As long as homes have had carpets, homeowners have tried finding the best ways to clean those carpets. I have dealt with my fair share of carpet stains and grime during my many summers spent as a housekeeper. All that it takes is one spilled glass of wine, one pair of muddy boots, or one pet who didn’t quite make it outside in time and your carpet has a stain. You can only clean some stains by the very best carpet cleaner.
Your carpet has many tiny pores, fibers, and indentations that trap liquids and other substances that happen to fall on the carpet. Larger particles do not trap as easily and you can remove them by a vacuum. The smaller particles and liquids will need a carpet cleaner that uses a combination of a cleaning solution, pressure, and suction to remove dirt, grime, and stains from the deep crevices and fibers of your carpet to restore it to its original color and cleanliness.
The Best Carpet Cleaner Our Top Pick: Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150
The best carpet cleaner that I have chosen, due to its ability to combine all the power needed for a deep clean plus the versatility needed for a thorough clean, is the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150. Cleaning your carpets regularly does not have to become an expensive ordeal. A small investment in the Hoover Power Scrub and you will be extending the life of your carpets for years to come.
How It Cleans
The Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150 has a multi-action system that lifts dirt, removes stains, and dries your carpets simultaneously for the best possible result. The system uses a SpinScrub brush system as its main tool for cleaning your carpets.
This consists of a set of five horizontal scrub brushes that spin in complete 360-degree circles while you move your carpet cleaner across the carpeted surfaces. Each of the scrub brushes spins in an opposite direction so that your carpet fibers will be clean from every direction and angle.
The nozzle of the carpet cleaner has a duel suction. This provides a more even cleaning. The dual action also allows for your carpet cleaner to clean faster. The nozzles will suck up grime and dirt from deep within the fibers.
The heating feature is the last part of the cleaning process. The carpet cleaner uses forced heat for two purposes. The first is to use the heat to help with cleaning out the toughest stains. If you have a fresh stain, avoid heat as heat will cause stains to set. Try washing the stain out with cold water first before running the carpet cleaner. After a stain has set, heat will help the detergent react with the carpet, as well as sanitize the area. The second purpose is to help the carpets dry faster afterward.
The Water Tanks
In order for the cleaning process to be more effective, the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150 has two tanks. Each tank is completely separate. One tank holds the clean water and is what is used to clean the carpets. The water is then sucked into the dirty water tank in order to prevent the clean water from being contaminated.
The cleaning tank has an automatic detergent mixing feature. You can be sure of the perfect ratio of detergent to water for the best cleaning results with their automatic mixing feature. This will help prevent you wasting detergent by using an excess amount, or spilling some when measuring in a measuring cup. The detergent can be purchased along with the carpet cleaner at a discounted rate.
Cleaning your carpet cleaner can seem just as easy as cleaning your carpets. The water tanks easily remove and you do not need any extra equipment to clean it out. The quick pour spout allows you to easily dump out the old water before refilling it with fresh, clean water. The water tank conveniently holds about a gallon of water.
Where It Cleans
The Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150, first and foremost, is a carpet cleaner. It is made to be pushed slowly across the large carpeted areas of your house. The wide base is made to cover large areas in a short amount of time. The wheels on the back of the carpet cleaner make it easy to push the contraption across your floors.
In addition to the base, there is also an 8-foot upholstery tool. This hose makes it easier to clean smaller areas. It can be used to clean closer to the edge around the wall, as well as hard to reach corners of the room. The tool can also be used to clean your carpeted stairs. It can even be used on certain fabric furniture as an easy way to keep your couches and chairs as clean as your carpets.
What Is Included
Purchasing a carpet cleaner can be a big decision, that is why it is important to know just what you are getting in the box. Online, you can purchase the carpet cleaner in a package along with the carpet cleaner of your choice. There are different packages including cleaners for pets and regular cleaners.
In addition to the cleaning solution, you will get some items to help with the cleaning process. As mentioned before, you will receive the hose attachment for your carpet cleaner to reach into those nooks and crannies of your home. You with then receive three different hose connections to attach. One item will be a larger nozzle for cleaning the stairs, a second nozzle is a specialty brush nozzle for furniture and other upholstery, the last nozzle is a long crevice tool for the corners of your room.
All in all, this vacuum weighs in at around 18 pounds. This is rather light considering all the extra features and additions.
Things to Consider in the Best Carpet Cleaner
While the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150 is far from your most expensive carpet cleaner option, it is definitely not the cheapest option either. When compared to some of the other models, like the runner-up Bissell, you will find it has a similar cleaning power for a higher price.
Some have mentioned that the heating feature does not make a noticeable difference in drying time compared to other models without the heating feature.
What makes the Hoover worth the extra cost is its extra features. Other carpet cleaners may offer one or two nozzles and hoses, but Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer FH50150 has one of the best deals when it comes to additional attachments. It is also considered one of the easiest carpet cleaners to clean and refill. One of the best features is its automatic cleaning solution dispenser that will mix the cleaning solution for you. Many customers find that the ease of use makes up for the extra dollar signs at purchase and still consider this the best carpet cleaner.
