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The 10 Best Carpet Cleaners

results are based on 3,974 reviews scanned

Yellow first place 1 HOOVER HOOVER Hoover PowerDash Pet Carpet Cleaner, FH50700
75 reviews
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Orange best value 2 HOOVER HOOVER Hoover FH11300PC Spotless Portable Carpet & Upholstery Spot
18 reviews
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3 HOOVER HOOVER Hoover Carpet Cleaner SteamVac with Clean Surge Carpet
17 reviews
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4 Bissell Bissell Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner
48 reviews
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5 Bissell Bissell Bissell Little Green ProHeat Portable Carpet and Upholstery
66 reviews
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6 Bissell Bissell Bissell 1887 Proheat Essential Deep Cleaner
93 reviews
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7 Hoover Hoover Hoover Turbo Scrub Carpet Washer, Blue
40 reviews
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8 HOOVER HOOVER Hoover F5914901NC SteamVac Plus Carpet Cleaner with Clean
12 reviews
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9 Bissell Bissell Bissell Turboclean Powerbrush Pet Full Size Upright Carpet
76 reviews
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10 HOOVER HOOVER Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150
64 reviews
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A Guide to Carpet Cleaners

By Yehudah Posnick

Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting, or just have an area rug, it’s a major challenge to keep it clean. Occasionally you’ll find that vacuuming will not be enough: there will be stains that have to be removed, and running a vacuum over them might only get the stain embedded more deeply into the carpet. So that’s where a carpet cleaner can come in.

Carpet cleaners will employ a cleaning fluid that you mix into a tank of water. You spray the trouble areas with the solution, and then vacuum it up with the carpet cleaner’s suction. The carpet will typically be dry within 30 minutes to 1 hour. There are two major types of carpet cleaners: 1) the full-size cleaners, which have a large cleaning width of around 13”, like a typical vacuum cleaner, and 2) the spot cleaners, which are small, portable appliances that you can carry around your house with ease. The great thing about them is how economical they are: You can buy a carpet cleaner that can last you for years, for the same price as one professional cleaning!

We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a carpet cleaner. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of carpet cleaner,

  • See useful tips about that particular type of carpet cleaner,

  • Read reviews of different carpet cleaners, and what customers are saying,

  • Select the right brand of carpet cleaner, and

  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types of Carpet Cleaners

  • Full-size Cleaners: These look like upright vacuum cleaners, but they will perform a deep clean on your carpet. They dispense a cleaning fluid onto your carpet, and then automatically dry the area to be treated. An example is the Hoover Turbo Scrub Carpet Cleaner (Model No. FH50130NC).

  • Spot Cleaners: These are for only treating particular areas of the carpet that have been stained. These will usually be small portable models. There are also spot cleaners that are special for pet owners, to remove urine and odors that pets might leave behind. They employ deep cleaning tools to remove stains and spills, while also eliminating bacteria and isolating contaminants. One such device is the Bissell SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner (Model No. 3624).

What Reviewers Say

  • Even works on dog droppings: If your dog has an accident on your carpet, don’t fret. The Hoover Turbo Carpet Cleaner is strong enough to get it out--even on the first pass. For best results, use their Pet Plus concentrated solution. The carpet cleaner is also suitable for lighter jobs, such as from normal day-to-day use.

  • Weight of the appliance: A full-size carpet cleaner will get somewhat heavy when filled with water.  The Hoover Turbo Scrub Carpet Cleaner weighs 22.7 pounds when the tank is filled. If that's heavy for you, maybe consider just a spot cleaner.

  • Dual tank technology: Some carpet cleaners have two tanks: one for the water + solution mixture, and the other for the dirty water that is sucked up back into the appliance. The Hoover Spotless Portable Carpet and Upholstery Spot Cleaner (Model No. FH11300PC) uses such a design, and also has a self-cleaning feature that flushes the hose clean after every use.

Important Features

  • Vacuum carpet prior to cleaning: Experts recommend that you vacuum the carpet with a regular vacuum, to get out the coarse debris, before employing the carpet cleaner and wetting the area. You should also pretreat any spots on the carpet by spraying that section with cleaning solution.

  • Long cord length: The Bissell 3624 SpotClean Professional Portable Carpet Cleaner has a 22-foot long power cord and a 4-foot long hose. that allows you greater reach throughout your home. It also is a great convenience if you want to reach into your car to clean your car's interior, or if you want to use the cleaner on upholstery.

  • Employ heat as well: There are carpet cleaners that work best if you pour in hot water into their tank. For example, the Bissell Proheat Essential Carpet Cleaner and Carpet Shampooer (Model No. 1887) is designed to work with hot water. You fill the tank with hot water, then add cleaning solution. The cleaner then heats the solution as you apply it to the carpet. The heater will heat the hot tap water that you put into the tank up to 25 ℉ hotter (never exceeding 180 ℉). If you are cleaning a delicate rug, you have the option of turning off the heat.

  • Cleaning procedure: It is recommended to perform two wet passes, and then two dry passes with the cleaner to vacuum up the water. For best results, you should empty out the tank of any remaining solution, and fill it with hot clean water, without any solution. Then, perform another cleaning. You’ll be surprised how much dirt the cleaner will remove on the passes with clean water.

  • Cleaning Solutions: There are a variety of cleaning solutions offered together with carpet cleaners. When you purchase a carpet cleaner, you typically will receive complimentary containers of cleaning solution. For example, the Bissell Proheat has a number of carpet cleaning formulas:

    • Pet stain and Odor--to remove odors due to pets,

    • DeepClean and Protect--designed to protect the carpet from future stains,

    • Allergen Cleansing--to remove pet hairs and pollen,

    • DeepClean and Refresh--with a scented formula,

    • DeepClean and Oxy--for deep cleaning.

They also offer a solution for cleaning hard floors and tile, as well as for professional deep cleaning.

Top-Rated Brands

  • Hoover was founded in North Canton, Ohio in 1908 by W. H. Hoover. They are an established name in vacuum cleaners, making upright, canister, cordless, robot, stick, and hand-held vacuums. They also have a division of hard floor and carpet cleaners.

  • Bissell was founded by Anna and Melville Bissell in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1876. They are manufacturers of floor care products, including vacuum cleaners, carpet sweepers, carpet shampoos, carpet cleaners and steamers, and more.

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