Pros / This carpet cleaner was the best at extracting water, so carpets will dry fast.
Cons / Some other machines cleaned better.
Verdict / The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner proved effective in its extraction of carpet shampoo, dirt and water.
Rug Doctor is known for its industrial strength machines that you can rent from big box hardware stores. We found that the home version of its cleaning machine is effective, though many machines cleaned our test stains faster. It did get the stains out with an extra pass or two, and the water extraction was unbeatable.
With the second widest cleaning path and the second most amps, we expected this carpet cleaner to fair really well in our cleaning tests. Unfortunately, it did not meet expectations. It did remove the stains, but it took longer than others. There were only two machines that took more strokes than this one to complete the stain removal, and they both cost half the price. Cheaper machines that performed better include the Hoover Power Scrub and Bissell ProHeat 2X.
The Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner did do really well on water removal, though. Regardless of which machine you use to scrub your floors, it's going to remain wet for at least a few hours. We found that the carpet the Rug Doctor cleaned was drying faster than the other strips we tested. When we measured the water extracted with each machine, the Rug Doctor also had removed more water than any other.
The Rug Doctor is not the most user friendly, due to its bulk and overall design. We had a bit of difficulty with this machine in the beginning. Initially, we thought we could use this carpet cleaner the same way we had with cleaners that are meant for home use. Most carpet cleaners allow you to push forward and pull backward to clean; however, this one requires you to clean only one way: pulling backward. Once we got the hang of the unit, it became easier to use, but due to its size, it was still more difficult to move than other carpet cleaners.
The Rug Doctor has a 28-foot cord, so you won't have to switch outlets a lot. You can finish a room or two without having to find a new place for the plug. This Rug Doctor has bristles on the side of the unit, so you can get even the edges of your carpet clean. We also found it easy to refill and empty the tanks because of the innovative design that pulls out and snaps back in place easily.
Rug Doctor provides a stretch hose and an upholstery tool along with a bottle of carpet cleaning solution, so you can get started cleaning right away. Though the hose is the shortest one of the machines we compared, the extra-long power cord makes up for its hose lacking a couple of feet of reach.
A two-year limited warranty covers defective parts or workmanship. Rug Doctor also offers standard customer service, such as phone and email support. You can also find a repair shop by typing your address and city or zip code into the appropriate field on the manufacturer's website. Video tutorials are also available on the website, along with FAQs and cleaning tips.