Improve the look and smell of your carpets with a carpet cleaner. The best carpet cleaners lift dust, dirt, and stains laying in your carpet, along with germs unseen to the naked eye. A carpet cleaner can save you money by extending the life of your carpet. Plus, it's cheaper to invest in your own carpet cleaner machine rather than to calling in the professionals, or even renting one for every job. Here are the best carpet cleaners for home use.
Good for pet stains
The Bissell Turboclean carpet cleaner has four rows for cleaning brushes to help loosen deeply embedded dirt and stains. It also features powerful suction to cut down on the need to pass over the area multiple times or to pull out your regular vacuum to clean up loose debris after cleaning. This upright carpet cleaner is tough on pet stains and odors and weighs only 12 pounds, so it’s easy to lift and move around your house.
The Hoover Smartwash carpet cleaner is programmed to know how much water and cleaner to use. It also sprays and suctions at the same time, so you don’t have to guess to try and coordinate pushing buttons and levers while cleaning. Just move the cleaner back and forth over your floor and it will automatically clean the carpets for you. The Hoover Smartwash includes a hose attachment to clean curtains, upholstery, and in small, tight spaces.
The Bissell Pat Stain Eraser carpet cleaner has a rechargeable battery and no cords to make it easier to clean stairs or car upholstery without too much fuss. It holds its cleaning formula inside, doesn't need to be mixed with water, and can be stored full and ready. It uses strong suction and perfectly places scrub brushes to get out hard stains like pet messes, tomato sauce, vomit, coffee, and wine.
Just like the pros
This heavy-duty carpet cleaner, though big and bulky, has the power to deep clean any carpet from plush shag to low textured Berber. It suctions and cleans most carpet padding along with the carpeting, and is especially good at removing pet stains and odors. It’s compatible with several brands of cleaners, holds a lot of water, and has attachments available for cleaning upholstery and curtains, too.
For small messes
You don’t need to lug out the full-size cleaner to pick up just a little mess. The lightweight handheld Bissell Sport Clean Professional lets to get right to the problem without having to commit to a full room clean-up. The hose and tool attachments make this a good cleaning for stairs and upholstery, too. It holds 96 ounces of water and is easy to dump when you’re done.
Tackles tough grime
Though it’s an older model, the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe is still very effective at deep cleaning carpets of all kind. The water tank and base nozzle are detachable to help you clean out lifted debris after use. It comes with two hose attachments for cleaning furniture and drapes, reaching smaller spaces, or spot treatments.
Use steam instead of chemicals
This is a steam cleaner by McCulloch that includes a floor attachment to clean tile, hardwood, and even carpeting. It uses hot, pressures steam instead of soapy water or harsh chemicals to loosen dirt and grime while also sanitizing. Other attachments include nozzles and brushes to clean countertops, bathrooms, fixtures, and upholstery. The tank holds 48-ounces of water and heats it up in less than 10 minutes. This gives you enough steam to clean and sanitize for up to 45 minutes uninterrupted.
What kind of carpet cleaner do I need?
There is confusion over the difference between carpet cleaners and steam cleaners. Steam mops and carpet cleaners operate differently and clean in different ways. There are a few different styles of carpet cleaners to consider:
* Shampoo Cleaners: Most of the cleaners feature in this review are shampoo based cleaners. These cleaners used heated water and soap to clean old and worn carpets, and treat them chemically to brighten them up a little. They are generally a surface level clean and do little to remove the bottom layers of dirt.
* Steam Cleaners: Steam cleaners operate on a different principle to carpet cleaners, and are not limited to cleaning carpets alone. They heat water into steam to create pressure and release jets of steam that penetrate deeper than a carpet cleaner, shaking loose the underlying dirt. They generally don’t use chemicals to bright up or treat carpet, just remove dirt. This means they don’t give carpets a nice new sheen. There are fewer models available to buy, and they have smaller tanks due to pressure creating mechanics.
* Spot Cleaners: Spot cleaners are smaller, handheld versions of a full-sized shampoo carpet cleaner. These small machines don’t offer the same level of deep cleaning or the whole carpet cleans as a full-sized model but they are great for cleaning up after puppies or kids on a daily basis. They are also fantastic for sprucing up the upholstery in a car with the right attachments.
* Multi-Surface Cleaners: Multi-Surface cleaners are not as dedicated as a shampoo carpet cleaner for washing carpets. However, these multi-surface cleaners can be used more regularly, across a range of sealed hard surfaces in addition to carpets while doing the vacuuming. They are just not as good for giving a carpet a bright, new lease of life as a shampoo based carpet cleaner.
What features to look for when buying a carpet cleaner
When trying to decide on the best carpet cleaner for your home, it is important to keep your intended use for the cleaner in mind. Here we’ll break down the common features, how they vary, and the impact they will have on how the machine is used.
* Carpet cleaner tanks: The first feature to consider is the number of tanks and their capacity. The more practical carpet cleaners have a tank for both detergent and water. This is a handy feature as it means you don’t have to work out tricky ratios with the detergent. The weight of carpet cleaners varies greatly. The lightest in our guide weighs just 12 pounds, while the heaviest is 58 pounds. The heavier cleaners will need two people to operate comfortably, so won’t be ideal for some people. The base weight of the machine will increase with the amount of water that is placed in the tank, so bigger tank capacities mean it can get very heavy. Weight affects maneuverability. The heavier it is, the harder it is to move around.
* Carpet cleaner hose length: Hose length varies greatly from machine to machine. Some of the more basic models do not have a hose attachment. If you have a lot of awkward steps to clean or want to shampoo carpets tucked away in awkward nooks a model with a longer hose would allow you better access. A stand up only model might not be the most suitable solution to this.
* Carpet cleaner accessories: There are a lot of accessories, mostly featured around hose attachments that extend function and usability, similar to vacuum cleaner attachments.
* Crevice Tool: A crevice tool is a taper attachment to fit the end of the hose that allows you to get to all those small, tight places that a stand-up cleaner can’t reach. This is a great attachment to have if you are cleaning out small areas, like your car.
* Upholstery Tool: An upholstery tool is a small brush head that you can attach to a carpet cleaner’s hose to give you greater control over both the flow and area that you are cleaning. This allows you to concentrate on removing stubborn stains from your favorite chair, cushion, or soft furnishings without drenching it.
* Stair Tool: A hose attachment that makes cleaning the carpets on the stairs easier. This is a pretty important tool to have with a stand-up cleaner that is not designed for narrow strips of carpet that are not laid flat.
* Noise: A standard vacuum cleaner, on average, is 70 dBA, whereas the average for a carpet cleaner is 80 dBA. It is recommended that earplugs or noise muffling safety equipment are used in conjunction with carpet cleaners that go above 80 dBA as long term usage could impair hearing.