The Best Carpet Cleaner Runner Up: Bissell PowerLifter
The Bissell PowerLifter may be just second best carpet cleaner when it comes to quality cleaning, but it definitely is best when it comes to the most budget-friendly. For just above half the cost of the Hoover, you could have a carpet cleaner with nearly the same cleaning power. Of course, there are also reasons why it is not as expensive as the Hoover. Before getting into that part, let’s look at what it does offer.
How It Cleans
The Bissell PowerLifter has a slightly different design than the Hoover. This can mainly be seen when looking at the brushes. While the Hoover had five scrub brushes all in a row, the Bissell PowerLifter uses a rod with 4 sets of bristles 360 degrees around it at varying angels for a through clean of the carpet fibers from every angle. These bristles loosen up the dirt, after which the suction lifts the dirt from the carpet into the machine.
The carpet cleaner has a strong force of warm cleaning solution that it uses to penetrate deep into the carpet’s fibers, which pushes out tough stains and dirt. The cleaning solution reaches areas that the bristles cannot reach so that your carpets are more fully cleaned.
The Water Tanks
The water tank of the Bissell PowerLifter also has a two compartment design. This helps keep the clean water separate from the dirty water. There is also a lint screen and a removable nozzle that helps keep out harmful dirt so that you can clean the water compartment and the rest of the carpet cleaner even easier.
When it comes time to fill the water tank, Bissell PowerLifter provides a little extra help. A built-in measuring cup helps you achieve the right amount of cleaning solution with your water so that you do not hurt the carpeted surfaces or waste cleaning solution.
Its Compact Design
The Bissell PowerLifter has a more simplistic design. It really takes carpet cleaning back down to the basics. As a result, it is only designed to clean regular carpets. There are no add-ons or extra nozzles for upholstery or stairs.
While this may dissuade some, this is also a positive, because this means the minimalistic carpet cleaner only weighs about 16 pounds, making it one of the lightest options. This will make the carpet cleaner easier to transport up and down stairs to clean all floor of your home. It is also one of the smallest carpet cleaners so you can easily store it when you are done.
This lack of features is also why the carpet cleaner is not as highly priced as some of the other options. Some people may be concerned that the price is a reflection of a lesser cleaning quality. In fact, the cleaning quality of the Bissell PowerLifter is nearly the same as the more expensive models.
Things to Consider With the Runner-Up Best Carpet Cleaner
The main concern with the Bissell PowerLifter model is the lack of features. Those who do not have stairs may never use some of the add-ons of the other models. Upholstery also has other methods to be cleaned. The extra features, while convenient, are not always necessary depending on the home.
While the instructions of the Bissell PowerLifter do not call for a rinse mode, some have found that the Bissell did not do well with rinsing after scrubbing the carpets, which could leave the carpets feeling stiff from the soap and clean. This can add a little extra time and effort in the cleaning process, but the fluffy carpets that will result will be worth the extra time.
The Best Carpet Cleaner Honorable Mention: Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner
The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner deserves an honorable mention as it is still one of the most popular choices when it comes to carpet cleaning, and for good reason. The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner definitely comes very close to a professional clean when compared to other carpet cleaners. In fact, it has even be awarded the Carpet and Rug Institute Gold Seal of Approval for the Best Cleaning Performance, thus making it the best carpet cleaner to some consumers.
How It Cleans
The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner has 14 rows of bristles running horizontally across a turning rod. These bristles are designed to rotate and work the dirt out of the fibers of the carpet. The strong suction power of the carpet cleaner sucks up all the loosened dirt.
A strong stream of water helps push out the more stubborn stains for the most thorough cleaning with the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner. The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner understands that not all stains are equal. This is why they have created the Super Boost Spray. This is an extra strong spray of water for the harder to clean areas. This setting does use more water, so it is not recommended to use it for the entire carpet. Instead, you can save on water by cleaning with the regular setting and only using it on especially tough stains.
It not only is able to clean carpets, but also stairs and certain upholstery. The carpet cleaner comes with a long 7.7-foot hose that can attach directly into the carpet cleaner. An upholstery nozzle is then attached to the end of the hose. This can reach into corners and on stairs. You can use it on furniture that is approved for cleaning.
The Water Container
The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner has a 1 gallon tank for water. It has a large lid that can be removed for easy emptying and refilling. It also makes it easier to clean out between uses. The lid has a built-in measuring cup so you know exactly how much soap to add to the water for the best result.
Things to Consider in the Honorable Mention Best Carpet Cleaner
The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner is definitely one of the best when it comes to cleaning ability alone. There are many things about the features and functionality that do not make it the easiest carpet cleaner to use. This is why it has been bumped down from the number one spot to honorable mention.
One of the largest considerations people have mentioned is how it is not very easy to use. The entire carpet cleaner weighs in at about 25 pounds, making it one of the heaviest home carpet cleaner options available. Not only is it heavy, but it is also awkward to move as it can only be pulled and not pushed. Many other carpet cleaners can be used similarly to a vacuum cleaner in the way you can push and pull it. The Rug Doctor can only be used in one direction.
