem aggravating the fibers and sucking up dirt, whereas the heated air helps speed up the drying process. To boot, this carpet cleaner comes with a pet stain and odor formula cleaning solution that targets cat and dog messes specifically and helps you get rid of the toughest grime and smell (even skunk odor).

Another great thing about this carpet cleaner is that it has an express cleaning mode that gives a good surface clean and dries carpets in only 30 minutes, perfect for when you want to tidy things a bit before your guests arrive. And with a 2-in-1 upholstery tool at your disposal as well, you can also make sure your furniture is free of pet hair, stains, and unpleasant smells.

3. Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner

Highlights

  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • Tank capacity: 1 gallon
  • Upholstery attachment: Yes

Pros

  • Wide nozzle
  • Superior suction
  • Faster drying time
  • Super boost mode for really dirty rugs

Cons

  • Can be heavy to pull around the home
  • Expensive

Created by a professional carpet cleaner in his garage in California over 43 years ago, the Rug Doctor is a company that’s driven by the idea that professional-grade quality can be available for people who prefer the do it yourself route. Their carpet cleaning machines give people the opportunity to get commercial-grade carpet cleaning without having to hire experts- and this carpet cleaner is one of their best-selling options.

The dual cross action brushes rotate in all directions and from all angles to help dissolve stains and dirt buildup with greater efficiency than their competitors. The machine even has a ‘Super Boost’ mode that is meant for high traffic areas or heavily soiled spots as it can tackle the worst of the grime and dirt deposits. The extra-wide 12-inch head covers large areas, which in combination with the cleaner’s improved suction makes the drying process much faster. And since this carpet cleaner is at the very top when it comes to removing excess moisture, you can expect the fibers to dry completely in four hours or less- an impressive feat.

To help you keep all areas of your home (and beyond) in top shape, this carpet cleaner comes with a handy upholstery tool that allows you to spot clean stains, deep clean furniture, stairs, hard to reach spots or even your car’s interior.

4. Aqua Power C4 Quick Dry Hot Water Carpet Extractor

Highlights

  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Tank capacity: 4 gallons
  • Upholstery attachment: No

Pros

  • Superior performance
  • Suitable for large spaces
  • Huge tank
  • Can tackle heavily soiled carpets
  • Platinum Rating from the Carpet and Rug Institute

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Can’t reach all nooks and crannies in the home
  • Upholstery tool has to be purchased separately

With over 40 years of experience in the carpet cleaning and rental carpet cleaning industry behind them, it doesn’t surprise that Kent Investment Corp. DBA Carpet Express has products that cater both to the professional and home use market. If you need a commercial-grade carpet cleaner, whether for your small business or because you have a big home with carpeted flooring, their professional quality carpet cleaner will perfectly suit your needs.

An industrial-strength carpet cleaner, this machine boasts a commercial power brush and deep suction vacuum that can tackle the grimiest carpets with ease- and with the wide cleaning surface, it will clean larger areas much faster than carpet cleaners aimed at home use. Another feature that allows you to clean more square feet in a shorter amount of time is the carpet cleaner’s 4-gallon tank. Approximately 4 times larger than tanks of most standard carpet cleaners, it doesn’t have to be emptied and refilled as often as smaller units. This carpet cleaner has such an exceptional performance that it earned Carpet and Rug Institute’s platinum rating- the highest possible rating for these devices.

Built to last, this carpet cleaner is somewhat heavy- but not as much as you’d expect for a commercial-grade machine. In fact, its large wheels make maneuvering really easy- but the design of the carpet cleaner doesn’t make it suited for reaching under the furniture or other tough to reach spots.

Best Methods of Carpet Cleaning

To make sure that your beautiful newly installed carpets stay that way you’ll have to properly maintain them. That includes avoiding walking around in dirty shoes, regular vacuuming, and even using carpet protector sprays to minimize the effects of wear and tear. But no matter how well you care for your carpets, you can’t avoid having to professionally clean them from time to time. Deep cleaning your carpets will get rid of dirt deposits you weren’t even aware of and make sure that the texture and the color of the carpets stay looking like new. There are various methods of carpet cleaning that professionals use and each has its pros and cons. There isn’t a universal carpet cleaning method that will suit everyone and to find out which one is the best, you have to consider

Hot Water Extraction

Also known as steam carpet cleaning, this type of carpet cleaning method relies on hot water under pressure to thoroughly clean your carpets. The process usually goes as follows: the carpets are prepped with a cleaning solution and then a carpet cleaner is used to wash the carpets with hot water. The hot water is sprayed under pressure which dissolves dirt and quickly vacuumed back in the tank for even deeper cleaning. The main advantage of this cleaning method, in addition to its effectiveness, is the fact that the heat can kill germs, mold, and allergens so it’s great for people with sensitivities. Hot water extraction also ‘fluffs’ up the fibers and helps your carpet look new again. On the other hand, it can be difficult to remove all traces of water after cleaning (especially if the machine wasn’t up to par) for easier drying.

Carpet Shampooing

It might seem like a heavy-duty foaming shampoo is the only thing that can deeply clean your carpets but that doesn’t have to be the case. To shampoo your carpets, you have to thoroughly scrub in the solution, usually with a motorized brush, which tends to agitate the carpet fibers more than enough for you to see the results. However, as there is no rinsing involved, you might have issues with sticky residue or staining afterward. Furthermore, the carpets might not dry as fast due to higher moisture content in this method, which could lead to the development of mold and mildew.

Dry Carpet Cleaning

As an alternative to wet carpet shampooing, there are certain cleaning agents that work in dry form that you could use to clean stains and dirt build-up from your carpet flooring. The most popular choice is a type of carpet cleaning foam that crystallizes into powder once it dries. The process is similar to shampooing as it does require aggressive agitation with brushes or a cleaning machine, which will help break away dirt and stains and help the synthetic substances in the detergent work their magic. The main difference is that as the carpets dry, the cleaning solution can’t become sticky and leave wet spots as it turns to powder. After the carpets are dry you’ll have to deep vacuum them to remove all remnants of the detergent- which can be tricky and require tough, professional-grade equipment.

Another form of dry carpet cleaning involves foam that doesn’t crystalize in powder and it’s more similar to the shampooing. The foam is applied directly on the carpet (and not created by rubbing in the shampoo) so there is no excess moisture to worry about. However, this method is not very good for deep cleaning as it will only act on a surface level and generally isn’t as popular.

Bonnet Cleaning

Despite being labeled as carpet dry cleaning, bonnet cleaning does involve moisture. For bonnet cleaning, you need a rotary carpet cleaning machine that scrubs the carpet fibers in a circular motion. There is an absorbent pad attached to the machine that is misted with cleaning solutions and the dirt sticks to it, so the pad is changed throughout the process. The process of bonnet cleaning carpets is highly efficient for surface cleaning, but it lacks when it comes to thorough deep cleaning. Nevertheless, it is often used in hotels and high foot traffic areas as it can spruce up the carpets in no time and make them look clean and tidy- even if it doesn’t manage to suck up all the dirt that’s hiding deep in the fibers.

Bottom Line

While carpet cleaners might not be as powerful as heavy-duty machines that professional carpet cleaning services use, they can still deep clean your carpets and ensure they look their best even after years of use. A quality home carpet cleaner will also make sure that there are no nasty bacteria and mold build up in your flooring.

With an initial investment in the carpet cleaner itself you’ll be saving a lot of money in the long run on professional services- and you can deep clean your carpet as often as you’d like, which is great for people with pets and high foot traffic areas of the home.