Most of the time, the carpets and rugs in our homes just get vacuumed and, when necessary, spot-cleaned. But, every once and a while, those hard-working, well-trod floor coverings need more. They need a deep clean — especially in homes with young kids and pets, who are prone to spills and accidents. That’s where carpet cleaners come in.
Carpet cleaners actually wash your carpet with a mix of cleaning solution and water. Some can even vacuum as they clean and can be used for spot-cleaning between deep cleans, or on upholstery. Many are even designed for homes with pets and will provide a deep clean for the dirt and debris they track in. While you can also rent a carpet cleaner, a good machine will pay for itself in a few uses. If you have the storage space, you may find it more convenient to just go ahead and invest in your own system — no need to run to the grocery store to pick up a grimy rental the next time someone spills red wine at a dinner party.
Ready to invest in a carpet cleaner? We’ve rounded up five models that can give every rug in your home a quality clean. Here are your best bets.
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1. Hoover Smartwash Automatic Carpet Cleaner
With a similar footprint to an upright vacuum, Hoover’s Smartwash cleaner washes and dries carpets. The brushes remove dirt and debris as you clean, storing it in a separate water tank that can be easily emptied after cleaning. Simply push forward to clean, pull backward to suck up the dirty water. A heat-only option also allows you to dry carpets even faster. The cleaning solution and water mix automatically, no need to measure and dilute. The cleaner also dispenses cleaner automatically with a “triggerless” design — no need to spray as you clean.
2. Bissell Big Green Professional Carpet Cleaner Machine
With an extra-large brush and water tank, this machine is designed for the pros. An extra-long extension cord also gives you a long-range area to clean without needing to stop and find a new plug. A nine-foot hose attachment also makes cleaning stairs a breeze. It provides truly deep cleaning with just a push. However, because of the size, it’s impractical for smaller homes or frequent use. But if you really want to get your carpets deep-cleaned a few times a year without calling the pros, this machine is for you.
3. Bissell SpotClean Portable Carpet Cleaner
Even if you prefer to have the pros do the deep-cleaning for large rugs and carpeted areas, it’s worth investing in a portable cleaner for occasional spills and stains. The Bissell SpotClean portable cleaner is powerful, easy to store and a great value — all of which help it earns its spot in your cleaning closet. Fill one water tank with water and cleaning solution by removing it for easy access. The collection tank for dirty water and debris also removes for emptying once the cleaning job is done. The hand-held brush attachment helps lift off stains as the cleaning solution dispenses. Because it does require more “elbow grease” than a full-sized cleaner, however, this won’t work well for cleaning an entire carpet.
4. Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner
A hybrid between a carpet cleaner and a mop, the CrossWave can clean carpet as well as hardwood floors seamlessly. Nylon and microfiber brushes scrub and lift debris, while cleaner helps treat and remove stains. With a similar footprint to a stick vacuum, this is also great for small spaces or homes with area rugs that may not require the deep clean of a traditional carpet cleaner. While it works on a variety of floors, it works the same as a carpet cleaner: a tank dispenses a cleaner and water solution while another tank gathers the lifted debris and dirty water.
5. Resolve Easy Clean Pro Carpet Cleaner Gadget
If you only need a spot cleaner, it’s possible to get an affordable option that keeps you from scrubbing on your hands and knees. Resolve’s carpet cleaning gadget allows you to dispense and scrub with foaming carpet cleaner while standing up. A trigger lets you spray the dirty area, and the bristles on the head of the gadget help lift and loosen the stain. Ater you’re done working on the stain, just let the foam dry and vacuum the area around 15-20 minutes after cleaning to finish.