The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner is not only difficult to use, it can also be difficult to clean. Many of the other carpet cleaners have removable parts so that you can wipe down all areas of the cleaner and get out the built up lint and hair. The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner’s parts are not as easy to remove for cleaning.
Final Word on My Honorable Mention
While the Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner is considerably more expensive, you are also receiving a higher quality of cleaning. While it isn’t the most convenient, it is a great option for those who just need a really deep clean.
Best Carpet Cleaner Comparison
How to Clean Your Carpet
While all carpet cleaners are different when it comes to how they clean, there are some universal rules for carpet cleaning.
- Vacuum your floors. Before you even pull out the carpet cleaner, take a vacuum over your floors to clear away most of the top dirt, lint, and hair that could clog the carpet cleaner and block the brushes from getting to the deeper dirt. If you need a good vacuum, you can read Jeannette Lee’s article about the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Your Home.
- Move Slowly. Carpet Cleaning is not like vacuuming where you move it quickly back and forth a few times. In fact, the slower you move the carpet cleaner, the more time your brushes have to dig into those stubborn carpet fibers.
- Let the Carpets Dry. Once you’ve run the cleaner over the carpet, let it dry. This can take over four hours, so patience will be required. Running over a wet carpet with the carpet cleaner can hurt your carpet more than help. You also do not want to walk over the wet carpet while it is drying.
- Vacuum your carpets again. After you’ve finished carpet cleaning, you’ll want to run your vacuum over the carpets one more time to pick up any extra dirt that was pulled up but not sucked up.
- Clean Your Equipment. The entire cleaning process of your carpets originates within your carpet cleaner. If your carpet cleaner is not clean, then you cannot expect your carpets to become clean. Regular cleaning of the carpet cleaner will help keep it free from bacteria and mold that could be transferred onto your carpets.
- Consistency is Key. Carpet cleaning is not a one-time fix. If it were, there would be no need for a carpet cleaner. In order to keep your carpets in their optimal state, you will want to be sure to clean them regularly. Once a year is a great schedule to keep when it comes to cleaning carpets. This will help reduce the grime build-up and smells as well as extend the life of your carpets.
Keep in Mind When Shopping For the Best Carpet Cleaner
Before using a carpet cleaner, there are some things to keep in mind.
Double check what your carpet is made of. Certain carpets are thicker, and will hold water more. This, in turn, can cause your carpet to grow mold and emit odors. Shag carpets and other thick or specialty carpets should be professionally cleaned.
Double check your carpet’s warranty. When you purchase a home or carpet, you may also receive a warranty on the carpets. The warranty may be voided if you use a certain carpet cleaner.
Consider rinsing your carpets after washing them. While most carpet cleaners will both soap the carpets and rinse them, not all carpet cleaners do an equally good job at getting out all the soap. As the carpet dries, check for crusting or a residual soap feeling. If you do notice either of those, just go over the carpets again with pure water. Keeping the residual soap on your carpets can cause your carpets to attract additional dirt faster.
Consider pre-treating those extra tough stains. While carpet cleaners can get out most dirt, they are not flawless. Even the professional carpet cleaners have their limits. If you have an especially deep stain, consider purchasing a stain remover that is safe for your carpet and pre-treating the area before running over it with the carpet cleaner.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Best Carpet Cleaner
Q: What type of cleaner can I use?
For the best results, try to use the same brand of cleaner as the machine you are using. Your carpet cleaner is specifically ready to handle that cleaner. Other cleaners may be harmful to the different parts of the carpet cleaner and may cause the parts to erode faster or clog the tubes of the cleaner. You will also need to consider the measuring cup. It is designed to measure the perfect amount of the manufacturer’s soap and may not be accurate for off-brand products.
Q: How many times should I run the carpet cleaner over an area?
This all depends on how dirty the area is. The number of times you run the carpet cleaner over is virtually limitless. After a period of time, you may notice repeated carpet cleaning all at one time can start to hurt your carpet more than help it. Run the carpet cleaner over the carpet until you no longer see any stains and the carpet is close to its original color. Just be sure to let the carpet dry between each clean.
Q: Can I use a carpet cleaner on fabric that is not carpet?
There are many carpet cleaners that also have an upholstery feature. This is specifically designed for furniture and other household items that cannot be wiped down regularly. A carpet cleaner can drive dirt from between fibers. You may clean anything with fibers with the upholstery feature.
Be careful to always check an item’s cleaning instructions before using the carpet cleaner. Also, use the upholstery feature and not the regular base as to not ruin the furniture.
Q: How Well Do Carpet Cleaners Handle Pet Hair?
Carpet cleaners can handle nearly any dirt and grime, pet hair included. If you have a pet, you should be even more likely to use a carpet cleaner regularly. Most manufacturers will even offer a special detergent to use with the carpet cleaner that is specifically designed to handle the smells and stains left behind by pets.
If you do have pets, it is even more important to do the pre-cleaning vacuum. The vacuum will suck up most of the excess pet hair as to avoid contaminating the carpet cleaner too early or clogging any tubes and brushes too early.
Find the best carpet cleaner for you by reading reviews and determine what it will be of most value.